Plain-language Summaries of Research: Something for everyone

  1. Sarah Shailes  Is a corresponding author
  1. eLife, United Kingdom
1 table


Table 1

A selection of journals, societies and other organizations that produce plain-language summaries of scientific research.

OrganizationTypeName of plain-language summariesLengthNumber of imagesNumber published per month/year
American Astronomy Society ( SocietyHighlights350–500 words1 image, plus 1–3 figures from article~12/month
Journals DigestsOne sentenceNone~20/month
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases ( summaries500–1,000 wordsNone at present~3/month
Astrobites ( organizationN/A600–800 words1-2~20/month
Autism ( abstracts250 words max.None~80/year
British Psychological Society ( SocietyN/AVariable, generally around 500–700 words1~20/month
Cochrane ( of researchersPlain-language summaries400–700 wordsUsually noneVariable; published 485 in 2015.
eLife ( digests200–400 wordsNone50–60/month
Frontiers for Young Minds (,000 words max.VariableVariable; published over 100 articles since launch in 2013.
Functional Ecology ( summaries250–350 words1 photograph~160 articles in 2016
PLOS Medicine ( summaries6–9 single sentence bullet pointsNone14/month
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( Statements~120 wordsNone~3000/year

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  1. Sarah Shailes
Plain-language Summaries of Research: Something for everyone
eLife 6:e25411.