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I need your input on my situation. I'm in medical school and completed a research project for school credit, for which I made a poster and submitted to my school's research conference. I recently submitted by abstract for the same project for an outside research conference, and I was accepted to make a presentation on the project(same project, but a presentation this time instead of a poster). I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to re-submit the same research project to multiple conferences, but I also didn't really think of my school research conference as legit as it was required for school credit anyway. I was told that internal(university) research conferences are considered differently than national conferences as well. As far as I know the outside research conference hasn't said anything about it. Any thoughts?

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  • Talk to your advisor.
    – Buffy
    Oct 5, 2023 at 21:17

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I have never seen or heard of anyone having issues submitting to both a local/university conference and a national conference. You are right that it is frowned upon, and usually against conference policy, to submit the same abstract to multiple conferences. But school research days don't really "count". In fact, national medical conferences will often explicitly state that student and resident projects that have been submitted to local conferences are still eligible. An example directly from American College of Physicians:

  • Original abstracts that either have or have not been presented at other meetings including ACP Chapters/Regions will be considered.

  • Abstracts previously submitted to the National Meeting are not eligible and are subject to disqualification.

I would avoid submitting identical abstracts anyway, but I doubt you've actually broken any rules. Some conferences may not be as forgiving as ACP but really, if your abstract/poster is not published anywhere (as is the case with most school research symposiums and small conferences) no-one is going to be upset. Don't do it again, but don't lose any sleep over it.

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