Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Reviewing Abstracts

Recently I have had the privilege of reviewing some abstracts for the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The conference planners of course gave us lots of information about what they wanted us to consider in the reviews. What they didn't give us, though, was how to evaluate international abstracts. I have to say, it was hard to be completely objective with some of them. For example, one abstract from Iran said, "Praise be to God if this abstract gets accepted." Many were very unclear and ungrammatical, but it was most likely because English was obviously their second language. Others were at quite an elementary level, but again those countries (like Albania) are not as medically advanced as the U.S. is.

So, it wasn't easy to be objective, but I believe I succeeded. It was so interesting to see the difference across the world.

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