May 22, 2023 | 4 min read

Abstract Reviews: Enhancing Conference Reputation

E-poster as a medical conference

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 Three Stages of the Abstract Review Process

The abstract review process typically has three stages:

Stage 1 - Call for Abstracts.

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.

Stage 2 - Review

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.

Stage 3 - The final decision

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 Review Systems Features and Options

Abstract management platform provides features and functionality that support different conference organizers' requirements.
Here are a few of them:

Review Form
Reviewers assess the abstract based on criteria defined by the conference organizers and chairperson. The Reviewers score the abstract for each criterion; the weighted average of the grade is calculated and serves as the final grade. In addition to scoring and depending on the chairperson and organizers, policy reviews can request modification, subject to a different topic under which the abstract is more appropriate.
Peer Review, Blind Review, and Double-Blind Review

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.

To summarize:

  • Peer review involves committee members from the research community.
  • A single-blind review keeps the authors unaware of the reviewers' identities.
  • Double-blind review maintains anonymity for both the authors and reviewers.

Review Discussion
Some platforms allow a discussion between reviewers to exchange feedback and insights on abstracts.

Abstract Review Form, Criteria Examples

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:

Significance indicates the importance and impact of a study and its findings. It can be assessed based on scientific value, interesting results, and the effect results might have on future research and common practices.
The relevance grade indicates the relevance of the abstract and research to the conference topics.
The originality score indicates how much the information, methods, or results discussed in the abstract covers are unique, novel, and innovative.
Indicates the level of trust in the information included in the abstract and the research. The credibility of an abstract depends on the credibility and experience of the authors and institutes involved. Credibility is also affected by possible conflicts of interest between the authors and the subject, the trustfulness of the provided references, and the methodology used.
Relevance to the conference
This score indicates how close the content of the abstract is to the conference focus and subject area.
Quality is a score that indicates the quality of writing, construction organization, and the resulting clarity of the abstract text.
Diversity and demographic bonus scores

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.

Impression in general
A general, overall assessment or impression of the abstract as a whole. An opportunity for the reviewer to reflect a subjective impression of the abstract's contribution to the conference.

Low-Scored and Rejected Abstracts

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:

  1. Irrelevance - The abstract subject is not relevant to the conference.
  2. Plagiarism - The abstract is a copy of some other work.
  3. Short - Abstract text ought to provide more details.
  4. Late submission - Abstract was submitted after the deadline.


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!

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