ABSTRACT SUBMISSION

ABSTRACT ACCEPTANCE LETTERS WERE SENT OUT JUNE 15. CHECK YOUR INBOX!

Presenters have until June 29, 2021 at 11:59 AM, EDT (GMT-4) to confirm their participation.

To confirm your participation click the link in the acceptance email OR the red “Invitation Response” button on your submission in the conference software.

PRESENTING AT SMM2021

SMM2021 will be SMM’s first fully hybrid conference. Going hybrid means there are now two ways to participate and present your work: live and in-person at the Palm Beach County Convention Center or virtually through our new online experience.

Concurrent sessions will be accessible to all attendees via pre-recorded content. All presenters in all formats (e.g., regular and speed talks, poster, video) will be required to record and upload their presentation 4 weeks prior to the conference start date. Virtual content will be available on-demand for all in-person and virtual attendees during the conference and for 30 days post-conference.

In-person presentations will be presented live at the venue in West Palm Beach, Florida; these sessions will not be live-streamed. All pre-recorded presentations will be made available at the start of each respective session for virtual and in-person attendees. In addition, a virtual Q & A session with the presenters will be streamed for the virtual audience during scheduled times following the completion of each live session.

All attendees will have access to the virtual conference, so people who are joining the conference virtually will still be able to participate, present, and interact with other conference attendees and vendors. It will be a whole new conference experience! 

ABSTRACT SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

ABSTRACT SUBMISSION
AT-A-GLANCE

1) Abstract submission opens January 14, 2021.
2) You must login to the conference system via the SMM website. Click HERE to get started.
3) To begin a new abstract, choose “Abstract Submission” on the home page.
4) To view abstracts that are in progress or already submitted, choose the abstract from your list on your home page.
5) To ensure that your data are entered correctly, please follow all directions carefully.
6) Allow at least one hour for abstract submission and proceed through the system, carefully completing each section.
7) After submitting your abstract, a receipt of your submission will be emailed to you within 24 hours.
8) Abstract submission deadline is April 11, 2021 at 11:59 PM, EDT (GMT-4).
9) UPDATE: Acceptance emails for abstracts will now be sent on June 15, 2021 instead of June 8, 2021. Authors will now have until June 29, 2021 at 11:59 AM, EDT (GMT-4) to confirm their participation and determine if they are presenting in person or virtually.
10) Authors will receive an email with their assigned date and time for presenting on July 27, 2021. To confirm and hold your space, authors are required to complete registration by the early bird registration deadline of August 11, 2021 at 11:59 AM, EDT (GMT-4).
11) All presenters will have until September 15, 2021 at 11:59 AM, EDT (GMT-4) to change their participation preference (i.e. virtual to in person and vice versa) without penalty. Please be aware that if you wish to change your assigned and accepted method of participation (e.g. in person or virtual), there may or may not be space to accommodate your request in your preferred program platform. If there is no available spot, you may be added to a waitlist until a space becomes available. After September 15, there will be no refunds for registration.
12) All accepted abstracts will be available on the SMM2021 Conference Program approximately two weeks prior to the meeting.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE

Abstract submission will close April 11, 2021 at 11:59 PM, Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4).

Registration is NOT required at the time of submission; however, if your abstract is accepted for presentation in any format, you must register and pay by the early bird deadline of 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4) on August 11, 2021 in order for your time slot to be confirmed.

ABSTRACT LIMIT

A person can submit ONE abstract and be the “Primary Presenter” ONLY ONCE for any presentation (i.e. oral, speed talk, poster or video) regardless of position on author line.

There is NO limit on how many abstracts a co-author can be listed on.

TITLE

The title character limit is 255. Please use Title Case with no unnecessary capitalization and no full stop (period) at the end to enter your title. DO NOT USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS for your Abstract Title. Abstracts that do not conform will not be accepted.

ABSTRACT BODY

The word limit for abstracts is 300 words. This abstract word limit does not include the abstract title, author names or affiliations.

You may italicize text, make your text bold, add super and subscripts and special characters by selecting the smart formatting tool at the top of the abstract entry text box.

PRESENTATION FORMATS

Oral presentations are each allotted 12 minutes: 9 minutes for your presentation, 2 minutes for questions and 1 minute for transition.

Posters are an extended abstract with easily readable text and graphics. Posters typically include a title, authors, background, methods, 1-3 results, conclusions and acknowledgements.

A speed talk is a four-minute presentation during which you may present key-ideas, results and their meaning/implication. As a guide, three slides should be sufficient to allow you to get your point across.

A video presentation is of the same length as a speed-talk (four minutes), but created using various media such as high-resolution video, animation and narration. Authors of video presentations should use these various media in a creative manner to clearly express the purpose of the study, results and their implication and to be understood not only by scientific peers but also by a wider audience.

