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Call for Abstracts and Topic Submissions

Abstracts: Platform Sessions | Poster Sessions | Abstract Preparation and Submission | Reasons for Rejection | Notification of Acceptance | Publication Rights

Topics: Topic Preparation and Submission | Notification of Acceptance | Publication Rights


Abstract submission deadline:
June 1, 2014
Topic submission deadline:
March 15, 2014
Notification of acceptance:
May 2014 (topics)
July 2014 (abstracts)


Dear Colleagues:

On behalf of myself and AALAS president Scott Mischler, the Program Committee would like to encourage you to submit proposals for special topic lectures, panel discussions, seminars, technical trade presentations, workshops, and abstracts for the 2014 National Meeting, to be held October 19–23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas.

Topic submissions should be designed specifically for one of the following formats: seminar (2 hours and 15 minutes), 1.5-hour panel discussion, 1-hour special topic lecture, 4-hour workshop, or 20-minute technical trade presentation. Abstract submissions should consist of recently published or unpublished research or clinical case presentations, or new solutions for management/husbandry problems. Abstracts submissions are not the appropiate forum for topic reviews. Abstracts will be considered for either a platform or poster presentation format. Platform presentations are typically 12 minutes in length with an additional 3 minutes allowed for questions and are grouped together by general category.

All other aspects of this year’s National Meeting will be similar to previous meetings. We invite the participation of all of our membership to organize outstanding educational sessions and submit abstracts on all aspects of laboratory animal medicine and welfare. The requirements for submitting abstracts and proposing educational session topics are listed below.

The deadline for topic submissions is March 15, 2014, while the deadline for abstract submissions is June 1. Abstract and topic submission for this year’s National Meeting will again be handled through the Abstract Central submission site, aalas.abstractcentral.com. This browser-based system offers many benefits, including fast, easy online submission and unlimited technical support.

If you choose to submit a topic, please note that you must include the title, brief description, and names and contact information for any suggested panelists, speakers, or leader. Once the submission undergoes review and acceptance, any substitution or addition of speakers must be approved by the Program Committee.

If you choose to submit an abstract, please follow the guidelines below and provide complete information. This will greatly assist the Abstract Review Committee in their review process and enable the correct assignment of your abstract to the appropriate program session. We would also like to encourage those of you who present your research at other meetings to consider presenting those studies again to the membership of AALAS. We would love to see your scientific work at the National Meeting!

If you would like to serve as a session facilitator, to assist your colleagues with the logistics of their presentations, the deadline for volunteering for this position to be included in the Final Program is August 1, 2014. The volunteer facilitator form is available here.

As always, your suggestions for other components of the program are welcome. The Program Committee depends on ideas from the membership to ensure a program that is timely and appealing to a wide span of AALAS member interests. Please feel free to let us know what you have to contribute or what topic you wish to learn more about.

The first deadline of March 15, 2014 will roll around sooner than you think. Please begin your plans now to submit your work and register to attend what will be another memorable National Meeting.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Smith, DVM, DACLAM
Program Committee Chair

What's the Difference between an Abstract and a Topic?

Abstract submissions consist of recently published or unpublished research or clinical case presentations, or new solutions for management/husbandry problems; they are designated for either poster or platform sessions.

Topic submissions are for panel discussions, seminars, special topic lectures, technical trade presentations, and workshops. These submissions do not require a formal abstract.

Please refer to the information below for submission instructions and requirements.


Please refer to the information below before submitting your abstract or topic suggestion. See also the Presenter Information page.

Abstract Submission
Abstract submissions should consist of recently published or unpublished research or clinical case presentations, or new solutions for management/husbandry problems. Abstract submissions are not the appropiate forum for topic reviews. Abstracts are designated for either poster or platform sessions; awards are presented to the best poster from each of the poster section categories. Members and nonmembers are eligible to submit abstracts. And, unlike many other professional societies, AALAS does not charge an abstract submission fee.

