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Abstract submission

1. What is an abstract?

In the context of the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020), an abstract is a standalone statement that briefly explains the essential information of a study, research project, policy or programme.

2. May I submit an abstract to the conference?

AIDS 2020 welcomes submission of abstracts for original contribution to the field in the following scientific tracks:

  • Track A: Basic and translational research

  • Track B: Clinical research

  • Track C: Epidemiology and prevention research

  • Track D: Social and behavioural research

  • Track E: Implementation research, economics, systems and synergies with other health and development sectors

  • Track F: Political research, law, policy and human rights

Abstract submissions are open from 1 November 2019 to 14 January 2020, 23:59 Central European Time. During this period, abstracts will be accepted through the online submission form available in your Conference Account.

3. Where can I read more about the Scientific Tracks?

Detailed descriptions of the scope and objectives of each scientific track, as defined by the Scientific Programme Committee, can be found on the Abstract submission guidelines page.

4. When is the submission deadline for abstracts?

The deadline to submit abstracts is 14 January 2020, 23:59 Central European Time.

5. My project is still ongoing and there are no results yet. Should I still submit and abstract?

Abstracts are intended to present scientific studies, research, programmes and policies, highlighting both the methods or description and results or recommendations. If you are describing a study that is still in the planning stage, it would not be suitable for submission unless the method that you use is, for example, of particular scientific interest. However, if your study is currently ongoing and you only have preliminary data, but it seems relevant or significant, please submit the abstract.

6. What is a late-breaker abstract?

Late-breaker submissions must introduce data of unquestioned significance. Data analysed after the regular submission deadline (14 January 2020) should not be sent in as late breakers if the data do not meet an extremely high threshold of scientific merit. The percentage of abstracts selected for late breakers will depend on the number of submissions, but selection will certainly be more rigorous than for regular abstracts. A small number of late-breaker abstracts will be accepted to be presented orally or as posters at the conference.

During their abstract submission, authors will have to declare the reason why their abstract is a late breaker. The same submission rules apply for late-breaker abstracts as for regular abstracts, but each presenting author may only present one late-breaker abstract at the conference. The late-breaker abstract submission will be open from 1 to 15 April 2020.

7. What is the required structure for an abstract?

An abstract consists of a title, author list and abstract text so longer than 350 words. It can also include tables or graphs and/or images. Literature references should not be included.

AIDS 2020 offers two options for abstract submission:

Option 1

This is suited for research conducted in all disciplines. Abstracts submitted under Option 1 should contain concise statements of:

  • Background: Indicate the purpose and objective of the research, the hypothesis that was tested or a description of the problem being analysed or evaluated.

  • Methods: Describe the study period, setting and location, study design, study population, data collection and methods of analysis used.

  • Results: Present as clearly and in as much detail as possible the findings and/or outcomes of the study. Please disaggregate data by age and gender where possible and summarize any specific results.

  • Conclusions: Explain the significance of the findings and/or outcomes of your study for HIV prevention, treatment, care and/or support and future implications of the results.

Option 2
This is suited for lessons learned through programme, project or policy implementation or management. Abstracts submitted under Option 2 should contain concise statements of:

  • Background: Summarize the purpose, scope and objectives of the programme, project or policy.

  • Description: Describe the programme, project or policy period, setting and location, the structure, key population (if applicable) and activities and interventions undertaken in support of the programme, project or policy.

  • Lessons learned: Present as clearly and in as much detail as possible the findings and/or outcomes of the programme, project or policy. Include an analysis or evaluation of lessons learned and best practices. Please summarize any specific results that support your lessons learned and best practices.

  • Conclusions/next steps: Explain the significance of the findings and/or outcomes of the programme, project or policy for HIV prevention, treatment, care and/or support and future implications of the results.

8. How do I submit an abstract?

Before submitting an abstract, you are asked to create a Conference account. One or several abstracts can be submitted through the Conference account.

To submit abstracts, please log in to your Conference account and click on the “Abstract submission” box on the Conference account overview page. Then click on the red button, “Submit an abstract”. In the abstract submission system:

  1. Select the track, category and country of research. Enter your abstract title and text.

  2. Enter the presenting author and co-authors (individually).

  3. Preview your abstract and check format and correctness.

  4. Submit your abstract.

To navigate the abstract submission system, please use the “Next step” buttons or the upper menu bar. For detailed instructions about the abstract submission system, please click on “HELP” in the upper menu bar.

After an abstract has been created, modifications can be made at any time until the submission deadline. After submission, the abstract submitter will receive a confirmation email with an abstract reference number. Please refer to this reference number in all conference correspondence.

