Program Chair Toolbox

Abstracts on USB

Abstracts on USB are sold through the meeting registration system and on-site during the national meeting. Orders may be placed for past ACS National Meetings. Contact ACS Office of Society Services at (800) 227-5558.

Abstract Separates

Divisions may prepare abstract books separately for distribution to their division members. Some divisions choose to post separates on their websites. Divisions distribute separates to the division members as a benefit of membership.


Abstracts are submitted through the MAPS system by authors who want to present at a national meeting. Abstracts should be limited to approximately 300 words in length. The ACS Bylaws require only that the title and author name(s) appear in the official program. However, most divisions require an abstract in order to be accepted into the program.

Bylaw VI, Section 6(c)

No paper by a chemical scientist residing in the United States who is not a member of the SOCIETY shall appear on the program of a national, regional, divisional, or other major meeting of the SOCIETY unless it be a joint paper with one or more SOCIETY members, or unless for a national, regional, or national-divisional meeting the author has been invited to present the paper at a symposium organized by a Division of the SOCIETY or by Sections of the SOCIETY, and the chairman of such Division or of the host Section has certified to the Executive Director of the SOCIETY prior to the publication of the program that presentation by the author of such paper is important to the success of the symposium. (1- 1-82)

Contributed Papers

Contributed papers are non-solicited abstracts submitted to a symposium in response to the Call for Papers.

Invited Papers

Invited papers are explicitly invited by the Program Chair or Symposium Organizer to be submitted for a national meeting. It is up to the division to sponsor the speaker's registration fee or not.

MAPS – Meeting Abstracts Programming System

See the MAPS abstract system for abstract submission.

Submit an Abstract

Submit an abstract for national meetings.

Withdrawn Papers

Authors may withdraw their paper prior to the national meeting by logging into MAPS before the abstract deadline or sending the request to after the abstract deadline. Papers withdrawn from MAPS prior to the final program deadline will not appear in the printed technical program. Papers withdrawn after the final program deadline will appear in the online version of the technical program as withdrawn and will retain original final paper numbers.  Withdrawn papers will not be included in the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) database.

Event Management

The National Meetings department uses the Attendee Interactive (Ai) system to manage all national meeting events. Ai has a Web component which division officers use to submit their meeting room requests over the Internet.

Social Events

Social Events are breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, receptions, and mixers with posters. Social events may be publicized, un-publicized, ticketed, or free. When food and beverage are part of the social event, the event coordinator must guarantee attendance up to 72 hours prior to the event.

Social Events, Ticketed

For ticketed events, tickets are sold through the registration system and onsite during registration. If the final event guarantee has not been met during pre-conference registration, the remaining tickets are given to the event coordinator, who has the option of selling them at the door.


The current method of calculating a return to the divisions for programming at the national meeting is:

Allotment Percentage of Allocations
Base 12.5%
Per Member 12.5%
Innovative Projects 10%
Total Programming* 65%
*Distribution of Programming Allotment Percentage of Total Programming
# attendees at oral sessions 50%
# members at meeting 25%
# posters presented 25%

Check Cashing for Speaker Reimbursements

Arrangements can be made for speakers to cash a division’s travel check with the ACS Finance Office during the meeting. A request for the names of the speakers and dollar amounts should be sent to the division Treasurer before each meeting. The Treasurer should then let the ACS Finance Office (Fe Andaya, know the approximate total in order to have the cash on hand during the meeting. For each national meeting, the Finance Office is located in the registration area at the convention center.

Business Meetings

Most divisions hold one or more business meetings during ACS National Meetings. Divisions are encouraged, if feasible, to hold their business meetings at the beginning or end of one of their technical sessions to help lower the demand for meeting room space. If a separate meeting room is required, then the room request can be made to ACS meetings. See the meetings site; Event Coordinator Resources for ACS National Meetings to find out how to make a meeting room request.


The Division Officers’ and Councilors’ Caucuses are informal gatherings of past and present division officers and councilors on the Tuesday afternoon at each national meeting. The purpose of the Caucus is to provide a forum for informal discussion of mutual concerns to the divisions, as contrasted with (and sometimes leading to) the opportunities for formal consideration and action within the governance structure of the Society. All division officers and councilors are encouraged to participate in these meetings.

Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC)

The Divisional Activities Committee (DAC) is a standing committee of the ACS Council. DAC oversees and coordinates division activities, recommends policies affecting divisions, and promotes positive interactions among divisions with other ACS units.

Committee on Meetings & Expositions (M&E)

Committee on Meetings and Expositions (M&E) The Committee on Meetings and Expositions (M&E) is a standing committee of the ACS Council. M&E studies policies and problems relating to meetings and expositions and makes recommendations to Council for discussion and approval.

Committee on Science (COMSCI)

The Committee on Science (COMSCI) is a Joint Board-Council Committee that provides an organizational framework to facilitate policy formation, action, and planning in several areas of ACS activity directly related to the science of chemistry. COMSCI regularly programs symposia at the ACS National Meetings.

