How to Start an Abstract Service Business

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Companies need specific information available to them and in this digital age, there is an enormous amount of data on the Internet and in industry publications. Researchers collect material for companies on a particular topic and compile the information into a document called, an abstract.

An abstract isn’t necessarily always a business document. It can also be a brief summary of a research article, thesis, or an academic analysis of a particular subject or discipline. However, in the business world paid researchers who write abstracts prepare a brief summary which contains the most important points of any long legal document. Various industries employ the use of abstracts, such as the medical, legal, and real estate fields.

Abstracts – General

An abstract typically outlines the four elements related to research. First, an abstract states the research focus. This focus states the problem or problems which are addressed in the document. Second, the research methods are then introduced. The methods can be anything from experimental research, case studies, or questionnaires. Third, the writer then relates the results of the research. The results are generally briefly described. Last, the document ends with the main conclusion or recommendation. Abstract word counts differ by the guidelines set for by a specific discipline or publisher’s requirements. Most word counts range between 100-500 words.

Abstract – Law

An abstract in the legal industry varies a little bit from general abstracts. The document contains a brief statement about the important points of a legal document. Courts use researchers to research various documents which are made for public viewing at local courthouses. These assignments tend to require long hours and many visits to the County Recorder’s Office. Most often this type of abstract service is offered as an independent contractor. Researchers must own their own office equipment and applicable office software. Also researchers should be familiar with legal terminology.

Abstract – Medical

Researchers in the medical field must know medical terminology or have some type of expertise in the medical industry. Writers who prepare medical abstracts are responsible for transferring patient health records from paper to digital records. They identify key data elements in medical records and then interpret and analyze the document. Then the writer prepares a brief summary of the record.

Abstract – Real Estate

Researchers in the real estate industry are most often known as title examiners or title abstractors. Abstractors research property records and validate that the property title is clean before the sale or use of the specific property. Other types of researchers in the real estate world search public records, such as mortgages, tax records, liens, judgments, easements, vital statistics, plats, and map books. They summarize their findings and write a property abstract or abstract of title report.

Pros and Cons

An abstracting service requires very little start-up investment. This type of business is recession proof and can easily be operated from home. On the flipside, the work of a researcher requires a lot of reading and must meet deadlines.