RCPCH Conference 2023 - Abstract submission guidelines

The RCPCH Conference Organising Committee is pleased to invite abstract submissions for the 2023 Conference, which will take place from 23 to 25 May in Glasgow.

These guidelines include what to consider, structure and content of the astract, references, consent, author listings and review process. Please familiarise yourself with them to help you prepare your abstract.

You can also see our page on how to submit an abstract and other FAQs, including the benefits, presentation opportunities and specialty categories.


The deadline to submit your abstract is Monday 6 February, 23:59 (GMT). We cannot accept late submissions or abstract and author amendments after this date, so please ensure that you have submitted and double checked your submission within plenty of time.  

What to consider before you submit an abstract

  • We cannot consider abstracts that have previously been published in a journal.
  • We are happy to consider abstracts that have been presented at local and regional paediatric meetings. However, we will not be able to accept work which has previously been presented at an RCPCH event, a national or an international conference.
  • Case reports/case studies/case series are not permitted. All abstracts must follow the following structure: objectives, methods, results and conclusions (see more detail in next section).
  • You do not need to be a member of the RCPCH to submit an abstract.
  • You do not need to be a paediatrician to submit an abstract. We encourage relevant submissions across all disciplines - from nursing to medical students. 

Structure, content and word count

  • When submitting your abstract, it should be divided into four sections and presented under the following headings:  
  1. Objectives: Clearly state the purpose of the abstract
  2. Methods: Describe your selection of observations or experimental subjects clearly
  3. Results: Present your results in a logical sequence in text and simple tables - if results are not included, your abstract will not be considered
  4. Conclusion: Clearly state the conclusion of your study
  • The maximum word count is 400 words (this does not include references or supporting tables/graphs).
  • A “blind” selection process will be used when abstracts are being reviewed. Therefore, do not include any author names or any other clear identifying information in the title or text of the abstract itself. You will be asked to submit the names of authors and their affiliations separately during the submission process.
  • The title of your abstract should be as brief as possible but long enough to clearly indicate the nature of the study. Please do not enter your title in capital letters unless any of the words are an abbreviation (e.g. RCPCH, NHS or PICU)

Supporting tables and graphs

  • If you have tables or graphs you wish to include as part of your submission, you can upload these as an image (JPEG or PNG). 
  • Please name your table and graph attachments clearly before uploading to the portal (e.g. Table 1, Table 2, Graph 1). 
  • Tables and graphs must also be clearly cited within the abstract. For example: “Graph 1 shows the percentage of each age group” or “The median length of stay is shown in Table 2”. 
  • If you do not clearly cite your tables and graphs within the abstract, the BMJ will not be able to publish your abstract in the ADC. 
  • A maximum of 2 supporting tables or graphs are permitted per abstract. Please do not include more than one table or graph in each attachment. 

Provided that the abstract doesn't contain patient identifiable information, we do not need to see a patient/parent consent form. It is important, however, to bear in mind that identifiable does not just refer to a patient’s name but could also be related to a specific condition, region or hospital. So please do be aware of this when submitting your abstract.

Author listings

Please note that the person submitting the abstract is the only one who can view and amend the submission in the portal and will be the main point of contact for the abstract. This cannot be changed at a later date so please do ensure that the person submitting is able to remain as the main contact throughout the submission and acceptance process.

When submitting your abstract you will also be required to enter your co-author’s details so please ensure you have these ready when starting your submission:  title, first name, last name, Place of work, job title, email address and affiliation. You will also be able to indicate who will be the 'presenting' author (maximum of 2 presenting authors per abstract).

You must ensure that you have gained the full consent of any co-authors and have made them aware prior to adding their details to the submission. 


References can be listed in the additional box provided and will not count towards the 400 word limit. You can use the format below to list references:

[1] Name of Source, Name of author, date
[2] Name of Source, Name of author, date

When quoting your references please use either square [1] or curved brackets (2). For example:
Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a very common cardiac lesion that we come across in preterm babies especially less than 28 weeks [1].

Can I submit more than one abstract?

Yes, you can submit as many abstracts as you wish. However, each abstract must only be submitted to one specialty category. Submitting your abstract to multiple categories is not permitted. 

My abstract does not fit in with any of the categories listed. Am I still able to submit? 

If you do not think your abstract is relevant to any of our specialty categories, we will unfortunately not be able to accept your submission.

The categories available correlate with the specific sessions which will take place throughout the Conference; therefore if your abstract is not relevant to any, we would not be able to offer an appropriate review and allocation process. 

Licence to publish

In line with the RCPCH’s agreement with the British Medical Journal (BMJ), it is our obligation to make you aware that by submitting your abstract for presentation and publication you are agreeing to the terms of the BMJ conference abstract licence agreement. We recommend that you review this licence prior to submitting your abstract. You will be asked to provide consent for this at the time of submission.

How will my abstract be reviewed?

All abstracts will be reviewed by a minimum of two reviewers within the category you submitted your abstract to. A “blind” selection process will be used by reviewers.

Once all reviews have been completed, a copy of scores, along with author names will be sent to the sub-specialty programme lead(s) who will make the final decision on the outcome of each abstract in their category, based on the scoring of their nominated reviewers. Reviewers are given a set of scoring criteria to follow, to ensure that scoring in consistent across the different sub-specialty categories. 

The Conference Organising Committee will review the top scoring abstract from each group and select nine of these for plenary presentation. 

Amending or withdrawing a submission

Please ensure that you check your abstract carefully before submitting to ensure it is the final version. If you do need to make changes after submission, you can log in to your EventsAIR account (which you will have created to submit the abstract) to make the updates before the closing date and time, 23:59, Monday 6 February.

We will not be able to make any changes to your abstract or author citations/affiliations after abstract submission closes on 6 February, so please double check that everything is correct and final before this date.

If you wish to withdraw an abstract, you can do this yourself by logging in to your EventsAIR account.

If you need to withdraw your abstract after 6 February, you will need to contact the Events team on abstracts@rcpch.ac.uk. Please quote your full abstract title and abstract ID number in any communications with us, as this will help us locate your submission.

Submit an abstract