Suggestions for submitting abstracts for March APS meetings
These suggestions make use of LaTeX methods. It is also possible to
prepare the abstract in RTF (Word-like) format, but I recommend using
It is not necessary to go through all of the steps below in order to
submit an abstract successfully. However, what follows is a recommended
procedure that allows you to prepare a draft abstract that can be
agreed upon by all co-authors, preview the abstract, and obtain
a printable copy of good quality.
APS list of sorting categories to pick the best sorting
category number for your abstract, paying attention especially to
whether there is a suitable Focus Topic session for your abstract.
The DMP Sorting Categories may be of particular interest.
Preparing and editing the draft abstract
I strongly recommend that you first prepare a draft version of your
abstract. To do so, download and save this
LaTeX template file, rename it, and edit it, filling in all
fields and making sure it generates reasonable output. (Use
this one instead for an invited talk.)
The formatting is not the same as the final APS formatting, but
the content is the same. The idea is that you should distribute
this draft version of the abstract to all co-authors, seek their
feedback, and iterate until all authors agree on all aspects of
APS has a 1300-character limit on the text portion of a contributed
abstract (2000 for an invited abstract). Unfairly, this seems
to include everything including latex inputs, so that, e.g.,
$\epsilon$ counts as 10 characters. You can check the length by
using the unix 'wc -m' command or similar mechanisms. In addition,
title, author, institutional affiliation, and grant acknowledgment
info should not be so long that the abstract doesn't fit in the
allowed box, but this is rarely a problem.
Submitting the draft to the APS web site
APS Abstract Submission instructions for general orientation.
When you are ready to submit, go to the
APS abstract submission site. (If you have an invited talk,
you should have received a "speaker number" and a
special link; use these
As you go along, you can cut and paste the needed material from
your LaTeX file to the text boxes on the forms.
(I recommend that you should actually submit your
abstract at least 24 hours before the deadline. APS sometimes has
to turn off some features of the web site, like previewing, on the
last day because the servers get overloaded.)
- Click "Start Abstract Submission"
- Step 1: Select the appropriate March Meeting,
choose "Number of Authors",
leave "Number of Teams" set to zero, select "LaTeX format", and
- Step 2: Fill out the form by cutting and pasting
from your template.
- The first author is the presenting author.
- You can use LaTeX constructions in author names and affiliations.
- Affiliation should be kept short; address is not needed.
- In the case of multiple authors with the same affiliation,
the affiliation should be left blank except for the last author
of the series. If you clicked "Same as Submitter" to fill out
the information for the first author, you might have to erase the
Affiliation information if the second author is at the same
- Step 3: Fill out the form by cutting and pasting
from your template.
- You can use LaTeX constructions wherever you like.
- Put grant support information in "Title Note/Acknowledgment"
- When you cut and paste the abstract into the "Abstract Body"
box, you will see a little line saying something like
"(44 characters remaining)"; this tells you how
far you are from the length limit. If your abstract is
too long, the last set of characters after 1300 are discarded.
- When done, click "Preview", taking you to:
- Step 4: "Preview - Abstract Submission" page.
- Click "Preview Abstract Layout".
- This generates a jpeg view of the abstract in a window by
- If the abstract does not pass below the
"Abstract _______________ Limit" line at the bottom,
the overall length is OK.
- If all is well, go back to the "Step 4
page (it should still be on your desktop) and click "Submit".
- Once you see the "Step 5: Abstract Submission"
page, your abstract has been submitted.
Check your email
In a while, you should receive a verification email from APS
containing a high-quality PDF copy of your abstract as an
Print for your records. Also, as a courtesy, please email a copy
of this PDF to all your co-authors.
Modifying or withdrawing an abstract
The APS web site provides a mechanism for withdrawing an abstract if
necessary. However, there is no way to edit a previous
submission. Therefore, if you need to make any changes to your
abstract, you will have to withdraw it and enter all the
information again from scratch.
Request for improvements
These notes prepared by David Vanderbilt. Please
send suggested corrections and improvements to the email address below.
Please send any comments on this page to
Revised November 2014