How to Write an Abstract

An abstract is maybe the most underestimated document of a journal submission. First, the editor will read it and use it as a criterion to decide whether she will give the submission a chance, hereby asking: “So what? Is this manuscript timely and relevant?” Second, the abstract is usually included in the invitation e-mail received by potential reviewers and typically the only part of the manuscript they can see before deciding for or against accepting the invitation. An abstract should, thus, not create a cognitive dissonance. Finally, an article can only be found by potential readers if the abstract contains proper search terms. Readers also use it to decide whether they will read the rest of the paper. More about abstracts can be found in Emerald’s How To Guide. The structure of Emerald’s abstracts is helpful even if a journal does not require a structured abstract: Simply remove the headlines (e.g., “Purpose”)!

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About Andreas Wieland

Dr. Andreas Wieland is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Risk Management at the Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School. His current research interests include resilient and socially responsible supply chains.

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