If you have presented your research in other conference forums (for example, FASEB, ASM, SOT), we encourage you to submit the same presentations at the AALAS National Meeting.

Platform Sessions
Platform sessions are succinct presentations of worthwhile new information. Each speaker is assigned an exact amount of time (typically 12 minutes with an additional 3 minutes allowed for questions) for delivery. Time begins with the first moment of introduction by the moderator and ends exactly at the moment the speaker finishes or is requested to leave the podium. The time period immediately following the presentation can only be used to answer questions posed by members of the audience or the moderator. During the same time period, some persons will be moving to and from other concurrently running sessions.

Audiences for platform sessions can range from 50 to several hundred people. Speakers may wish to distribute reproduced tables, graphs, and/or other illustrative materials pertinent to their presentation. Time used in handing out material will be included in the speaker’s allotted period of time. Facilitators are available for handing out materials.

Rooms used for scientific platform sessions are equipped with a computer, video projector, screen, a speakers’ platform with a table, podium and microphone, and a lighted electric pointer. The room moderator is equipped with a timer. Refer to the Presenter Info for more instructions on presentations.

Poster Sessions
The presentation of a poster provides an alternative opportunity for presenting scientific or technical information at the National Meeting. Each participant is provided with a 4 ft. x 8 ft. tackboard for mounting data; all material must be prepared before the set-up time. Common and very readable poster sizes are 56" wide by 42" high or 48" wide by 38" high. Authors should plan to attend a reception on Tuesday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Additional, detailed poster instructions will be made available on the National Meeting website after submissions close.

The Awards Committee will judge the posters on Monday and Tuesday. They will present awards for the three best posters in each category. First-, second-, and third-place ribbons will be placed on the winning posters. Presenters of winning posters will be recognized on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. during the Poster Reception with a certificate and an honorarium: $300 for first place, $200 for second place, $100 for third place.

Abstract Preparation and Submission
The purpose of an abstract is to provide a clear and concise summary of the information to be presented in greater detail in a paper, oral presentation, or poster session. An abstract usually contains some of the major components of a research paper (hypothesis, conclusion), but presents the information in a single paragraph. In preparing you abstract, consider that your audience will have a very diverse expertise.

All abstracts should meet these criteria:

  • Abstracts should be a single paragraph, not to exceed 2,300 characters (approximately 300 words).
  • The title (maximum 20 words) should convey without excessive detail the abstract subject matter.
  • The abstract body should address the specific points listed under the abstract type (see below).
  • Tables of data are not permitted in the abstract.
  • Do not use trade names, technical jargon, names of products, companies, or institutions, or abbreviations other than units of measurement.

Each sentence in the abstract should be examined out of context for clarity and economy of words. The abstract should be unified, coherent, and logical in its progression from one section to the next.

Authors should familiarize themselves with AALAS journal style, as described in the “Information for Authors” found at http://www.aalas.org/publications/index.aspx. Review abstracts from past National Meetings to get a feel for style and format. Abstracts from select meetings are available from http://nationalmeeting.aalas.org/past_meeting_abstracts.asp.

Have grammar, punctuation, and spelling checked by more than one reviewer before final submission. A person unfamiliar with the work may be helpful in pinpointing problems in content.

AALAS higly recommends that authors whose first language is not English is to have someone review their abstract before submission.

Laboratory Investigation Abstracts. Scientific abstracts should contain the following elements: hypothesis, methods, results, and conclusions.

  • Hypothesis or problem addressed: Why the study was conducted.
  • Methods: How the study was designed and conducted; include pertinent information such as the number of animals in the study, analytical techniques, sampling frequencies or times, and statistical analyses.
  • Results: The outcome of the study; only include the most important results, but include enough detail to support conclusions.
  • Conclusions: Implications of the study results; for example, identification of novel findings or placing the work in perspective by stating whether the report confirms or extends the findings of previous studies.

