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CAP20 Abstract Program

CAP20 Abstract Program Important Dates to Remember:

January 6, 2020
Abstract submission begins at noon Central time
March 10, 2020
Abstract submission closes at 5:00 PM Central time
May 27, 2020
Corresponding authors notified of submission status
August 21, 2020
Top 5 Junior Member Abstract Program winners notified

Abstract Submission is Now Open

Abstract and case study submissions are currently being accepted and must be submitted via the CAP20 Abstract Program Portal.

Program Description

The CAP20 Abstract Program is a competitive program sponsored by the College of American Pathologists. The program is designed to promote a broad range of research in pathology. It offers pathologists and research scientists the opportunity to present original research to their peers in a poster presentation format. Editors from the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine will evaluate submissions to this program.

In addition, the CAP20 Abstract Program provides a unique opportunity for residents to enhance research skills, develop writing proficiency, gain practical experience at presenting their findings, and contribute to the literature and advancement of pathology. Accepted abstracts and case studies will be published as a Web-only supplement to the September 2020 issue of the Archives. CAP junior members who have their abstracts accepted are eligible for cash awards as part of the Top 5 Junior Member Abstract Program.

Abstract and case study submissions will be accepted beginning at noon Central time on Monday, January 6, 2020 through 5:00 PM Central time Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

Evaluation Criteria

Abstracts will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Significance of the hypothesis
  • Valid conclusion(s)
  • Argument clarity
  • Presentation quality

Case studies must include novel findings, such as the following:

  • A new disease or condition (i.e. not previously reported).
  • A distinctive or unusual presentation of a known disease, with one or more well-documented new findings of special clinical relevance (i.e., potentially applicable to diagnosis, therapy, prognosis, etc.) or that serves to provide new insight into the possible pathogenesis of a disease (hypothesis-generating). The new information might be derived from distinctive morphology and/or ancillary testing.
  • A known disease with a demonstrated new finding using state-of-the-art techniques (immunohistochemical, molecular, 3-dimensional reconstruction, cytogenetics, etc.) relevant to a clearly stated hypothesis.
  • A known disease presenting with a previously undescribed clinically or etiologically relevant association (i.e., a myelodysplastic syndrome associated with a plasma cell dyscrasia, etc.) in order to heighten awareness of a possible link between entities. Such a link might have been described before in one or more individual case reports, and the addition of a case might help solidify a real association.

Submission Categories

Abstracts and case studies may be submitted to the following categories:

Anatomic Pathology

Autopsy and forensic pathology

Bone and soft tissue pathology

Breast pathology

Cardiovascular pathology



Endocrine pathology

Head, neck, and oral pathology

Ophthalmic pathology

Gastrointestinal and liver pathology

Gynecologic and placental pathology

Kidney and genitourinary pathology


Pulmonary and mediastinal pathology

Clinical Pathology

Clinical chemistry

Clinical immunology



Molecular pathology

Transfusion medicine and coagulation

Practice Management

Administrative and regulatory affairs


Pathology education

Practice management

Quality assurance

Submission Requirements

  • All abstracts/case studies must be submitted by 5:00 PM Central time March 10, 2020. Submissions received after this date will not be considered.
  • Submissions may not have already been published or currently be under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  • Abstracts/case studies must be submitted electronically via the CAP20 Abstract Program Portal.
  • Corresponding authors (the person who submits the abstract or case study) are responsible for submitting financial disclosure information for all authors. This information will be submitted directly into the submission site; paper authorship forms are not accepted. Corresponding authors should obtain any relevant financial disclosures and the e-mail addresses for all co-authors prior to starting the submission process.
  • All steps in the submission process must be completed and finalized. Incomplete submissions will not be considered, including those that are not finalized or exceed the word count limit. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to complete and finalize submissions prior to the March 10th submission deadline.
  • Submissions that report the results of animal studies should not be submitted.

