As a member of the the ICS Scientific Committee (Physiotherapy Rep), I have been involved in reviewing and scoring abstracts for the annual meetings. The process allowed me to recognise some key points that may be helpful for others with future submissions.
In the first step, authors are asked to select a category and keywords that best represent the topic of their abstract (this information can be found on the ICS abstract guidelines document). This step is important as the reviewers mostly rely on this classification to sort the abstracts within their field of expertise. An accurate selection will ensure your abstract is evaluated by reviewers with experience in the topic. Reviewers are members of the scientific committee as well as other invited members (i.e. members of the editorial board of the journal of Neurourology and Urodynamics and members of other ICS committees).
An understanding of the scoring process is beneficial for authors. Each abstract is evaluated by at least three evaluators (including one scientific committee member). Abstracts which obtain a high variation score are discussed and debated by the scientific committee, and then judged for acceptance. The following are the criteria scored:
- Scientific merit
- Clinical and scientific relevance.
- A criterion of “video quality” is added for video abstracts.
Each criterion is assessed according to a 5-point scale (5 excellent, 4 very good, 3 good, 2 fair, 1 poor). The authors should therefore highlight the originality and clinical significance of their work along with an impeccable scientific methodology.
There are a few common mistakes to avoid. Authors frequently mention their own names or the names of their institutions. It is of utmost importance to ensure the anonymity of your submission. Mention of your name or your institution name will result in automatic rejection. Avoid “salami” submission (eg. splitting results in several abstracts) This will be noted by the Scientific Committee and may also result in rejection. For non-native English speakers, I recommend finding someone with good knowledge of the English language to review the abstract before submission. Finally, a sufficiently detailed result section (not only limited to p-values) as well as a conclusion in agreement with the results will yield to better scoring.
You can read the abstract guidelines already and see what categories the ICS is calling for:
Learn more about abstract submission
What to expect from an ICS Meeting
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I hope this advice will be helpful for submitting your abstract by 1 April 2016.