Choosing a Good Conference for Presenting Research

Researchers often disseminate their research work through conference proceedings, presentations, or publications. A published record of a conference is called conference proceedings, sponsored by a society/association and may include an abstract. Based on your scientific field and research data, researchers can identify good conferences to present their research work.

Do the Background Research

In order to gain an insight, start by asking active researchers and practitioners in your field about key scientific sessions.  Presenting your research at a conference provides an initial platform to discuss your work, prior to official journal publication. The effort further allows scientists to engage in leading-edge research early on in their scientific career.

It is important to evaluate key reasons to attend a conference apart from its scientific credibility.

  • On the outset, the conference should provide visibility to you and your research work, creating an opportunity for feedback. The opinion of leading scientists in the field is vital to improve and strengthen your research prior to manuscript publication.
  • The academic conference should provide opportunities to network with peers and key researchers in the field. These provide a platform to develop future collaborations with fellow researchers as well.
  • Ensure that the conference suits your research work and coincides with your time and availability.
  • Re-check authenticity of the host organization to avoid predatory conferences that merely make money off researchers. For instance, established conferences in the neurosciences and cardiology may provide a general overview to existing professional platforms for research dissemination.
  • In addition, check whether the official journal in which you intend to publish your final manuscript is in affiliation with the professional host organization. Since the opportunity to publish is the ultimate academic goal, ensure conference attendance will actively assist the research process.

The initial search should enable you to narrow down specific conference, based on scientific niche, and impact for your work. Online search tools can also allow you to refine your search by discipline.

Delineate your Goals

Once you select the conference, prepare to submit your research by following up on the submission guidelines well in advance. Popular and high-impact conferences require an abstract submission more than 6 months ahead of the proposed conference date. The abstract submission guidelines will be available on the website, for a peer-review based selection process. The abstract should adhere to word count limitations, scientific specifications and keywords for its acceptance as a poster/vocal presentation. Based on the years of work completed and cross-disciplinary collaborations, several aspects of interest may exist for presentation. Choose the work you intend to deliver to your target audience, based on the stage of completion. Comply with guidelines for abstract or conference proceedings and submit by the due deadline.

Travel Grants and Budgets

Most conferences allow junior scientists to apply for a travel grant, in the event of abstract acceptance for presentation. Prior to submitting your abstract, however, verify the costs and identify your funding sources. Conferences located overseas and interstate will have added expenses for travel, including airfare and hotel accommodation. Consider in advance, if budget allocations for research travel align with the expenses for your selected destination.

Final Steps in the Process

Once you have aligned your research work with an established scientific conference and verified funding sources, register for the conference. Registration is available for scientists via the official conference website, as a professional member of the host organization. Depending on the organization, the registration process may be free or based on a small fee.

Abstract or conference proceedings requirements will vary with the conference, although most submissions require a short content. Authors of the research abstract can choose the presentation format for their work either as a speaker or as a poster presenter. However, the organizing committee primarily decides the outcome of the presentation and its acceptance after peer-review. Since abstract submission deadline is well in advance of the intended date of presentation, academics have time for further research/preparation.

Further resources for poster templates are available online, including public-speaking hints for presenters selected as speakers based on abstract. Complete the initial hotel bookings and airfare in advance.

Researchers should not present/publish their work elsewhere, until after the impending research presentation. Furthermore, the academic research outlined in the abstract should be an original submission that has not been published or presented before. Once the presentation is complete, researchers can archive (open-access) their posters and slides online for reference. The overall academic conference experience expects to increase your knowledge and provide an enjoyable platform to substantiate your hard work.

How do you select your conferences? What things do you look into to find a right match? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section!

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