If title, author, and affiliation are not properly formatted, the submission may be returned to the author to amend.


  • Keep the title short (no more than 100 characters max, not including spaces). Title should summarize the abstract and contain the major key words.
  • Do not include any abbreviations, acronyms (abbreviations that are pronounced as words, e.g., AIDS), or initialisms (abbreviations that are pronounced one letter at a time, e.g. HIV). Spell out every word. Exception: vs instead of Versus.
  • The term health care should be written as two words, where it is used as a noun or an adjective.
  • Capitalize and single space the first word after a colon or a dash.
  • In a hyphenated compound that is considered to be single word (i.e., it can be found as a single entry in Webster’s), the second word after the hyphen should NOT be capitalized. Example: Double-blind. If the hyphenated compound cannot be found as a single entry in Webster’s, then the second part of the compound SHOULD be capitalized. Example: All‐Cause Mortality of Cardiovascular Disease
  • Use title case:
    • Capitalize prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters (e.g., from, than, etc.).
    • Capitalize nouns, pronouns, verbs (including those of fewer than four letters, e.g. is, are, was, be), adjectives, and adverbs.
    • Capitalize the first and last word of the title.
    • Do not capitalize articles, prepositions, or coordinating conjunctions or words of fewer than four letters unless they’re the first or last word.
      Note: When in doubt, follow this one general rule: "Capitalize all major words in titles except a, an, the, at, by, for, in, of, on, to, up, and, as, but, or, and nor."


  • Enter only the primary affiliation for each author.
  • Spell out the full name of the primary institution for each author.
  • Do not use abbreviations such as “Univ.” for “University.”

There is a 3,000 character limit (not including spaces). Your abstract SHOULD NOT include the words Background, Methods, Results, or Conclusion. These headings will be filled in automatically. Do not use a bold, italicized, or otherwise unique font in any way.

A structured abstract is required and should be organized into the four sections below. Again, these headings will be added automatically. DO NOT add any of your own headings. (i.e. Observation, Objectives, Data, Setting).

Background: Outlines the question addressed by the research. Make the first sentence of the introduction as interesting as possible. If space permits, provide a concise review of what is known about the problem addressed by the research, what remains unknown, and how your research project fills the knowledge gaps. The final sentence of the introduction describes the purpose of the study or the study's a priori hypothesis.

Methods: For most clinical research abstracts, the following areas are specifically mentioned: research design; research setting; number of patients enrolled in the study and how they were selected; a description of the intervention (if appropriate); and a listing of the outcome variables and how they were measured. Finally, the statistical methods used to analyze the data are described.

Results: Begins with a description of the subjects that were included and excluded from the study. For those excluded, provide the reason for their exclusion. Next, list the frequencies of the most important outcome variables. If possible, present comparisons of the outcome variables between various subgroups within the study. Numerical results should include standard deviations or 95% confidence limits and the level of statistical significance. If the results are not statistically significant, present the power of your study (beta-error rate) to detect a difference.

Conclusion: State concisely what can be concluded and its implications. The conclusions must be supported by the data presented in the abstract; never present unsubstantiated personal opinion. If there is room, address the generalizability of the results to populations other than that studied and the weaknesses of the study.

Within the body of the abstract...

  • DO NOT include illustrations, images or graphs.
  • DO NOT insert hard returns or code for justification, hyphenation, line height, line centering, margins, spacing, fonts, page centering, page numbering, suppression, or tabs, underlining, boldface type, italics, subscripts, superscripts, or to insert headings, spaces between paragraphs, references, or footnotes.
  • DO NOT use bulleted lists.
  • DO NOT use abbreviations on first mention; spell out the name in full and follow with the abbreviation in parenthesis. Abbreviations may be used in subsequent mentions
Please note: These are not supported in our system. It may look fine when you submit it, but the formatting (i.e. hard returns, hyphenations, bullets, etc.) will not be visible in your submission when the scorers get it and many times the data is jumbled and unreadable. Your abstract will not be edited; you are responsible for any spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors.


Guidelines based off of SAEM abstract competition guidelines.