A tutorial on how to submit an abstract is available on the Abstract submission guidelines page.

9. Once submitted, can I still modify my abstract?

After an abstract has been submitted via the Conference account, modifications can be made until the deadline, 14 January 2020. After making your modifications, you need to resubmit your abstract. No modifications will be accepted after the submission deadline, 14 January 2020.

10. How should I define the title of my abstract?

A good abstract title is short, specific, representative and informative. It helps the reviewers categorize your abstract and, if accepted, it may help conference delegates find your presentation. The title should summarize your abstract without going into excessive details. Describe the topic clearly, including, for example, the population, country and issue of the research. Titles are limited to 30 words.

11. Can I include a table, graph or image in my abstract?

It is possible, but not mandatory, to include tables or graphs/images in the abstract. A maximum of two tables or graphs in total can be included. A graph or image (in JPG, GIF or PNG, ideally at least 600dpi) counts as 50 words and a table counts as five words per row (50 words maximum). As a reminder, the abstract text body is limited to 350 words.

Please create your table or upload your graph or image following the instructions in the abstract submission system. Place the table or graph or image into your abstract text and save the changes. Review the abstract preview page to ensure that your table or graph or image displays properly.

12. How many co-authors can I include in the list of authors on my abstract?

There is no limit to the number of co-authors per abstract, although we strongly recommend the use of a study group name for abstracts with a high number of co-authors. A person can be listed as a co-author if they meet ALL the following criteria:

  1. Made substantial contributions to concept and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data

  2. Drafted the abstract or revised it for intellectual content

  3. Approved the final version to be submitted.

13. Do I need to disclose information about any conflict of interest in my abstract?

If the abstract is accepted, the presenting authors are asked to disclose all financial and personal relationships between themselves and others that might be perceived by others as biasing their work. The conference organizer asks that all presenting authors disclose any conflict of interest at the time of presentation for the benefit of conference delegates. The purpose of this is to guarantee that all potential conflicts of interest are recognized and mechanisms to resolve them prior to the conference are implemented.

Material presented in abstracts should not violate any copyright laws. If figures, graphics and/or images have been taken from sources not copyrighted by the author, it is the author’s sole responsibility to secure the rights from the copyright holder in writing to reproduce those figures, graphics and/or images for both worldwide print and web publication. The author must bear all reproduction costs charged by the copyright holder.

14. Who selects the abstracts and decides how it will be presented?

All submitted abstracts will go through a blind peer-review process carried out by international reviewers. Each abstract will be reviewed by at least three reviewers. The Scientific Programme Committee makes the final selection of abstracts to be included in the conference programme.

The highest-scoring abstracts will be selected for presentation in an oral abstract session or a poster discussion session. The majority of the posters will be displayed in the poster exhibition.

15. How can I increase the chances of my abstract being accepted?

The methodology or study design presented in your abstract should be appropriate to address the purpose and objectives. Results or lessons learned should be clearly presented and support the conclusions. In addition, the findings should contribute to the advancement of knowledge and development in the field.
If English is not your native language, we strongly recommend that you have your abstract reviewed by a native English speaker working in your field before submission.
You may check the common reasons for abstract rejection in the abstract submission guidelines.

You may also review examples of abstracts from previous conferences. If you need additional support, the Abstract Mentor Programme offers free, expert feedback to young or less experienced researchers interested in submitting an abstract for AIDS 2020. The programme is open from 4 November to 19 December 2019. Find out more by visiting the AMP webpage.

16. When will I be notified if my abstract submission will be successful?

Notification of acceptance or rejection will be sent to the submitting (corresponding) author by the end of March.

17. I need a certificate that shows that my abstract was accepted for the conference. Who do I contact?

To obtain a certificate for abstracts accepted, please contact

18. Who has the copyright of my abstract after the submission?

The submission of the abstract constitutes the authors’ consent to publish. If the abstract is accepted, the authors agree that their abstract can be published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence. The licence allows third parties to share the published work (copy, distribute, transmit) and to adapt it for any purposes, under the condition that AIDS 2020 and the authors are given credit, and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this licence are made clear. Authors retain the copyright of their abstracts, with first publication rights granted to the IAS.

19. Will there be an abstract book for AIDS 2020?

An electronic abstract book will be available free of charge on the conference website.

20. Where will my abstract be published?

Accepted abstracts will be published on IAS websites and publications, such as the AIDS 2020 online programme and other conference materials, the IAS abstract archive and the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS).

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