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Abstracts should summarise (Was: Sauropod methane emissions)



On 7 May 2012 17:10, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
> From: Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
>
> The Current Biology article is now posted online. Full text is
> available at link:
>
> David M. Wilkinson, Euan G. Nisbet and Graeme D. Ruxton (2012)
> Could methane produced by sauropod dinosaurs have helped drive
> Mesozoic climate warmth?
> Current Biology 22(9): R292-R293
> doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.03.042
> http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(12)00329-6
>
> ABSTRACT
> Mesozoic sauropods, like many modern herbivores, are likely to have
> hosted microbial methanogenic symbionts for the fermentative digestion
> of their plant food. Today methane from livestock is a significant
> component of the global methane budget. Sauropod methane emission
> would probably also have been considerable. Here, we use a simple
> quantitative approach to estimate the magnitude of such methane
> production and show that the production of the greenhouse gas methane
> by sauropods could have been an important factor in warm Mesozoic
> climates.

This is not an abstract.  It's an advertisement.  From the JVP author
instructions at
http://www.vertpaleo.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Info_for_Authors&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2123

And from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_%28summary%29

"Academic literature uses the abstract to succinctly communicate
complex research. An abstract may act as a stand-alone entity instead
of a full paper."

"The abstract for Articles ... should summarize the main facts, ideas,
and conclusions of the Article, and not simply list the topics
discussed ...
An academic abstract typically outlines four elements relevant to the
completed work:

    The research focus (i.e. statement of the problem(s)/research
issue(s) addressed);
    The research methods used (experimental research, case studies,
questionnaires, etc.);
    The results/findings of the research; and
    The main conclusions and recommendations"

I'm seeing a lot of these "abstracts" recently that don't tell you
what the paper's conclusions are, but merely dangle a bait by saying
what information the paper contains.

Please, folks.  Don't do this in your own papers.

-- Mike.