Scholarly Resources: The Abstract

Scholarly journal articles generally have an abstract - a paragraph that describes the article. If you have considered the journal (or publisher), the author, and the bibliography and you're still not sure if the resource is scholarly, look at the abstract. What does it say about the article?

An abstract:

  • can be only a couple of sentences, or it can be a long paragraph;
  • describes the research done; and
  • summarizes the results.

If the article is scholarly, the abstract should describe a study that follows procedures appropriate to the discipline and the topic. If the abstract appears to give already known information or opinion, it is probably not scholarly.

What constitutes a study?

  • original research;
  • data analysis;
  • literature reviews;
  • new interpretations backed by evidence;
  • best practices reports.


This completes the section on scholarly abstracts. This is the last of the JABsa criteria. Return to the Scholarly Resources page to see an example.