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Speech Language Pathology Doctorate

Writing an Abstract

An abstract is a short statement that describes a larger work. In this case it will be an overview of your Innovation Project. Frequently the abstract is the way a reader decides whether to engage with the larger work, whether it is an article, a presentation, or a grant application. 

What should an abstract include?

Although every abstract will be different, based on the content of the larger work, there are some common elements to consider:

  • What was the purpose and importance of your project?
  • What was the problem the project addressed?
  • What models, frameworks, methods, or approaches did the project employ?
  • What was the result of the project? This could also include a summary of data or other findings.
  • What is the future of the project or what will happen as a result of the project?

What should an abstract not include?

  • Definitions of terms
  • Information not found in the larger work
  • Vague language
  • Extensive references to other work


For more information: 

Identifying Journals for Your Manuscript

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Starting from scratch...

  1. Look at your own reference list.  Journals that published the work you are citing are often a good place to start (besides many editors love to see articles from their journal in the articles they publish).
  2. Do a database search for your topic.  Browse through the results list, noting which journals appear frequently.  Also make note of journals that have published recently on very similar topics to yours so that you can avoid submitting to them.
  3. Use a journal matching service to help you match your title and abstract to potential journals (see the box below for links to several services).

Once you have one or more journals in mind...

  1. Go to the journal's website and find the section that describes the type of articles they publish.  This section is most often called Aims and Scope.  However, if you can't find that, look in the section of the website that includes instructions for authors.
  2. Look at how the journal describes the scope of topics they include to make sure your topic fits.
  3. Pay attention to the types of articles they publish (e.g. randomized control trials, case studies, etc.) to make sure the methods you used in your work are there.

Now that you think you've found a good candidate...send a letter of inquiry to the editor to ask if they'd be interested in your manuscript.

For more detailed information about finding and selecting the right journal for your work, take a look at SON Professor, Diane Mahoney's PowerPoint slides from her Spring 2015 Faculty Development Days talk. 


Journal Matching Services

Copy and paste your title and abstract into these search engines to get a list of journals that publish on your topic.

  • EndNote Match
    A free service from EndNote, but you will need to create an account before you can access it.

  • Elsevier Journal Finder
    Also free, but limited to Elsevier journals only.

  • JANE (Journal Author/Name Estimator)
    Uses Medline to help match up your abstract/title with potential journals.