Abstract Submissions

Submission Guidelines

Abstracts are submitted through MyVSS. You must be a member to submit an abstract. Each member may submit one abstract as first author. The first author must be a current member in good standing (for 2021).

All first authors must register for the meeting and present their poster or talk. Presenter substitutions for posters require pre-approval by the VSS Program Committee and will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Substitutions for talks are not allowed. Each registered attendee may present only once at the meeting.

Accepted and presented abstracts are published in the meeting program and online in the Journal of Vision.

Abstract Format

Abstracts are limited to 300 words. This does not include title, authors and affiliations. Additional space is provided for funding acknowledgements and for declaration of commercial interests and conflicts.

Your abstract should consist of an introduction, methods and results sections, and a conclusion. It is not required that the sections be explicitly labeled as such. It is, however, important that each abstract contains sufficiently detailed descriptions of the methods and the results. Please do not submit an abstract of work that you are planning to do. Such abstracts will not be accepted.

Per the VSS Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Policy, authors must reveal any commercial interests or other potential conflicts of interest that they have related to the work described. Any conflicts of interest must be declared on your poster or talk slides.

Please complete your submission carefully. All abstracts must be in final form. Abstracts are not proof read or corrected in any way prior to publication. Typos and other errors cannot be corrected after the deadline. You may edit your abstract as much as you like until the submission deadline.

Supplementary Material

Each submitter is allowed to upload a one-page PDF file of supplementary material to help the Abstract Review Committee evaluate the abstract. The purpose of the supplementary material is to provide information beyond what can fit into the abstract, that would help the reviewers better understand the specifics of the methods and/or results.

The supplementary material may contain a figure, text, and/or equations. If there is a figure, it should be clearly described. All text in the supplementary material must be at least as large as Arial 11, and page margins must be at least 0.5 inches. Material that expands on the significance or interest of the work, rather than clarifying the methods and/or results, is not appropriate for the supplemental material; material of this type should only be provided in the abstract.

Submission of supplementary material is not mandatory, and reviewers are not obliged to take account of information provided in the supplementary material. However, we encourage authors with a preference for a talk presentation, or who are applying for a travel award, to submit supplementary material so reviewers can more fully evaluate the methods and results.

Because we are doing double-masked reviewing, you must not include any information in your supplementary material that will explicitly identify the authors in the abstract. VSS reserves the right not to convey the supplementary material if it identifies the authors. In addition, reviewers will be asked to confirm that the supplementary material conforms to these guidelines. Failure to conform will disqualify the abstract for a talk, and reduce the probability that any of the authors who apply for travel awards will be selected for one.

Abstract Review

The Abstract Review Committee evaluates all submitted abstracts. Abstracts submitted for talk sessions and/or travel fellowships are assessed by two reviewers; all other abstracts are assessed by one reviewer. Reviewers are chosen whose area of expertise matches the topic of your abstract. You should make three suggestions for reviewers, and those suggestions will at least be partially taken into account when selecting reviewers.

When making these reviewer suggestions, you should avoid reviewers who have a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest exists if you (1) are related to the reviewer, (2) are working at the same institution, (3) have published together in the last 5 years, or (4) have a current joint research project. We ask all of our reviewers to take these issues very serious and to notify us of conflicts of interest. If you are unsure whether a conflict exists, simply ask the potential reviewer about it.

Abstract Rating

Abstracts submitted for talk sessions and/or travel fellowships are reviewed on a five-point scale. Each reviewer’s ratings get normalized before averaging them across reviewers. The reviewers have the option to recommend rejection of an abstract.

Abstracts submitted for poster sessions are reviewed by a single reviewer, who either approves the abstract for presentation or makes a recommendation to reject the abstract.

Abstract rating is completed prior to the VSS Board Meeting in late January, during which the abstracts are scheduled into talk and poster sessions.

Rejection Criteria

Criteria for the rejection of abstracts are a lack of results, fatally flawed or no methods, incomprehensibility, or repetition of well-known literature. Abstracts that are recommended for rejection by at least one reviewer will be considered for rejection by the Board of Directors. Abstracts will only be finally rejected if a two-thirds majority of directors at the board meeting vote for rejection.

Based on our experience, there are always some abstracts that fulfill these criteria, and these will indeed be rejected.

Scheduling Abstracts

The VSS Board of Directors meets at the end of January to schedule presentations for the meeting. Abstracts are divided up into thematically organized sessions, as well as presentation preference. (See Presentation Preference Definitions below).

Because there are usually more requests for talks than slots available, the reviewers’ ratings will primarily determine which abstracts will be assigned to the talk sessions. Under very rare circumstances will the Board make small adjustments to ensure that the talks in a single session fit well together or to prevent a session from being dominated by a single laboratory.

Presentation Preferences:

  • Talk Preferred – If you are not chosen to give a talk, you may be chosen to give a poster.
  • Poster Preferred – You would be willing to give a talk if asked.
  • Poster Only – You are not willing to give a talk.

Notices of Acceptance

After the reviewing process and after the abstracts are scheduled for the meeting, authors will be informed about the outcome of the reviewing process. All correspondence, including notification of abstract acceptance and details for poster and talk presentations, will be sent to the “corresponding author” (submitting author) via email. The corresponding author shall be responsible for informing all contributing authors of any related correspondence.

Abstract Publication

Titles and authors of all accepted abstracts (talks and posters) are included in the VSS Program. Full abstract text is included in the Abstracts book. All abstracts presented at the conference are published in the online Journal of Vision.

Submission Schedule

Submissions Open: November 1, 2020
Submissions Close: December 3, 2020
Notification of Accepted Abstracts: February 5, 2020

Submitting an Abstract

To submit an abstract, Log in to your MyVSS Account or Create a New MyVSS Account, pay for your 2021 membership, and then click the Submit an Abstract button.