I saw the following abstract submission guidelines:

  • Please submit a 500-word text abstract for technical review purposes that is suitable for publication. Accepted abstracts may be published with the printed Technical Program for distribution at the meeting.
  • Please also submit a 300-word text abstract suitable for early release. If accepted, this abstract text will be published prior to the meeting in the online or printed programs promoting the conference

My question is, how close to the prescribed word count do you have to be? Would it be possible to send one abstract for both requirements?

  • 1
    Note: every time I have seen a range given for a word count, it was always + or - 10%. So 450-550 and 270-330 would be a very reasonable range to assume. If you would want to have 1 word count for both targets, 387 gets you 29% off target for both. That does seems a bit much, but I cant make clear and hard judgements here.
    – dimpol
    Mar 7, 2017 at 8:11
  • @dimpol: That is certainly field-dependant. In my applied-CS-subfield, the indicated word count is sometimes a hard upper limit (automatically enforced by the submission system). Conversely, it's indeed an upper limit, and if, for some reason, 50 words fully convey what the submission is about, that is just as acceptable as using the full maximum of 500 words. Mar 7, 2017 at 14:00
  • I'm guessing this is not for a math conference.
    – Dan Romik
    Mar 8, 2017 at 20:02
  • @DanRomik Am I allowed to post the conference? Nope. It's a remote sensing conference.
    – R.K.
    Mar 9, 2017 at 7:49
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    Yes, what I meant was that mathematicians would be more precise with their language and not say "please submit a 500-word abstract" unless they meant an abstract of precisely 500 words. Thanks for confirming my guess.
    – Dan Romik
    Mar 9, 2017 at 8:41

2 Answers 2


It is possible, but you would not want to do that.

Apparently, these are the guidelines for some sort of conference. Usually, you send in a preliminary abstract, then you get a message back that they will accept your permission within a certain deadline. Now you can write and hand in your article.

If you haven't finished your article in time for the abstract submission deadline, you basically have to write an abstract first. But after you have written your article there are most likely changes that need to be addressed in the abstract, which is why you get more words for the final abstract to amend your early release abstract that will probably be available on the website of the conference.

  • Didn't think of it that way. Thanks for the insight!
    – R.K.
    Mar 9, 2017 at 7:49

How close to the prescribed word count do you have to be? Would it be possible to send one abstract for both requirements?

If you write an approximately 300-word abstract you are happy with, and want to use it for the 500-word-max abstract, that is probably okay. They will let you know if they want something fuller.

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