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Conference Abstracts


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Can someone let me know what are the guidelines when it comes to sending out conference abstracts? Specifically, are you allowed to send an abstract to multiple conferences or do you send it to one conference organizer at a time? I ask this because it does seem as though organizers take a while to respond to your abstract-I am worried that I will wait too long and get rejected by one conference and it will be too late to send my abstract out to another conference that might have accepted this same abstract. However, I am also wary of getting accepted to multiple conferences and having to revoke my position-I definitely do not want to be burning potential bridges. Thanks for your advice!

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The conference submission guidelines should say, but from what I've seen in my discipline, when you submit your abstract you certify that this is the only place you're submitting it. 

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I think it definitely depends on both discipline and individual conference/meeting. So it's best to check with the submission guidelines. Just to provide another perspective: I've found that in my discipline, conference abstracts are rarely published so you are allowed to submit the same/similar abstracts to many different meetings. Of course, you wouldn't want to do this too much since if the same people see your same talk over and over again, it's not very interesting! I often see the same talk presented at different meetings on the CVs of some students. In astronomy, people might sometimes present a talk at a very general meeting for all astronomers and then later that year, present a more focused version of their work at a smaller meeting for their subfield. 

 

I've found that meetings that will publish a proceedings will usually require you to certify that the material isn't published elsewhere. But in astronomy, I get the sense that conferences are used to just let the community know about your work and to get feedback (perhaps just as you are preparing your manuscript for journal submission). So many people will opt out of publishing in the proceedings because they would rather publish the work in a traditional journal instead. I know that conference publications are more valued in other fields though!

 

In addition, I know many senior, about-to-graduate PhD students to present their work at as many meetings as possible in their final year in order to get their name and work known as they are applying to post-doc positions. Also, sometimes an oral presentation slot at a conference is really hard to get, so it might not be wise to only submit to one conference if you were hoping to give a talk about your work.

 

I think that your advisor and other people in your department/field (other profs or senior students) can help you figure out what is the norm for your discipline! 

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In my field, people barely even care about your abstract. But, that's because all abstracts are accepted to the conference. Consequently, it's also really easy to submit basically the same abstract to different conferences at the same time, though usually you're expected to at least change the title even if the content remains the same. But YMMV obviously.

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