Requirements for PsycINFO® Abstracts
PsycINFO® prefers to use the journal abstract as it appears in the journal for two reasons.
First, it's important from a reader's point of view that the two match. When the reader links from a PsycINFO record to the full text, the abstract should be the same to avoid any confusion.
Second, from our workflow perspective, we prefer to spend staff time adding value with the main indexing, checktags, special fields, and so on. Therefore, we look at abstracts carefully when we evaluate journals for possible inclusion in the database.
For more information on journal abstract guidelines, please see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition.
A maximum of 1,500 to 2,000 characters is preferred. The length may be proportionate to the article. That is, shorter articles warrant shorter abstracts, whereas an abstract for a longer article may be at the maximum.
- Abstracts should be clear and easy to read with enough detail to help the reader understand what the article is about.
- Sentences should flow logically.
- The abstract should be written with correct English-language grammar and spelling.
Key elements for an abstract vary according to the type of article. Note: the order in which key elements are placed may vary from article to article for any type. Abstracts should present key elements precisely and concisely, with no extraneous information. Abstracts should not contain data tables, figures, or references. Most of all, they must accurately reflect the content of the article.
Key Elements for Experimental/Research Articles
Brief description of the subjects
Study location (if important or unusual)
Results, conclusions or implications
Key Elements for Discussion Articles
Logical development of the theme
Author's point of view
Implications, inferences, or conclusions
Key Elements for Literature/Research Reviews
Scope of the review
Publication time span
Types of documents reviewed
Author's opinion of the reviewed literature, particularly unique or important research findings
Conclusions about the research trends