The most important functions of your abstract are to show that you have a valuable contribution to the congress and to lure the audience to your presentation. Abstracts will only be taken into account for the abstract selection procedure when they are written in English and do not exceed a maximum of 350 words. Unfortunately, we do not accept case-studies, reviews, and literature studies (except for meta-analysis).
* Note: Preliminary results are allowed in your abstract.
Abstracts should contain the following subheadings:
There are no strict rules for writing an abstract, although these guidelines might help you take your abstract to the next level. Before considering these guidelines, keep in mind that the maximum number of words is 350.
How long should my abstract be?
The limit is 350 words. The key is to state the important aspects in your abstract as brief as possible. Be sure it remains understandable.
How much background information should I assume my audience has?
Although it is important to know who your audience is, in general it is best to assume little knowledge. This often requires simplifying your abstract to some extent. Be careful that you do not alter the facts in your abstract in the process of making it accessible to others.
Which parts of an abstract are especially important?
The two most important parts of an abstract are the title and the conclusion. These are important because they are often the only chance to interest people in your study and to clarify what your abstract is about.
How do I create a proper title?
Make it short and clear. Formulate a clear research question and, if possible, what the major result was. Make the title interesting in order for people to continue reading. Consider these three titles for the same study:
Treatment of eczema in children.
Probiotics in the treatment of eczema in childhood: a randomized controlled trial.
No effect of probiotics in the treatment of childhood eczema: a randomized controlled trial.
The first is too general and therefore uninformative. The second is much more informative than the first, but the third is the best because it gives the outcome away to the reader.
What is important in the conclusion?
The conclusion should not only state your findings, but also what this implies. Remember that most readers will, if your title has peaked their interest, read the conclusion next. Be careful not to conclude more than your results allow, but do state what your results imply.
State in the introduction clearly how the study contributes to society. Give background information as to why this study was done. It is of great importance to clearly state the aim of your study and to be specific about this. Once your research question is clear to the reader, the rest of the abstract is easier to understand.
In the methods, make sure the comparisons between variables are explained.
In the results, avoid hanging comparisons:
BAD: children treated with probiotics had lower eczema scores at the end of the study
The reader will ask: lower than who or what?
GOOD: children treated with probiotics had lower eczema scores at the end of the study than those treated with placebo.
Find someone who is unfamiliar with your work to read your abstract. It will help you identify confusing passages for which you have become “blind”. And last but not least, check your abstract for grammatical errors and misspelling.
This is where you mention the statistical methods you applied and which software was used.
Section “Results”: inferential statistics
Confidence intervals are more informative than P-values. For example: the difference between the mean blood pressures of the groups is significant (P < 0.05) with the 95% confidence interval for the difference between the mean blood pressure of group 1 and the mean blood pressure of group 2 ranging from 3.14 mm Hg to 8.68 mm Hg.Be concise in the description of preliminary activities, like checking assumptions. Give the results of all relevant statistical tests you performed and make sure you answer your main research question(s). Give estimates as well as standard errors of these estimates and of the coefficients in your final regression model(s), if any. Give the interpretation of the coefficient(s) of the most relevant explanatory variable(s) in words.Section “Conclusions / Discussion”
Repeat the main result(s) from the Results section without the statistical details and give a brief answer to your research question. Do not present any numbers that were not mentioned in the results section.
Is your study a deepening of a bigger study?
If your research is a deepening of a bigger study, it is important to make sure your abstract is unique. When the abstract shows too many similarities with the abstract of another study, we might judge it as plagiarism. We find great importance in originality and innovatory.