Volunteer Abstractors

While the Getty Conservation Institute is responsible for the publishing of AATA Online, we welcome the work of volunteer abstractors whose contributions supplement that of AATA Online staff.

Becoming A Volunteer Abstractor

Abstracts are contributed by an international volunteer network of conservators and heritage management professionals. If you would like to become a volunteer abstractor, your first step is to contact AATA Online staff at aata@getty.edu to discuss your interest in providing abstracts for a journal or other literature or for a particular subject area or language.

Please do not begin volunteering without first consulting with AATA Online staff.

Information for Abstractors

Types of Literature Covered

Abstracted literature should relate to the management and conservation of cultural heritage worldwide, including works of art, cultural objects, museum collections, archives and library materials, architecture, historic sites, and archaeology. AATA Online does not cover book reviews, op-ed pieces, letters to the editor, interviews, obituaries, or secondhand information such as notices and reports of meetings.

Before proceeding with an abstract for a given publication, check AATA Online to confirm one is not already in the database.

Abstract Forms

Select the form below that corresponds to the literature type you will be abstracting. All forms are in PDF format. You will need to include information about the publication along with your abstract.

Article in a journal

Journal issue as a whole

Essay or chapter in a book

Monograph or book as a whole

Audiovisual material

Technical report

Thesis or dissertation

What to Include in Your Abstract

Begin with a central statement of the document’s major theme.

For reports of experiments, indicate the author’s purpose, methodology, results, and conclusions, either in that order or with initial emphasis on results and conclusions. Methodology should be covered briefly, unless a technique is new. Results and conclusions, however, should be clearly presented.

Report new material and findings and provide relevant names mentioned in the source document, including:

materials of objects

relevant geographic locations

names of monuments, sites, or museums

dates or historic periods

artists’ names

names of laboratories involved in the examination, analysis, or treatment of objects

trade names of materials used in conservation treatment

dates of treatment, analysis, or examination of objects or cultural property

specific conservation use of materials discussed

If the findings are too numerous to be included, the most important should be given. Findings or information incidental to the main purpose of the document, but of value outside its main subject area, may be included in brief.

Indicate when a source document is only partially conservation related (e.g. includes discussion of. . .). Source documents on pure science or technologies other than those directly concerned with heritage preservation should be abstracted with an indication of the item’s relevance to the field. In general, the work itself should make the connection to conservation. If the abstractor is making that connection, this should be noted.


The abstract should be objective, avoiding negative phrases and value-laden words. It must not include information or claims not contained in the document itself. Subjective comments may be included only if bracketed and preceded by "Abstractor’s note." For example: [Abstractor’s note: this treatment may not be suitable for museum objects.]


Verbs in the active voice and third person are preferred. Significant vocabulary from the text should be included.


The abstract should be written as a single paragraph. Complete sentences and transitional words and phrases should be used for coherence. In the first sentence of an abstract, an incomplete sentence is acceptable (e.g., Discusses 17th-century restorations of two of Pisano’s works.). Acronyms, abbreviations, or formulas should be preceded by names written out in full where they first occur.

Word Count

200–250 words. May be shorter or longer depending on content of the article.



Subject index terms

Subject index terms will be assigned by AATA Online staff. You may suggest subject terms that indicate the most important subjects covered in the document.

Completed Forms

Send your completed forms to aata@getty.edu.