Frequently asked questions about abstracts

Please note: This page is continuously updated and therefore the information below is subject to change and new content may be added.

General

  • What is an abstract?

    An abstract is a summary of a paper (research publication). The study and results reported should be novel and not simply an extension of previously published work.

  • What is a late-breaking abstract (LBA)?

    Abstracts that are considered as late breaking must contain novel data and this data must became available for public dissemination only after the standard abstract deadline on 11 February 2021.

    The study and results reported should be novel and not simply an extension of previously published work. The LBA round is not designed to favour investigators who unintentionally missed the deadline for the first/regular abstract submission round.

  • What is a randomised controlled trial (RCT) abstract?

    The most ground-breaking RCT and very late-breaking clinical trial data from all respiratory disease areas. Best RCTs will be presented as part of the ‘Abstracts Leading to Evolution in Respiratory Medicine Trials’ sessions (ALERT).

    Note that the submission is not free; a €150 submission fee applies for each RCT abstract submission (non-refundable). For people based in Switzerland an additional 8% VAT will apply.

  • How many abstracts can I submit?

    A maximum of three abstracts (including LBA and RCT abstracts) may be submitted by the same author.

  • Do I need to disclose information of conflict of interest in my abstract?

    Yes. When submitting your abstract, you will have the opportunity to disclose your conflict of interest. Conflict of interest statements are only required for the first author.

  • What is the required structure for an abstract?

    Title: The title should be an accurate description of the abstract’s contents. It should explain as much as possible about the context and the aims of the study. The title should be about 10–12 words long, and should include the scope of the investigation, the study design and the goal. The title should be a description of what was investigated rather than a statement of the results or conclusions. The abstract title should be easy for the reader to understand and should not include jargon or unfamiliar acronyms or abbreviations. The title should not be in capital letters.

    Authors: The list of authors should be restricted to those individuals who carried out the study, conceived it, designed it, gathered the data, analysed the numbers and wrote the abstract. The author who will present the abstract should be listed first. Every listed author should read and approve the abstract before it is submitted.

    Main text: A good abstract should address the five following questions in the relevant sections:

    1. “Why did you start?” – Introduction or background / You should summarise, preferably in one sentence, the current knowledge specifically in relation to the work you are presenting.

    2. “What did you try to do?” – Aims and objectives / State the aim of your study, and ideally include a short statement of the study’s hypothesis. A legitimate scientific study is not done “to prove that something is true” but rather “to find out whether it is true.” The distinction may seem small but it makes a significant difference. A formal hypothesis shows that you are objective.

    3. “What did you do?” – Methods / In an abstract, the description of the methods has to be concise, and much of the details of what was done must be omitted. However, in a few short sentences, you can give the reader a good idea of the design of the study, the context in which it was done, and the types of patients or measurements that were included.

    4. “What did you find?” – Results / It is important to give the main results of the study, not in subjective terms (“We found device X to be superior to device Y”) but also in the form of some real data. You will need to choose which findings to report here: it should be the most important data in your study, and the findings on which your conclusions will be based. Do not include a table or figure unless you need it to show your results.

    5. “What does it mean?” – Conclusions / Here, space constraints generally limit you to a single sentence of why you think your findings are important, and their potential implications. Keep your conclusions reasonable and supportable by the findings of your study. Remember that if your study was restricted to certain patients, or a particular therapy, or a specific device, its results may not extend beyond these restrictions.

    Please see the full guidelines for more information.

Abstract submission

  • Can I submit an abstract that has been already presented at a different event?

    We do not accept abstracts which have already been presented and published. You can submit something similar to our Congress, however we expect some additions/new data to what has been presented elsewhere.

  • Who has the copyright for my abstract after submission?

    Copyright for abstracts is retained by authors (see on submission Terms & Agreement “11. Copyright, if this abstract is accepted, will be held by the author or employer (as part of the conditions of the author(s)’s employment).”)

