General and late-breaking abstracts that present new research in HIV, hepatitis viruses, SARS-CoV-2 (including Long COVID), mpox, and their related conditions are eligible for presentation at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). Abstracts are selected based on their medical and scientific significance, timeliness, quality of data and methodology, and adherence to the guidelines described below. Click the section title to display the relevant guidelines.

Abstracts are submitted through the Abstract, Scholarship, and Speaker Materials Submission site, with a September 27, 2023, deadline. Data analyzed after the general deadline may be submitted as a Late-Breaking Abstract beginning December 1, 2023, with a January 9, 2024, deadline. Studies accepted for a late-breaking presentation must meet a high threshold of scientific merit. Please refer to the Dates and Deadlines page for all submission deadlines and key milestones.

Technical Issues: Technical issues preventing submission of an abstract must be communicate by email to CROIabstracts@iasusa.org prior to the submission deadline. Notification of an inability to submit due to technical issues received after the deadline cannot generally be addressed as abstract immediately proceed to review.

Requirements for Authorship: Authors listed in the abstract should conform to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for authorship: 

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND 
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND 
  3. Final approval of the version submitted; AND 
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved 

See: ICMJE Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors 

Author Listing: Up to 15 authors can be included in each abstract, or 14 authors plus 1 research team or group (if applicable). Donot enter individual coauthors in the research group field (they will be deleted).

Author Affiliations: Indicate each author’s professional affiliation by selecting the institution from the list provided in the abstract submission system. The list generally does not use abbreviations for institutions (ie, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not CDC). Department and school names are not used (ie, Yale University School of Medicine is Yale University) unless they are part of the institution name (eg, San Francisco Department of Public Health). 

Presenting Author: The author noted as the presenting author on an abstract is responsible for giving the presentation if the abstract is accepted. In an emergency, an alternate may be selected from among the coauthors listed in the abstract. The new presenting author must update the abstract submission to disclose financial relationships with ineligible companies.

Presenting Author Financial Disclosures: Through the abstract system’s Financial Disclosure Form, the abstract submitter must disclose any financial relationships with ineligible companies (previously defined as “commercial interests”) that they have had within the past 24 months. Any actual or apparent conflicts of interest of those parties are resolved and mitigated before the continuing medical education (CME) activity is being delivered. The ACCME defines an ineligible company as “those whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing health care products used by or on patients.

Posthumous Inclusion of a Coauthor: Presenters may recognize the contributions of a deceased colleague during the presentation at CROI. However, the posthumous recognition of a coauthor is not permitted within the listing of authors in the abstract as the deceased author cannot meet the ICJME criteria 3.

Research Collaborators: Individuals not listed as coauthors on an abstract can be considered research collaborators if they contributed substantively and measurably to the scientific development or execution of the project. Research collaborators should meet most of the authorship criteria described in the ICMJE recommendations above. Research collaborators will have access to early registration for CROI (along with accepted abstract authors). 

The abstract title should be concise and clearly convey the subject of the abstract and is limited to 100 characters, including formatting tags (eg, [sup]…[/sup] for superscripts or [i]…[/i] for italics) and spaces. Titles should be written in Title Case based on the American Medical Association (AMA) style. 

AMA style calls for capitalizing all nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, and conjunctions with more than four letters. Prepositions and coordinating conjunctions with four or fewer letters always remain in lowercase. For hyphenated words, capitalize the first letters of both words only when they are equal, only the first word is capitalized in the case of prefixes and suffixes. When using scientific names in titles, only the first word begins with a capital letter; the second one remains in lowercase. For example, Dracaena trifasciata.

The body of a CROI abstract is divided into 4 sections: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Text submitted should 1 paragraph per section and should not include the section headings within the text. The cumulative character limit for the abstract is 2500 characters, including spaces and formatting tags. Abstract section headers (Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions) will be added by the abstract submission system so they will not be counted toward the character limit. Tables and figures do not count toward the character limit.

Background

Why was the study conducted? Briefly describe the rationale of the study, which can include the hypothesis. 

Methods

What was done and how was it done? Detail the experimental methods, statistics, and processes employed in the study.  

Results

What were the findings? Describe the findings of the study, including data. Promises of results “to be determined” are not acceptable. Abstracts without data may be rejected. The results section should include sex stratification and other demographic variables and use appropriate terminology.   

Conclusions

What does the study suggest or imply? Logically describe sound conclusions and reliable inferences drawn from the study results. 