View a sample laboratory investigation abstract

Clinical Abstracts. Clinical abstracts tend to be less conventional than scientific ones, but should nonetheless contain the following elements for a clear and logical presentation: problem or event, approach, observations, and conclusions.

  • Problem: The circumstances leading to the work to be described.
  • Approach: The steps taken to address or solve the problem. Include differential diagnoses and diagnostic strategies.
  • Observations: Important clinical, physical, and laboratory findings.
  • Conclusions: Implications of the study results; include the diagnosis and a declaration of any implications for colony or public health.

View a sample clinical abstract

Husbandry/Management Abstracts. Husbandry/management abstracts, like clinical abstracts, do not always follow the conventional scientific format, but should contain the following elements: problem or event, approach, observations, and conclusions.

  • Problem: The circumstances leading to the work to be described.
  • Approach: The steps taken to address or solve the problem. Describe administrative or technical methodologies used.
  • Observations: A summary of the objective observations or data used to evaluate the success (or failure) of the approach.
  • Conclusions: Whether or not the approach was a success or failure; includes major recommendations that the author(s) feels can be made as a result of the work.

View a sample husbandry/management abstract

What's Your Diagnosis? Abstracts. What's Your Diagnosis? abstracts should follow the same format as the clinical abstracts, including a description of the problem, approach, observations and conclusions. The abstracts are not published in JAALAS prior to the meeting and only the title is printed in the National Meeting program.

  • The title should not give away the diagnosis (e.g. “Diarrhea and Lethargy in a Laboratory Beagle”), but the diagnosis must be included in the submitted abstract.
  • The WYD sessions are meant to be interactive, so the presenter should be prepared to design the talk to maximize audience participation.

Submission Instructions. Before submitting your abstract, collect the following information:

  • Complete contact information for all authors: name, title, institution, mailing address, phone, fax, and e-mail.
  • AALAS membership number (if applicable) for corresponding author and presenting author.
  • A statement indicating whether the study has been approved by your Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
  • Preferred format: oral presentation, poster session, or either are acceptable.
  • The category that best applies to your presentation: laboratory investigation, clinical, husbandry/management, what’s your diagnosis?, or neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Verification that your abstract is original work.

The abstract itself must be 2,300 characters or approximately 300 words. Once you’ve gathered all required information, go to aalas.abstractcentral.com and follow the instructions to submit your abstract.

Reasons for Rejection
Abstracts may be rejected for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The hypothesis, reason for conducting the study, or the question being addressed are missing.
  • The experimental design, diagnostic work-up, or management approach is not sufficiently described.
  • Insufficient data is given to support the conclusions, a vague summary of results is presented, or statements such as “results will be presented at a later time” are used.
  • The abstract does not concisely summarize results or provide a logical conclusion.
  • The abstract is poorly written or demonstrates an improper use of the English language.
  • The abstract promotes a product or procedure on behalf of a specific company or organization.
  • The material presented is a topic review rather than an original study or case presentation.
  • The material is better suited for an alternate National Meeting presentation category. The Abstract Review Committee does not reassign abstracts.
  • The abstract results add little to the body of knowledge, are not novel, or are of limited value in advancing the field.
  • The first author did not present his/her accepted abstract in the previous year and failed to notify the AALAS national office, leaving a poster space blank or presentation slot unused; submissions from this first author for the current year's meeting will be automatically rejected.

Notification of Acceptance
The National Meeting Abstract Review Subcommittee (NMARS) will review submissions and prepare the program. Abstract authors will be notified of their submission status in July.

The NMARS reserves the right to request changes or edits to the abstracts prior to acceptance. Abstracts and titles will be copyedited to conform with ASM style prior to publishing in AALAS publications without notification to the author.

Only the presenting author will be listed as a program participant and receive the program participant registration fee. National Meeting registration fees are not waived for abstract presenters.

