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In addition to a scientific summary of your report you are also asked to provide a plain English summary of no more than 300 words so that your work can be accessed and understood by any reader including members of the general public. In providing this, please note the following:
- A plain English summary is in keeping with the NIHR Journals Library’s commitment to accessibility
- Follow the same principles and procedures as in writing the plain English summary that accompanied your funding submission
- We strongly encourage involving a non-academic member of the public in writing the plain English summary to ensure the language is appropriate for everyone. PPI and practitioner representatives on research teams should always review these summaries.
- Do not cut and paste sentences and phrases from the scientific summary; a plain English summary needs to be written afresh
- Should contain only text (no figures or tables)
- When writing a plain English summary you may wish to consider the following questions: what was the question, what did we do, what did we find, what does this mean?
- As an example of excellence in this field, please see reports in The Cochrane Library, which have a ‘plain language summary’ in addition to the Abstract, for which the Cochrane Library won an award in 2012
To aid readability, please do not use any abbreviations in your plain English summary. Commonly used abbreviations may be substituted at production stage, the final editorial decision rests with NETSCC.
Good examples from published reports: