What is the difference between abstract and summary?
An abstract is usually a summary provided for a specific purpose
in an academic context. For example, at most universities students
submitting disseratations have to provide an abstract, too. This
has to conform to specific, given criteria. Similarly, when
scholars and scientists send papers to learned an/or scientific
periodicals they are often required to provide an abstract, again
in conformity with specified criteria. An abstract should give an
outline of the hypothesis and the conclusion and should indicate
the scope of the dissertation or article.
The term summary on the other hand is much looser.
In addition to the ordinary learned periodicals there are also
'abstracting journals' that provide very brief abstracts of
articles in learned periodicals. Often the abstracts in these
journals must not exceed 250 words.