Only one rules exists when writing an abstract: does it get you accepted. That’s what we’ve found at Mira Smart Conferencing. “Good writing,” “strong writing,” “I like the way that is written” writing doesn’t cut it. An abstract effectively get through the review process or it doesn’t.
In a recent post1, professional technical and scientific writer Katherine L. Molnar-Kimbar, Ph.D., outlined her six rules for writing effective abstracts for submission to peer review. Her rules focus on two things and two things only: what do the peer reviewers want to see and how to make what they want as easy to read as possible.
“Often, we customize our software to facilitate abstract submission process,” John Berglund, CEO of Mira Smart Conferencing said. “Our standard submission process is a file upload or a cut-and-paste text box. We’ve also customize the submission form so that separate boxes collected discreet information, like objective, methods, conclusions. Just like the authors, we have to give the conference organizers what they want.”
When Mira has customized its abstract submission process, it has mirrored much of what Molner-Kimbar suggests.
Rule 2: Conform to the rules. If the word count is 250 words, then stay under 250 words. If background, methods, results, and so on, have to be in separate sections, then format appropriately.
Rule 3: Make the hypothesis clear. You’ve stated the problem, so now state the solution that you are testing in clear and obvious language.
Rule 4: Write in the past tense when describing the methods and procedures. Not even historians use the historical present. Since you performed your research in the past, describe it in the past.
Rule 5: Use precise analytical and statistical language for results. Outcomes aren’t “dramatic” but “statistically significant,” with the numbers to support the claim.
Rule 6: Conclusions are clear and logically supported by the evidence. Don’t make your readers draw the conclusions and don’t add ideas that don’t logically follow from your results.
“Researchers are personally involved in their research,” John said. “And that’s the way it should be. But when they submit their findings for peer review, they need to understand that they are sharing their ideas. The abstract needs to be written clearly, concisely, and correctly.”
With its ability to customize not only the abstract submission process but the entire review process, Mira Smart Conferencing offers the best way to guarantee that authors conform to the submission process.
1”How to write an abstract.” http://www.kmk-how-to-write.com/how-to-write-an-abstract.html