    The abstracts are not published under a creative commons framework (Creative Commons licensing is most generally used to ‘describe’ how you can ‘use/re-use’ an open access document). The abstracts are not published open access. They are free to access (on both the ERS platforms and when they are published as a supplement of the ERJ), which is different to open access, and are copyright to the author.

  • How long should an abstract be?

    The maximum length of an abstract is 1,810 characters including characters and spaces in the following: Abstract Title, Abstract Body, Table, and Figures. N.B. if you insert a table, one character will be deducted per cell. If you insert an image/picture/figure, it will deduct 277 characters.

  • How many co-authors can I include on the authors list?

    There is no limit regarding number of authors. However, the list of authors should be restricted to those individuals who carried out the study, conceived it, designed it, gathered the data, analysed the numbers and wrote the abstract. The author who will present the abstract should be listed first. Every listed author should read and approve the abstract before it is submitted.

    All authors must have a myERS account. If the co-author does not have an account, they can create a myERS account for free.

  • I missed the submission deadlines for the ERS International Congress 2021. Can I still submit an abstract for this year's event?

    No, abstract submission for 2021 is closed.

    Abstract submission for the ERS International Congress 2022 will open in mid-December 2021 until February 2022. Online submission will be completed via myERS.

Notification and publication

  • How can I find out whether my abstract and/or LBA has been accepted or not?

    Abstract notifications for the first-round and late-breaking round submissions were sent to the submitter and presenters’ email address on the 29 July, 2021.

    The status of your submission can also be checked in the myERS account that was used to submit the abstract.

  • Why was this year's abstract notification sent later than usual?

    Considering that the ERS International Congress is virtual again in 2021, more time for the late-breaking abstract submission round was granted to authors. The finalisation of the abstract sessions was completed in July 2021.

  • When will the full abstract content be available, and where can I find it?

    Abstract content will be available in the online programme from 23 August, 2021, two weeks prior to the beginning of the ERS Congress as pre-congress content. This includes abstract content for both ePoster and Oral Presentation sessions.

    Please note: this excludes a number of embargoed abstracts, including those in ALERT sessions and the ERS press programme, which are embargoed until the day of their presentation.

  • Where will accepted abstracts be published?

    Abstracts will be published in a supplement of the European Respiratory Journal by the end of November 2021.

  • When will I be able to upload my ePoster or PPT presentation to the virtual congress platform?

    The congress materials that are required for ePoster and Oral Presentation sessions must be uploaded by the abstract presenter via their own myERS account before the deadline on Friday, 13 August 2021.

    Presenters can upload the requested materials now on the dedicated platform using the following link: upload link. To access the platform, the presenter must use their own myERS account access details.

  • Who selects the abstracts and decides how they will be presented?

    All abstracts are graded anonymously by a panel of at least three reviewers on a scale from one (lowest) to six (highest), with an average score of three minimum for acceptance, on the basis of the following criteria:

    • The scientific strength
    • The methodology
    • The data provided
    • The novelty and / or originality of its findings

    Based on these elements, the decision is taken to accept or reject abstracts for the congress. When allocation of abstracts into sessions begins, ERS officers also consider the limitations of slots available in the congress programme.

  • I will not be able to participate in the congress or present my abstract. Can one of the co-authors present it on my behalf?

    Changes to the presenter can be completed via myERS from the abstract submitter’s account.

    Click the arrows icon on the right hand side of the table (containing the abstract title), then follow the instructions that you receive via email. This change will not be completed until the new presenter accepts the role of presenter, by completing the form available on the communicated link.

    To change the list of authors (add, remove, change the order, change affiliation) click on the first-left edit icon next to the abstract title, then access the list of authors to make the updates.

    Important note: New presenters must upload abstract materials (ePoster or PPTX) from their own myERS account. If a presentation has already been uploaded by the original presenter, it will disappear from the ERS Congress platform after the presenter is changed, and must be re-uploaded by the new presenter.

