Held during BVNA Congress, Research Bites provides a friendly and welcoming opportunity for those who have undertaken research relevant to the veterinary nursing profession, or encountered an interesting or unusual case in practice, to showcase their findings in the form of posters and optional short oral presenta-tions. If you have ever attended BVNA Congress and wondered how you can display your own poster or add public speaking to your repertoire of skills – this could be the event for you!

If you are new to public speaking or academic writing, this may seem a little daunting – but we’d like to reassure you that it is not as intimidating as you might think! This article will provide you with some guidelines on how to prepare an abstract for submission, and outlines the submission process.

Submission categories

In this year’s March edition of the VNJ, we introduced two new submission categories for the Research Bites event to be held during BVNA Congress 2020. This means that there is now an ideal opportunity for both student and registered veterinary nurses to get involved in the event. We are therefore accepting submissions in the following three categories:

   Case reflection (SVNs)

   Case reflection (RVNs)

   Research projects

In order to submit your work for consideration, we require applicants to submit a short abstract which summarises their case or research.

How to write an abstract

An abstract is a succinct overview of the research or case you wish to present, which should capture the attention of the reader. For Research Bites, we are accepting abstracts of up to 500 words in length. Have a look through the abstracts provided in other articles in the VNJ – this is a great way to get a feel for how these are written.

If you are interested in presenting a case reflection, a clinical abstract would normally consist of the following:

1.   Title and author information: The title should capture the reader’s attention. If the case was novel, highlight this in the title too. The names of ALL authors must be listed.

2.   Introduction: It can be useful to begin by including an interesting and specific fact about the case you worked with.

3.   Patient information – a brief overview of:

   History and signalment

   Assessment, findings and diagnosis

   Treatment plan (to include resuscitation/stabilisation measures if appropriate)


4.   Nursing care and interventions

5.   Reflection and conclusion: What did you learn from the case? Did practice protocols change? How would you feel about encountering a similar case in future?

If you are interested in presenting a research project, an abstract would normally consist of the following:

1.   Title and author information: As above.

2.   Introduction: Provide a concise review of what is already known, and how your project will help to fill any gaps.

3.   Method: This can be a large section to condense into the abstract, and as a guide should be three to four sentences. You should provide enough information to judge the validity of the work.

4.   Results: Describe the subjects included in the research and any exclusions (if applicable). List the occurrences of the important outcome variables. Tables should not be included (and will not be accepted) within an abstract, however numerical results may be discussed.

5.   Conclusion: The conclusion should be supported by the data you have included. What are the implications and what effects does this have to veterinary nursing, animal welfare, your working environment or the wider profession?

Interested in presenting your work at this year's BVNA Congress?

Here is how the submission process works:

   The deadline for abstract submissions is Tuesday 30th June 2020.

   Your abstract will be peer-reviewed. Following acceptance by reviewers, research projects and case reflections will be shortlisted for presentation at BVNA Congress 2020.

   If your submission is shortlisted, you will be invited to the Saturday of BVNA Congress 2020, and asked if you would like to deliver an oral presentation alongside your poster. You will receive notification of this decision by Friday 31st July 2020. Your abstract will also be published in the VNJ.

   Your poster will be displayed within the exhibition throughout BVNA Congress 2020, and you will receive a free ticket to see your poster in person and to deliver your oral presentation (if applicable) on Saturday 10th October 2020.

   All successful applicants will be required to attend the Research Bites event on Saturday afternoon to observe the verbal presentations (whether presenting or not).

We are a friendly team, so if you are still unsure and would like some more information, please do feel free to get in touch with Charlotte Bullard (BVNA Education Manager) at charlotte@bvna.co.uk.

Good luck, and we look forward to receiving your submissions!

 • VOL 35 • May 2020 • Veterinary Nursing Journal