In general, CROI does not accept work that has been previously published or publicly presented, or that is scheduled to be published or presented before CROI. Consideration may be given to a previously presented submission if meaningful newer data or different analyses are included or if the prior presentation was or will be at a conference not focused on HIV-, viral hepatitis, or SARS-CoV-2-related topics or had fewer than ~400 attendees. 

If study data have been published, submitted for publication, or previously presented at another major HIV- or SARS-CoV-2-related national or international scientific or medical conference (ie, generally more than 400 attendees), the abstract submitter will be asked to provide the following details during submission: the name and date (or anticipated date) of the publication or conference presentation, and whether anyone holds the copyright on those data. Manuscripts placed on preprint servers ahead of peer review are not considered published. Abstract text under copyright by a publication or another conference should not be submitted to CROI. 

After Acceptance: If study data are accepted for publication or presentation after the abstract is accepted for presentation, and that publication or presentation is expected to take place before CROI, the presenting author must contact the conference manager at CROIabstracts@iasusa.org to provide details as soon as the presentation is accepted for review, presentation, or publication in another venue or outlet. Please be aware although publication in these circumstances will not necessarily prevent the presentation of the research at CROI, our strong preference is that any additional publication or presentation happens simultaneously with or following the presentation at CROI. Requests to publish or present research accepted for presentation at CROI prior to its presentation at CROI will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Failure to notify the conference promptly regarding plans to publish or present a CROI-accepted abstract prior to CROI may result in the removal of the abstract from the conference program. 

Author Responsibilities

CROI requires that all work submitted remains the responsibility of the authors. Submitters must disclose whether generative AI (eg, ChatGPT and LaMDA) or a professional paid writing service was used to draft or refine text, analyze existing data, or generate any data submitted in the abstract. This policy does not refer to or require disclosure of simple grammar, spelling, or reference management tools (eg, Grammarly, spell check, ReferenceManager, and EndNote).

AI-Powered Large Language Models

Disclosure:This policy statement was drafted using ChatGPT version 3.5 through inputs identified by the CROI Scientific Program Committee and text refined by the IAS–USA (CROI Conference Manager). 

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines and standards for the responsible and appropriate use of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered large language models (LLM) for scientific abstracts submitted to the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). AI-powered language models (eg, ChatGPT and LaMDA) can generate human-like text based on input prompts. This policy ensures the accuracy, ethical usage, and integrity of the abstracts produced using generative AI. AI and LLM are complementary tools to assist researchers in drafting scientific abstracts and cannot replace the expertise and knowledge of the researchers themselves.

Ethical Considerations
  1. Researcher Accountability: Researchers utilizing AI-powered LLM to draft, revise, or otherwise generate an abstract are responsible for thoroughly reviewing and validating the generated content to ensure its accuracy, relevance, and adherence to scientific standards.
  2. Citation and Attribution: If AI-powered LLM is used in the abstract process, researchers must acknowledge the AI assistance and provide appropriate citations for the tool.
    • Disclosure: Abstract submitters must disclose whether generative AI was used to draft or refine the abstract text, if generative AI was used to analyze existing data submitted in the abstract, or if AI was used to generate data presented in the abstract.
    • Plagiarism Avoidance: Researchers must ensure the generated abstracts are original and do not plagiarize content from other sources. Any external sources referenced in the abstract must be cited appropriately.
    • Adherence with CROI Guidelines: Abstracts generated using these tools must adhere to the CROI submission guidelines and ethical principles. Researchers should review and comply with all submission requirements outlined by CROI.
Review and Validation Process
  1. Peer Review: Abstracts generated using AI-powered LLM should undergo the same rigorous peer review process as those written solely by researchers. The validity and scientific merit of the abstracts must be evaluated by all the authors on the abstract before submission to CROI.
  2. Quality Control: Researchers must thoroughly edit and proofread the generated abstracts to ensure accuracy, clarity, and compliance with CROI guidelines.
Data Privacy and Security
  1. Protection of Sensitive Data: Researchers must ensure that no confidential or sensitive information is submitted to AI-powered LLM that stores end-user data to train the machine learning model.
  2. Author Review and Redaction: The authors should review and redact any such data before using public-facing generative AI.
Training and Familiarization
  1. Training: Researchers planning to use AI-powered LLM for abstract drafting should receive appropriate training on its use, limitations, and the necessity of reviewing and validating the content.
  2. Familiarity with CROI Guidelines: Researchers should familiarize themselves with CROI’s submission guidelines to ensure the generated abstract meets all specified requirements.
Policy Enforcement and Consequences
  1. Violation Consequences: Failure to adhere to this policy, including misrepresenting AI-generated content, plagiarism, or unethical behavior, may result in administrative withdrawal of an abstract and a potential ban from submitting future abstracts from any authors listed on the abstract.
  2. Policy Updates: This policy may be reviewed and updated periodically to reflect changes in AI technology, ethical considerations, or conference submission guidelines.

