What is an abstract?
An abstract is a short statement about your research/work designed to give the reviewer(s) and the symposium attendants a comprehensive yet concise understanding of your research/work.
What is an abstract for?
The abstract submitted to the organizing committee will have two main audiences, each with unique needs and expectations:
1. Abstract Reviewer(s). Based on the submitted abstract, the reviewer(s) will decide if your abstract is accepted for presentation or rejected. The presenting author is invited to indicate a preference for oral or poster presentation. However, the screening officers will make the final decision based on the quality and suitability of the abstracts and availability of space [for the poster] and time [for the oral presentation].
2. Symposium Attendants. Based on your abstract, they will decide whether or not to visit your poster, ask questions regarding your research and/or attend your possible short oral presentation. Symposium attendants may read hundreds of abstracts to determine which posters to see. Since this screening is made quickly, abstracts should include key words on the area of work so that attendants may quickly determine posters of interest.
Overall structure of an abstract
Your abstract title should be concise and should not include phone number or emails. Avoid any play on words in the title and opt for simple sentence construction;
The abstract should include the following elements:
- Background information: why is this important? What are the aim and objectives?
- Setting: this information will allow quick navigation, e.g. primary care, community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy...
- Methods: this part should explain the methodology used for your work/study (including study design and experimental methods);
- Results: it should be a summary of the achievements of the work and/or the major findings of the study. Note that all the major findings should be included in the abstract.
- Conclusion: you should summarize the overall findings, the possible improvements of the methodology and if/how this work is part of an overall strategy /research.
In other words, an abstract should tell the reader WHY you conducted the research, WHAT you did, HOW you did it, WHAT you found and WHAT it means.
You are requested to:
- Ensure that all listed co-authors have reviewed the abstract, taken responsibility of its contents and accepted to be co-authors.
- Make sure that all your co-authors are listed on the abstract form (on the dedicated page for listing co-authors).
Tips for a good abstract
It is often considered that an abstract should follow the Four C's of abstract writing:
- Complete: it covers the main part of your research/work.
- Concise: it contains no excess words or unnecessary information. A good tip to be concise is to write down a first draft and to delete as many unnecessary words and sentences as possible.
- Clear: your abstract should be easily read, well organized and without too many jargon words (a reader does not want to wade through complicated terms in the abstract). Consider the symposium attendants (pharmacists, pharmaceutical technologists and pharmaceutical scientists) and target your abstract accordingly.
- Cohesive: that is to say the different parts of your abstract are properly linked.
- Try to avoid abbreviations as much as possible. If you use abbreviations, place them all in parenthesis after the full word the first time they appear in the text.
- Use numerals to indicate numbers (1 instead of one) except if it is the first word of a sentence.
- Do not include endnotes, graphics/figures or tables in the abstract.
- Proofread your abstract several times.
- It is of interest to test your abstract before submitting it. Ask a colleague (or a member of your family) to read it and to tell you what your work was on. If he is not able to explain it clearly, your abstract may need to be revised.
Submission of your abstract
The submission of the abstracts must be e-mailed to the undersigned in the call for abstracts.
If you have prepared your abstract in a Word document, make sure that no changes have been introduced through copy/pasting into the submission form.
Requirements for your abstract:
- The ideal length of an abstract is 250-300 words, excluding the title and excluding the name(s) and companies of the authors and co-authors.
- Abstracts should preferably contain previously unpublished results.
- Whenever possible, use non-proprietary (generic) names for quoting a drug.
- It is not allowed to actively promote commercial entities, products or services on a poster at the symposium. These direct commercial activities are reserved for the Exhibition.
After the submission of your abstract, a review process will take place. The goal of such a process is not to set a competition for a limited number of slots but to ensure that all abstracts presented meet minimum professional standards and reflect a good work. Such standards are reflected in these guidelines. This process review will be applied uniformly to all abstracts.
The most frequent reasons for rejecting an abstract could be:
- Not properly written or not understandable
- No new information provided
- Preliminary work not yet finalized
- Promotional in nature
- Previously published
- Duplicate of another abstract
Guidelines for Abstracts
What is an abstract?