Blog #4 | 2023

Crafting a Winning Abstract: Grabbing the Attention of JAWRA Editors


When it comes to publishing your research in the Journal of American Water Resources Association (JAWRA), one of the most critical elements of your submission is the abstract. This brief but essential section serves as the gateway to your paper, offering readers and editors a snapshot of your research's significance and findings. To help scientists and students who are passionate about water conservation issues and other water resource topics, we've put together this guide on how to craft a winning abstract that captures the attention of JAWRA's discerning editors.

Why the Abstract Matters

Your abstract is the first thing that editors, reviewers, and potential readers see. It plays a pivotal role in determining whether your paper gets the attention it deserves. Here are some key reasons why crafting a compelling abstract is crucial:
  1. First Impressions Matter: Editors often have a limited amount of time to review submissions. An engaging abstract can pique their interest and encourage them to read your paper.
  2. Accessibility: A well-constructed abstract makes your research more accessible to a broader audience. It allows readers to quickly gauge if your paper aligns with their interests.
  3. Search Engines and Databases: An effective abstract enhances the discoverability of your research in online databases and search engines. It's the entry point to your paper in these platforms.

Tips for Crafting a Winning Abstract

  1. Clarity is Key: Your abstract should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. Avoid jargon and technical language that might confuse readers. Focus on conveying the main points of your research in a straightforward manner.
  2. Structure Matters: Follow a logical structure for your abstract, typically consisting of four key components:
    • Introduction: Provide a brief introduction to the topic, emphasizing its importance and relevance to water resources.
    • Methods: Describe the methods or approaches you used in your research.
    • Results: Highlight the key findings or outcomes of your study.
    • Conclusion: Summarize the implications and significance of your research.
  3. Be Succinct: Remember, an abstract is meant to be concise. Aim for brevity while still conveying all the essential information. Generally, aim for 150 to 250 words.
  4. Highlight the Impact: Emphasize the real-world impact and applications of your research. Explain how your findings contribute to the understanding of water conservation or other water resource issues and what implications they might have for future research or policy.
  5. Keywords: Include relevant keywords in your abstract to enhance search engine discoverability. These keywords should be specific to your research topic and aligned with JAWRA's focus.
  6. Avoid Citations: Abstracts are not the place for citations or references. Focus on presenting your research rather than citing previous works.
  7. Edit and Revise: After drafting your abstract, review it carefully for clarity, grammar, and coherence. Seek feedback from colleagues or mentors to refine your abstract further.
  8. Adhere to Journal Guidelines: Always check the specific guidelines provided by JAWRA for abstract submissions. Ensure your abstract aligns with their requirements in terms of word count, format, and content.


Crafting a winning abstract is a skill that can significantly enhance the visibility and impact of your research in JAWRA. As a scientist or student passionate about water conservation and other water resource topics, take the time to create an abstract that effectively communicates the significance of your work. By doing so, you increase the likelihood of your research being noticed by JAWRA's editors and having a lasting impact in the field of water resources.


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