Step-by-Step Guide to Set up Peer Review for Abstract Submissions

a conference going on in a university campus

Setting up a peer review system for abstract submissions can be critical to managing a conference or academic event. Dryfta is a platform that helps organizers manage various aspects of their event, including abstract submission and peer review.

Setting up a Peer Review System

Participants often submit abstracts, research summaries, or presentations when organizing an academic conference or event. Before these abstracts are accepted and scheduled for presentation, they usually undergo a quality check. This quality check is known as "peer review."

  • Peer Review: During peer review process, the submitted abstracts are reviewed by experts (peers) in the respective field to ensure that the content is of high quality, original, and relevant to the conference topic. Reviewers evaluate the abstracts based on various criteria, such as relevance to the topic, originality, clarity, and validity of the methodology and results.

Critical Part of Managing an Academic Conference

The success of any academic conference relies heavily on the quality and relevance of the content presented. This is why the peer review process is not just a standard procedure but an essential part of organizing such events. Below, we delve into the critical factors that make peer review so indispensable:

Quality Control

  • Maintaining Standards: Peer review acts as a gatekeeper, ensuring that only research of the highest caliber is showcased. This helps in preserving the integrity and reputation of the conference.
  • Expert Evaluation: The process often involves experts in the field who are best equipped to judge the scientific validity and originality of the submission.
  • Feedback and Improvement: Authors receive constructive feedback that can guide them in enhancing the quality of their work, whether or not the submission is accepted.


  • Unbiased Assessment: Peer review strives to provide an impartial evaluation by masking the identity of authors. This double-blind review process aims to prevent any preferential treatment.
  • Equal Opportunity: By focusing solely on the submission's merit, peer review ensures that every researcher, irrespective of their background or affiliations, has an equal chance of being represented.
  • Ethical Considerations: It reinforces ethical practices by checking for plagiarism, conflicts of interest, and adherence to ethical guidelines in research.


  • Categorizing Content: Peer review aids in organizing the conference by categorizing accepted abstracts into relevant sessions or tracks. This adds coherence to the event and enhances the attendee experience.
  • Balancing Relevance and Diversity: By considering the relevance and significance of each submission, organizers can create a balanced agenda that reflects the core focus and the diversity of the field.
  • Timeline Management: Having a well-structured peer review process helps in adhering to timelines, ensuring that acceptance notifications, program scheduling, and other key milestones are met on time.

Community Building

  • Fostering Collaboration: Peer review often leads to networking and collaboration between researchers, building a sense of community within the field.
  • Professional Development: For reviewers, participating in the peer review process is an opportunity for professional growth, honing their critical thinking and analytical skills.

Challenges and Considerations

  • Finding Qualified Reviewers: The success of the process depends on the expertise and dedication of the reviewers, making selecting appropriate reviewers a critical task.
  • Potential Biases: Despite best efforts, biases can creep into the review process. Transparent guidelines and training can mitigate this risk.
  • Time and Resource Intensive: The peer review process can be time-consuming. Leveraging technology, such as specialized review platforms, can streamline the process and reduce administrative burdens.

The peer review process is a cornerstone of academic conferences. Though it presents certain challenges, its benefits far outweigh the complexities, reinforcing its position as an essential component in the scholarly landscape. Organizers, authors, and reviewers play vital roles in this collaborative effort, advancing knowledge and thriving the academic community.

Dryfta as a Peer Review Platform

Dryfta is an all-in-one digital platform transforming how academic events and conferences are organized and managed. With a specific focus on facilitating and enhancing the peer review process, Dryfta is becoming an indispensable tool for event organizers. Here's how:


  • Comprehensive Solution: Dryfta is more than just a peer review platform. Its suite of tools covers event registration, ticketing, program scheduling, attendee management, and more.
  • Integration: All these features are fully integrated, meaning that organizers can manage various aspects of the event seamlessly from a single dashboard.
  • Customization: Dryfta's flexibility allows organizers to tailor the platform to meet their specific needs, ensuring a personalized experience.

Abstract Submission

  • Streamlined Portal: Dryfta simplifies the submission process, offering an easy-to-use portal for participants to submit their abstracts.
  • Guidelines and Deadlines: Organizers can specify submission guidelines, deadlines, and other pertinent details, helping participants adhere to requirements.
  • Automated Notifications: Automated reminders and notifications ensure that participants are kept informed about the status of their submissions.

Peer Review Management

  • End-to-End Management: Dryfta's robust system allows organizers to set up the entire peer review process, from defining review criteria to assigning reviewers, gathering feedback, and making final decisions.
  • Efficiency: By centralizing and digitizing the process, Dryfta makes peer review more efficient, saving valuable time and reducing the likelihood of errors.
  • Transparency: The platform's transparency fosters fairness and objectivity, essential aspects of the peer review process.

Collaboration and Communication

  • Facilitating Interaction: Dryfta enables smooth communication between authors, reviewers, and organizers, fostering collaboration and enhancing the review process.
  • Feedback Mechanism: Reviewers can provide detailed feedback, allowing authors to improve their work, while organizers can use this feedback to make informed decisions.

Data Analytics and Reporting

  • Insights: Dryfta platform provides detailed analytics on submissions, reviews, and more, enabling organizers to gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions.
  • Reporting: Customizable reports can be generated to improve the peer review process and overall event management continuously.

Security and Compliance

  • Secure Platform: With security being a priority, Dryfta ensures that all data, including sensitive information related to the review process, is protected.
  • Compliance: The platform complies with various regulations, providing peace of mind to organizers and participants alike.

