I applied for an academic conference and inquired about international travel stipends. I later received an email stating that they were interested in accepting my paper but wanted an elaborated abstract. I later sent a revised abstract but was told it was too long, I was sent a personal email asking for a concise summary of my research and was asked if I was a Ph.D student and in what discipline? Is this normal for conference organizers, With so much effort do they really want to accept my paper? Is this normal for conference organizers, I don't have any experience with this and conferences? Does it mean they want to accept my paper? I have never been asked to revise and resubmit an abstract and was wondering if this is normal conference behavior?

  • The abstract is basically used as the advertisement for your paper/talk. So they probably want it tailored to the audience (general attendance vs. same area but not necessarily the same specializations vs. the same specializations). Have you requested clarification and guidance from the organizers, or reread the conference guidelines and overview? Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


Having been on the other side of similar transactions, what I suspect is going on is that they think your submission is not up to their standards (of quality / focus / formatting / whatever), but that they think it is salvageable and are trying to work with you to help make it acceptable.

  • Wouldn't they tell you they that it was borderline in this case? I'm more worried that they're trying to figure out if he will register only if he gets the stipend. They can drop the talk if his attendance is contingent on the stipend if they're low on stipend funds. Either way, they should say what they're trying to accomplish.
    – Bill Barth
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 16:47
  • @BillBarth Absolutely, they are not communicating clearly, and that's the root of the problem. I think your alternate interpretation is possible too.
    – jakebeal
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 20:07
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    I received a comment stating that I cannot receive the travel stipend as I am not a Ph.D student but they have not said whether or not my paper has been accepted. How should I go about questioning the status of my abstract submittal?
    – Mr. Mcnut
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 16:18
  • @Nick Just ask them if your abstract is accepted or not.
    – jakebeal
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 16:49

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