Abstract FAQs

What types of abstracts are accepted? 


Research abstracts, program description abstracts, and interactive workshops will be accepted and reviewed using separate rubrics

Research Abstract:
Research abstracts report on designing, conducting, and analyzing a research project. Research studies should be rigorous, use sound methodology, and results should follow logically from the research question.

Program Description:
Program description abstracts describe the creation and improvement of products, programs, technologies, administrative practices, or services that librarians, library technicians and information professionals conduct. A program description will go beyond simply summarizing what was done. We require that authors place their program in the context of current research and practice; provide enough information for readers to replicate or adapt the program in their own contexts; evaluate the program; and discuss lessons learned about what worked, what did not, and what might be changed.

Interactive Workshops:
Interactive Workshop abstracts describe an in-depth, engaging session on a specific topic relevant to health libraries. Included in the abstract are the session learning outcomes, target audience, description of the workshop, and description of the interactivity.

Authors will select one type of abstract for each submission during the submission process.
 

What is the required format for my abstract?


Please refer to the Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association Online Submissions page for additional guidance on writing a structured abstract. Note: Any submissions that are received without a structured abstract will be returned to authors to revise and resubmit. Resubmissions after the submission deadline will not be accepted.

Additional resources describing how to write a structured abstract:
  • Diskin, Shiri. “Ch. 6: The abstract and title.” In The 21st century guide to writing articles in the biomedical sciences. New Jersey : World Scientific, 2018.
  • Eva, K. W. (2012). Titles, Abstracts and Authors. In How to Write a Paper, G. M. Hall (Ed.). doi:10.1002/9781118488713.ch6
  • Freysteinson WM & Stankus JA. (2019). The Language of Scholarship: How to Write an Abstract That Tells a Compelling Story.  Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 50, 107-108. doi:10.3928/00220124-20190218-04, 10.3928/00220124-20190218-04 
Additional examples of structured abstracts for research projects and project descriptions can be found here.

Title: Must not exceed 120 characters

Structured Abstract: (250 words or less)  NOTE: If you are only making a submission for a Lightning Talk, you may submit your topic and a short description instead of a structured abstract.

Research Project Sections
 
Introduction:  Should clearly state the purpose of the article, summarize the rationale for the study, and review the literature relevant to the work.
Methods: Should describe the design of the study in sufficient detail to allow others to reproduce the results. Statistical methods should also be detailed sufficiently to enable a knowledgeable reader, with access to the original data, to verify the reported results. Authors should name any general-use computer programs used, provide a general description in the Methods section, and specify the statistical methods used to analyze data presented in the Results section.
Results: This section should emphasize or summarize only important observations rather than repeat all the data in the tables or illustrations.
Discussion: Should state the implications of the findings, including implications for future research, as well as limitations of the findings. The conclusions should connect with the goals of the study but avoid unqualified statements and statements not completely supported by the data.

Program Description Sections
 
Introduction: Should include the problem definition, a brief review of relevant literature to indicate how the problem or issue has been discussed or addressed by others, and the specific objective(s) of the program.
Description: This section is similar to the methods section of a research article and outlines how the program was planned, structured, and delivered. This section should describe the following: the information or service offered, the target population, the service providers, and particulars of the setting (location, period, and duration) of service delivery. This section should provide readers with the information they require to decide whether it is useful or practical to adapt this program to their own setting. While you need not include every detail of your program, major points should be highlighted. A discussion of alternative options explored and discarded as part of the program development process may be pertinent in some situations. You may wish to note that readers may contact the author(s) directly if they would like more information.
Outcomes: Demonstrate the effectiveness of a program by including an initial evaluation. Outcome measures will vary depending on the nature of the program. Examples of evaluated outcomes include user satisfaction, a change in uptake of a tool as measured by usage statistics, or before-and-after levels of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviours of the target group(s). While evaluation will likely not be done to the extent that would be the case in a research study, we do expect all program descriptions to contain some evaluative component.
Discussion: Similar to that of any scientific paper and summarizes the usefulness of the program, lessons learned, and future directions. The Discussion generally includes comparisons with related programs, implications of the new program, an outline of the program’s strengths and weaknesses, what might be done differently the next time the program is offered, or whether there is potential to expand the program to a greater number of users, or to different groups. Any other interesting or relevant issues around the program that were not addressed in other sections may be raised here. The Discussion should end with a few concluding thoughts on the program.

Interactive Workshop Sessions
Description: This section is similar to the methods section of a research article and outlines how the workshop will be planned, structured, and delivered. This section should describe the content of the session and why this would be of interest to your audience.
Level of Session: State if the workshop is at an introductory, intermediate, or advanced level.
Audience: Describe the target/ideal audience for the workshop.
Learning Outcomes: 3 to 4 statements describing in clear, measurable terms the skills and knowledge participants will gain from your session.
Method of Interactivity/Participant Engagement: Describe what active learning or interactive methods you will use to engage participants in this workshop.
Evaluation methods: Describe how you will measure the learning outcomes or ensure participants’ learning needs are met.
Author Guidelines. Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association / Journal de l'Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada, 2016. ISSN 1708-6892. Available at: https://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/jchla/about/submissions. Date accessed: 12 Oct. 2016.

What are the evaluation criteria for research abstracts and program description abstracts?


Research abstracts, program description abstracts, or interactive workshops will be scored by two independent reviewers using the rubrics below.  Titles and abstracts will not be formatted or edited. It is your responsibility to check for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. You will be judged in the review process on the professionalism of your submitted abstract.

Research Project

Each section will be scored on a scale between 1 to 5. Five is the highest score that may be assigned under each section. 

