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Q&A With an Experienced DDW® Abstract Submitter

Parakkal Deepak, MBBS, MS, is an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri in the division of gastroenterology (@WUGastro). His research is focused on non-invasive assessment of disease activity and treatment response in patients with small bowel and perianal Crohn’s disease. He also has an additional research interest in the causes and implications of obesity and metabolic syndrome in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Have questions after you read this article? Tweet him at @P_DeepakIBDMD.
Parakkal Deepak
Parakkal Deepak, MBBS, MS

Q: What’s your experience with submitting an abstract to Digestive Disease Week® (DDW)?

A: I have been submitting abstracts to DDW since 2010 as an internal medicine resident, research fellow, GI fellowship trainee and now as faculty. I have always found the process of submission to be very seamless. The process, especially uploading tables, has changed over time, but I find it to still be easy to follow. Furthermore, DDW Administration is available through the 9 p.m. deadline, as well as on Dec. 4, for anyone with further questions.

Q: How do you choose the best descriptor and society for your abstract?

A: For trainees and those early in their career, the process of choosing the best descriptor and society should also involve their mentors and senior authors on the abstract. Through their experience, they are well-positioned to advise the best fit, both in terms of the likely reviewers of the abstract and the target audience. Abstracts that are targeted to the right audience tend to do better in my experience.

I approach choosing a society by visualizing the key area of research or topic and consider which society it would best match up with, such as luminal disease (AGA), endoscopic approaches (ASGE), liver-based research (AASLD) and so on. Once the society is chosen, then I go through the list of descriptors, available on the u>DDW website,  that also contains suggestions for best fit before making my final choice. As an example, within the set for AGA, one can narrow down choice of descriptor based on the disease of interest, such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) or neurogastroenterology and motility.

Q: What are the top three things that make an exceptional abstract?

A:

  1. Identifies a key knowledge gap in the introduction and addresses how the study results closed the gap in the discussion.
  2. A brief methods section that transmits the “how” of the study methodology, while avoiding abbreviations and jargon that are not known and understood universally by the likely reviewers and audience.
  3. A results section that transmits key data without unnecessary words and is enhanced by the supporting tables and figures. This requires multiple rounds of revision working with your mentor and senior authors on the abstract and is a skill acquired through mentorship.
Don’t forget to submit your abstract by Dec. 3, 2020, at 21:00 Eastern time (UTC –5).

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