After a clinical trial or other medical study has been conducted and the researchers have planned out the ways in which they want to structure the results for dissemination, they next need to actually make that information public in the form of one or more medical publications. These publications typically take the form of posters, presentations, and journal manuscripts.
These publications all require a brief written summary known as an abstract. An abstract includes an overview of each relevant section of a medical publication including the study’s objectives, methods, results, and a discussion of the main conclusions.
For conferences, abstracts are typically developed and submitted as a first step in the acceptance process. The conference committee will then use the submitted abstract to decide whether or not to include a poster or presentation about that study as part of the conference. Once an abstract has been accepted to the conference, the authors can then create a poster or slide deck to present.
Because researchers want to get the maximum bang for their buck when it comes to their study data, most research findings will be presented as a poster or an oral presentation at a medical conference first, then be expanded into a full manuscript for publication in an academic journal.
Manuscripts allow researchers to provide a more detailed description of a study’s results and implications and are also able to reach a wider audience. We’ll talk more about manuscripts in next week’s post so be sure to check back on Monday.