AVMA Journals - Guidelines for Preparation of Scientific Abstracts

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The AVMA encourages investigators to share scientific information with their colleagues at scientific meetings. The feedback investigators receive on their presentations at such meetings can be helpful for those who subsequently intend to publish their findings in primary-source peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Journal of Veterinary Research.

That said, the AVMA will not consider a manuscript for publication if it has been published elsewhere or is currently being considered for publication elsewhere. Publication of an abstract containing < 250 words in a proceedings is not considered a violation of this prior publication policy and will not preclude consideration of the full manuscript for publication in the JAVMA or AJVR. The structured abstracts published in the JAVMA and AJVR are good examples of abstracts that would not constitute prior publication. Authors who publish abstracts that exceed 250 words should be aware that the full manuscript may be rejected by the AVMA on the basis of prior publication. The following guidelines are intended to assist authors when preparing scientific abstracts for publication in a conference proceedings.

  1. Abstracts should contain < 250 words. Abstracts that meet this criterion will not jeopardize subsequent publication of the full manuscript. Abstracts containing 251 to 750 words may constitute prior publication and could jeopardize publication of the full manuscript in the JAVMA, AJVR, and other peer-reviewed journals; such abstracts will be evaluated by the AVMA Scientific Editors to determine whether the content constitutes prior publication. Abstracts containing > 750 words will unequivocally be considered prior publication.
  2. Figures, tables, and illustrations should not be included in an abstract.
  3. An abstract should not contain footnotes or references.
  4. Subheadings may be used. For good examples, see the structured abstracts published in the JAVMA or AJVR.
  5. The introduction should provide only as much information as is necessary to indicate the need for the study or report. A statement of purpose is often adequate.
  6. Details of the experimental design, materials, and methods should not be described extensively. Please limit details to those necessary for readers to judge the validity of the conclusions.
  7. Detailed description of statistical analyses should be avoided.
  8. Results should be limited to the data necessary to support the conclusions. Data should not be provided as tables, charts, graphs, or figures.
  9. Results or findings should be discussed only to the extent required to convey their importance.

It is hoped these guidelines will prevent misunderstandings or confusion that could arise from publication of abstracts that exceed 250 words. Individuals preparing abstracts for publication in a proceedings are encouraged to submit any abstract that exceeds 250 words for review by an AVMA editor prior to submission of those abstracts to the proceedings to ensure that publication will not jeopardize consideration of the full manuscripts by the JAVMA or AJVR.

When an AVMA editor agrees to the content of an abstract, the agreement connotes that publication of the abstract will not jeopardize consideration of the full manuscript for either AVMA journal on the basis of prior publication; however, it does not imply subsequent consideration of the manuscript if it does not meet other criteria established for the AVMA journals, nor does it imply subsequent acceptance of the manuscript. After an AVMA editor agrees to the content of an abstract, any changes, additions, or corrections to that abstract may jeopardize consideration of the full manuscript by the AVMA journals on the basis of prior publication.

Questions, comments, and concerns should be directed to an AVMA editor (1-800-248-2862 or 847-925-8070).

Version: March 8, 2006