Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bad Abstract: Adherence to recommended exercise guidelines in patients with heart failure.

The abstract for this review states that in their manuscript, they make recommendations for the direction of future research. Heart Fail Rev. 2016 Sep 26;

Comment: Should review articles also follow structured abstract guidelines? A strong argument can be made that yes, they should. This abstract of a review article tells us almost nothing. They give some background, then vaguely state what they present in their manuscript. Thus, the abstract in effect tells the reader to just read the manuscript. What good is that? Are abstracts simply commercials, urging readers to read the full manuscript? No. Abstracts should provide a summary of the contents of the manuscript. To make it easy for readers to get the gist of the manuscript, the full article, the abstract should ideally contain these sections: a) background, b) methods, c) results, d) conclusion, and optionally e) implications. These sections should be clearly identifiable. Typically, each section should start on a new line, with the section title in all caps or bold type.