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Impact and public engagement

Lay abstracts with impact


The UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) defines a lay abstract as:

…a brief summary of a research project or a research proposal that has been written for members of the public, rather than researchers or professionals. It should be written in plain English, avoid the use of jargon and explain any technical terms that have to be included. [1]

[1] NIHR INVOLVE. (2020). Jargon Buster.

Useful resources on Lay abstracts with impact:

Duke, M. (2020). How to Write a Lay Summary. DCC How-to Guides. Edinburgh: Digital Curation Centre. 

Online and PDF versions include: Why lay summaries are useful, concepts, how lay summaries are used, guidelines for writing lay summaries, roles and responsibilities, examples, training and support examples, current issues and challenges, further information and bibliography.

Salita, J.T. (2015). Writing for lay audiences: A challenge for scientists. Medical Writing, 24(4).

Notes that writing for “lay audiences is increasingly important for scientists” (p. 183) and describes how to deal with specialized knowledge language, expressing statistics and uncertainty as well as discussing the risks of generalization, heterogeneous audiences, and recognizing cultural exclusivity. Provides writing tips, ideal roles for scientific and funding institutions in helping scientists, and an example of lay summary compared to its scientific original.

Tags: IPS WC; PSR CE; CompQ

Peer Review: None

Table of contents:

4.2.5. Lay abstracts with impact


Author: Stephanie Krueger

Peer Reviewer(s): None

Last Updated: October 28, 2021


Editor: Stephanie Krueger Last modified: 28.10. 2021 13:10