Abstract Presentation Guidelines


Important Dates

Manuscript Submission - February 15 - March 15, 2018
View Manuscript Submission Information and Instructions

Oral Poster Presentation File Submission Deadline - April 13, 2018
Submit Your Presentation Slide

General Information

The APSA Annual Meeting provides a professional forum for the presentation and discussion of new ideas, issues and developments of importance to APSA members and to the interested community. The presentation of abstracts is a key feature of the meeting. Your cooperation in adhering to all of the guidelines will help the meeting run smoothly and provide quality and consistency for the attendees.

Speaker Registration Information

APSA policy dictates that all presenters are required to register for the annual meeting.

Abstract Rescheduling/Withdrawal

Presenters should make arrangements to be present for their assigned session. The order of presentation of the abstracts will not be changed. Withdrawal of abstracts after acceptance is strongly discouraged and may be subject to sanctions from the Board of Governors.

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Presentation Requirements

Electronic Presentations

All presentation rooms will be equipped with the following:

  • Wireless mouse
  • LCD projector
  • Podium with microphone
  • Appropriate screens
  • Monitor for speaker
  • Laser pointer

Uploading Your Presentation

  • All presenters must check in with the A/V staff in the Speaker Ready room at least 2 hours prior to their presentation, preferably the day before.
  • Podium presenters:
    • Scientific, Plenary and Innovation sessions – turn in your PowerPoint file to A/V staff for review.
    • Video presenations - turn in your narrated video file to the A/V staff for review. Narration from the podium will not be allowed.
    • Poster sessions II and II – A/V staff will already have your PowerPoint slide on file (it is due at APSA headquarters April 13). You must still check in in the Speaker Ready room where you will have a chance to review your slide.
  • Display-only Posters – you do not need to check in with A/V staff. See page 4 for set-up, viewing and tear-down schedule.
The A/V technician will project your PowerPoint slide(s) when you begin your presentation. There will be a separate screen allowing you to see the slide(s) while facing the audience. The A/V technicians will be available to assist you if needed.

Presentation Types 

Podium Presentations
  • Include presentations in Scientific, Plenary and Innovation sessions. 
  • Limited to 8 minutes: 5 minutes for presentation, 3 minutes for Q&A.
Posters with Oral Presentations
  • Include presentations in Poster I and Poster II sessions.
  • Limited to 5 minutes: 2 minutes for presentation, 3 minutes for Q&A.
  • Posters are on display for the duration of the meeting.  View the set-up, display and tear-down schedule.
Display-Only Posters 
  • No oral presentation.
  • Posters are on display for the duration of the meeting. View the set-up, display and tear-down schedule.

Video Presentations

  • Video presentations are be limited to 8 minutes: 5 minutes for presenation and 3 minutes for Q&A.
  • A/V technician will run your narrated video. Narration from the podium is not allowed.

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Podium Presentations

Podium presentations are spread out among nine scientific sessions, Friday, May 4 - Saturday, May 5, and fall into the following categories, dates and times:

Plenary Session I 
Friday, May 4, 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Scientific Session I: Necrotizing Enterocolitis, Short Gut, Congenital Diaphragmatic  Hernia
Friday, May 4, 9:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Scientific Session II: Trauma, Appendicitis, Hernia, General Pediatric Surgery
Friday, May 4, 9:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Scientific Session III: Fetal, Transplant, Basic Science
Friday, May 4, 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Scientific Session IV: Anorectal Malformations, IBD, Thoracic
Friday, May 4, 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Innovation Session
Saturday, May 5, 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Plenary Session II
Saturday, May 5, 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Scientific Session V: Quality
Saturday, May 5, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Scientific Session VI: Oncology
Saturday, May 5, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Oral Poster Presentations (with podium presentation)

Posters are both displayed in a poster hall AND authors deliver an oral report to attendees during poster presentation sessions. Poster presentations are divided into two concurrent sessions:

  1. Poster Session I: Basic Science - Thursday, May 3, 4:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  2. Poster Session II: Clinical Surgery - Thursday, May 3, 4:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Presentations consist of one image (one PowerPoint slide, no transitions) containing the relevant data from the study and a brief oral report.
  • Presentation is limited to 5 minutes: 2 minutes for presentation and 3 minutes for Q&A.
  • Your final, single slide presentation must be submitted via e-mail to APSA Headquarters by April 13, 2018. Failure to submit your slide by the due date may result in withdrawal of your presentation

Display Only Posters (without podium presentation)

Some posters are only displayed in a poster hall and do not include an oral podium presentation. Set-up, display and tear-down dates and times are listed below.

Poster Hall Display Schedule for all Posters

Poster Set Up Thursday, May 3   6:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Poster Viewing Thursday, May 3  3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  Friday, May 4 6:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  Saturday, May 5 6:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Poster Dismantle   Saturday, May 5 10:00 a.m.