Professional Paid Writing Services

Submitters are required to disclose whether a professional paid writing service, such as a medical communications firm or publishing group, was used to draft the original text of the abstract or to refine the text of the abstract. As with AI-powered large language models, authors remain responsible for the content of their abstract if they use professional paid writing services. All coauthors should review and approve the final draft of the abstract before it is submitted to CROI.

One (1) figure, table, or other illustration is permitted in an abstract submission if it provides essential detail about the work that the abstract text cannot adequately describe. Figures, tables, or other illustrations that exceed the guidelines below will be removed from the submitted abstract, will not be displayed for reviewers (the abstract without the figure will be reviewed), and will not be included in the Abstract eBook (if accepted). 

Guidelines
  1. Content: The figure or graphic should convey essential information about the work that the text of the abstract could not adequately describe
  2. Viewability: The figure or table should be easily viewable (including headers, figure legends, and data points) if printed in the 4-inch by 4-inch space (10.15 cm x 10.15 cm).
  3. Graphs and Figures (2 Panels Maximum): A 1- or 2-panel figure meets the criteria if additional information in the title, legend, description, additional labels (excluding x-axis and y-axis), and footnotes do not exceed 50 words. The plot area displaying the data and the x-axis and y-axis labels are not counted in the 50-word limit. A graph or figure of more than 2 panels does not meet the criteria. For More Information: See Example Tables and Figures
    1. A figure that includes a table will be considered a table
  4. Tables: Tables may have a maximum of 8 columns and 8 rows, including subcategories. Additional information, including title, legend, description, additional labels, and footnotes, may not exceed 50 words. The table data, row, and column headers do not count as part of the 50-word limit. For More Information: See Example Tables and Figures
  5. Figures that present some data in a tabular format (ie, including columns and rows) should follow the guidelines for tables (eg, a maximum of 8 columns and 8 rows)
  6. Inclusion of a figure, table, or other graphic must conform to the guidelines around length, size, complexity, and legibility. Elements that do not meet these guidelines are removed from consideration in the review process and, if the abstract is accepted, from inclusion in the eAbstract Book. Further information and common reasons for removal can be found here.

Tables and figures do not count toward the 2500-character limit for abstract text.

Describing New Compounds

Please be sure to include sufficient information to allow for a meaningful review of compound data, including isolation, activity, chemical structure, mechanism of action, toxic effects, and pharmacologic data. The chemical or molecular structure must be shown in the presentation (but it need not be part of the abstract or published in the abstract eBook). 

Case Reports and Meta-Analyses

CROI generally does not accept abstracts for case reports, meta-analyses, or systematic reviews unless they are of enormous public health significance. 

Trade Names

Trade names for drugs should not be used in abstracts. Refer to drugs and products by their nonproprietary names. 

Sex Stratification and Other Demographic Variables

Abstracts from randomized trials and cohorts should follow the ICMJE guidelines, including reporting of study designs (eg, prospective, observational, randomized, double-blind, STROBE, CONSORT, or others), statistical methods, and outcomes by demographic variables. The presentation should provide sex-stratified results for human clinical or epidemiological studies or identify who was included if it includes only a single population. Abstracts of preclinical data including the use of cell lines and animal studies should include the sex of the animals or the sex of the source of the cell lines. If data are not available on sex (as assigned at birth) or gender (where gender is relevant to the study results), this should be identified as a limitation in the study.  

See: ICMJE Preparing for Submission 

People-First Language and the Use of Appropriate Terminology

It is important to use  “people first” language such as “people with HIV” rather than “HIV-infected people.” Similarly, do not characterize people by their conditions. “People with diabetes” is preferred over “diabetics”; “patients with cirrhosis” rather than “cirrhotics;” and “people who inject drugs” rather than “drug abusers.” Out of respect for their contributions to our scientific advances, avoid calling study volunteers “subjects.” The preferred terms are study “participants” or “volunteers.” Ensure correct use of the terms sex (when reporting biological factors) and gender (identity, psychosocial, or cultural factors). Appropriate terminology such as “cisgender” (people whose gender matches the sex assigned at birth) or “transgender” (people whose gender does not match the sex assigned at birth) should be used. 

