General Guidelines for Abstracts
Each person can submit only one abstract.
Your abstract should be organized in the following eight sections. There are detailed guidelines and explanations for each section below, please read through these carefully to ensure that you properly utilize the word limit and give an adequate description of your work. Recognising that conservation research and practice cover a diversity of disciplines and involve different types of data collection methods and interpretation we have attempted to use a broad template to help you submit your abstract. If you have any difficulty organising your abstract in the format below or would like any clarifications please write to us at email@example.com at least two weeks before the abstract submission deadline.
Please note, the word limit for each section is mentioned below in parentheses.
1. Title (20)
2. Introduction: What conservation issue, problem or question does your study address? (100)
3. Methods/ Materials/Methodology: What were the main research methods you used? (125)
4. Results/ Findings/Argument Development: What are the main results/findings of your study? (125)
5. Discussion/Synthesis and conservation relevance: Discuss and synthesise your results based on the evidence presented in your results section. Please also use this section to discuss the relevance of your findings for conservation practice/science. (100)
6. Visual Component (JPEG/PNG file less than 1 MB in size): We would like you to add a visual component which should typically complement the textual element of your abstract. This single image file could be either in the form of graphs, tables, maps, figures, illustrations, flow charts, photographs and other visual elements illustrating the main results, the study design, or the main idea that is captured by the study. Keep text within this visual component to a minimum and try not to replicate the same text you have used in the text of your abstract. Author names, institutions and abstract titles should not be included in the visual component.
7. Study location GPS co-ordinates: Please indicate the geographical location(s) where your study was conducted on the map provided. If your study did not involve fieldwork, i.e. if your work was theoretical, literature-based etc., please indicate the location of the institution/organisation where the work was carried out. You can either mark the location on the Google Map provided or enter GPS coordinates of your study site.
8. Keywords: Maximum of 5 keywords separated by semi-colons (;) which best describe your study.
DETAILED GUIDELINES FOR WRITING EACH SECTION OF ABSTRACT
Introduction: What conservation issue, problem or question does your study address? (100)
In this section you are expected to provide the general conservation context for your study, and to indicate your research question. The research question is the pivotal question of any research report. If you are in doubt as to which of the questions addressed in your study is the research question, the clarification is simple: the research question is the question that the title of the paper answers (or promises to answer).
Methods/ Materials/Methodology: What were the main research methods you used? (125)
The Methods section describes the specific things you have done to acquire and analyse your data. This is the critical section where you justify your choice of methods and mention the possible errors/biases and how these were addressed. If you have multiple objectives, the methods used for each should be clearly mentioned. For completed work, or work-in-progress, your abstract should clearly communicate the following to the reviewers i. the time period over which the study was conducted; ii. types of data that were collected and their interpretation and iii. the sample size (N) or intended sample size.
Results/ Findings/Argument Development: What are the main results/findings of your study? (125)
This section should be a presentation of the results of your analysis or which is developed by analysis of the evidence (sources, data) arising from the research undertaken.
The Results provide the answers to the questions represented by the Methods. Present only your most significant and conservation relevant results here.
Discussion/Synthesis and conservation relevance: (100)
Your discussion/synthesis section should provide a broader perspective to your results. It gives you the opportunity to effectively demonstrate your ability as a researcher to think critically about the conservation issue you are trying to address. If relevant, incorporate how your research and results are situated in a global/regional/country specific perspective and highlight how your study contributes to current/ past literature and thinking; and if it contradicts or supports current popular thought/philosophies. Your discussion section should not be merely governed by the objective reporting of information via your results but, rather, it is where you can engage in creative thinking about issues through evidence-based interpretation of your findings. In other words, this is where you infuse your results with meaning.
Some of the most common mistakes that you can make when discussing the results of your study are to present a superficial interpretation of the findings, or come up with interpretations that go beyond your data and results. Rather, your discussion should remain focused only on the findings of your study. If, towards the end, you would like to speculate, or make suggestions beyond what your data are telling you, be very clear that these are your specific comments, speculations and suggestions and therefore these require further research.
Likewise, when you are describing what the conservation implications of your research work are, make sure that you clearly differentiate between the implications arising directly from specific results of your study and those arising from speculations.
Visual Component (JPEG/PNG file less than 1 MB in size):
Your visual component should complement the textual element of your abstract. This could be either in the form of graphs, tables, maps, figures, illustrations, flow charts, photographs and/or other visual elements illustrating the main results, the study design, or the main idea that is captured by the study. Keep text within this illustration to a minimum and try not to replicate the text you have used in the abstract. Author names, institutions and abstract titles should not be included in the visual component.
Your visual component needs to be uploaded as a single image file (formats allowed include jpeg and png).
The easiest way to make your illustration is to compose it on a single MS Powerpoint slide (as done in the examples) and then save that slide as an image file (formats allowed include jpeg and png) to submit. Participants are however free to use any method/software to make their illustration as long as the final submitted file is one of the formats prescribed. Before submitting, make sure that the illustration is of adequate resolution to be easily readable. Graphical image files cannot be over 1 MB in size.
Please remember that the purpose of the visual component is to complement your text in the abstract, highlight the data that you plan to present, and clearly convey your main findings in a different format. Enjoy interpreting your data in a different way and let your creativity flow! Remember though that your visual component will be judged more by the clarity of the message conveyed and less by its visual appeal.
Author names, institutes and abstract titles should not be included in the visual component.
If you are unsure about how to create the visual component, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help with suggestions. You can also review these examples.
Please get in touch at least 2 weeks before the submission deadline.