May 22, 2023 | 4 min read
The abstract review process is crucial for the conference's reputation and attendees' satisfaction.
Increasing the number of lectures and posters benefits attendees and organizers by attracting a larger audience, providing comprehensive coverage of the subject metter, and offering more choices.
However, due to limited time slots and prime locations, organizers are required to evaluate the abstracts and build the agenda accordingly. The most promising abstracts receive prime time slots and better rooms, while lower-scored abstracts are assigned to less crowded time slots and smaller rooms or may even be rejected.
Expertise in the conference's scientific subjects is necessary to select the most promising abstracts that align with the event's objectives. Conference organizers rely on a scientific committee and a chairperson to address this challenge. The scientific committee reviews and evaluates abstracts, while the chairperson oversees the process and develops the conference agenda based on accepted abstracts.
Abstract management software like Eventact streamlines the process by assigning abstracts, facilitating communication, calculating grades, monitoring progress, and enabling easy control for the chairperson and organizers.
The abstract review process typically has three stages:
Researchers submit research and lecture abstracts using an online abstract submission form that enforces rules such as word limit and required information.
The conference secretary inspects the received abstracts to ensure validity.
Abstracts are assigned to reviewers by the chairperson, secretary, or automatically by the Event Management System.
Reviewers assess the assigned abstract based on defined criteria, including scientific importance, practical implications, and relevance to the conference subjects. Also, reviewers can discuss the abstract with other reviewers, request the submitter to revise the abstract, and change the abstract's topic.
A final grade for each abstract is calculated as a weighted average of scores given by reviewers.
The chairperson decides on each abstract, including the topic and presentation format. If an abstract is accepted, additional details, such as poster slides, video, or an entire lecture, may be requested from the submitter.
Abstract management platform provides features and functionality that support
different conference organizers' requirements.
Here are a few of them:
Peer review, blind review, and double-blind review are three commonly used approaches in the review process. As the name suggests, peer review involves committee members of the research community reviewing the submissions. In a single-blind review, authors are unaware of the reviewers' identities, while the reviewers are aware of the author's identity. Alternatively, in a double-blind review, the authors' and reviewers' identities are kept anonymous. This approach enhances objectivity by eliminating potential biases based on the authors' reputation or affiliations.
Evaluation criteria are the foundation of the abstract review process,
ensuring abstracts meet conference standards, align with event objectives,
and contribute to scientific discourse.
The specific criteria used in each conference vary based on the conference's focus, chairperson, and organizers.
Here are some common evaluation criteria used in scientific conferences:
A grade that is commonly used to promote diversity and increase the participation of underrepresented populations in the conference.
For example, reviewers score abstracts considering the gender of authors, age, geographical region, and type of institutes or research-related attributes.
Conference organizers strive to include most abstracts, even if they are presented as posters rather than oral lectures.
However, some abstracts do face rejection based on the following reasons:
Abstract review is an essential part of the conference agenda-building process. The stage is critical in ensuring the accepted abstracts are of the highest quality possible and relevant to the conference's focus is critical. Abstract management software can automate and streamline the review process.
Let the conferences ahead be productive and enlightening.
See you there!