To ensure a high level of quality in video presentations suitable for viewing at a scientific conference, if your abstract is accepted for this presentation format, all video submissions will also be reviewed, scored and a decision made on their quality prior to the start of the conference. Thus, presentations must be submitted before August 4, 2021. To be shown, video submissions must meet a minimum qualifying score of 70% based on a scoring rubric. Those that fail to meet this score will be notified and assigned a speed talk or a poster by August 31, 2021. You can select which one you would prefer in the abstract submission form.

CONFERENCE THEMES

You will need to identify a theme for the abstract submission. Each theme is accompanied by a brief description to help you decide which is most relevant for your submission. There are six major themes represented by our conference logo to choose from:

This theme is specific to research pertaining to the study of the form, function and structure of marine mammals and their specific structural features. This includes aspects of the outward appearance (shape, structure, color, pattern) and their function within individuals, populations or within the environment. Technological advances and bioacoustics within this theme also welcomed.

Theme including the study of marine mammal behavior, usually with a focus on behavior under natural conditions or as an evolutionarily adaptive trait or in the context of anthropogenic changes.

Conservation of marine mammals is the scientific study of the nature and status of Earth’s biodiversity with the aim of protecting marine mammal species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction and the erosion of biotic interactions. Conservation research is tied closely to ecology in researching the dispersal, migration, demographics, effective population size and minimum population viability of rare or endangered species.

This theme is a broad topic of research pertaining to the study of conceptual, constructive, empirical, experimental, or theoretical work in all areas of marine mammal ecology incorporating behavior, physiology, genetics, and evolution of animals to study the interactions between populations of animals and their environments.

This theme is based on the study of cells – their physiological or biochemical properties, their structure, and interactions with their environment both on a microscopic and molecular level. Areas of study can include marine mammal health, impacts of toxicants and contaminants, and genetics-based studies.

This theme is a broad topic of research pertaining to the study of life-supporting properties, functions and processes of marine mammals or their specific organs or mechanisms. The discipline covers key homeostatic processes of animals exposed to specialized environments as well as unique adaptations.

Social science is the process of describing, explaining and predicting human behavior and institutional structures in interaction with their environments. This theme is not a singular discipline but rather a collection of associated disciplines including anthropology, economics, history, management, political science, psychology and sociology.

SUBMITTING YOUR ABSTRACT

If you have not completed all required sections you will not be able to submit the abstract. In the case of missing or incomplete sections, you will be prompted to enter the missing information. When all required information is entered, select the “SUBMIT ABSTRACT” button. Receipt of your submission will be acknowledged via email within 24 hours. You may login at any time prior to the deadline to update your submission.

AUTHORS

Once you submit your abstract, you will then be directed to add your Co-Authors. Each Co-Author will also receive a confirmation email with your contact information and their login information if they are not already in the conference system. All Co-Authors have Read only access, unless you assign a Co-Author to be a presenter. Presenters have Read/Write access.

There is NO limit on how many abstracts a co-author can be listed on.

REVIEW PROCESS

Each submitted abstract will be peer reviewed and scored by a minimum of two independent reviewers who have expertise in the specific subject area. The abstract review process will be conducted blind, i.e. all authors’ names will be removed before the abstract is reviewed.

Reviewers apply the following four criteria to evaluate abstract submissions:

  • Originality (1 to 5)
    Abstracts containing significant new findings or presenting new approaches will be given higher scores than those that describe updates, modifications to older findings, or routine applications of well-established research methods.
  • Quality (1 to 5)
    Abstracts should demonstrate that robust and appropriate research methods were used, and include a scientifically robust study design. The outcome of the research should provide clear answers to the main research questions posed. The methods and results should be described in sufficient detail and the conclusions supported by the data.
  • Importance (1 to 5)
    This criterion addresses the importance of the research in terms of advancing the field of marine mammal science, or the conservation and management of marine mammals.
  • Presentation (1 to 5)
    Abstracts that are clearly written and concise will receive higher scores. This criterion addresses how well the specific research question(s) and objectives, methods used, primary results, etc are explained, rather than the quality of the study itself. A clearly written abstract follows a logical order (e.g. aims, methods, results, followed by a clear interpretation of the results and any conservation management implications).

After adjusting for differences in scoring among individual reviewers, abstracts will be ranked on the basis of their overall score, and available slots for presentations will be allocated according to merit using all submissions combined, taking into account presentation preferences.

ACCEPTANCE NOTIFICATIONS

UPDATE: Acceptance emails for abstracts will now be sent on June 15, 2021 instead of June 8, 2021. Authors will now have until June 29, 2021 at 11:59 AM, EDT (GMT-4) to confirm their participation and determine if they are presenting in person or virtually.

