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Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
This article describes what a structured abstract is and how a structured abstract can help researchers sort out information. Today over 1,000 education journals publish more than 20,000 articles in the English language each year. No systematic tool is available at present to get the research findings from these tens of thousands of articles to the millions of education practitioners in the United States who might use them. The purpose of a structured abstract is to help practitioners sort out findings from education research. The structured abstract would take the place of the paragraph- style narrative summary that appears at the beginning of most articles. A structured abstract is a formal and compact summary of an article's main features and findings. Like a table or figure, it has a predictable structure that compresses information into a small space and can be read independently from the main body of the article. The structured abstract is longer and more detailed than the standard paragraph-style narrative summary. On the printed page, the structured abstract appears between the title and the main body of the article. It includes basic elements that apply to all articles (background, purpose, research design, and conclusions) and several additional elements that apply to some articles but not to others (e.g., setting, population, intervention, data collection and analysis, and findings). The structured abstract offers a robust vehicle to help practitioners systematically access, assess, and communicate education studies and research findings.