LIS 677 - Abstracting introduction

Abstracts, according to ANSI/NISO Standard Z39.14-1997






<= 30 wordseditorial, letter to the editor
<= 100 wordsnote or short communication
<= 250 wordspaper, article, or portion of monograph
<= 300 wordslong document

Indicative and informative modes

An abstract written in an indicative mode indicates the kind of information that the original item contains, without giving the information itself.

An abstract written in an informative mode informs the reader by giving the most important information from the original item.

Sample abstracts

(See if you can determine the mode used in each of these abstracts. Click on the buttons next to "Mode" for the answers.)
  1. Bibliography of interlending and document supply: 12. Interlending & Document Supply. 12 (4) Oct 84, 148-150. bibliog.
    Semi-annual bibliography, containing 43 partly annotated items, on interlending and document supply. References are made to English and non-English items. (J.S.)
  2. Acquisitions fund accounting on a word processor. Judith Niles. Library Hi Tech. 1 (2) Fall 83, 19-13. tables. 1 ref.
    Describes the application of a specific word processor to Rice University's Fondren Library's acquisitions fund accounting and reporting functions. The fund structure, report formats, and management data reports have been designed locally for the specific needs of a specific library. The system provides flexibility for accommodating different requirements at other institutions. (Original abstract)
  3. Bibliotekenes innkjøpsbudsjetter. [Library acquisitions budgets.] Synopsis, 15 (5) Oct 84, 170-173. table.
    The Rijksbibliotektjenesten investigated Norwegian research and university libraries' purchasing policy because of the present financial retrenchment. The results show a reduction of the budgets of around 25% from 1981-84. (Original abstract - amended)
(Note the three different kinds of authorship: written by a professional abstractor; written by the author of the article; written by the author of the article, but amended by an abstractor.)

Last updated September 22, 2004.
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Faculty of Information and Media Studies
University of Western Ontario,
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