2021 Call for Abstracts

Deadline for Stipend Application & Membership Application/Dues Payment:

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The Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) invites abstract submissions for presentation at the 2021 ISMRM & SMRT Annual Meeting & Exhibition, 15-20 May 2021 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Submissions must contain new, previously unpublished material. All abstracts must be submitted electronically via the ISMRM Website.

Due to the uncertainty which comes with COVID-19, we have opted to plan a hybrid Annual Meeting for 2021. Some elements will be online from the outset, and we are planning to hold other parts of the meeting on-site in Vancouver. Our guiding principle is that all participants in the Annual Meeting should be able to connect with each other, and we are currently investigating platforms which will enable this interaction between on-site and on-line members. This hybrid meeting format will provide the opportunity for all of our members to participate, which is especially important this year given the health concerns and financial hardships that may have arisen due to COVID-19.

When submitting, authors will select whether they require an online presentation, would prefer a presentation on-site in Vancouver, or have no preference (see below for details).

Also new this year: Abstract Labels!

Instead of selecting a primary and secondary abstract categories this year, we are asking authors to provide two to four “labels” which will enable attendees to search through abstracts more easily, and the AMPC to better sort and combine abstracts into sessions. Authors will select at least one primary label, at least one secondary label, and either 0, 1, or 2 additional labels. A visual representation of the labels can be found here, and an alphabetical list of the labels can be found here.

As usual, during the abstract submission process, you will be given the opportunity to select your preferred presentation format. Specifically, abstracts can be submitted for presentation in an oral session or a poster session. The AMPC will do their best to accommodate your preferences.

Detailed design and presentation guidelines will be available on this website in February after acceptance notices have been emailed.


Rejection of Duplicate Abstracts
Any abstract(s) deemed to duplicate or to contain significant overlap of content will be rejected. Determination of what constitutes duplication, including abstracts submitted in multiple categories or over multiple years, is at the discretion of the ISMRM. Details of identified duplicate submissions will be maintained in our database, and may jeopardize submission of future abstracts by the same individuals or institutions. The electronic submission system facilitates easy identification of duplicate text and data.

All accepted works that are not withdrawn before the 28 February 2021 withdrawal deadline must be presented by the author or their designee. A database is maintained of late cancellations and no-shows, and may jeopardize submission of future abstracts by the same individuals or institutions.

Each abstract is accompanied by a 100-word synopsis for inclusion in the online program. It should include a brief summary of the problem, methods, results, and conclusions. The synopsis must include text only, without equations or images and be without references or citations to items described in the full abstract. The synopsis text should NOT be duplicated in the actual abstract.

Summary of Main Findings
A 250 character summary of the abstract’s main findings is requested for generation of digital poster previews. It is expected that this content will be overlap with the 100-word synopsis. As with the synopsis, summary must include text only, without equations or images and be without references or citations to items described in the full abstract.

Digital Poster “Teaser” Previews
Presentations will be highlighted using a single figure and information about the authors in an abstract thumbnail. In order to accomplish this, you will be asked for the following:

  1. A choice of a secondary figure (in addition to the primary figure already required)
  2. A “Summary of Main Findings” (mini-synopsis)
  3. An institutional logo image file. If you need to acknowledge more than one institution, you must create a single image containing any necessary logos.

Suggested Abstract Format
We recommend including the following sections, although we also note that there are often good reasons to deviate from this format. In each section, answer the question listed below (do not repeat the actual question in the body of your abstract).

  • INTRODUCTION: “Why was this study/research performed? What unsolved problem are you addressing?”
  • METHODS: “How did you study this problem?”
  • RESULTS: “Report the data, analyses and/or outcomes”
  • DISCUSSION: “How do you interpret the results?”
  • CONCLUSION: “What is the relevance to clinical practice or future research?”
  • REFERENCES: References should use the suggested style below.

Word Limits
The following word limits will apply:

  • Title: 125 characters
  • Synopsis: 100 words
  • Body of the Abstract: 850 words (references not included)
  • Summary of Main Findings: 250 Characters (~35 words)
  • Up to 5 figures
  • Figure Captions: 500 characters per caption

Cite each source in numerical order using superscript Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3…).

  • Example 1:
    A review of regulations has been complete by the WHO.15
  • Example 2:
    The data were as follows 3,4:
  • Example 3:
    As previously reported, 11-14,25

At the end of the abstract, list references numerically in the order in which they were cited in the text.

  • Example 1:
    1. Rainier S, Thomas D, Tokarz D, et al. Myofibrillogenesis regulator 1 gene mutations cause paroxysmal dystonic choreoathetosis. Arch Neurol. 2004;61(7):1025‐1029.
  • Example 2:
    2. World Health Organization. Injury: A Leading Cause of the Global Burden of Disease, 2000. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2002.
  • Example 3:
    3. Weiss R. The promise of precision prescriptions. Washington Post. June 24, 2000:A1. http://www.washingtonpost.com. Accessed October 10, 2001.