APSA will provide one 4’ (1.22 meters) tall by 8’ (2.44 meters) long poster board and pushpins for your poster display. Poster boards will be numbered; be certain to display your materials on the board corresponding to your poster number. Authors are requested to be in attendance during the general session breaks Friday and Saturday to address questions from meeting attendees. APSA and the hotel are not responsible for your presentation materials.

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Tips for a Successful Presentation

Presentation times will be strictly enforced by session moderators. In consideration to subsequent presenters, if your presentation runs long, you will be asked to end it prior to completion and discussion time will be eliminated.

  • Practice the presentation several times, preferably with an audience of peers.
  • PowerPoint slides should be easily readable and understandable by the audience. Information should be legible when read unaided at a distance of 40 feet (12.9 meters).
  • Use a big, bold font, such as Arial. Use contrasting colors, but avoid using too many colors. A maximum of three colors is recommended.
  • Avoid putting too much information on one slide. A limit of 36 words is recommended.
  • Avoid projecting typed pages as they are not legible more than a few feet from the projected image.
  • Information should be presented horizontally (landscape).
  • Significant results and conclusions should be highlighted on the visuals.
  • Use a laser pointer during your presentation.
  • Remain at the podium following your presentation to answer questions from the audience.
  • Repeat any questions from the audience into the microphone for the entire audience to hear before attempting to respond.
  • Speak loudly and clearly to be heard in the back of the room.
  • Speak to the audience, not to the visual.
  • Avoid slang and contractions when possible.
  • Bring a back-up copy of the digital file in the event the original file has been corrupted.

Podium Presentation Slides:

  • Text should be summarized statements, no more than six words per statement and no more than six points per slide. Several simple slides are preferable to one complicated slide.
  • Tables and graphs should be used to show only relevant information. Titles, headings and legends should be clearly presented. Tables: limit the size to six rows and four columns. Graphs: be sure they are simple, big and bold, making one point at a time. General trends and relative values are better than detailed line drawings. Photographs: should tell a story and support the overall presentation. Avoid using poor quality photos.
  • Poster Session Presenters - use a single slide highlighting the significant data from the study in graph or table form.  Limit the amount of text included in your poster. Small text is difficult to read for those in the back of the room and takes away from your presentation.

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APSA awards several prizes for outstanding presentations.

Innovation Award
Abstracts presented during the Innovation Session are eligible for this award. One $500 award is awarded for Best Innovation Abstract. The winning presentation is selected by special committee made up of the chair and vice chair of the Program Committee, chair and vice chair of the New Technology Committee, members of the APSA Board of Governors and Program Committee members in attendance at the Innovation Session. The award is based solely on scores determined from the presentation at the annual meeting. Learn more.

Posters of Distinction
APSA selects two recipients for outstanding poster presentations. Members of the Program Committee select recipients in two categories: one for basic science and one for clinical poster. The prize amount is $250 USD for each winning presentation. Learn more.

M. Judah Folkman Memorial Awards
The American Pediatric Surgical Association and the Association of Training Program Directors for Pediatric Surgery are proud to present the M. Judah Folkman Memorial Award for outstanding research presentations given during the APSA Annual Meeting. Two winners are selected for best podium presentations. Each winner will receive a $1,000 award and a medallion.

This award was created in honor of Dr. M. Judah Folkman and his legacy of leadership in our organization, the tremendous body of work he left behind and the way he selflessly shared his art of medicine with so many students and the art of healing with so many children and families.

Award recipients must be residents currently enrolled in an accredited training program (general surgery or pediatric surgery). Presentations are judged on scientific merit and actual presentations. The submitting author had an opportunity to indicate whether your abstract is eligible for this award during abstract submission.. Learn more.

Quality, Safety and Value in Surgery Award
This award is awarded to the manuscript that describes a research study or quality improvement project that best addresses the value proposition by demonstrating an improvement in outcomes while at the same time reducing cost or other measures of resource utilization. The quality of the manuscript and potential impact of the intervention for improving value outside of the author’s own institution will serve as the primary criteria for judging. The recipient of the award will receive a $500 prize and a framed certificate.

  • Only presentations in Scientific or Plenary sessions are eligible for this award.
  • A manuscript supporting the abstract must be submitted for review for publication in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery, via the regular APSA channels by the stated deadline.
  • Video presentations are not eligible. Learn more.

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Manuscript Submission

Authors presenting podium or poster abstracts have the option to submit manuscripts for publication in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery. Manuscript submission is optional, except for abstracts that are eligible for the Quality Award. Video presentations and display-only posters are not eligible for manuscript submission.

Manuscripts must be submitted via the APSA website; a link will be provided at a later date. The submission site will be open February 15 – March 15, 2018. All abstract authors will be notified prior to the site’s opening. Presentation of your abstract at the annual meeting is not a guarantee of acceptance for publication.


Daniel Ostlie, MD, Program Committee Chair
Lee Ann Clark, Executive Director
Marina Petrulla, Administrative Director; +1-847-686-2339