Statements to Support

Statements of grant support or funding statements may not be included in the abstract text (eg, Study was funded by NIH). Statements of support may be included in the presentation of the abstract at CROI, if accepted. 

Based on the submitter’s selection from a list of CROI Abstract Categories, each abstract is assigned to the review team whose expertise matches that of the abstract’s subject matter. Although the Scientific Program Committee and external reviewers may reassign an abstract to a more appropriate category, the abstract is most likely to receive an equitable review if the submitter carefully selects the correct category during submission. 

See Categories and Definitions 

Selecting up to 5 search terms from the standard list ensures that the presentation will be connected to other presentations with a related subject matter. If a desired search term is not found in the CROI search term database, it may be added by the submitter. When adding a term not on the current list, consider that a search term should often be a single word or idea. Complex terms should be simplified and entered as separate search terms (eg, “breast milk transmission” should be entered as different search terms: “breast milk” and “transmission”). Selecting a term from the existing list is the best method to ensure that an abstract will match those of a similar topic during searches by attendees.

Abstract Review and Disposition Notices

Each abstract is reviewed and scored independently by 5 to 10 experts in the particular field. The review of abstracts begins immediately after the submission deadline. Therefore, changes to abstracts are not possible after the submission deadline. 

The disposition of each abstract will be sent via email to the abstract submitter and all authors listed on the abstract submission. Accurate professional email addresses for the presenting author and all coauthors are required for this purpose. 

Common Reasons Abstracts are Not Accepted for Presentation

Because of the number of abstract submissions, the CROI Program Committee is unable to provide feedback on individual submissions. Below are common reasons why abstracts are not accepted for presentation. 

  • Data, including statistical analyses, are not included or offer inadequate/insufficient support for conclusions
  • The subject matter is not appropriate for CROI 
  • All coauthors have not approved the abstract prior to submission 
  • Information is not novel (new enough) 
  • The abstract is duplicative of other submissions 
  • The format does not follow guidelines (eg, data missing, more than 1 table or figure submitted) 
  • The submission is poorly written and difficult to understand 
  • The background does not summarize the hypothesis 
  • The methodology is inadequate or insufficient to support conclusions 
  • Controls are absent or inadequate 
  • Statistical evaluation is inadequate or absent 
  • The summary of essential results is inadequate or absent 
  • Data are not included or offer inadequate/insufficient support for conclusions 
  • Submission reports clinical trial data from unplanned analysis or incomplete or ongoing studies 

The person who submits an abstract must affirm the following on behalf of the presenting author. 

  • ALL coauthors have reviewed and approved the abstract’s content 
  • If accepted, the presenting author will present the abstract in the format designated by the CROI Program Committee (eg, Oral Abstract, Themed Discussion, or Poster) and will be present for the session(s) in which they are assigned to present
  • Financial relationships have been disclosed for the presenting author and their institution (to themselves or their institution on their behalf). If the new presenter is designated after disposition, financial disclosures of the new presenting author must be provided 
  • If the designated presenting author cannot present the abstract at CROI, a new presenter from among the coauthors listed on the abstract will be selected. The new presenter must provide a disclosure of financial relationships
  • Complete and accurate contact (email) and affiliation information for all coauthors have been provided 
  • Permission is given for the presentation to be videotaped and recorded and the abstract to be published in the Abstract eBook, CROI website, Topics in Antiviral Medicine (for eventual listing in the National Library of Medicine), and other related conference materials 

Failure to comply with these policies may result in withdrawing the presentation from CROI: The authors must commit to these responsibilities. At the discretion of the Program Committee Chairs, authors may be penalized, including a ban on attendance at future CROI. 

Assignment of Abstract Copyright to CROI

By submitting an abstract to the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), authors are transferring all copyright ownership of the abstract, including all rights incidental to it, to the CROI Foundation if the abstract is accepted and published by the CROI Foundation. The contents of CROI conference materials are protected by copyright, however, the authors and study sponsor retain ownership of the study data. 

US Federal Employees: Work conducted while the authors were employed by the US federal government is not protected by the Copyright Act. Thus, copyright ownership cannot be transferred.

Permission Requests: Permission to replicate or reproduce any part of a CROI abstract must be obtained from the CROI Conference Manager, the International Antiviral Society-USA (IAS-USA), by contacting CROIabstracts@iasusa.org.

Last Modified: Sep 29, 2023 @ 12:46 pm