An abstract is a short document that is intended to capture the interest of the conference audience. If the Abstract is poorly written or if it is dull then it will not encourage a delegate at the event to attend your session and it may mean that your paper is not selected by the panel responsible for putting together the programme of the conference.
The key to Abstract writing is that it should engage the reader by identifying what your paper is about and why it should be included in the conference programme. The title of the proposed paper is also important. Short attention-catching titles are the most effective. However, it is also important, for a conference paper, to ensure that the title describes the subject you are writing about. If you can, you should limit the length of the title to about 12 words.
In terms of what you say in the body of the Abstract, you will need to make a clear statement of the topic of your paper or, if relevant, your research question. You need to say how your research was/is being undertaken. For example, is it quantitative or qualitative research? What is the research method used? What is the value of your findings and to whom? If the paper is not research focussed, explain what the delegate would gain from attending session.
The Abstract should then briefly describe the work to be discussed in your paper and also give a concise summary of the findings. Your Abstract should not include diagrams and references are not required. Your proposed abstract needs to be written within the word limit of 200 – 300 words (not including the title).
Keywords and Key Phrases
Although not part of the Abstract as such, you could provide keywords at the same time as the Abstract. Keywords or phrases are used by Internet search engines to locate the paper. Somewhere between 5 and 10 Key Words are normally required and they should be the words which most closely reflect the content of the paper. This is not a requirement of the abstract submission.
12 points used in the Selection Process
During the abstract selection process, the following 12 points are used as a guide. We strongly recommend that you ensure your abstract satisfies these points.
- Does the abstract capture the interest of a listener of the paper?
- Is the abstract well written?
- Does the abstract engage the reader by describing what the paper is about?
- Does the abstract title describe what is being written about?
- Does the abstract make a clear statement of the topic of the paper and, if relevant, the research question?
- Does the abstract say how the research was/is being undertaken (if relevant)?
- Does the abstract indicate the value of the findings and to whom will they be of use?
- Does the abstract describe the work or topic to be discussed in the paper?
- Does the abstract give a concise summary of what will be presented as part of the paper?
- Does the abstract conform to the word limit of 300 words?
- Does the abstract fit with the themes of the conference?
- Should the abstract be accepted?
Authors who do not follow these guidelines may be more likely to have their work rejected.