Tips for Writing the Abstract of an AAS Meeting Presentation

AAS-meeting abstracts are archived by the Astrophysics Data System (ADS) and thus become permanent records in the professional literature. Abstracts submitted by students or new postdocs may be considered during award competitions (e.g., ChamblissDoxsey), whose judges are drawn from the broad AAS membership, not just from those who work in your subject area and who might normally attend your session. With this in mind, we offer the following recommendations:

  1. Make your abstract as detailed and informative as possible, up to the word limit. Not all readers will be in your subject area.
  2. Do not state what you plan to present at the meeting; state what you have actually done and/or found in the course of your research, i.e., the context, what your key results are, and how you got them.
  3. Include a sentence or two about the implications of your work. This is important for the current meeting attendees' understanding of the problem you addressed and for future studies. If your results imply predictions that can be tested, describe them.
  4. If you helped design and/or build an instrument or developed new (or improved existing) code useful to/used by others, make sure you say so. Conversely, make sure your abstract does not overstate your role, either explicitly or by implication.
  5. Make sure that you do not use (or that you define/explain) any acronyms or terms that might be unfamiliar to astronomers outside your area of specialty. Avoid bibliographic references.
  6. Before submitting your abstract, re-read it to check for errors in spelling, grammar, etc.