What is the correct title for a "Book of abstracts"


Of the following three titles for a collection of conference proceedings, which is in the correct form?

  1. Book of abstracts
  2. Abstract book
  3. Abstracts book

I believe that the first form should be preferable, but the three versions seem to be equally common at least in scientific literature. Thanks!


Posted 2014-07-02T20:58:18.893

Reputation: 143


They're not equally common. "Abstracts book" is much rarer than the other two, and I suspect it is used mainly by non-native English speakers. See Ngram. Most of the time, nouns used as adjectives aren't pluralized. We say "flower shop", even though most customers buy more than one flower at at a time.

– Peter Shor – 2014-07-02T21:03:11.260

1Another reason not to use abstracts book: it's songbook, prayer book, address book, word book, price book, and not songsbook, prayers book, addresses book, words book, prices book, and even though these books contain more than one song, prayer, address, etc. – Peter Shor – 2014-07-02T21:22:56.490

2I think "Book of Abstracts" sounds natural. – Obfuskater – 2014-07-02T21:26:33.590

Either of the first two seems fine to me. The third one does not sound right at all. – Daniel – 2014-07-03T08:34:19.447



"Book of Abstracts" works the best. With appropriate context, "abstract book" would be fine and has the best "sound" to my ears but out of context someone might interpret it to be a book that is abstract. The last one would be understood I think, but as the comments mention, it's not a good choice.


Posted 2014-07-02T20:58:18.893

Reputation: 301


I've usually seen such things called simply "proceedings of [conference/institution]."


Posted 2014-07-02T20:58:18.893

Reputation: 418

1In my field, a proceedings is not a book of abstracts (or at least, not before the internet). A proceedings was a document of record which was disseminated after the conference. A book of abstracts was a collection of abstracts of the talks, so you could decide which one to go to; it wasn't meant to be anything permanent. (Of course, now books of abstracts are recorded on the web, and some proceedings are no longer hard-copy but web-only, so in some sense they're converging.) – Peter Shor – 2014-07-03T18:10:40.567

I've seen the two used interchangeably in my academic experience. Perhaps there's a greater distinction in the use for your field, @PeterShor. – wordsmythe – 2014-07-03T18:16:13.520