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What does an abstractor have to know?

Who can be an abstractor?

The answer to this question is obvious in the case of author abstracts, as their authors are the same as those of the papers. The situation is slightly more complicated if someone is required to write an abstract on someone else’s paper. One of the main questions is, nevertheless, whether the abstractor should be a specialist in the given field or not. According to Mathis and Rush (1975), it is better to teach a specialist to abstract than to teach abstractors a subject speciality. Nonetheless, experience shows that there are a number of other professionals, especially librarians, who are able to produce acceptable abstracts without originally being subject specialists but who ...

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