IN-PERSON OR VIRTUAL

Presenters are required to determine if they are presenting in-person or virtually by June 24, 2021 at 11:59 AM, EDT (GMT -4). All presenters will have until September 15, 2021 at 11:59 AM, EDT (GMT-4) to change their participation preference (i.e. virtual to in person and vice versa) without penalty. Please be aware that if you wish to change your assigned and accepted method of participation (e.g. in person or virtual), there may or may not be space to accommodate your request in your preferred program platform. If there is no available spot, you may be added to a waitlist until a space becomes available. After September 15, there will be no refunds for registration. 

WITHDRAWAL

If you need to withdrawal your abstract for any reason, authors are responsible for notifying the Scientific Program Committee immediately at abstracts@marinemammalscience.org. Please include the title of the abstract along with your submission ID in your notification.

SPEAKER AND PRESENTATION PRIVACY POLICY

Conference abstracts which have been accepted for presentation may be made available online and also may be viewable to the public following the conference.

Images of conference posters images may be made available to conference participants online and may also be viewable to the public following the conference.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

If you have any technical difficulties submitting your abstract, please click on the red “Support” button on submission page (bottom right corner).

If you have general questions about the abstract submission process, please contact abstracts@marinemammalscience.org.

Need to update your profile or change your affiliation in the conference software?

If you would like to update your personal information and/or affiliation as it appears in the conference software, you can do so by updating your SMM profile. Your personal + membership information is pushed from the SMM website to the conference software. This can be done at any time.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When is the abstract submission deadline?

The deadline to submit an abstract was April 11, 2021 at 11:59 PM, Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4). We will not accept new submissions or changes to previous submissions after the deadline.

What is the word limit for abstracts?

The word limit for abstracts is 300 words. This abstract word limit does not include the abstract title (character limit 255 characters), author names or affiliations.

We encourage authors to submit a tweet of 280 characters to accompany the abstract for social media use during the conference.

May I submit more than one abstract?

You may only submit one first-author abstract and only give one presentation (oral, speed talk, video or poster). You can be a second author on other oral or poster presentations as long as that work(s) is/are presented by one of your co-authors. Primary authors should submit their own abstracts.

If I am a co-author on an abstract can I give the presentation?

Yes – a co-author may present in your place under the following conditions:

  • A registered co-author may present in your place if they are not already presenting at the Conference.
  • The new presenter MUST be registered for the conference before the early-bird registration deadline August 11, 2021.
  • The primary contact on the abstract must request all changes.

Do I have to be registered for the conference to submit an abstract?

No. You do not have to be registered for the conference to submit an abstract.

However, if your abstract is accepted for presentation in any format, you must register and pay for conference registration by the early bird deadline of 11:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4) on August 11, 2021 in order for your time slot to be confirmed.

How can I make changes to and check the status of my abstract?

You can make changes to your abstract prior to the abstract submission deadline on April 11, 2021 at 11:59 AM, Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4) . After that date, you can check the status of your abstract and type of presentation by logging into your conference account via SMM.

I need to change my name or title on my abstract – how do I do that?

You can make changes to your name and title on your abstract by editing your user profile on the SMM website. All changes made to your SMM profile will be pushed over to the conference software.

When will I find out if my abstract has been accepted?

All authors of submitted abstracts will be notified by June 15, 2021 as to whether their abstract has been accepted for presentation at the conference.

How and when do I apply for a travel grant?

On the abstract submission form, there will be questions regarding your interest in applying for both student and international travel grants. Once you check the box indicating your interest, new questions appear. Be sure to fill out all questions in order to be considered for a travel grant.

I’m under the age of 18. Can I still submit an abstract and attend the conference?

The SMM2021 Board has established the following policy regarding the active participation of minors (attendees under 18 years old) at the Conference. This policy has been put into place to assure that all presentations will be led by adults, which was the assumption of the abstract review process.

The SMM2021 Policy for Attendance of Minors is as follows:

  • All presentations (Oral talks, Speed talks, Poster, etc.) during the SMM2021 are to be led by an adult. A minor can assist with the presentation.
  • Underage assistants must always be with an accompanying adult when they are at the Conference.
  • All accompanying adults of minors have to pay full registration for the conference.

Where can I find examples of previous abstracts which have been accepted?

Here are three abstracts which were accepted for presentation at previous marine mammal conferences.

I’ve recently graduated. Can I still submit an abstract and/or register as a ‘student’?

If you are no longer a student, but are planning on presenting work at the conference that you conducted as a student, and you graduated less than one year ago, then you can submit an abstract and register as a student! You will also be considered for student awards.

Note: A letter from your professor/institute verifying that you completed the work you will be presenting as a student will be required.

What proof of student status is required to submit an abstract as a student?

If you are a student at the time of abstract submission, you are required to submit a letter from your academic advisor confirming your student status. Your student status verification letter must be received prior to the abstract submission deadline on April 11, 2021. The letter should include your name, your advisor’s name, the name of the institution you are attending, the current date and contact information for your advisor.