NSF Clarifies Policy on Abstracts and Titles

NSF Clarifies Policy on Abstracts and Titles

Jun 05, 2014

Understanding that abstracts and titles serve to justify the expenditure of federal funds to a broad public audience, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued Notice No. 136 in order to clarify its policy and promote awareness.

The notice describes two major components of the NSF Abstract:

  • A nontechnical description of the project that states the problem to be studied, and explains the project’s broader significance and importance, that serves as a public justification for NSF funding. This component should be understandable to an educated lay reader. It may include such information as the theoretical or analytical foundation of the proposed research, the fundamental issues that may be resolved by the research, the project’s relation to NSF’s mission, the project’s place in the context of ongoing research in the field, the project’s potential impact on other fields, and the prospect that it will lead to significant advances or the integration of related lines of inquiry.
  • A technical description of the project that states the goals and scope of the research, and the methods and approaches to be used. In many cases, the technical description may be a modified version of the project summary submitted with the proposal.

This communication is part of NSF’s continuing effort to build and sustain trust for its mission through transparency and accountability, which was described in Notice No. 135.

Questions and comments can be submitted directly to the NSF.

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