Summarizing Publications without Jargon: RAS Articles Include a “Note To Practitioners”

This Article was originally published in the IEEE Society Sentinel (2017-05-10 Vol. 22, No. 09)


To help bring new research findings to the practitioners who can apply it, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) implemented a Note to Practitioners feature in one of its publications. “For each paper we include a second abstract, the ‘Note to Practitioners’, where the authors address non-academic readers, explaining the primary applications, insights, and limitations of the paper in plain language avoiding jargon,” notes Ken Goldberg, UC Berkeley Professor of Engineering and co-founder and Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE).

Summarizing the paper in this way, the Note to Practitioners connects research and practice.

“The IEEE Periodicals Review and Advisory Committee (PRAC) review was highly complimentary about this feature and considers it a best practice. Other Societies and Councils could consider implementing it in their own publications to engage non-experts,” says Goldberg.

The IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE) publishes fundamental papers on Automation, encouraging interdisciplinary approaches from computer science, control systems, electrical engineering, mathematics, mechanical engineering, operations research, and other fields. T-ASE welcomes results relevant to industries such as agriculture, biotechnology, healthcare, home automation, maintenance, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, retail, security, service, supply chains, and transportation. T-ASE addresses a research community willing to integrate knowledge across disciplines and industries. For this purpose, each paper includes a Note to Practitioners that summarizes how its results can be applied or how they might be extended to apply in practice.

“The Note to Practitioners has been a requirement for all T-ASE papers since 2004. We believe this has been very successful and may be of interest for other IEEE publications,” says Goldberg.

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