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Abstract submission criteria

Purpose of the abstract

A large part of the congress programme is abstract-driven. The abstract allows the reviewers and the scientific committee to make an informed decision about the quality of the research and its suitability for inclusion in the scientific programme.

Independent of type and content of research, abstracts must address a clear:

  • Statement of aims / research questions
  • Presentation of methods
  • Presentation of results
  • Conclusion

Types of presentations

  • Publishing in the official EAPC journal “Palliative Medicine” and on the EAPC website
  • Poster presentation
  • Poster discussion session, where posters with high scores will be discussed by experts
  • Lecture in a free communication / parallel session
  • Lecture in a plenary session

Authors must indicate whether they will accept to give an oral presentation if their abstract is chosen. The final decision regarding acceptance/rejection of the abstract, type of presentation and composition of the programme will be made by the scientific committee.

Criteria for abstract submission

  • The abstract text can not exceed 2000 characters (including space and references, excluding title and authors). References are not required
  • Abstracts must be written in English, explained abbreviations may be used
  • The abstract text must not contain information about the presenters or institutions involved in order to facilitate the blind review process
  • Graphs are not allowed in the abstract
  • The maximum number of tables allowed per abstract is 2. Each table should be smaller than 10 rows x 10 columns. Each row of the table will be counted as 50 characters
  • Although case reports will be considered by the scientific committee, authors should be aware that such abstracts will be given a low priority and may be rejected
  • Abstracts of empirical studies must outline the:
    • Research aims – please state the specific object of the study
    • Study population (where appropriate)
    • Study design and methods
    • Method of statistical analysis
    • Results and interpretation
    • Generic drug names should be preferred. The use of trade names is discouraged and should only be used when necessary
    • The author is required to indicate the source of funding of the study at the end of the abstract

Abstract categories

The purpose of the categories is to divide the abstracts into themes. Many abstracts might fit into more than one category, but ultimately the reviewers and the scientific committee can re-categorize the abstracts in order to shape the final programme.

Authors must choose the category from the following list that best describes the content of their submission:

  • Pain
  • Symptoms other than pain
  • Assessment, measurement and research methodology
  • Bereavement and family care givers
  • Education research
  • End of life care and quality of dying
  • Epidemiology and public health
  • Ethics
  • Psychosocial care and spirituality
  • Communication and information
  • Palliative care in specific groups

Review process

The scientific committee will base its decisions on the assessment of the independent reviewers. All abstracts will be blindly reviewed by at least two reviewers according to the following criteria:

  • Aims-background-context: relevance of hypothesis, clearly stated aims
  • Quality of method: sampling, data collection, analytical strategy, stringency of theoretical position, reference to relevant knowledge base etc.
  • Relevance to palliative care: all abstracts should demonstrate relevance to some aspect of palliative care practice, policy or research work, or make a contribution to a relevant theoretical or methodological debate
  • Originality of research: is new data being presented? Stringency of arguments when repeating previous work
  • Clear presentation of results: data interpretation, statistical power, application to palliative care practice etc.
  • Conclusions/discussion: supported by the data presented, quality of interpretation of own work

 Handling procedures

  • Once the electronic submission is concluded, the corresponding author will receive an automatic confirmation by e-mail including an abstract number
  • If you do not receive an automatic message after submission, please contact eapc2014@abstractserver.com
  • Corresponding authors will be notified of the decision of the scientific committee. Authors will then need to confirm the attendance of the presenting author at the congress
  • Any changes after submission (for example withdrawal of abstract, change of presenting author etc.) should be requested by e-mail to the scientific secretariat (ragnhild.g.helgas@ntnu.no), including complete contact information of any new presenters
  • Kindly note that submission of an abstract does not replace registration for the congress. The inclusion of the abstract in the scientific programme and publication in Palliative Medicine depends on the presenting author registrering for the congress


Why write a good abstract?

  • Disseminate your work in an effective way, especially if selected for oral presentation
  • A chance to summarise your work so that others can understand what you have done
  • Other researchers may contact you to learn from you or share their experiences and ideas

How are abstracts scored?

Grade Explanation
4.0 Outstanding – work of highest quality
3.9-3.0 Excellent – work of high quality
2.9-2.0 Very good – work of good quality
1.9-1.0 Good – work of somewhat poorer quality
0.9-0.1 Fair – work of uncertain or marginal quality
0 Unacceptable – should not be accepted due to scientific, ethical or administrative concerns (this score must include a brief comment justifying the decision)


  • For the congress in Trondheim in 2012, the breakdown of the scores for 678 abstracts was:
    • 4.0 – 3.0 = 50
    • 2.9 – 2.0 = 333
    • 1.9 – 1.0 = 250
    • 0.9 – 1.0 = 45
  • Minimum threshold scores were:
    • At least 2.7 for oral presentation in parallel sessions
    • At least 3.5 for oral presentation in plenary sessions


Download abstract criteria

Tips on how to make a good poster presentation