How to handle abstract submission for an event

The BAPO abstract submission portal can handle all aspects of abstract submission, review and communication with the corresponding author. Each event can have it’s own abstract submission portal, and each portal has to be associated with an event.

Overview of Key Steps

  • Create an event
  • Setup the abstract settings
  • Await abstract submissions
  • Reviewers screen abstracts
  • Executive decision on offers
  • Offers sent to corresponding authors
  • Corresponding authors accept or decline offers

Creating an event

Please refer to the separate guide, how to set up an event.

Set up the abstract review portal

Open the portal at bapo.co.uk/dashboard/abstracts/review and select your new event. If you have permission to administrate the portal then you will see the Settings tab in the main menu. For more information on permissions, please refer to the separate guide on user permissions.

Set the opening dates and deadlines for submission

Complete the form to set the key dates for opening of the portal for submissions, the deadline for submissions and the deadline for accepting or declining offers. These dates will be re-published throughout the BAPO platform. If you need to extend the submission deadline or re-open the portal for submissions after the deadline has passed, simply adjust the abstract submission deadline to a time in the future

Set the review phase

There are several key phases to the process of handling abstract submissions which are summarised here. The appearance and behaviour of the portal will depend on the current review phase.

PhaseDescription
Portal not yet openReviewers can not yet access the portal. If any abstracts have been submitted then they will not yet be visible to reviewers.
Abstract previewThe portal is open for reviewers to read the abstracts but they can not yet submit responses. Only the title, body of the abstract and number of authors is shown.
Screening openReviewers can read and submit scores for abstracts. Only the title, body of the abstract and number of authors is shown to reviewers. This is to keep the screening process anonymous. Author names and institutions are not displayed until screening is complete.
Screening complete, results availableThe results of screening are locked and the anonymity of the authors is lifted. A new tab on the main menu is now accessible (Results) which shows a list of all abstracts ordered by highest score, then lowest standard deviation then earliest submission. In theory this means that the best abstract will be at the top and the worst at the bottom of the list. Select the type of presentation which will be offered from the drop down list. There is also a reject option.
Offers sent to authorsWhen this phase is active a new tab appears (Responses). This shows a summary of each abstract, corresponding author, and whether or not the offer has been sent, the author’s acceptance or rejection, whether or not they have registered for the conference and whether or not they have yet uploaded any files.
Portal closed for this eventThe portal is closed and the abstracts, responses, scores and statuses are no longer available to users.

The abstract submission portal can handle an unlimited number of presentation types, for example oral presentations, virtual presentations, poster presentations, etc.

Create the emails to authors

If your event receives a large number of abstract submissions then sending out individual invites to each corresponding author may be an onerous task. It’s possible to setup template responses to authors which are subsequently sent out once screening is complete. On the Settings tab, select a presentation type and enter the subject and body text of your email in the form. You do not need to start your email with a greeting as this will be added automatically. BAPO branding and a GDPR notice will also be added automatically to the end of your email.

Setup file uploads

If you plan to ask authors to submit a file associated with their presentation, you can setup the accepted file types and file sizes by selecting each presentation type from the settings page. For example the accepted file types for posters may be PDF or PPTX, if you are planning to accept video recordings of presentations then select MP4. If an author needs to make changes to their file they will be able to upload an updated version any time up until the File Upload Deadline which is defined in the Settings page.

Abstract screening

Once you set the abstract review phase to Screening Open then reviewers will be able to submit responses. The portal will present abstracts to reviewers one at a time. While the review phase is set to Screening Open reviewers can see the list of their own submissions and can revise their responses via the History tab, once the screening phase is set to screening complete then the scores can no longer be edited. Progress on the number of abstracts which have been reviewed and the number of responses per abstract can be viewed via the Statistics tab.

Selecting the outcome for each abstract

Once the review phase is set to Screening Complete the Results tab becomes available. In this tab the list of abstracts is shown with author names ordered by best to worst score. There is a drop down selector which allows you to save a response, either a type of presentation or rejection. This will be used to select which email template is sent to the corresponding author at the next step.

Send emails to corresponding authors

Email template

Once the offers sent to authors phase is selected the Responses tab becomes available. The emails to authors are not automatically sent but this can be triggered from the responses tab by clicking the Send Offer button. An email is sent to the author based on the template created in the Settings tab. BAPO branding and a GDPR notice is automatically added to the email. If you wish to take advantage of a facility to keep track of whether or not authors have accepted the offer remember to ask the authors in the email template to view the offer in their dashboard and accept or decline the offer.

Custom emails

If you need to send any other emails to authors such as reminders for people who have not yet registered, you can do so via the Responses tab. Select the checkbox next to the name of all of the recipients then click the submit button at the bottom of the page. This will open a pop-up where you can write an email. If there are fewer than 10 recipients then 10 separate emails will be sent, and the greeting for each recipient will be added (e.g. Dear firstname, where firstname is replaced with the recipients name), for this reason you do not need to add a greeting. If there are more than 10 recipients then just a single email is sent to all recipients via the BCC field, for this reason you need to add a generic greeting at the start of the email. When you click send a preview of the email is displayed to show the branding and footer.

Please note, to send any emails you need permission to do so. Please see the Permissions tutorial for more info. The maximum number of emails which can be sent per 24 hours is 200, after this a spam filter is triggered preventing further emails from being sent. It is possible for emails to be caught in the recipient’s spam filter but the footer which is added to each email helps to reduce the risk of spam filters being triggered.

Traditional email

If you choose not to use the portal to send emails to authors, you can copy the corresponding author’s email address from the list on the Responses tab and paste the address into your regular email client.

Accessing files

Once a corresponding author has uploaded a file, this will be indicated on the responses page. Click the File Uploaded column to view all files. If the author to uploads an updated version of a file then the most recently uploaded one will be shown. This will allow you to download the most recently added file.