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Call for Abstracts

Why submit an abstract?

The verbal presentation of abstracts and the display of posters detailing work done by members is a key element in the exchange of good practice at BLS Conference. It provides an opportunity to bring work to the attention of a wide audience, enhancing the prestige of the presenter.

What can I submit?

Abstracts and posters may be submitted on:

Research studies, audits, case reports service developments/initiatives including user involvement and literature reviews.

What decision will I receive?

The BLS Scientific Committee will return one of the following decisions:

  1. Accepted
  2. Not accepted.

Authors will receive written feedback on their submission, and whether it has been accepted for conference.

What is the criteria and level of support?

BLS Trustees and the BLS Scientific Committee wish to provide members with the maximum support in submitting their work.  You may wish to do one or all of the following:

  • Download the supporting information.

            or if you have further questions please.

  • Contact Katie Riches (Chair of the BLS Scientific Committee) by email on Katie.Riches@nhs.net.

You must agree to present your paper/poster at whatever time is scheduled within the conference programme. BLS Scientific Committee will decide on the appropriate time to allocate based on the nature of the Abstract and its content.

N.B. All Abstracts will be reproduced in the Conference Programme and submission of an Abstract constitutes consent for publication. Selected Abstracts may also appear in the Journal of Lymphoedema.

Corporate prizes

Corporate Members of BLS have jointly agree to award 4 prizes of £250 for Abstracts and Posters submitted by BLS Members in the following categories:-

  • Best novice poster presentation
  • Best overall poster presentation
  • Best novice verbal abstract presentation
  • Best overall verbal abstract presentation

The BLS Scientific Committee will decide on the winners and their decision will be final.

Deadline for submission27th May 2017 via the Oxford Abstract system, please click here.

Entitling your abstract


Writing a good title is an important part of writing an abstract. The title gives the first impression of your work. It should attract attention and interest. It is a marketing opportunity. Like the first few seconds at an interview, it can make or break the chances of success.


The title is the key that opens doors. Readers, reviewers, and conference organisers may base decisions on the title alone. Does this research warrant further attention? The title signals what is to come – telling the reader whether to read on or move on!


Given its importance, there is relatively little guidance for how to write a good title. Most advice is to make it attention-grabbing whilst keeping it succinct. But what should a good title comprise? The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) says that a title should be “accurate, informative and complete”.1 It should encapsulate the relevant and important aspects the research, including a clear statement of the type of study (whether a randomised controlled trial, a literature review, a case study,etc).


Constructing a good title is similar to constructing a good research question, and the PICO acronym is a useful guide. The title should describe the:
• Patient, population and/or problem
• Intervention
• Comparison or control (if applicable)
• Outcome.

Similarly, Chan et al2 tell us that good title should identify the following elements:
• Population
• Intervention(s)
• Study design – including the method of intervention allocation (for example, parallel group randomised trial; single group trial)
• Acronym (if applicable)
It can also be helpful to identify the:
• Trial framework (for example, superiority, non-inferiority)
• Study objective or primary outcome
• The study phase, if relevant (for example, Phase II).


This can become quite a “mouthful” – an example provided by Chan et al is:
“A multi-centre, investigator-blinded, randomized, 12-month, parallel-group, non-inferiority study to compare the efficacy of 1.6 to 2.4 Asacol ® TherapyQD [once daily] versus divided dose (BID)[twice daily] in the maintenance of ulcerative colitis”
While this title exceeds the word counts suggested for titles (usually 12-15 words, and a more generous 20 words recommended by the BLS), it leaves us in no doubt about what this study is and what it intends to achieve. A reader, reviewer or conference committee can quickly decide whether to read on or move on.


The majority of abstracts we submit to the BLS may not require such elaborate titles as this example. However, the BLS Scientific and Research Committee do ask that you make your abstract titles as informative and comprehensive as possible. Please use the checklists provided above to ensure that you “cover all the bases” in your title.


A well constructed title is a key that opens the door to your reader’s attention – and to conference success!


1. National Institute of Health Research (2016) Information for authors. Retrieved 21 April 2016, from http://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/information-for-authors/title-page
2. Chan A, Tetzlaff JM, Altman DG, et al. (2013) SPIRIT 2013 Statement: Defining Standard Protocol Items for Clinical Trials. Annals of Internal Medicine: 158:200-207. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-158-3-201302050-00583