Structured abstracts contain distinct labeled sections (e.g., “RESULTS”) for key information from articles they summarize. If English-language structured abstracts appear in journals that the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) indexes, the labels in these abstracts usually appear in all uppercase letters, generally followed by a colon, in MEDLINE/PubMed citations. Nearly a quarter of all abstracts added to the MEDLINE/PubMed database include section labels. These structured abstracts are reformatted for easier readability in PubMed such that uppercased section labels are bolded and each section begins on a new line.
Legitimate structured abstract labels that have been identified are mapped to one of five broad conceptual groups (Metacategories): BACKGROUND, OBJECTIVE, METHODS, RESULTS, and CONCLUSIONS. The 2011 NLMMedlineCitationSet DTD and MEDLINE/PubMed XML accommodate structured abstracts as a part of NLM data dissemination so that licensees can manipulate the display and searching of structured abstracts. This Structured Abstracts in MEDLINE® resource provides access to datasets of Structured abstract Label Lists and NLM Category Mappings files and Implementation documentation for interested Developers or Researchers.
U. S. National Library of Medicine
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Ripple AM, Mork JG, Knecht LS. Structured Abstracts: A New Look for the PubMed® Abstract Display. NLM Tech Bull. 2010 Jul-Aug;(375):e11.
Harbourt AM, Knecht LS, Humphreys BL. Structured abstracts in MEDLINE, 1989-1991. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1995 Apr;83(2):190-5. PubMed PMID: 7599584; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC226026.
Updated Label List and NLM Category Mappings File (August 26, 2011)