How to refer to a section of a paper excluding sub-sections, without using section numbers?
For my example text:
3 Example section
Example section text
3.1 Example subsection
3.2 Example subsection
I would like to comment on the example section text, without the comment including subsections 3.1 and 3.2. You might call it section 3.0, but the sections might change place in the future so such a reference would be short-lived. What is a word or succinct way to refer to this implied subsection? For example, I might like to say
[the implied subsection] had some good points.
For my particular use case, I would like to leave a commit message that looks something like this
Review [label of section 3]
while making clear that the subsections are excluded, without the message being too long.
This often serves more as an abstract than an introduction, but I don’t suggest calling it that.
Your case of referring to (presumably) someone else’s work probably is served best by “section introduction”. Your second case (“please review… “) could use the same, or it could use “3.0” despite the lack of an explicit “.0” in the document. You’d be widely understood, though of course some people would miss your meaning.
If you’re using version control for LaTeX or something like that, and you’re avoiding referring to section numbers in your comments, you should refer to the section title in some way, except that too can change – something like “the intro to the methods section” is probably your best bet there.
If you’re in full control of the document, I suggest minimising the need to refer to such parts of sections. You can usually refer to the subsection that discusses the material fully, or to the entire section. I’m not trying to dissuade you from introducing your sections this way; it can work very well, and even better at the chapter level.