Preparing abstracts and presenting papers conferences


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Session 4B from City University London's Researchers' Development Day, held on Friday 4th May 2012.

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  • Who is organising the conference Name of the conference Broad theme of the conference
  • What is being asked for: a written abstract from you to summarise the research that you want to present and share at the conference. The abstract is a REALLY IMPORTANT document as this alone decides whether you will be accepted to present your research. We’ll get onto writing the abstract in a moment. When your abstract has hopefully been accepted, you can then panic about how you’re going to present your research at the conference – normally in the form of a stand-up and talk presentation – confusingly these can be called ‘paper presentations’ as they are here – this does not always mean you have to write a full paper to present your research. However sometimes you will be asked to write a whole paper for the conference’s proceedings. However normally the conference would have asked you to submit a whole paper as part of the conference call (and not just an abstract as has been done here). You can also present your research as a poster, which we’ll talk about soon as well. Can address the whole theme or just parts of it
  • One of the research strands for the conference is given here with lots of ‘sub-strands’ too. Normally conferences have several themes that you can consider to see if the research you have done would be applicable for presenting it at.There is no hard and fast rule about how well your research should ‘fit’ with a particular theme or research strand. Conference organisers are usually quite flexible on this point, but it is important that you do try to link up the conference theme, strands or sub-strands when you write your abstract so that it is quite straightforward for the organisers to see the relevance of your work in relation to the conference theme. If they do not easily see this, you do run the risk of your abstract being rejected.
  • As well as addressing the conference themes, you also need to consider:What is the deadline for abstract submission?How do you submit? Usually it is online submission website, but some conferences ask for emailed submissions. Hardly any require paper submissions.How much detail do they want? Word count?When will you hear?
  • Preparing abstracts and presenting papers conferences

    2. 2. Today‟s session Finding out and choosing your conference Looking at a conference call How to write and submit a conference abstract Activity Dealing with feedback on your submission Preparing, designing and delivering your presentation Some tips for poster presentations
    3. 3. Are you planning to submit anabstract to a conference...1. Yes, in the next 17% 17% 17% 17% 17% 17% month2. Yes, in the next 1- 3 months3. Yes, after 3 months time4. Yes eventually but not just yet5. Really not sure6. Not at all 1 2 3 4 5 6
    4. 4. How can I find out about upcomingconferences? Advice from your supervisor(s) Advice from your peers and colleagues at City and elsewhere Conference proceedings that you have come across Some journals have an associated conference Conference calls advertised online, in magazines, newspapers Mailing lists Societies, Publishers, Funding Councils in your interested fields (e.g. IEEE, SRHE, Welcome) normally publish a conference calendar which you can view online You might have attended the conference previously
    5. 5. Choosing your conference What is the size of the conference? What sort of audience? What options for presenting are there? What facilities are there? Will you present on your own?
    6. 6. Analysing an example ConferenceCall
    7. 7. How to submit an abstractAs well as addressing the conference themes,you also need to consider:1. What is the deadline for abstract submission?2. How do you submit? Usually it is online submission website, but some conferences ask for emailed submissions. Hardly any require paper submissions nowadays.3. How much detail do they want? Word count?4. When will you hear?
    8. 8. What is a conference abstract? Written summary of a paper or poster that you intend to present But distilling all your research into a few hundred words is not easy! “If you want a 10 min summary, I can have it for you a week from today; if you want it to be 30 minutes, I can do it tomorrow; if you want a whole hour, I’m ready now” (Pierson, 2004 p. 1207)
    9. 9. ACTIVITY (10 mins) Using the pro-forma sheet going around, plan an abstract of your own for a conference you are interested in attending
    10. 10. After the submission comes thefeedback... Usually reviewed by 2 reviewers, final decision by conference committee Were you successful? – great! Start preparing... If you were rejected:  You should receive reviewers comments to find out why (or you can request these)  Reviewers comments should help you learn from the experience  Comments may be harsh – but don‟t be put off – keep trying!
    11. 11. What makes a badpresentation?
    12. 12. What makes a goodpresentation?
    13. 13. How to make good presentations _N4&feature=channel
    14. 14. Preparation1. Where will you be presenting? (check out room) What time?2. Who is your session chair? (talk to them before, if possible negotiate timings)3. How long are you to present for? How much time is set aside for your talk and how much for questions?4. What about AV provision? Presentation on USB stick or email through beforehand (or both) ?
    15. 15. Structure Tell them what you are going to tell themMain point – summary IntroMain point – summary Tell them;Main point – summary Tell them what you’ve told them Conclusion
    16. 16. Structure Opening line… Stories, artefacts …closing line. Your contact details, socialise and network!
    17. 17. Emulate a presenter you admire Haveconfidence in Try and yourself – relax, takeyou are here deep breaths for a reason Dealing with Presentation nervesIf you make a Rehearsemistake don‟t and keep to dwell on it time, practice (no-one will makes notice) perfect Have some questions for the audience
    18. 18. An Example of a Bad Slide Poor choice of font style Font size difficult to read Background too busy Animation quite frustrating and detracts attention!
    19. 19. Richard Hake’s 1997 study In 1997 Richard Hake published some results in a paper entitled “Interactive- engagement versus traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses” Test results from 6000 Physics students from High School (HS), College and University were sampled At the start all students had to sit a standard test (called a Force Concept Inventory) – this was a pre-test. They were then tested again after a period of time where some were taught using traditional means of lecturing, others using interactive engagement with techniques such as the Classroom Clickers. Here you see the normalised results of the pre-test plotted against the gain in knowledge following teaching using traditional or interactive engagement techniques. Significant higher gains in knowledge are seen with students who are tested having been taught using interactive engagement – and this is across the board This is perhaps the most convincing research to date that supports the use of „teaching by questioning‟ because of its large and varied sampling.
    20. 20. Clip-Art overload!  A picture is worth a thousand words…  Great for Visual learners  Approximately 70% of information is retained visually  Choose visual aids carefully – use them to explain or reinforce, not decorate!
    21. 21. Preparing Posters: Do‟s andDon‟tsDO DON’T Keep it brief and  Assume that people simple will read your poster Retain any white – you will have to space talk it through Get feedback on  Have blocks of text design (on-screen longer than 10 lines and printed)  Use too small a font Use images as size much as possibleDesigning Conference Posters:
    22. 22. Taking Questions• Repeat them back• Give straight answer, be honest• Consider collecting questions (ask Chair)• Get audience to answer• Follow up after the session
    23. 23. References Coad, J. and Devitt, P. (2006) The art of writing an abstract for conferences Nurse Education in Practice 6: 112 – 116 Alexandrov, A, V. and Hennerici, M. G. (2007) Writing Good Practices Cerebrovascular Diseases 23: 256 – 259