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July 2, 1997

Adding Context to StructureNew Elements in JAMA

Author Affiliations

Dr Winker is Senior Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 1997;278(1):67. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550010081046

In this issue of The Journal, readers will find 2 new features designed to highlight the clinical importance of articles. One is an addition to our structured abstracts for original research articles. Structured abstracts were adopted by JAMA in 19911 after being introduced by Haynes and colleagues.2 Structure replaced the fluid but often uninformative prose of traditional abstracts and ensured that the essential elements of an original study—objective, design, setting, patients, outcome measures, results, and conclusion—were provided in a consistent and complete manner for readers, reviewers, and individuals searching databases such as MEDLINE.2 Our structured abstracts ensure that the reader knows what research questions were asked, what was measured, and what was found. What may be missing

See also pp 2 g-2 I and 68-76. however, is the broader context for why the question was asked in the first place. While the context is evident to