Part 2: The review process 

Have you ever wondered what happens to your abstract after you hit ‘submit’? Read on to find out more. 

Initial screening 

Following the submission deadline, all abstracts are screened by the AMEE team to check for incomplete or out-of-scope submissions, and these are automatically rejected. Almost all of the submissions we consider ‘out-of-scope’ are received from early-career clinical or scientific researchers who don’t realise AMEE is an education-focussed conference. Anything with potential educational implications is usually passed for peer review. 

Themes and tracks 

After the initial screening, abstracts are sorted based on the theme selected by the submitter. This is an automated process, and relies on the person submitting taking the time to read the theme descriptions and select the most appropriate one for their abstract.  

Every year, many abstracts score poorly and are rejected simply because they were submitted to the wrong category, often the first one on the list. Some abstracts fit into more than one category, and in these cases we would encourage authors to think carefully about who is best qualified to review their work, and who the intended audience are when choosing a theme. You can read more about our themes here

Review process and selection criteria 

-All abstracts are passed to a minimum of three reviewers who have indicated their interest / expertise in the selected theme. Some submission categories have additional criteria, for example requirements around academic rigor for research papers, but for the majority of submission categories, a standard process is followed. Reviewers are asked to check that the abstract is in scope, and of broad appeal to the international HPE community. They are then asked to consider the following questions to inform their decision-making: 

-Is the work appropriate for inclusion within the selected theme? 

-Have clear conclusions / take home messages been identified? 

-Is the work relevant to a global audience? 

-Is the work broadly relevant across all health professions and specialities? 

-Does the work present a particular social, geographic or cultural perspective that is under-represented and/or of broader interest? 

-Is the work relevant to current practice and/or does it contribute to advancement of current thinking?  

-Does the work offer opportunities for scholarly discussion or debate? 

-Is the presentation format appropriate for the content? 

We use a global rating scale so different reviewers may assign different weights to these factors based on their own backgrounds and experience. All abstracts are rated on a scale of 1-3, where 1 is ‘reject’ and 3 is ‘definitely accept’. Reviewers are also asked to leave a brief comment explaining their score. 

Following the review process, abstracts and reviewer feedback are passed back to the programme committee, who put together the programme. You can read more about how they do this in the third and final part of this blog series - link below. 

Link to Part 1

Link to Part 3