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“Don’t Break the Blind” & Other Tips From an Abstract Reviewer

Peter D.R. Higgins, MD, PhD, MSc, AGAF, is the director of the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) program at the University of Michigan and has played an active role in Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) abstract review for many years. You can find him on Twitter @ibddoctor.
Peter D.R. Higgins, MD, PhD, MSc, AGAF

Abstract submissions are open for #DDW2022! The abstract deadline is on Dec. 2 at 21:00 Eastern time (UTC –5 (not Thanksgiving!). Below, I’ve shared a few tips on submitting an abstract. Once you’ve read through, head over to the submission site and get started.

Visit Submission Site

Tip #1: Save yourself stress; submit early.

Many authors will be submitting on Dec. 2, causing traffic and potentially slowing the website response time. Instead of submitting in the last two hours, save yourself some trouble and get your submission in at least by Dec. 1.

Tip #2: Don’t break the blind!

Do NOT put identifying information in the title or body, such as authors, institution, city, county, funding, references, etc. This deliberately breaks the blind and violates the principles of blinded review. Scores will be reduced for this; don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Separately from the abstract title and body, you can add the following, which are seen by reviewers:

  • Tables
  • Images

Tables and images do not count toward the 2,900-character limit. Note that tables have to be submitted as images.

You can also add:

  • Clinical trial registry number
  • Study funding source (AGA submissions only)
  • Consortium name (AGA submissions only)

These extra fields are also separate from the abstract title and body, are not part of the review and do not break the blinded review process.

Tip #3: Select your presentation type based on your attendance plans.

Select oral or poster if you intend to attend in San Diego — see you there! If you can’t attend in San Diego, choose the ePoster only presentation type, which will be presented virtually. Video abstracts submitted to ASGE or SSAT will also be considered for presentation on-site. After the Dec. 2 deadline, you cannot change presentation type.

There are also several new abstract descriptors this year. The full list of abstract categories can be found on the DDW website.

Tip #4: Don’t underestimate the importance of completing your disclosures.

Abstracts submitted to or presented at other national and international meetings (with the exception of AASLD’s Liver Meeting) will be considered provided that you disclose any past or upcoming presentations. Yes, this dose affect priority.

Warning: you CANNOT submit an abstract on research that has been accepted for publication, or published online or in print before the Dec. 2 deadline. If you submit an abstract early, and the manuscript is accepted for publication before Dec. 2 at 21:00 Eastern time (UTC –5), you must withdraw the abstract.

Tip #5: Don’t create new credentials for co-authors who are already in the database.

This will force them to do an additional set of disclosures (and make them grumpy). Use the search tool to find them in the database and add them as co-authors. Once you have added all your co-authors, you can re-order them using the drag or dropdown tools in the author order column, then click on the “Update Author Order” button.

Tip #6: Check your work.

Review the submission, making sure to check author order and review the proof. Once you’ve addressed any errors, pay the fee, and click the “Submit” button.

I look forward to reviewing this year’s outstanding abstracts!

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