Faculty of Education and Social Work

Abstract reviewer guidelines

Abstracts can be submitted for an oral presentation (a paper), a performance (for instance story telling, a dramatic/dance/multi-media presentation, slam poetry) or a poster.

Participating students can be at any stage of their scholarly development and many abstracts will be based on research in progress or, in the early stages, on why project topics are important (for example).

As an important skill for thesis students to master as they journey to presenting at conferences, publishing and participating in the Three Minute Thesis or Exposure opportunities, students are interested in how their abstracts might be reviewed. Below are some questions reviewers might consider.

  • Does the abstract clearly state the aim of the study? (e.g. the theoretical issue; the problem; the research question)?
  • Is the importance of the topic communicated?
  • Is a gap in the literature identified?
  • Are the methods and context for data collection (if relevant) communicated? Is it clear how data/evidence is/will be collected?
  • Is the study design/conceptual model sound?
  • If appropriate, are there key findings or expected findings?
  • Is the “value added” or originality of the study communicated?
  • Does the abstract title sufficiently reflect the abstract?
  • Is the abstract no longer than 250 words?
  • Is the abstract well written and organised? (Clear, concise, logical and cohesive).
  • Is the abstract suitable for publication in the symposium programme booklet?


There are three options for the reviewer decision – accept, revise, reject.

Accepted abstracts will be published in the symposium programme.

A revise decision means that with a few revisions the abstract is worthy of publication.

A reject decision means that a reviewer does not consider a simple reworking would make it worthy of presentation.

If designated as revise or reject, some useful and supportive feedback to the writer would be appropriate. The above questions might help here. (250 words maximum).

Students will be notified of the review decision by email. Reviewer advice will be part of this.