Once an abstract has been submitted through the submission website, the only means of communication and notification of status will be by email. Therefore, it is very important that a valid and current email address be on record. It is incumbent on the presenting author to update the online submission system with email address or other contact information changes. Please note that the abstract submission site is not connected to the AALAS membership database. Therefore, changing your address in the membership database does not cause a corresponding change in the abstract submission site.

Publication Rights
Accepted abstracts are published in the Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science and the AALAS National Meeting Final Program, and may also be published in Comparative Medicine.

AALAS may request permission to incorporate a recording of all or part of your presentation in future professional development products, which could include AALAS Learning Library courses or educational DVDs. Your session PowerPoint® and an audio recording of your presentation may also be presented as a webinar on the AALAS web site.

The editor in chief of Comparative Medicine and the Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science encourages submission of manuscripts related to the subject material presented at the National Meeting. Acceptance for publication is solely within the jurisdiction of the editors. A statement of credit should be included, stating “Presented at the National Meeting of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, (place and date).”



Topic Submissions

Submission categories for topics include panel discussions, seminars, special topic lectures, technical trade presentations, and workshops, and are described in full below.

Topic Preparation and Submission
Before submitting your session, be sure to contact the suggested panelists/faculty to ensure their participation. If you session is accepted, all panelists/faculty should be informed of the day and time assigned and confirm their participation.

All topic submissions should include:

  • a brief summary of the topic,
  • the target audience, and
  • what attendees will learn.

Panel Discussions. Panel discussions provide a convenient forum for dialogue and are most effective when panelist/audience interaction is maximized. Panelists are encouraged to present opinions in brief statements, using minimal audio-visual aids. A leader, moderator, and no more than four panelists comprise a discussion. Leaders are encouraged to briefly introduce topics, guide discussions, and facilitate dialogue among all in attendance. Leaders choose panelists based on their knowledge of, experience in, or expertise on the subject matter. The moderator, who can be the same person as the leader, introduces the panelists and directs floor discussions and question/answers from the audience.

An hour and a half is allotted for each discussion. There will be two to four panel discussions daily from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. This time limit should not be exceeded unless approved by the Program Committee. The audience may range from 50 to a couple hundred people. Discussion among panelists and the audience is the key to a successful discussion. This includes making certain that questions and comments from the audience are heard by all; the leader should interact with the panel facilitator to assure that the panelists can be heard at the back of the room. It is requested that all audience participants be required to identify themselves. The panelists should preplan several questions among themselves in case a stimulus to initiate discussion is required.

Panel discussion submissions should include the following:

  • title;
  • description;
  • what participants will learn;
  • sponsor (if any);
  • target audience; and
  • contact information for topic leader(s), moderator, and panelists.

Seminars. Seminars are coordinated presentations on a specific topic that allow for discussion among the seminar speakers and the audience. Seminars are presented by a leader (who chairs the session), a moderator (who introduces speakers and directions audience discussion), and no more than four panelists. The speaker and leader can be the same person.

Speakers should prepare their presentations as carefully and thoroughly as they would any scientific paper. Each speaker should be aware of what other seminar speakers intend to present, and the seminar leader should guide the speakers in preparation of their presentations so that a coordinated set of information is presented in the seminar topic area. The leader should also inform each speaker of the amount of time allowed for his/her participation well in advance of the seminar.

Two hours and fifteen minutes is allotted for each seminar, and this limit should not be exceeded unless approved by the Program Committee in advance. There are two to four seminars scheduled each morning and afternoon, with attendance being anywhere from 50 to several hundred. Because the seminar should allow for discussion among the speakers and the audience, one-third to one-half of the seminar time should be reserved for this purpose. The leader should interact with the seminar facilitator to assure that the speakers can be heard at the back of the room. It is requested that all audience participants be required to identify themselves. And, in order to stimulate discussion, speakers should preplan several questions to initiate a discussion.

