As I mentioned in this earlier post, last month I made the trip to the RCN’s headquarters in London for a first planning meeting for this coming September’s 23rd International Mental Health Nursing Research Conference. Handily for me, we’re meeting in Cardiff: and the call for abstracts will be published soon (very soon). This will include information on the themes for #MHNR2017, and guidance on the preparation and submission of abstracts. Further down the line, sometime in May, the scientific committee will convene to deliberate over which abstracts to accept.
Here, then, are some top tips for people sharpening their pencils in anticipation of the call appearing. When the conference scientific committee meets to pool our individual abstract assessments and to make decisions we’ll be looking, generally put, for well-presented submissions which follow our published guidelines. This may sound obvious, but experience suggests that not everyone submitting abstracts pays close attention to the information provided. We’ll be looking for evidence of relevance to mental health nursing, and commitments to rigour. We will also pay considerable attention to the categorisation of abstracts. Workshops need to involve work; proposals for these should therefore promise interaction and participant activity. Suggestions for symposia should offer to bring a number of people together to present papers on a shared theme, and be presented as a package. Proposals for concurrent sessions should present work completed or well underway; offers to present findings from studies in which data have yet to be generated are unlikely to be accepted. In these cases, submitting poster abstracts might be a better option. And, whilst our conference themes are important, they are not intended to serve as straightjackets: so abstracts relevant to the field but which do not fit perfectly are still worth submitting.
I’ll post more on the conference and its call for papers as things unfold. In the meantime, dig that keyboard out and prepare to get writing.Follow @benhannigan