Guide to writing a successful abstract

Writing an abstract is the snapshot for promoting the great work that you do.  We want to support you in making the most of your application and hope the below will provide you with the guidance and structure to enhance the quality of your submission.

What is an abstract?

An abstract is a summary of the topic you would like to present at the conference.  It is an opportunity to highlight the evidence, facts, case study or research you have undertaken and demonstrate the value to your colleagues and the contribution to the speciality of stoma care.

Who can make a submission?
The ASCN UK Organising Committee invites members and non-members to submit an abstract to be presented at the ASCN UK Conference [year] as a poster or oral presentation.

There can be more than one author/presenter, although there should be one main author/presenter who submits the abstract and is likely to present at conference.

Do I have to pay to submit my abstract?
There is no fee for making a submission.

If your submission is accepted for presentation or poster, you or a representative will be required to attend the conference and pay the conference registration fees.  A representative can be sent on your behalf if you are unable to attend at short notice.

The word count for an abstract for ASCN UK is 300 words.

All abstracts should be written in English.

Attention to spelling and grammar will add to the quality of your abstract.

The structure of the abstract:

  • Title: appropriate, meaningful and should be as brief as possible but long enough to clearly indicate the nature of the submission topic (maximum 20 words).
  • Introduction: the purpose and background of the abstract and why this would be of interest/importance; aims and objectives.
  • Content: Brief outline of approach, study design / method.
    • Is it a case study, service development/evaluation; research, collaborative team working, political, education, product evaluation.
    • For example, a case study, literature review or study should include method (how you did it) and results (what you found or if waiting for result,) Do not include product or company names.
  • Conclusion / outcomes: A summary of the main results or findings, clearly state the conclusion and clinical outcome. What implication/value does this have to the knowledge of specialist practice/ patient outcomes/education.
  • References: Maximum of 5 should be included (maximum 200 words). Use Harvard referencing please.
  • Learning outcomes: Maximum of 3 should be included (maximum 50 words).
  • Key words: Maximum of 3 should be included

Ensure there is a logical sequence showing the overall significance of your topic.

Take time to proofread your submission very carefully.

Points to avoid within your abstract.

  • Any specific names of people or institutions/organisations should be avoided.
  • No product trade names – provide descriptive of the function of the product.
  • Any patient names to be anonymised.

How to submit an abstract


Important information

  1. Abstracts are submitted online.
  2. If you are submitting more than one abstract, you can use the same email address and password for each abstract.
  3. An individual abstract is required for each oral or poster submissions.
  4. All abstracts must be submitted online by midday. See the website for more details.  Submissions will not be accepted after this date.

The Submission Process

  1. Log into the submission system when your abstract is completed and ready to be submitted.
  2. When you click the “Submit Here” button, you will be taken to a screen from which the submission process starts. Please read the instructions on this screen carefully and select the “Create New Account” button and enter your information.
  3. Submitting an abstract is a multi-step process. Each step asks several questions:

Step 1: Enter the full title of your submission in no more than 20 words.

Step 2: Choose your preferred means of presentations – poster, oral or either

Step 3: Specify the theme that best describes your submission e.g. case study, service development/evaluation; research, collaborative team working, political, education, product evaluation (please note: this is not a marketing tool, avoid mentioning products or company names). Choose one theme which best fits your abstract, as there might be more than one.

Step 4: Enter the author(s) and their institutions

Step 5: Enter title, abstract, references/bibliography (use the Harvard referencing system), learning outcomes and key words as directed

Step 6: Review and save your submission before clicking the submit button or save as a draft

Amending a submission
Should you need to amend your abstract after you have submitted it, please contact the Conference Secretariat,

Withdrawing an abstract 
If you want to withdraw an abstract, please contact the Conference Secretariat,

How are abstracts selected?
Abstracts are reviewed and shortlisted by the ASCN UK Committee using a marking criteria.

Marking criteria

Marking is based on a number of factors including the title, abstract, references/bibliography, good knowledge of topic area, flow and clarity of abstract, overall impression, learning outcomes and keywords (see example of marking criteria)

The scoring depends on how many of these factors were present in the abstract.

All abstracts are anonymous during the shortlisting process. Abstracts are invited under all topics but may not be accepted if there are more than one abstract on the same/similar topic/theme.

When will I hear about the outcome of my submission?
We will write to everybody after submission date with details on the outcome of their submission.  We are only able to give information to the person who submitted the abstract.

Where are abstracts published?
All those submissions that are accepted for presentation will be published on the virtual conference platform.  We will make your abstract available in the version supplied by you. It will be printed exactly as submitted which means that any errors or spelling mistakes will show.

Any questions?
Should you have any queries relating to your abstract then please do not hesitate to contact the Conference Secretariat,


Perrin A, (2022) How to write a successful abstract (

Happell B, (2008) Conference presentations: a guide to writing the abstract, Nurse Researcher 15 (4) 79-87

Coad J, Devitt P, Hardicre J, (2007) Ten steps to developing an abstract for conferences, British journal of nursing, 16 (7)