A - CHLA/ABSC 2021 Program Evaluation Criteria Scope (1-5)
Submissions must fit within the scope of CHLA/ABSC, and must be of interest to health sciences librarians.

B - Quality of the work (1-5) 
Proposal must be presented as a structured abstract. Are the research questions and/or topic well-defined? Is the method/approach appropriate for the research question/topic? Are the results/findings clearly reported? Do the conclusions address the research questions/topic, and are they consistent with the results/findings?

C - Innovation and perceived impact (1-5)
How significant and/or innovative is the submission? If the ideas are novel, will they also be useful or inspirational? Or, if the results are sound, are they also important? Will this work have any impact on the field?
  
D - Writing Quality (1-5)
Is the submission well-written and well-structured? Does the English/French need editing? Are the key steps of the research/program/topic clearly and easily identified? 


Program Description

Each section will be scored on a scale between 1 to 5. Five is the highest score that may be assigned under each section. 

A - CHLA/ABSC 2021 Program Evaluation Criteria Scope (1-5)
Submissions must fit within the scope of CHLA/ABSC, and must be of interest to health sciences librarians. 
  
B - Quality of the work (1-5)
Proposal must be presented as a structured abstract. Does the program go beyond simply summarizing what was done? Do the authors provide enough context to understand why the program was undertaken? Were appropriate outcomes selected and evaluated (eg. User satisfaction, usage statistics, before-and-after knowledge levels, etc.)? Does the abstract summarize lessons learned and usefulness of the program?

C - Innovation and perceived impact (1-5)
Does the abstract describe a new program or a significant change to a program? If the ideas are novel, will they also be useful or inspirational? Or, if the results are sound, are they also important? Could this program be applied in other library settings? 

D - Writing Quality (1-5)
Is the submission well-written and well-structured? Does the English/French need editing? Are the key steps of the research/program/topic clearly and easily identified? 
 

Interactive Workshops

A- CHLA/ABSC 2021 Program Evaluation Criteria Scope (1-5)
Submissions must fit within the scope of CHLA/ABSC, and must be of interest to health science librarians.

B - Target Audience & Learner Level (1-3)
Does the workshop identify the relevant target audience & learner level?

C- Innovation or perceived impact (1-5)
Does the interactive workshop abstract describe a topic or approach that is innovative and/or impactful? If the ideas are novel, will they also be useful or inspirational? Could the information from this workshop be applied in a variety of library/information settings?

D- Interactive Workshop Format (1-5)
The selected interactive workshop format is appropriate for the described content.  The interactive workshop proposal clearly states how interactivity or active learning will be incorporated. The interactive workshop as described is appropriate to present in the 60-75 minute time slot.

E- Learning Outcomes (1-3)
Are the learning outcomes and the interactive components of the workshop well- designed and clearly described?

F- Writing Quality (1-5)
Is the submission well-written and well-structured? Does the English/French require editing? Are the key components of the workshop clearly and easily identified?
 
 

How can I blind my abstract?

Abstracts must be blinded for the review process. To allow blinded review, author names, institutional affiliations, and address information must be listed ONLY in the author section of the electronic submission system, NOT in the body of the abstract. The Planning Committee reserves the right to edit abstracts containing any author, institutional, location, or company names for the purpose of eliminating this identifying information before sending the abstract to reviewers.
 

How long are the presentations?

Typically, paper presentations will be limited to twenty minutes and lightning talk presentations will be limited to five minutes. Poster authors will be asked to staff their poster during the scheduled one-hour poster reception. The interactive workshop presentation must have a hands-on component and be conducted within 60-75 minutes.
 

How do I submit an abstract?

Abstracts for papers, posters, lightning talks, and workshop sessions are to be submitted using CHLA/ABSC’s online abstract submission site. Login or create an account to submit your abstract. You may continue to make changes to your abstract until the submission deadline, January 10, 2021, 11:59 pm PST.
 

May I enter my results/outcomes and discussion when I submit my abstract?

  • Yes, you may enter your results/outcomes and discussion when you submit your abstract. All parts of the abstract (introduction, methods/description, results/outcomes, and discussion sections combined) may not exceed 250 words. 
  • Authors MAY postpone entering results and conclusions until after the peer-review process is completed. Authors selected for inclusion in the program will need to add the results and conclusions sections by March 2, 2021, if they did not already do so in the initial abstract submission. Note that the word limit for the abstract cannot exceed 250 words. Original abstract submissions may need to be modified to meet the 250-word limit.

May I include tables, figures, or citations in my abstract?

Structured abstracts should NOT contain tables, figures, or bibliographic references.
 

How will I know if my abstract is accepted?

All authors will receive an email notification regarding the outcome of their abstract submission by early February 2021. If you are an author and have not received the notification email by February 15, please contact Christine Neilson - christine.neilson@umanitoba.ca.  By early March, accepted authors will be notified of the date and time of their presentations.

At least one of the authors must attend the conference to present the paper, poster, lightning talk, or conduct the workshop.

 

How do I withdraw or cancel an abstract or presentation?

All withdrawals or cancellations must be in writing and emailed to Christine Neilson - christine.neilson@umanitoba.ca. Be sure to include the full title of your abstract and author name(s).
 

What is the difference between Interactive Workshops and Continuing Education Sessions?

Inspired by EAHIL 2019 and the 2020 CHLA/ABSC committee, the delegates have the option to share something that they are passionate about with fellow colleagues. Interactive Workshops are structured around active participation and active learning, while Continuing Education (CE) Sessions feature expert presenters who share their particular expertise with participants. The CE presenters are invited by the Conference Planning Committee and they are selected based on their expertise.