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Seven key points towards a successful abstract submission!

Friday 17 Mar 2017 {{NI.ViewCount}} Views {{NI.ViewCount}} Views

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Submit Your Abstract Now

Melanie Morin is the Physiotherapist Representative of the ICS Scientific Committee, a role she has held since 2013. Every year it is the task of the Scientific Committee to review the entire abstract submission in order to select the highest scoring work for the Annual Meeting's Scientific Programme.

Be sure to follow these seven great tips to submit an abstract with the reviewers in mind.

Follow these steps to make the most of your abstract submission

  1.   Read the [guidelines](/Documents/DocumentsDownload.aspx?DocumentID=1917)! They are only 3 pages long and present key information.
  2.   The reviewers’ first score is for originality. If you’re presenting novel work, start the abstract with “this is the first….”or “this original…”.Highlight the novelty of your work.
  3.   The next criterion is scientific merit.  Your abstract must demonstrate your study to be scientifically sound. 
  4.   Choice of key words are very important to ensure that your abstract is reviewed by someone with the appropriate expertise in this area.
  5. Lack of anonymity is automatic disqualification. Do not mention your name, the name of your clinic/university or even your protocol registration number.
  6. For non-English speaking writers we recommend having your submission reviewed by someone who knows English well before submission.
  7. Don’t split results across several abstracts. Conclusions should be consistent with results.

Want to learn more about the abstract review process? Read the below critique by Melanie Morin, physiotherapy representative on the ICS Scientific Committee.

In the last four years, as the physiotherapy representative on the ICS Scientific Committee, I had the opportunity to review and score abstracts for annual meetings thereby allowing 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:

1- Originality/topicality
2- Scientific merit
3- Clinical and scientific relevance.
4- 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 up most importance to ensure the anonymity of your submission. Mention of your name or your institution name will result in automatic rejection. Avoid “salami” submission (e.g. 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.

I hope this advice will be helpful and we look forward to seeing you in Florence, September 2017.

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