Metadata abstract examples

The abstract is an 'executive summary' that allows the reader to determine the relevance and usefulness of the resource. The text should be concise but contain sufficient detail to allow the reader to ascertain rapidly the scope and limitations of the resource.

Write for readers, not robots! The abstract should be in plain English; in other words, written as complete sentences rather than fragments.

Be aware that the first one or two sentences are used by, Google and other search engines to present search results to users. Therefore the contents of the resource should, if possible, be explained concisely in the first sentence or first 100 characters.

The maximum length of an abstract is 4000 characters, but it can be much shorter.

To help organise thinking, you may like to use the following structure:

  1. What
    A description of what has been recorded and what form the data takes. This should immediately convey to the reader precisely what the resource is.
  2. Where
    A description of the spatial coverage, whether the coverage is even or very variable
  3. When
    The period over which data were collected
  4. How
    A brief description of methodology, detailed methodology and quality information should be entered into the Lineage element
  5. Why
    For what purpose was the data collected? And who is likely to find the data useful?
  6. Who
    The party/parties responsible for the collection and interpretation of data.
  7. Completeness
    Are any data absent from the dataset? Explain which data are included or excluded and why.

Remember: If you can't easily summarise or describe the resource then it won't be understood by others.

Below are a couple of examples of abstracts:

The data consists of a spreadsheet containing rheology data for 39 samples of syrup, containing air bubbles and/or spherical glass particles. These data were used by Truby et al. (2014) to support a model for the rheology of a three-phase suspension. Each sample was placed in the rheometer (concentric cylinder geometry), and the stress was stepped up and then down, taking a measurement of strain rate at each step. Further details of the experiments may be found in Truby et al. (2014). NERC grant is NE/K500999/1. Co-author working with a NERC grant, NE/G014426/1.
This dataset contains data from a marine multibeam and geophysical survey which took place in June 2011 in the Ardmucknish Bay area on board the BGS survey vessel RV White Ribbon. The survey was carried out by the British Geological Survey (BGS) in collaboration with Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and National Oceanography Centre (NOC). QICS (Quantifying and monitoring potential ecosystem impacts of geological carbon storage) was a scientific research project funded by NERC. The purpose was to collect the data necessary to identify a potential directional drilling route from shore to a submerged gas release point. Sea floor bathymetry data were collected using an EM3002D. Sub bottom seismic profiling data were collected using a surface tow boomer. Technical details of the survey are contained in the BGS Report of Survey. Webpage


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