Guidelines for Abstract preparation and submission


  • All abstracts can only be submitted through the online abstract submission system
  • Abstracts can only be submitted when the on-line abstract submission system is open
  • Abstracts must be written in English
  • Do not submit the same abstract more than once!
  • Authors can submit more than one abstract. Presenters that are accepted for an oral presentation will be permitted only one oral presentation. Additional accepted abstracts will only be considered for posters.
  • Abstract title should have a maximum of 20 words in UPPER CASE. Avoid using abbreviations.
  • The body of the abstract must have a maximum of 300 words (system limit). The system will notify you if the abstract exceeds the word limit.
  • The body of the abstract must contain the following sections: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusion (this may differ slightly for case reports – please refer to the Case Report Guide). A detailed summary is included in 1.2 below to assist authors in the development of their abstracts.
  • For case reports, the following sections must be included: Introduction, Case Description, and Discussion.
  • Abstract format should be in Arial Font Size 11 with Single Spacing, ‘Justified’.
  • Abstract title and authors’ details should be included in the applicable sections of the online abstract submission form only. Do not include title, authors’ names, and affiliations in the space provided for the body of the abstract.
  • Authors should be listed by Last name first then First name, with each name separated by commas. The presenting author should be underlined and bold (e.g. Black Joe, Dlamini Simon, Moore John).
  • Authors must state all their applicable affiliations (to ensure that all affiliations are acknowledged and abstracts are not allocated to reviewers from the same institution as the authors)
  • Affiliation of all authors should be stated and superscript numbers used to distinguish affiliation for multiple authors (e.g. National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa1).
  • When abbreviations are used, spell them out fully at first mention, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses [e.g. Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV)]. Thereafter, use the abbreviation (e.g. HIV) throughout.
  • Abstracts must NOT contain tables and figures.
  • Abstracts must NOT contain references.
  • Abstracts should be prepared off-line in advance on a word processor (such as Microsoft Word), saved and copied to plain text editor i.e. notepad before being copy-pasted into the online submission form.
  • All abstracts must be submitted no later than the submission dates indicated on the PathReD Congress 2023 website and communications.


All abstracts must contain the following information:

  • TITLE: The abstract title should be concise and must clearly convey the subject of the abstract. This should be captured in the form of a short sentence outlining the main message of the work. Please avoid titles that are in question form (e.g. instead of ‘Does laboratory turnaround time impact on clinical hospital practice?’ it is recommended that you write more directly giving an idea of the outcome of the study in the title i.e. ‘Laboratory Turnaround time impacts on clinical practice: Outcomes of a local hospital-based study’).
  • AUTHOR'S NAMES: These will appear below the title with the name of the presenting author in bold and underlined.
  • CO-AUTHORS: Up to 10 co-authors may be included on each abstract (no exceptions). When the maximum number of co-authors has been reached, the online submission system will prevent the applicant from adding more authors. If an abstract is accepted, the presenting author is expected to register for the conference.
  • AFFILIATIONS: The e-mail address and primary and secondary institutional affiliation of each author must be added to the relevant sections. Please spell out the full name of the institution and do not use abbreviations such as “Univ.” for “University”.
  • DISCLOSURES: Disclosure of financial relationships with commercial entities is required for the presenting author.

The body of a scientific abstract must contain the following sections:

  • Background: Briefly and clearly describe the rationale of the study. Include a simple opening sentence or two to place the work in context and provide a basic introduction to the topic. It is advised, that the abstract is written in a style/language that is comprehensible to a lay person or scientist in any discipline. Offer two or three sentences that give a detailed background specific of topic of your study. This should be followed by one sentence clearly stating the general problem/objective/aim being addressed by this particular study.
  • Methods: Two or three sentences about the materials and methods used should be included here. Detail the experimental and data collection methods employed in the study. What did you do? Explain how you did it?
  • Results: Two or three sentences explaining what the main results of the study are. One or two additional sentences that follow would be useful to contextualize your results. Describe the precise findings of the study; promises of results “to be determined” are not acceptable. Describe what you found and include data.
  • Conclusion: Two or three sentences to summarize the findings of your study whilst providing a broader perspective. Describe logically sound conclusions and reliable inferences drawn from the study results. Outline why the study’s findings are important.

