Content Guidelines

  • All scientific research referred to, reported, or used in accredited education in support or justification of a patient care recommendation must conform to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Author listings should reflect those who performed and are accountable for conducting the research, analysis, and interpretation of findings. Criteria for authorship of conference abstracts and presentations are similar to those for publications in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
  • Industry is not allowed to present abstracts, surgical videos, or scientific posters.
  • All recommendations for patient care in accredited continuing education must be based on current science, evidence, and clinical reasoning, while giving a fair and balanced view of diagnostic and therapeutic options.
  • Content that suggests unscientific approaches to diagnosis or therapy, or promotion of treatments, or manners of practicing healthcare that are determined to have risks or dangers that outweigh the benefits or are known to be ineffective in the treatment of patients is forbidden.
  • Presenters are responsible for ensuring that the content being presented at the educational activity is consistent with and does not violate another organization’s publication guidelines and conditions.
  • Content must be free of marketing or sales of products or services. Faculty must not actively promote or sell products or services that serve their professional or financial interests during accredited education.
  • Presented content should not include political or religious commentary, and all presentation content, including that which is displayed on the slide as well as verbally conveyed, must be professional and appropriate. Content that contains bullying, disrespectful language or images, or other material of an explicit and/or demeaning nature is unacceptable. All content should meet the Society’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Presentations must be submitted and presented in English unless otherwise noted in the submission guidelines or invitation.
  • All presenters and moderators agree to adhere to the STS Code of Ethics. STS reserves the right to require modification or removal of content that does not comply with STS policies, or withdraw a presentation at any time and for any reason, and any such determination shall be final.


  • For in-person presentations, each presenter is required to check in at the audio/visual desk or speaker ready room at least one (1) hour prior to his or her presentation time to load and test the presentation slides and/or other material (or via the virtual platform required by STS, if the Society determines that in-person presentations will not take place and a virtual presentation will be used instead).
  • Presenters/moderators must adhere to pre-determined time limits for their presentations and may be cut off in their presentations if they go over the allotted time.
  • If slides are used, the first slide (after title slide) must reflect the required disclosure information.
  • Slides, handouts, and other materials that are part of an educational activity cannot contain any marketing produced by or for an eligible company, including corporate or product logos, trade names, or product group messages.
  • No patient identifying information can be visible within presentation materials (e.g., no names in echo scans, CT scans, or X-rays, and no photos of patients’ faces or identifying marks).

Financial Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

  • All speakers and moderators agree to adhere to and follow the provisions set forth in the STS Education Disclosure Policy.
  • Conflict of Interest and FDA disclosures are required before any presenter/moderator will be allowed to present.
  • Study registration numbers (e.g.,, PROSPERO, EudraCT, US FDA) should be included on the disclosure slide to improve linkage between conference presentations and subsequent publications.
  • To ensure that every presentation is fair and balanced, as well as free of commercial bias, all content is subject to review by the Workforce on Continuing Education and Maintenance of Certification. . For this reason, presenters must submit presentation materials to the Society at least two weeks prior to the actual activity. 

Potential Discipline

Failure to comply with these policies may result in the potential loss of privileges for future meeting participation, including but not limited to a 2-year period of ineligibility for planning or presenting at the Annual Meeting and/or other Society educational activities. Violation of this policy by members of the Society may also result in the matter being referred to the STS Standards and Ethics Committee for possible disciplinary action. 


