Presentation Guidelines

Note: Title text for all presentations is limited to 200 characters (25 words).

With the exception of Pre-Meeting Institutes (PMIs), all abstract text is limited to 1400 characters (200 words).  PMI abstract text is limited to 2800 characters (400 words).

Presentation Types

  • Pre-Meeting Institute (PMI)
    Institutes are full or half day sessions that provide opportunities for intensive training on topics integral to the conference program, presented by leaders in the field. Submissions must specify the level of presentation (introductory, intermediate, or advanced) and summarize the evidence for the material to be presented. Priority will be given to courses that present material for which there is clear empirical support.
  • Symposium
    Session that includes a group of 3-4 sequential presentations, each related to the overall theme of the symposium. Submission includes a brief outline of the overall submission topic, along with separate submission of the component parts of the symposium. In symposia, where there are fewer than 4 presenters, the program chairs may add a single paper submission addressing a similar theme.
  • Panel Presentation
    Session that includes 3-4 participants discussing a common theme, issue or question. Panels may include short statements during which panelists outline diverse or similar approaches to the same question. Panels are typically more interactive than symposia, involving active discussion among the panelists.
  • Workshop Presentation
    Instructional session that aims to help participants increase their understanding and skill in a particular area of interest. Such sessions may include active involvement of the audience.
  • Case Study Presentation
    Sessions that use material from a single or a set of cases to illustrate clinical, theoretical, or policy issues. These sessions may involve the audience in discussion of the case material presented.
  • Oral Paper Presentation
    Individual presentations of no more than 15 minutes on a topic related to traumatic stress, typically including the presentation of research data.
  • Poster Presentation
    Individual presentation in a poster format on a topic related to traumatic stress, typically including the presentation of research data.
  • Media Presentation
    Session involving presentation of a segment of film, video, music, drama, literature, artwork, or other forms of media relevant to traumatic stress, along with discussion.

Participation Limits (Two Submissions Per Person)

To promote participation by a wide range of presenters, individuals are limited to 2 abstracts being submitted that indicate they have a presenting role. Sessions in which an individual acts in multiple roles (e.g. presenter and chair and/or discussant) count once. This limit does not include keynote, plenary addresses, Pre-Meeting Institutes or poster presentations. Also, it does not include abstracts indicating a co-authorship role only and oral presentations in which the individual’s only roles is as a non-presenting chair or discussant.


  • Presentations should be original contributions and that any presentation concerning work that has been presented elsewhere should provide new information or a new perspective relative to the previous presentation(s).
    Publication of the work, such as in a journal, prior to the date of abstract submission (not the abstract submission deadline) is prohibited. This policy applies to symposia presentations, panels, papers and cases, but does not apply to training sessions (workshops and PMIs) or forums, which may replicate presentations at other conferences or past ISTSS meetings, largely unchanged.
  • Proposal descriptions must be sufficiently detailed to allow the relevance, originality and feasibility to be judged.
  • Incomplete proposals (draft status) will not be considered.


Competition for oral presentations is high; therefore, take the time to enter the best submission possible. Keep in mind that many high quality proposals must be turned away simply due to lack of space. For Examples of Model and Problematic Oral Presentation Proposals, click here.


Review Process

Submissions are rated for rigor (scientific, clinical or intellectual), relevance for ISTSS members and consistency with the meeting theme. Training presentations (workshops and Pre-Meeting Institutes) also are rated for presenter qualifications and usefulness of the training objectives in the clinical or research work of ISTSS members. Symposia, panels and cases also are rated on importance of the topic, scope of coverage of the topic, and diversity of presenters. Proposal descriptions must be sufficiently detailed to allow evaluation of these criteria. Symposia submissions will be reviewed and accepted or rejected in total, so uniformly high quality and detail across presentations are important.

CME Requirements
Click here for an explanation of speaker requirements related to commercial relationships.

Presentation Roles
Click here to read information on presentation roles.