2019.3.5 Editor: G.S.
Similarities and differences between scientific abstracts for journals and conferences: An example
In last month’s column, we mentioned that abstracts aimed for journal publications tend to be more detailed, whereas those intended for meetings (i.e., posters) are more concise and contain simpler language. Below we provide an example to illustrate differences between the two types of abstracts:
Journal:The expression of the X gene has been implicated in the development of resistance in leukemia. Studies on hepatoma cell lines have shown that activation of the X gene involves the transcription factors TF1 and TF2. The objective of this study was to investigate the relevance of this model in leukemia.
Meeting:The X gene is implicated in the development of resistance in leukemia. We investigated the role of transcription factors TF1 and TF2 in the activation of the X gene in leukemic cell lines.
Journal:Human leukemic cell lines (LE1 and LE2) were subjected to deprivation conditions mimicking the effects of treatment for 12 hours. The treatment included growth in medium lacking the nutrients A and B. Subsequently, we determined the mRNA and protein levels of TF1 and TF2 using real-time reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blotting.
Meeting:LE1 and LE2 cells were cultured in medium for 12 hours under nutritional deprivation (i.e., lacking A and B). Real-time reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blotting were used to determine the mRNA and protein levels of TF1 and TF2.
Journal:After 12 hours of nutritional deprivation, LE1 cells exhibited only minor increases in the mRNA and protein levels of the transcription factors TF1 and TF2 compared with baseline. Similarly, in LE2 cells, the observed increases in the mRNA and protein levels of TF1 and TF2 after 12 hours of nutritional deprivation were not significant.
Meeting:In both cell lines, the mRNA and protein levels of the transcription factors TF1 and TF2 did not change significantly after 12 hours of nutritional deprivation.
Journal:This evidence suggests that TF1 and TF2 are not involved in the activation of the X gene in leukemia following nutritional deprivation. These results suggest the involvement of additional factors in the development of resistance in leukemia.
Meeting:TF1 and TF2 are not involved in the activation of the X gene in leukemia following nutritional deprivation. Additional factors may be involved in the development of resistance in leukemia.
2019.2.1 Editor: G.S.
Production of scientific abstracts for journals and conferences: Similarities and differences
The use of scientific abstracts is an effective tool for the communication of the latest developments in research. However, producing an attractive summary of our investigations can be a challenging task and influences the way our discoveries are received by the scientific community. The length, style, and format of abstracts varies depending on their purpose, i.e., accompanying the submission of articles to journals, introducing speeches at upcoming conferences, or supporting poster presentations. However, the common goal is to engage the attention of experts by conveying research findings in a clear and concise manner.
In general, abstracts of journal publications tend to be more detailed, mirroring the content included in the article. In contrast, abstracts intended for meetings contain simpler language, aiming to capture the interest of conference delegates who are able to attend only a limited number of sessions.
Basic guidelines for the production of abstracts:
・Introduction: State the objective of your study. If possible, include a background sentence to assist the reader in understanding the hypothesis.
・Methodology: Provide the study design and experimental approach. Avoid excessive detail (e.g., reagents, equipment, etc.).
・Results: Describe the most important findings. Be factual and provide precise data of measurements. If applicable, support these data with evidence of statistical analyses. However, avoid excessive detail ? especially in abstracts for meetings ? as this may dilute the focus of the abstract.
・Conclusions: Avoid repetition from previous sections. What should the reader remember after reading your abstract?
2019.1.4 Editor: E.L.
Greetings and good wishes for a happy and productive 2019!
January is the time of year when we make resolutions and adopt fresh approaches to various areas of our life, including work. For scientists, our work involves not only experimentation, but also communication of the findings in a logical and clear format.
Like any good story, a scientific article should have a beginning, where the background work is concisely summarized and the aim or scope of the study is outlined; a middle, where the results of the experiments are clearly described; and an end, where the wider context and future directions of the work are discussed.
We learn these fundamental rules in school, and most of us apply them without even thinking. Nevertheless, this basic article structure is essential for any non-specialist readers who are interested in your work. So let’s make this January a time to revisit the principles of article writing and to communicate our scientific discoveries in an interesting and accessible way!