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3 Things Abstract Reviewers Look For

Sara Ghoneim, MD, is a gastroenterology fellow at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She completed her residency at Case Western Reserve University. She has clinical interest in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and is actively involved in clinical research. She is an active member of the AGA Young Delegates. Tweet her @SGhoneimGI. 


Sara Ghoneim, MD

A well-crafted abstract is key to effective dissemination of your research. With thousands of abstracts submitted to Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) each year, making your abstract stand out is not an easy feat! Below I’ve highlighted the top three things I’ve found reviewers look for when reading your work. As a reminder, the abstract submission site for DDW 2023  closes Dec. 1, 2022 at 21:00 Eastern time (UTC –5).

1. Choose the right title.

The title of your abstract is crucial. It should be descriptive, unambiguous and an accurate representation of the topic you are covering. Making it newsworthy is a great way to capture the attention of your audience.

2. Identify your problem.

The main text of your abstract should concisely present the problem at hand. Your abstract should explain why you are conducting this research, and how your results are novel and will help fill in the gaps in our knowledge. You want the reviewer to know you made solid experimental observations but at the same time, find the balance between highlighting your study’s robust results and giving too much data. The latter will definitely overwhelm your audience and may reflect negatively on your abstract.

3. Make a great first impression.

Format is a key ingredient to your abstract’s success. It shows the reviewer your attention to detail.

  • Follow the format instructions provided in the abstract submission guidelines.
  • Make sure your abstract is free of grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Remember your abstract is an advertisement of your work and can generate a lot of excitement. Reviewers will definitely enjoy reading abstracts that are concise, objective and novel.

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