Guidelines for Authors (Abstracts)

Guidelines for Authors

A few pointers on structure are provided below to help you develop a quality abstract.

1.    Kindly follow the format of a traditional, unstructured abstract, written as a continuous paragraph with no breaks. Your abstract should be no more than one page.

2.    In introducing the study, it is helpful to include your research problem, as well as the rationale for the study. As a guide, don’t let your introduction exceed more than two sentences; it should be concise enough to neatly lead the reader into your research objectives and methodological design.

3.    The methodology should provide some amount of detail to adequately cover what you did. For instance, if you did some interviews, expand on this: how many interviews, and with whom? What format did the interviews take? Also be sure to mention your sampling protocol.

4.    The results section should succinctly summarise the key findings of the research. Please ensure that the results you report match with the research objectives outlined earlier in the abstract (and vice versa). For example, if you said that one of your objectives was to characterise household waste, remember to report on the results from that work.

5.    Provide specific measurements and values from your work. For instance, you can include values in parentheses such as totals (n=35), percentages (26.1%), and statistical values (p-value<0.05).

6.    Complete the abstract with a statement that highlights the usefulness of the study. You may also briefly indicate a key emerging recommendation for further study or applications.

7.    Insert at least three keywords that capture the gist of your study. Keywords play an important role in producing an effective abstract. Think of them as the labels for your research, which will help others find your work quickly and accurately. Think about how you search for content, and what words or phrases you put in. Then think about your own research, and what keywords are most relevant to the focus of your work.

Other points to note:

  1. The Affiliation of the author(s) must be included in the following format:

Name of Department. Name of Faculty or Agency. Address of University/Agency. *Email address.

*The email address for the main author should be included.

Should the main and contributing author(s) have the same affiliation, the same superscript should be assigned and the affiliation typed once.

2. Use British English in your submission (e.g., analyse instead of analyze).

3. Use consistent terms throughout (e.g. if you began with ‘community assessment’, don’t later switch to something like ‘local assessment’).

4. Be sure to state your study area in a way that is identifiable to the reader.

5. Hyphens should be used as opposed to en dashes.

6. Also ensure you mention months and years where relevant.

7. Avoid using acronyms, as the compilation is intended for a wider audience. So, for example, spell out GGMC. Note that this doesn’t apply for more common acronyms (e.g. pH and ANOVA are acceptable as these are universally understood).

8. Ensure that the scientific names of any plant and/or animal species included are spelled and written correctly.

9. Spell out numbers between one and ten (e.g. three instead of 3), and use Arabic numerals beyond ten (e.g. 13 instead of thirteen).

10. Ensure you insert and double check that scientific units and statistics mentioned are correct when reporting the results.

11. Don’t add extraneous details that are not clearly aligned with the research as you’ve outlined it. The introduction, objectives, methods, results, and conclusion should all match and make sense to the reader.

12. Try to strike a balance between being specific in details, and adequately summarising the content.

13. Do not include references, acknowledgements, or other supplementary notes at the end of your abstract.


1.       All text must be typed using the Arial font. The main titles should be in 14 font size and bold, with any other text being typed in 12 font size; and

2.       The document must be justified with 1.5 spacing, and 1 inch margins.

You can review the Abstracts that were published in the first edition of Book of Abstracts: Student Research via as an additional guide.


The Abstract must be submitted as a Microsoft Word document to An acknowledgement of receipt will be sent following the submission of the Abstract.


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