Your abstract is the only piece of your work which conference organisers look at to make a decision on whether it should be included in their conference or not. Then, if successful, participants will only have your abstract to read to decide whether to attend your session or not at the actual conference.
The purpose of an abstract is to summarize the main points of the topic you are going to present. You need to convince the conference organisers that your topic is relevant and valuable for their conference. The abstract needs to be focused and clear in explaining your topic. Your abstract should contain these main elements: topic and title, background information, a discussion of the research around your topic, and a conclusion.
- Abstract Topic: How will your topic fit into the conference theme?
- Abstract Title: The title needs to be interesting and grab people’s attention. It should state your topic clearly. Ideally, your title should be 12 words or less for impact.
- Background Information: This section should summarize the background to your presentation. Why is your topic important? What are the difficulties in this area? If you are describing an innovation you may want to talk about your management strategy here.
- Discussion: What are the main findings from your literature search? You may want to give some ‘for’ arguments and some ‘against’ arguments.
- Conclusions and/or Summary: What does the literature mean? Are there any overall conclusions that impact current practice? Summarize your findings in a clear and concise way.
- Ask a friend to edit your work – someone else’s opinion is always helpful to ensure you have not overlooked something obvious.
- Be concise – there is often a word limit for abstracts so make sure you cut out any words or phrases which are not needed. Keep sentences short. The VIDM conference is interdisciplinary – try to stay clear of jargon specific to the field you work in.
- Prepare early – if you prepare early then you have plenty of time to review and edit your submission. We get a lot of submissions so cannot accept late submissions – submit your abstract early to ensure you meet the deadline in good time!
The VIDM conference runs over 24 hours covering all world time zones. We often have two sessions running at the same time. It can be quite complicated to prepare the conference timetable and take all this into account. You need to be clear as to which times you could present and which time zone this is in. The more flexible with your time you can be, the easier it can be to fit your presentation into the timetable if you are successful. We need the earliest to the latest times you could present.
This allows the organisers and participants to determine whether you are presenting some research, a study or facilitating a discussion around a topic or paper.
The VIDM is proud of the diverse nature of its conference. You need to decide whether your abstract is for a presentation, a discussion forum, a student café etc.
These help participants to find your work once it is published or in a conference timetable. They also give a flavour of what your presentation is going to cover. The words you choose should accurately reflect the content of your presentation.