Abstract Content Guidelines

  • The content may not promote the proprietary interests of any commercial entity. Evident bias in favor of a particular product or company is grounds for rejection.
  • Content must be restricted to scientific, engineering and clinical studies, as well as, industry issues and operation of devices. Product /company names should be included only to identify the MR hardware/software/ peripherals used, but not to promote proprietary interests (see first bullet point).
  • All recommendations involving clinical medicine must be based on evidence that is accepted within the profession of medicine as adequate justification for the recommendations as indications or contraindications in the care of patients.
  • All scientific research referred to, reported or used in support or justification of a patient care recommendation must conform to generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection and analysis.
  • Abstracts previously submitted to the ISMRM or to another society/journal, but not accepted, may be resubmitted.
  • While duplicate material is not permitted, closely related/similar material is acceptable (for example, significant progress on research that was presented at the ISMRM in a previous year).

Abstract Review Criteria

  • Innovation/novelty: advancement of knowledge, and/or improvement of capabilities.
  • Quality: The results should be substantive and not just implied. Where appropriate:
    • Comprehensive statistical analysis should be applied.
    • Images and spectra should be of the highest quality.
    • All recommendations involving clinical medicine must be based on evidence that is accepted within the profession of medicine as adequate justification for their indications and contraindications in the care of patients.
  • Impact: The method or data in the abstract should aim to advance or change the field in significant ways. Incremental changes are less likely to be accepted for presentation.
  • Bias: Evident bias in favor of a particular product or company is grounds for rejection. (Reference to the use of a particular company’s products or equipment does not represent bias. Non-data-driven statements of superiority, however, would be considered biased.)
  • Duplication of Content. Multiple submissions of the same or nearly the same abstract is grounds for rejection of all submitted abstracts.

Tips for authors

  • Start your submission early. You can complete the online forms, compose your abstract and then upload it at any time before the deadline. We recommend that you complete the online forms EARLY, even if your abstract is not yet complete. This will greatly reduce the load on the abstract system, improving speed of access as the deadline approaches.
  • Consider your submission labels carefully. Abstract reviewers are assigned based on the chosen primary label. It is therefore critical that you select this label carefully, as reviewers who are not expert in your topic may not be able to assess its quality appropriately.
  • Contact all co-authors prior to submission. It is considered unethical to submit abstracts listing co-authors who have not agreed to the submission. In general, co-authors will expect to read and approve of the content of an abstract, but at a minimum they should be aware of the submission and consented to being listed as an author.

Failure to Present

Submission of an abstract is considered a commitment to present the abstract if it is accepted. Failure to present an abstract may jeopardize future submissions by the same author or institution.

Publication of Abstracts

The Proceedings will be published electronically only. The full text of all accepted abstracts will be available online two weeks before the meeting to pre-registered attendees only (30 April 2021). If you wish to have access to the Proceedings before the meeting, you must pre-register.

All submitted abstracts are treated as confidential from the time of submission to the publication date of 30 April 2021.

All copyrights to accepted abstracts become the property of ISMRM. No proprietary information may be withheld by authors.


What does it mean to select “On-Site” as a meeting presentation preference?

While we understand that it is not yet possible for anyone to say with absolute certainty that they will be able to travel to Vancouver, we would ask authors to select “On-Site” if they have the intention of presenting in Vancouver; these presentations may be converted to an on-line format later should this become necessary.

What does it mean to select “On-Line” as a meeting presentation preference?

For on-line presentations, authors will submit their recordings a few weeks before the Annual Meeting for on-demand viewing, and will participate in Live Q&A sessions (with a format that enables more discussion than in 2020) during the week of the Annual Meeting.  While these presentations cannot be converted back to on-site presentations, any authors that select and present on-line are welcome with open arms in Vancouver should they be able to travel to the Annual Meeting.

What does it mean to select “No Preference” when asked about my meeting presentation preference?

The abstracts of authors who indicate “No preference” will be assigned to a session that is thematically sensible, either on-site in Vancouver, or on-line.  While it may be possible/necessary to convert an abstract that is assigned to an on-site presentation to an on-line presentation, it will not be possible to convert an on-line presentation to an on-site presentation.

How should I pick my labels? How important is the primary label?

The primary label and secondary labels will determine which reviewers will assess the abstract and in what type of session the abstract will most likely appear.  If you are having a difficult time selecting which should be primary, and which secondary, think about the main conclusion of the abstract.  For instance, if the goal of the work is to demonstrate a technical development, and you would like to be grouped with other technical developments in a session, select a more technical word; if the goal is to demonstrate that a new technical development can be used in a specific population, you may want to select a body-part focused or population word. Additional labels can be selected as needed, but there is no requirement to add labels beyond the first two.  These labels will serve multiple purposes; attendees will be able to more easily search through abstracts, and AMPC may use these additional labels to sort through abstracts to make more logical groupings for sessions, or to further refine groupings if the first two labels have many abstract submissions. A visual representation of the labels can be found here, and an alphabetical list of the labels can be found here.  Note that any labels can be used together, and selecting more labels isn’t necessarily better!  Select those which you feel best represent your abstract to help us review and group your abstract appropriately.

Be sure to read “How to Submit Your HTML-Based Abstract” for further details and important formatting requirements!