Specific text requirements

  • Text must be prepared in accordance with the American Medical Association Manual of Style, 10th edition. For specific examples of how submissions should be prepared, see the CAP19 abstracts and case studies that were published as a Web-only supplement to the September 2019 issue of the Archives at Also see specific Table and Figure Requirements below.
  • For abstracts, the body of the text may contain a maximum of 254 words and must be organized under (and contain) all of the following headings: Context, Design, Results, and Conclusions. Do not use any additional or alternative headings.
  • A case study may include no more than 2 cases. The body of the text may contain a maximum of 250 words. It should not contain any headings.
  • Do not use abbreviations unless they appear 5 or more times, in which case you must spell out the abbreviation the first time it appears.
  • Do not begin the abstract or case study by repeating the title, and do not cite references; references will not be published in accepted abstracts.
  • Affiliations for each author must be clearly listed, including full department and institution names. Spell out this information; do not use abbreviations or acronyms.
  • List sources (name of company, city, state, and country) for all software and reagents.
  • Use conventional units of measure.
  • Use generic drug names unless the specific trade name of a drug is directly relevant to the discussion.
  • Retrospective studies should be consistently written in the past tense.
  • Perform a spell check of your submission prior to submitting it.
  • A single table or figure may be added using the “Add Table” or “Add Graphic” button on the submission site. Note: a single figure that contains up to 4 smaller figures (a “composite”) will be allowed. Figure composites that contain more than 4 figures will not be allowed. Figure files must have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi at a width of 3 ½ inches; figures that do not meet this requirement will be returned to the authors for revision. Figure composites should not exceed 3 ½ inches in width and 3 inches in height. An example of a properly prepared figure composite is shown below:

  • If submitting a figure or table, specifically refer to it (e.g., Table, Figure) in the text. Do not include a specific table or figure number (see requirements below) and do not submit a separate figure or table legend (caption); legends will not be printed.
  • Improperly prepared figures and tables will be returned to the corresponding author for revision or may be rejected prior to review.

Table requirements

  1. Tables must not contain more than 5 columns.
  2. Acronyms used in a table must be clearly defined in a footnote.
  3. Tables must have a concise, descriptive title.
  4. Tables cannot be submitted as image/figure files.

Figure requirements

  1. All figure files must be submitted in JPEG format at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi at a width of 3 ½ inches.
  2. If any text appears in a figure, it must be 12 points or larger.
  3. Do not add a figure label on single figures. Figure composites must not contain more than 4 smaller figures. Figure composites should not exceed 3½ inches in width and 3 inches in height. If submitting a figure composite of 4 figures, add A, B, C, and D labels in the lower left-hand corner of the appropriate figure; do not include figure numbers. See example figure composite above.
  4. Figures from accepted submissions will be published in the Archives at a width of 3½ inches — computer screen shots and other figures that contain small text are not good submission options. For example, screen shots from web sites are not of sufficient resolution for publication purposes. It is critical that you view your figures at a width of 3½ inches to determine whether any text is clearly legible and that the resolution is a minimum of 300 dpi.

For submissions that contain figures, it is critical that the figures are prepared according to the requirements listed above. Submitting low-resolution, blurry figures will negatively impact the content of your submission. Submissions with tables and figures that do not meet these requirements may be rejected prior to being reviewed.


NOTE: corresponding authors must carefully review their submissions prior to formal submission to the CAP20 meeting. No revisions, including adding author names or correcting misspelled names, will be permitted once an abstract/case study has been submitted.

Top 5 Junior Member Abstract Program

Authors of the top five accepted abstracts received from CAP junior members will be named as the Top 5 Junior Member Abstract Program award winners and given cash prizes:

  • First place cash award = $1,500
  • Second place cash award = $1,000
  • Third place cash award = $750
  • Fourth and fifth place cash awards are $500 each.


To be eligible for the CAP20 Top 5 Junior Member Abstract Program awards, a CAP junior member must:

  1. Have performed a substantial portion of the research and work involved in the preparation of the abstract;
  2. Be listed as either the first or second author;
  3. Serve as the corresponding author.

Top 5 Junior Member Abstract Program award winners will be notified by August 21, 2020 and cash prizes will be awarded during the CAP20 meeting. The award winners will also be recognized during the CAP20 meeting and their winning posters will be prominently displayed at the meeting.

Author Requirements

Corresponding authors must be available to respond to questions about the content of their submissions from the Archives editorial office, especially during the period of April 6 to May 21, 2020. E-mail addresses for corresponding authors must be active and accessible through August 2020. Corresponding authors will be notified of their submission status on May 27, 2020.

Authors of accepted submissions are expected to prepare a 4 x 8-foot poster summary of their abstract/case study for presentation at CAP20. The poster must be displayed by the authors during CAP20, and authors are expected to be present at their posters during specified Poster Focus times to discuss and answer questions about their research. Specific information regarding Poster Focus times and dates will be included in the acceptance notification e-mail sent to corresponding authors.

Annual Meeting Registration

All authors presenting posters are required to register for the annual meeting and pay the appropriate fees.


If you have questions about the abstract program, please e-mail prior to completing your submission. Your questions will be routed to the abstract program coordinator.

Remember, submissions cannot be changed or resubmitted after the submission deadline.