The book brings together a rich variety of perspectives on abstracts as an academic genre. Drawing on genre analysis and corpus linguistics, the studies collected here combine attention to generic structure with emphasis on language variation and change, thus offering a multi-perspective view on a genre that is becoming one of the most important in present-day research communication. The chapters are organized into three sections, each one offering distinct but sometimes combined perspectives on the exploration of this academic genre. The first section looks at variation across cultures through studies comparing English with Spanish, Italian and German, while also including considerations on variation across genders or the native/non-native divide. The second section centres on variation across disciplines and includes a wide range of studies exploring disciplinary identities and communities, as well as different degrees of centrality in the disciplinary community. The third and final section explores language and genre change by looking at how authorial voice and metadiscourse have changed over the past few decades under the influence of different media and different stakeholders.