Thanks for your interesting in serving as an abstract reviewer for SMM2021!

Abstract reviewers play a vital role in supporting the SMM and elevating the quality of science presented at SMM2021; however, other benefits include supporting the activities of your area of interest and helping your career development by placing this important duty on your CV.

In order to participate as an abstract reviewer, we require participants to hold a master’s degree, doctoral degree (or an equivalent certificate program) or have at least 5 years experience in your field. 

If you meet the above stated criteria, please login to the conference system to sign-up as a reviewer.



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

The Scientific Program Committee will be in touch with all reviewers to provide further details after the abstract submission deadline closes.


In order to participate as an abstract reviewer, we require participants to hold a master’s degree, doctoral degree (or an equivalent certificate program) or have at least 5 years experience in your field.  

All abstract reviewers are required to review a minimum of 10 abstracts; however, if you are interested in reviewing additional abstracts you will be able to indicate so in the sign-up form.


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.


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.


To sign-up as an abstract reviewer, you will need to fill out an online form on the conference software. In order to access the conference software, you will need to sign-in via the SMM website.

To get started, select one of the two options below:

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