Set up Peer Review for Abstract Submissions using Dryfta

Dryfta's comprehensive and innovative approach to event management, particularly in peer review, sets it apart as a modern solution for academic events and conferences. Dryfta’s multi-functionality, ease of use, efficiency, and focus on quality and fairness make it an invaluable tool for organizers aiming to elevate the standard of their events. By addressing the unique challenges of the academic community and offering tailored solutions, Dryfta is revolutionizing the way scholarly events are conducted in the digital age. Here’s a step-by-step guide to set up peer review for abstract submissions using Dryfta:

1. Sign Up for a Dryfta trial account

  • Go to the Dryfta website and sign up for an account suitable for your event size and needs.

2. Set Up Your Event

  • After logging in, create a new event or select the event for which you want to set up the peer review.
  • Customize the event details, date, time, and other specifics.

3. Abstract Settings

  • Navigate to "Abstracts" or "Abstract Submissions" in the dashboard.
  • Here, you can specify the criteria for abstract submissions, like word count, format, and other submission guidelines.
  • Set the start and end dates for abstract submissions.

4. Set Up Peer Review

  • Within the abstract settings, look for an option related to 'Peer Review' or 'Review Settings.'
  • Enable peer review.
  • Decide if reviewers can see the authors' names (blind vs. open review) and adjust the settings accordingly.

5. Add Review Criteria

  • Within the review settings, add criteria/questions that reviewers should consider. This might include relevance, originality, methodology, clarity, etc.
  • Assign a weight or scale for each criterion (e.g., 1-5, where 5 is the best).

6. Add Reviewers

  • Navigate to the 'Reviewers' section.
  • Add new reviewers by inputting their details like name, email, affiliation, etc.
  • Once added, each reviewer will typically receive an invitation email with instructions on reviewing the assigned abstracts.

7. Assign Abstracts to Reviewers

  • Once the abstract submission deadline passes, you'll have a list of abstracts ready for review.
  • Manually assign abstracts to reviewers or use automated assignments based on topics or other criteria if the platform supports it.
  • Reviewers will be notified about their assignments.

8. Monitor Review Progress

  • Regularly check the review progress. The platform will often show the number of reviews completed by each reviewer.
  • Send reminders to reviewers who still need to complete their reviews as the review deadline approaches.

9. Access and Analyze Reviews

  • After the review deadline, access all reviews and ratings.
  • Analyze the reviews, look for trends, and decide which abstracts to accept or reject based on scores and feedback.

10. Notify Authors

  • Once decisions are made, use Dryfta to notify authors about the status of their submissions, whether they've been accepted, rejected, or require revisions.

11. Prepare for the Event

  • For accepted abstracts, gather the final versions, schedule them for presentation, and communicate all necessary details to the authors.

12. Post-event Feedback

  • After the event, it's a good practice to gather feedback from both reviewers and authors to improve the process for next time.

Remember, while Dryfta offers various tools to facilitate the peer review process, the quality of the reviews largely depends on the reviewers themselves and the criteria you set. Make sure you choose reviewers who are experts in the field and can provide constructive feedback to authors.


Here are some frequently asked questions about setting up peer review for abstract submissions:

Q1: What is Peer Review in the Context of Academic Conferences?

A1: Peer review is a process where experts evaluate the quality and validity of submitted abstracts or papers for an academic conference. It ensures that only high-quality and relevant content is presented, maintaining the integrity and reputation of the conference.

Q2: How Do I Select Appropriate Reviewers for the Peer Review Process?

A2: Selecting the right reviewers involves identifying experts in the subject area of the reviewed abstracts. Consider their qualifications, experience, publications, and availability. Platforms like Dryfta facilitate the process by allowing you to add reviewers with specific expertise.

Q3: What is the Difference Between Blind and Open Review?

A3: In an anonymous review, the identities of the authors and reviewers are kept confidential from each other. In an open review, both parties know each other's identities. The choice depends on the conference's policy and the desired level of transparency and anonymity.

Q4: How Can I Ensure Fairness in the Review Process?

A4: To ensure fairness, establish clear and consistent review criteria, and provide guidelines to reviewers. Consider using a blind review process to minimize potential bias. Regularly monitor the review progress and communicate with reviewers as needed.

Q5: Can I Automate the Assignment of Abstracts to Reviewers?

A5: Some platforms like Dryfta offer automated assignment features based on topics or other criteria. This can save time and ensure appropriate matching of abstracts with reviewers.

Q6: How Do I Notify Authors About the Status of Their Submissions?

A6: Most platforms, including Dryfta, offer automated notification features, allowing you to easily communicate acceptance, rejection, or required revisions to authors.

Q7: What if a Reviewer is Unable to Complete Their Reviews?

A7: Monitoring progress and communicating with reviewers is essential. If a reviewer cannot complete their assignment, you may need to reassign the abstracts to another suitable reviewer.

Q8: How Can I Collect Post-Event Feedback?

A8: Post-event feedback can be collected through surveys, questionnaires, or direct feedback forms within the platform. This information is valuable for improving future events.

Q9: How Can I Ensure the Security and Privacy of the Review Process?

A9: Use a secure platform that complies with relevant regulations and provides robust data protection features. Dryfta, for example, focuses on security and compliance to protect all sensitive information.

Q10: Can I Customize the Review Criteria?

A10: Yes, most platforms like Dryfta allow you to customize the review criteria to align with your conference's specific themes and standards.