The body of a case report abstract must contain the following sections:

  • Background
    • Describe the context of the case and explain its relevance and importance
    • Describe whether the case is unique. If not, does the case have an unusual diagnosis, prognosis, therapy or harm? Is the case an unusual presentation of a common condition? Or an unusual complication of a disease or management?
  • Case description – Report the case in sequence.
    • Describe the history, clinical presentation and investigations adequately. What was challenging about the case (e.g. diagnosis or management)?
    • Highlight how the laboratory investigation added to the clinical management / prognosis. What was novel or unusual about the laboratory investigations.
    • Describe the outcome adequately. How was the outcome related to the laboratory investigation? What was the role of the pathologists / scientists / technologist?
  • Conclusion – Discuss rationale for decisions that were made and the lesson from the case.
    • Report a literature review of other similar cases. Describe how this case is different from those previously reported.
    • Describe the instructive or teaching points that add value to this case. Does it demonstrate a cost-effective approach to management or alternative diagnostic/treatment strategy? Does it increase awareness of a rare condition?
    • Explain the rationale for reporting the case. What is unusual about the case? Does it challenge prevailing wisdom?
    • In the future, could things be done differently in a similar case

  • PRESENTATION: The presenting authors of abstracts must be registered for the congress. Senior researchers are encouraged to motivate their trainees or junior colleagues to use this opportunity to showcase their work.


Abstracts can be submitted for presentation in any of the following discipline tracks::

  • Anatomical Pathology
  • Chemical Pathology
  • Haematology
  • Human Genetics
  • Immunology
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Medical Virology
  • Public Health
  • Occupational Health and Forensic Chemistry

During submission, indicate the most suitable track for your work and whether it is for an oral or poster presentation. The Scientific Committee, assisted by external reviewers, reserves the right, on review of the abstract, to re-assign an abstract to a category deemed more appropriate.


  • The presenting authors of abstracts must be registered for the congress. Senior researchers are encouraged to motivate their trainees or junior colleagues to use this opportunity to showcase their work.
  • The person who submits an abstract is, by default, considered the presenting author (this may be changed in the online submission system) and is responsible for the following:
    • Presenting the abstract for oral or poster presentation, if accepted.
    • Provide complete and accurate contact, and affiliation information for ALL co-authors; correct e-mail addresses are essential.
    • Ensure that ALL co-authors have reviewed and approved the abstract’s content.
    • Changes in presenting author:
      • The author noted as the presenting author on an abstract is responsible for delivering either the oral or poster presentation if the abstract is accepted.
      • In case the selected presenting author, a co-author may take the place of the presenting author.
      • The submitting author must update the abstract submission to disclose information for the new presenter and her or his institution.
  • The new presenter must be registered for the conference.


  • New Submissions: Unpublished abstracts or abstracts that have never been accepted for presentation at another conference will be considered.
  • Re-submissions within 6 months: Previously published abstracts or abstracts previously accepted for presentation at another conference will be considered if they were published/presented within six months since the date of submission.
  • Declaration of Re-submission: For previously published abstracts or those accepted for presentation at another conference, authors are excepted to declare and provide details of the journal or conference. These details include name of the journal/conference and the date of publication or presentation, and whether the prior abstract is copyrighted.
  • Case studies will be accepted.
  • An abstract that is under copyright by a publication or conference should not be submitted to the PathReD 2023 Congress.


  • Authors will be notified of the outcome via email; it is, therefore imperative that authors submit correct email addresses.
  • Abstracts may have one of the following outcomes:
    • Accepted for Oral Presentation
    • Accepted for Poster Presentation
    • Rejected abstracts will be recommended for attendance of PathReD Scientific Writing Workshop


  • Subject matter is not appropriate for PathReD 2023 theme
  • Abstract is poorly written and difficult to understand
  • Background does not summarize the hypothesis
  • Methodology described is of poor scientific merit and is inadequate or insufficient to support conclusions
  • Statistical description and evaluation is inadequate or absent
  • Summary of essential results is inadequate or absent
  • Data are not included or sample size inadequately supports conclusions
  • Information is outdated and does not add new knowledge to the scientific field

  • 13 February 2023
    Abstract Submission Opens
  • 13 February 2023
    Early Bird Registration Opens
  • 31 March 2023
    Early Bird Registration Closes
  • 01 April 2023
    Standard Registration Opens
  • 01 May 2023
    Abstract Submission Closes
  • 26 April 2023
    Abstract Outcome Notification
  • 30 May 2023
    Standard Registration Closes
  • 01 June 2023
    Late Registration Opens