    Please avoid leaving the presenter change until the last moment as the ERS Congress virtual platform may not be updated in time.

Changes and withdrawals

  • How can I withdraw my abstract?

    After you receive notification that your abstract has been accepted, to withdraw your abstract, you must contact the ERS office with the completed abstract withdrawal form.

    To ensure that your abstract is withdrawn from the ERS Congress 2021 programme, please send the completed form at least two weeks prior to the start of the congress to ensure that all platforms are updated.

  • How can I change my abstract’s presenting author?

    Changes to the presenter can be completed via myERS from the abstract submitter’s account.

    Click the arrows icon on the right hand side of the table (containing the abstract title), then follow the instructions that you receive via email. This change will not be completed until the new presenter accepts the role of presenter, by completing the form available on the communicated link.

    To change the list of authors (add, remove, change the order, change affiliation) click on the first-left edit icon next to the abstract title, then access the list of authors to make the updates.

    Important note: New presenters must upload abstract materials (ePoster or PPTX) from their own myERS account. If a presentation has already been uploaded by the original presenter, it will disappear from the ERS Congress platform after the presenter is changed, and must be re-uploaded by the new presenter.

    Please avoid leaving the presenter change until the last moment as the ERS Congress virtual platform may not be updated in time.

  • Once submitted, can I still modify my abstract?

    You cannot modify your abstract’s body nor title after it is submitted, with no exceptions.

    You can however present the updated version of your abstract during the congress.

    After you receive notification that your abstract has been accepted (sent at the end of July 2021), it is possible to modify the list of authors only.

    Note that the change to the list of authors may take up to 48 hours to appear in the programme. To ensure that changes to the authors list are considered, make sure they are done at least one week prior to when the Congress starts.

    You must log in to the myERS abstract platform to edit the authors list or to change the presenting author.

  • I submitted an abstract under the wrong category. Is it still possible to change it?

    You cannot change the submission category, however, if the content would better fit another category, the organisers of the abstracts sessions might move your abstract into a different category anyway.

  • Can I change the session of my abstract presentation?

    No. After your abstract is accepted in to the ERS Congress, the allocation (i.e. scheduling and presentation type) is decided by the ERS International Congress Programme Committee and you will have no option to modify this.

  • How can I find out whether my abstract is accepted or not?

    Abstract notifications for the first-round and late-breaking round submissions were sent to the submitter and presenters’ email address on the 29 July, 2021.

    The status of your submission can also be checked in the myERS account that was used to submit the abstract.

    For the details on session type and scheduling of your accepted abstract, check the congress online programme.

    Abstract presenting authors must submit the required congress materials for their abstract presentation before the deadline on Friday, 13 August 2021, from this upload link. To access, they must use their own myERS account details.

  • My abstract has been accepted for the congress. How do I obtain the official acceptance letter?

    Official acceptance letters were sent to the abstract presenters’ email address on 29 July, 2021. It is available to download under communicated personal space link.

  • Could you explain how the presenter change works? It is unclear to me.

    Change of the presenting author can be done from the submitter’s myERS account.

    1. Click on the arrow icon located on the right-hand side next to the abstracts title, then you will receive an email with the link.
    2. This link must be sent by the original presenter to the new presenter, so that the new presenter can accept the change – the change will not be made until the new presenter accepts this. It is advised to check with the new presenter if they have accepted to present.
    3. To accept, the new presenter must click on the link. Then they will be able to access the page with the acceptance form. The presenter can access the form by signing in with their myERS details. If they do not have myERS account, they can create one for free to access the form.
    4. Once the new presenter can access the form, they must click ‘yes’ to accept being presenter, or ‘no’ to reject being presenter.
    5. Change will automatically appear in the programme (it may take up to 48 hours).
    6. When the steps above are completed, the new presenter can upload the required congress materials.

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