The Art of the Abstract

Afternoon Session 3 (Open to all registrants)

In this seminar, Tom Lang will briefly trace the 4000-year history of the abstract—from its origins in Mesopotamia, through the Royal Society of London’s 1949 “Guide for the Preparation of Synopses,” and to its near-universal adoption by modern scientific journals. After reviewing the characteristics of 7 types of abstracts, he will discuss how to write them, describe several ways to reduce word counts without losing information, and call attention to several errors common in abstracts.


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Meet  your Presenter, Tom Lang, MA

Tom Lang

President, Tom Lang Communications and Training International

Tom Lang has been a medical-technical writer-editor since 1975. He was Manager of Medical Editing Services at the Cleveland Clinic for many years and a Senior Scientific Writer at the New England Cochran Center. His books, How to Report Statistics in Medicine and How to Write, Publish, and Present in the Health Sciences, are popular texts in evidence-based medicine and scientific publishing. An instructor for the University of Chicago’s Medical Writing and Editing program since its inception in 1998, he has received teaching awards from the University of Chicago, the American Statistical Association, and the American Medical Writers Association. Since 1996, he has led hundreds of workshops on medical writing and scientific publications around the world. Currently Treasurer, World Association of Medical Editors, he is also Associate Editor, European Science Editing, past President of the Council of Science Editors, a Fellow of AMWA, and the recipient of the 2002 Swanberg Distinguished Service Award.

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