Library Lingo: Abstract

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sample abstract within database results

An abstract is a brief summary of an article or report that highlights its major contents such as the purpose, methods, scope, results, conclusions, and recommendations.

While many library databases provide links to the full text of articles and other documents, some index-only databases contain only the citation and abstract of the document but not the full text. These databases are still useful because you can read the abstract to determine if the document is relevant to your research topic and use the citation to track down the full text.

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