Structured abstracts act like signposts, they provide:
- Consistency and clarity.
- Much easier evaluation of abstracts when confronted with a list of them.
- Speed to any literature search – saves time therefore.
- A format where it is easy to isolate sections and therefore read about the key elements of a paper.
- A unique approach which sets Emerald abstracts apart from others.
- Real support when seeking academic support materials depending on the identified needs e.g. research papers employing particular types of research methods.
- Useful information in libraries – identifying texts for library users or directing them to Emerald.
- More efficient evaluation of papers at the abstract level.
- Transparency of the valuable content of the database acting as a clearer shop window.
- Ease of reading.
- Particular benefits for practitioners – being able to select quickly those papers with explicit practical implications.
- Benefits for researchers – being able to select quickly those papers that may help them design their own research agenda and see what has already been done.
- A major benefit in that one can pick out quickly the new angle/value of a paper.
- Best practice from the medical and scientific fields but adapted for our readers' and researchers' needs within the management and business field.
- A clear framework for extracting, summarising and emphasising pertinent information for people in management.
- Encouragement and a requirement for authors and researchers to provide stronger links between research and practice – something that both government and other funding bodies support.
How to write a structured abstract
- Research paper: This category covers papers which report on any type of research undertaken by the author(s). The research may involve the construction or testing of a model or framework, action research, testing of data, market research or surveys, empirical, scientific or clinical research.
- Viewpoint: Any paper, where content is dependent on the author's opinion and interpretation, should be included in this category; this also includes journalistic pieces.
- Technical paper: Describes and evaluates technical products, processes or services.
- Conceptual paper : These papers will not be based on research but will develop and test hypotheses. The papers are likely to be discursive and will cover philosophical discussions and comparative studies of others' work and thinking.
- Case study: Case studies describe actual interventions or experiences within organizations. They may well be subjective and will not generally report on research. A description of a legal case or a hypothetical case study used as a teaching exercise would also fit into this category.
- Literature review: It is expected that all types of paper cite any relevant literature so this category should only be used if the main purpose of the paper is to annotate and/or critique the literature in a particular subject area. It may be a selective bibliography providing advice on information sources or it may be comprehensive in that the paper's aim is to cover the main contributors to the development of a topic and explore their different views.
- General review: This category covers those papers which provide an overview or historical examination of some concept, technique or phenomena. The papers are likely to be more descriptive or instructional ("how to" papers) than discursive.
Purpose of this paper
What are the reason(s) for writing the paper or the aims of the research?
How are the objectives achieved? Include the main method(s) used for the research. What is the approach to the topic and what is the theoretical or subject scope of the paper?
What was found in the course of the work? This will refer to analysis, discussion, or results.
Research limitations/implications (if applicable)
If research is reported on in the paper this section must be completed and should include suggestions for future research and any identified limitations in the research process.
What outcomes and implications for practice, applications and consequences are identified? Not all papers will have practical implications but most will. What changes to practice should be made as a result of this research/paper?
What is original/value of paper
What is new in the paper? State the value of the paper and to whom.