Abstract and Surgical Video Submissions

  • Abstracts and surgical videos chosen for presentation are selected at the discretion of the Workforce on Annual Meeting to create a fair and balanced program.
  • Unless granted an exception by the Chair of the Workforce on Annual Meeting, only unpublished work that has not previously been presented or published is allowed. The submitting author must attest that the material has not been presented or published elsewhere, will not be presented or published after submission and prior to notification of acceptance or rejection, will not be presented elsewhere if accepted for the scientific program, and – subject to any waiver granted pursuant to the terms of this policy – will not be published elsewhere if accepted for publication in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
  • All content related to accepted oral abstracts at the STS Annual Meeting are under strict embargo until the date and time of the actual presentation. This includes press releases related to the presentation. STS will provide the media with full-text copies of any abstracts or articles in question prior to the embargo date so that stories can be adequately researched and written (communication with media will be coordinated with STS and should not occur independent of STS). Exceptions to this policy will be considered through a request to the Chair of the Workforce on Annual Meeting. 
  • For any submitted abstract or surgical video, each co-author must complete his or her disclosure information in the Society’s online submission system. The abstract or surgical video will not be reviewed or considered for acceptance unless and until all authors have completed their disclosures.
  • Only electronic abstracts submitted using the Society’s online submission system will be considered for presentation.
  • Only authors (and not their assistants or other proxies) may complete submissions; authors will be responsible for the information provided via the online submission system.
  • The submitting author must attest that (a) all co-authors of the abstract have granted consent for the material to be submitted for presentation, and (b) that the submitting author has been granted the right by all co-authors to act on their behalf.
  • STS reserves the right to withdraw any abstract and/or surgical video from consideration or acceptance at any time.
  • In the event that a change of presenter must be made after the submission of the abstract, the replacement must be a co-author of the content in question, and STS must be notified in writing of the change.
  • Once an abstract and/or surgical video has been accepted, additional authors may not be added.
  • If an abstract is not accepted as an oral presentation, it may be accepted as a scientific poster instead. The final determination on presentation format is at the discretion of the Workforce on Annual Meeting.
  • Presenting authors for each abstract (oral and poster) and/or surgical video must attend and be able to present in person during the STS Annual Meeting (or via the virtual platform required by STS, if the Society determines that in person presentations will not take place and a virtual presentation will be used instead).  In the event of extenuating circumstances in which STS requires in-person presentations but a presenter is unable to attend the Annual Meeting and is also unable to secure a co-author to present on his or her behalf, the presenter may submit a written request to the Chair of the Workforce on Annual Meeting for permission to make a virtual presentation.
  • Unless submitted as a late-breaking abstract, no abstract that contains deferred outcomes data will be considered for program inclusion. If data are to be presented, they must appear in summary form from within the original abstract submitted. If there are any questions regarding changes in data after the abstract has been submitted, it is the responsibility of the presenting author to notify STS of this by e-mail at

Required Submission to The Annals of Thoracic Surgery

  • For each abstract that is presented orally during the STS Annual Meeting, a corresponding manuscript must also be submitted to The Annals of Thoracic Surgery for publication consideration before or at the time of the meeting. Authors must submit manuscripts separately via The Annals manuscript submission system ( All manuscripts shall become the property of the Society. Publication of all manuscripts in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery is not assured. 
  • In certain circumstances the Executive Committee, upon the recommendation of the Editor of The Annals, may waive the requirement that authors of an abstract accepted for presentation at the STS Annual Meeting submit a corresponding manuscript to The Annals for publication consideration, or approve simultaneous publication in coordination with another scientific journal. Requests for such waivers and exceptions must be submitted to the Editor of The Annals at the time of abstract submission, and may be granted subject to certain terms and conditions.
  • If a waiver or exception has not been approved, and a manuscript is not submitted to The Annals prior to or at the time of the STS Annual Meeting, a two-year period of ineligibility for participation in the STS Annual Meeting will be imposed upon each author of that manuscript. The Editor of The Annals – at his or her sole discretion – may provide the author(s) with an extension of time in which to submit the manuscript when unusual circumstances are presented. The same two-year sanction rules apply to each abstract returned for revision that is not resubmitted within 12 months of the request for the revision.
  • If there is any conceivable question regarding similarity to earlier work or possible duplication or redundancy (whether compared to previously or prospectively presented or published material), it is the responsibility of the presenting author to consult directly with the Chair of the Workforce on Annual Meeting. If there is a potential conflict with an abstract or surgical video already presented or published, authors must notify STS by e-mail ( of the conflict at the time of submission. Failure to comply will result in the abstract being rejected.

Adopted by the STS Executive Committee: September 20, 2023