Seminar submissions should include the following:

  • title;
  • description;
  • what participants will learn;
  • sponsor (if any);
  • target audience;
  • contact information for topic leader(s), moderator, and suggested speakers; and
  • suggested titles and durations for the speakers' presentations.

Special Topic Lectures. Special Topic Lectures (STLs) are formal presentations given by a single speaker on a specific topic, pre-planned topic. These lectures typically stand alone, however they may be topically linked to a panel discussion or a seminar. There are four named special topic lectures that are held each year—Charles River Ethics and Animal Welfare Lecture, Charles C. Hunter Lecture, Wallace P. Rowe Lecture, and the Nathan R. Brewer Award Recipient Lecture.

These presentations typically have a main speaker, in addition to a moderator and a facilitator. The moderator introduces the speaker, keeps the speaker within the time permitted, and addresses any question/answers from the audience. Audiences range in size from 50 to several hundred people. The time allotted for each presentation is one hour and there are typically two to four special topic lectures daily from 11 a.m. to noon.

STL submissions should include the following:

  • title,
  • description,
  • what participants will learn,
  • sponsor (if any),
  • target audience, and
  • contact information for the speaker.

Technical Trade Presentations. Technical trade presentations are 20-minute, informal talks given by representatives of exhibiting companies. These are not sales pitches; the goal is to share tips and information about new technology and products in the industry. Only one presentation per company will be accepted. All topics are reviewed and approved by the Exhibitor Advisory Council. Click here for examples of technical trade presentations.

Technical trade presentation submissions should include the following:

  • title;
  • description;
  • what participants will learn;
  • sponsor;
  • target audience;
  • contact information for the speaker.

Workshops. Workshops offer participants an opportunity for hands-on experience in a variety of laboratory techniques. Workshops are offered at both the convention site and at various offsite locations for a fee. Time allotments may vary, but most workshops are scheduled for a morning or afternoon session lasting three to four hours. Individual workshop leaders work closely with the workshop program chair in planning and coordinating the acquisition of laboratory equipment and animals, audiovisual equipment, and workshop facilitators well in advance of the presentation. The workshop leader may recruit additional faculty to lead parts of the presentation.

Workshop audiences are small, with registration generally limited to a range of 20 to 50 participants in order to assure adequate opportunity for hands-on experience and viewing of demonstrations. Leaders should arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the workshop to greet facilitators and guest speakers and assure that everyone is familiar with their responsibilities. It is the responsibility of the workshop leader and workshop facilitator to check the room for the required equipment and to distribute handouts.

Workshop submissions should include the following:

  • title,
  • description,
  • what participants will learn,
  • sponsor (if any),
  • target audience,
  • contact information for topic leader(s) and faculty, and
  • any equipment/supplies needed.
Notification of Acceptance
Session leaders will be notified of the committee’s decisions no later than May 1.

The NMPC reserves the right to request changes or edits to the abstracts prior to acceptance. Abstracts and titles will be copyedited to conform with ASM style prior to publishing in AALAS publications without notification to the author.

Once a topic has been submitted through the submission website, the only means of communication and notification of status will be by email. Therefore, it is very important that a valid and current email address be on record. It is incumbent on the presenting author to update the online submission system with email address or other contact information changes. Please note that the abstract submission site is not connected to the AALAS membership database. Therefore, changing your address in the membership database does not cause a corresponding change in the abstract submission site.

Publication Rights
Accepted abstracts are published in the AALAS National Meeting Preliminary and Final Programs.

AALAS may request permission to incorporate a recording of all or part of your presentation in future professional development products, which could include AALAS Learning Library courses or educational DVDs. Your session PowerPoint® and an audio recording of your presentation may also be presented as a webinar on the AALAS web site.

The editor in chief of Comparative Medicine and the Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science welcomes submission of manuscripts related to the subject material presented at the National Meeting. Acceptance for publication is solely within the jurisdiction of the editors. A statement of credit should be included, stating “Presented at the National Meeting of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, (place and date).”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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