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MEETIA Top 10 List
Top 10 List: Abstract Management System
Not all Abstract Management Systems are created equal. These are the TOP 10 features your Abstract Management Software should include to help increase submitter and staff productivity.
MEETIA Top 10 List - Top 10 List: Abstract Management System

These key features are MUST HAVES for any successful abstract management system

An effective Abstract Management System is indispensable in developing content that is both appealing and timely for a STEMM meeting. Throughout your meeting process, you want a productive, streamlined workflow that encourages high-quality abstract submissions, authenticates the research, and efficiently builds out an enticing conference. However, not all Abstract Management Systems are created equal. While some have a few beneficial features, to ensure the most successful and productive meeting, your Abstract Management Software should include ALL of the following key features:

1. Integration. For ease of use, your Abstract Management System should integrate with the leading Association Management Systems for Single Sign-On (SSO) functionality that eliminates the burden of re-entering profile or disclosure information if a submitter or faculty member is serving in multiple roles. Integration is also essential to seamlessly feed Presentation Management systems and Mobile APPs without being forced to constantly export and upload.

2. Flexible Configuration. One size doesn’t fit all, and your Abstract Management System should be highly configurable, so it conforms to your customary workflow and business rules. Administrative staff should have full discretion to determine what data your Abstract Management System requires from abstract submitters, including specific fields and types of answers (pull-down, checkbox, etc.).

3. Cloud Storage. With the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, personal data can no longer be stored on a few servers in a back room or a local server farm. If you have any European members, their data must be in cloud servers that are part of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield with mandated layers of security protecting access. Also, cloud servers have the capability to rapidly scale up capacity at times of peak usage (e.g. abstract submission deadlines, meeting days), and then roll back down when processing demands are much less during the rest of the year.

4. Easy Submitter Log In and Log Out. Your abstract submission process should take into account the busy schedules of submitters. Most don’t have the time to sit through each step of submission from beginning to end. Instead, give them the chance to log out and take steps out of order until completion. Also, provide them a chance to go back into their abstract submission to edit after completion—another timesaver for your staff.

5. Data Validation. Your Abstract Submission forms should have the capability to automatically correct or detect data that’s entered without following your rules or requirements. These could include the proper “case” for titles, word limits on abstract bodies, or affirmations. By catching these glitches during submission, your staff doesn’t have to spend as much time proofing or fixing later.

6. Report Builders. Your Abstract Management System should include on-demand tools that administrative staff can use to create reports from virtually any data field in your system. It should then be easy to order, filter, sort, and group results for print-ready reports that can be shown to association executives and faculty.

7. Conflict of Interest Collection. In recent years, the research world has been shaken by revelations about prominent scientists who have not adequately disclosed their relationships with corporate backers. It is now essential for every Abstract Management System to collect this vital information where applicable. If this is of particular importance to your association, your Abstract Management System should require disclosure before a submission is even started. If you create your own COI database or hold this information in your AMS, then Single Sign-On (see Integration above), could make this process less cumbersome for your contributors.

8. Staff Administration. A meeting is always a work in progress, and your administrative staff should always have the tools at their fingertips when changes – big and small – must be made. These could include extending deadlines for Abstract Reviews, updating a disclosure, swapping out speakers in a session, or making a last-minute room change. If you’re an association with multiple meetings in a year, you should be able to set up each one without support after you receive training.

9. Faculty Volunteer Session Building Tools. Your Abstract Management System should permit volunteers, like session organizers and chairs, to assist in building out the sessions. If done properly, this not only saves staff time, but also creates meeting programming that will be most appealing to attendees. The functionality should include inviting all participants (chairs, moderators, speakers), and the ability to search for abstracts to be presented. If these are peer-reviewed abstracts, organizers should be able to view scores as well. Best practices for these tools include permission controls that restrict the sessions a volunteer can access and instantaneous alerts to show if a selected participant has already been booked for another session.

10. Data Mining. There’s gold in the data you’ve collected across all the years of your meetings—if only you know how to find it. To start, your Abstract Management System should have access to a Data Mart—a server warehouse that can store the voluminous information necessary for deep analytics. When exported to the appropriate Business Intelligence platforms, trends can be seen that are not apparent in just one or two meetings. These can include areas where research is intensifying, changes in attendee interest (as indicated in program planner queries), or even the influence of sponsors or institutions. Meeting organizers can also use the data to push for more variety in topics and to encourage more diversity among their presenters.

For more than three decades, CTI Meeting Technology has been a pioneer in the development of digital and web-based Abstract Management Systems. Its cOASIS Abstract Management Software provides the essential requirements for STEMM conference content development. If you would like more information about our Abstract Management System or to discuss the specific abstract management needs of your organization, please click here.