Event Guide

5 Steps to Streamline Your Abstract Management Process

June 5, 2024
8 Mins
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Managing abstracts can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with a large number of submissions. However, with the right process in place, it can be a smooth and efficient experience. In this guide, we'll cover five easy steps to simplify your abstract management process, from submission to review.

Define Your Submission Guidelines

The first step to streamlining your abstract management process is to clearly define your submission guidelines. 

This includes outlining the following:

- Submission deadline, 

- Word count limits, 

- Formatting requirements, 

- And any other specific instructions for authors. 

By providing clear guidelines upfront, you can ensure that all submissions are consistent and easy to review. 

Additionally, it can help prevent authors from submitting incomplete or irrelevant abstracts, saving you time and effort in the long run.

The next step is to create an online submission form. This should include fields for authors to provide their contact information, the title of their abstract, and a text box for them to submit their abstract. You may also want to include additional fields such as keywords or topics that can help you categorize and organize submissions.

You can either use a tool like Google forms or perhaps try out Eventify's drag and drop abstract form builder

Once your submission form is ready, you can begin with the next step as below:

Choose An Abstract Management System

Software will make life very easy. You wont have to go through those excel sheets and email inbox to manage all the abstracts anymore. 

The second step to streamlining your abstract management process is to choose an abstract management system. This will allow you to easily collect and organize submissions, assign reviewers, and track the progress of each abstract. 

There are many options available, so be sure to choose one that meets your specific needs and budget. Some popular options include Eventify, EasyChair, OpenConf, and Ex Ordo. The third step is to create a timeline for the abstract submission and review process. This will help ensure that all deadlines are met and that each submission is given adequate time for review. 

Tip : You should also consider setting up an automated reminder system to remind authors of upcoming deadlines. 

Finally, you should establish a clear policy for handling conflicts of interest. This will ensure that reviewers are not biased. The best way Eventify handles this is by hiding any sensitive information. For example, A reviewer from a certain country may have a soft corner for an author of his own country, so its best to hide this information and let the reviewer be non judgmental.

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Set Up a Review Process

When setting up a review process for abstracts, it's important to have a structured system in place that ensures consistency, fairness, and constructive feedback. Here are some examples of how to set up a review process:

  1. Assigning Reviewers: When assigning reviewers, consider their expertise in the relevant subject area, their availability, and their potential conflicts of interest. For example, if an author is affiliated with the same institution as a potential reviewer, that reviewer may have a bias towards their work. It's also important to assign enough reviewers to ensure that each abstract receives a thorough and fair review.
  2. Providing Clear Guidelines: Clearly outlining the criteria and guidelines for evaluating abstracts can help ensure that reviewers are consistent in their evaluations. For example, you may provide criteria such as relevance to the conference theme, clarity of writing, originality, and potential impact. Additionally, you may provide guidelines on how to structure the review, such as asking reviewers to provide both strengths and weaknesses and suggestions for improvement.
  3. Double-Blind Review: In a double-blind review process, reviewers are not aware of the identity of the author, and the author is not aware of the identity of the reviewer. This helps reduce bias and ensures that the abstract is evaluated solely on its merits. Some abstract management systems have built-in double-blind review functionality, while others may require more manual coordination to ensure anonymity.
  4. Reviewer Feedback: After the review process is complete, it's important to provide reviewers with feedback on their evaluations. This feedback can help improve the quality of their evaluations and ensure consistency in future reviews. Additionally, authors may find it helpful to see the feedback provided by reviewers, even if their abstract was not accepted, to improve their future submissions.

By setting up a review process that is structured and consistent, you can ensure that all abstracts receive a fair and thorough evaluation. This can help improve the quality of submissions and increase the overall success of the conference or event.

Communicate with Submitters and Reviewers

Communicating with submitters and reviewers is an essential part of the abstract management process. Here are some examples of how to effectively communicate with them:

  1. Submission Acknowledgement: Once an abstract is submitted, it's important to acknowledge receipt of the submission. This can be done automatically through an online abstract management system, or through a manual email. The acknowledgement should provide a timeline for when the submitter can expect to hear back regarding the status of their submission.
  2. Reviewer Assignments: Once reviewers have been assigned to abstracts, it's important to communicate the assignments to the reviewers in a timely manner. This can be done through automated email notifications or through the abstract management system. The communication should provide clear instructions on how to access the abstracts and how to submit their reviews.
  3. Reviewer Reminders: As the deadline for reviews approaches, it's important to send reminders to reviewers to ensure that they submit their reviews on time. These reminders can be sent through automated email notifications or through the abstract management system. Providing clear instructions on how to access the abstracts and how to submit reviews can help ensure that reviewers meet the deadline.
  4. Decision Notification: Once decisions have been made on the abstracts, it's important to notify submitters of the decision in a timely manner. This can be done through automated email notifications or through the abstract management system. Providing clear and constructive feedback on the abstracts can help submitters improve their future submissions.
  5. Updates on the Process: Throughout the abstract management process, it's important to keep submitters and reviewers updated on the status of the process. This can be done through regular email updates, progress reports through the abstract management system, or through social media updates. Providing regular updates can help reduce anxiety and uncertainty among submitters and reviewers.

By communicating effectively with submitters and reviewers throughout the abstract management process, you can reduce confusion, improve efficiency, and ensure that all parties are well-informed.

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Analyze Your Results and Make Improvements

Analyzing your results is a crucial step in any abstract management process. Here are some examples of how you can analyze your results and make improvements:

  1. Submission and Review Times: One way to measure the efficiency of your abstract management process is to look at submission and review times. Use an abstract management tool like Eventify to track how long it takes to receive abstracts and how long it takes reviewers to provide feedback. Analyze this data to identify any bottlenecks or areas where the process could be streamlined.
  2. Acceptance Rates: Another important metric to consider is acceptance rates. Look at the number of abstracts that were accepted versus the number that were rejected. Identify any patterns in the types of abstracts that were accepted or rejected and use this information to adjust your criteria for evaluation in the future.
  3. Reviewer Feedback: Reviewer feedback can also provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your abstract management process. Use Eventify to collect feedback from reviewers about their experience with the process and what they liked or didn't like about it. Use this information to make adjustments to the process for future events.

By using a platform like Eventify, you can easily track and analyze these metrics and identify areas for improvement in your abstract management process. Eventify provides tools and features such as analytics and reporting, which enable you to track your results and measure your success. With this data, you can make informed decisions and adjustments to your process to ensure a more efficient and effective abstract management process in the future.

Conclusion

To ensure the success of any event, it is vital to have a well-organized and effective abstract management process. The following five steps can aid in achieving this: initiating a review process, communicating with submitters and reviewers, selecting an abstract management system, establishing a timeline, and analyzing the outcomes.

These measures can lead to a more streamlined process, reducing errors, saving time, and making the process smoother for all parties involved. By incorporating an abstract management system such as Eventify, the process can be further improved, simplifying the collection and organization of submissions, reviewer assignment, progress tracking, and timeline creation. By continually refining your approach, you can ensure a successful and captivating event that highlights the most current research and ideas in your field.

About the Author
Hussain Fakhruddin, tech visionary and founder of an award-winning multinational firm. With 15+ years' experience, Hussain leads a team that's crafted 1500+ top-ranking web, API, and mobile apps, earning acclaim from Adobe and GMASA. Specializing in scalable backends, ensures client apps stand out with an 80% top-ranking success rate.

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