Secretariat, Formation and Dissolution

A Secretariat is an informal association of ACS divisions formed to coordinate long-range programming at ACS National Meetings on a topic or group of topics of mutual interest. A Secretariat is dependent on its constituent divisions for programming support and finances. It does not have individual Members, receive member-based financial allocations from the Society, or participate in Society governance. It does not at any time interfere with or attempt to supplant the interests of any division of the Society.

Strategic Plan

See the ACS Strategic Plan.

Audio Visual Equipment

Each technical session meeting room will be equipped with the following:

  • LCD projector
  • screen (16:9)
  • PC laptop computer
  • podium
  • podium microphone or lapel microphone
  • laser pointer

Laptop Connectivity Information

ACS will provide a “Standard HDMI Cable” in all meeting rooms. Therefore, it is imperative for speakers to supply their own Macbooks and Mac- or Windows-compatible dongle/adaptor to connect to the “Standard HDMI Cable”. If unsure of the correct adaptor, the laptop connectivity specifications can be found on the computer manufacturer’s website. 

Awards, Divisions

Many divisions have their own awards that are distinct from the ACS National Awards. See a list of the current awards offered by each division.

Awards, National

The ACS National Awards are administered by ACS. The national award winner may choose the division program in which the award address will be given unless the award itself specifies a specific division. Award addresses, with few exceptions, are given at the spring national meeting.

Communicating with Symposium Organizers

All Symposium Organizers should have a valid email address. The Program Chairs, ACS staff, and abstract authors regularly communicate with the Symposium Organizers via email.


Cosponsorships occur at national meetings in three ways.

  1. Cosponsorships frequently occur when two or more divisions, committees, or secretariats, share the organizational work and/or financial responsibility and benefits of planning a program. One of the groups is the primary sponsor, which has the full session listing in its program. ACS Divisions and committees are no longer required to have a formal written agreement among the parties for this type of cosponsorship. However, all groups must agree before-hand who is the primary sponsor, and if there are any financial obligations. It is highly recommended that the cosponsoring parties draw up a written agreement, especially if there are any financial implications.
  2. Cosponsorships may also occur with other national and international scientific and technical societies. This type of cosponsorship must be carefully documented with the ACS Office of the Secretary in accordance with the ACS Bylaws. Find the proper procedures to follow with cooperative and nominal cosponsorships.
  3. Programming committees are required to have a division sponsor their symposia.

Cosponsorships, Cooperative

A cosponsorship between two divisions that involve money or in-kind work

Cosponsorships, Nominal

A cosponsorship between two divisions in which the symposium is of interest to the cosponsoring division or committee, but no money or in kind work is involved.

Even Programming

The Even Programming Policy optimizes the use of meeting room space at national meetings while minimizing the number of parallel-programmed sessions.

Guidelines for Symposium Organizers

Find the guidelines and procedures for using MAPS.

Location Preference Request

Program Chairs are requested to fill out a Location Preference Request form to indicate which divisions they prefer to be near during the national meeting. This request form is found within the ACS Network group designated for each division/committee.

Technical Session Locator

The official listing that announces the venue where each division or committee’s technical sessions will be located during the national meeting. This information is posted online approximately three months prior to the occurrence of a national meeting.

Transfer a Paper

Program Chairs may transfer papers from one symposium to another within their division up until the final program deadline. Program Chairs may transfer papers from one division to another if the two divisions agree to the transfer and if both divisions are still open for abstract submission. Contact ACS Staff to make the transfer.


Sci-Mix is a large meeting-wide event—traditionally held on Monday evening at 8:00 PM—that combines a social event with poster presentations. Program Chairs select the posters from their division that represent the best and most interesting that the division has to offer. The number of posters in Sci-Mix must conform to the following rule: a maximum of 20 posters per division or 10% of the total number of papers for the division, whichever is larger.

Session Attendance Forms

ACS Staff requests oral session chairs (presiders) to submit session attendance information online at After the meeting, ACS staff enters session attendance data in MAPS. Once all submitted session attendance is entered, Program Chairs are requested to review and provide attendance data for sessions missing this information.


The technical program is composed of symposia, which have a brief title indicating the nature of the presentation. Depending on the number of speakers, each symposium has one or more sessions. Each session contains the presenters for each AM, PM, or EVE period.

Symposium Organizer

One or more people who are responsible for reviewing and scheduling the abstracts submitted to the symposium.

Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN)

The weekly magazine is distributed to all ACS members.

Call for Papers

Call for Papers for national meetings are normally published in the January and August issues of C&EN, approximately 9 months prior to each national meeting. The Call for Papers lists the Program Chairs, symposia titles, Symposium Organizers, and the deadlines set by each division for abstract submission.

Locating a Past Meeting Paper

Visit the technical programming archive to view past national meetings from 2010 to present.

Online Technical Program

The online technical program is the “official” program of the national meeting. The online technical program is updated regularly before and throughout the meeting as papers are withdrawn. The online version is made available at the same time as the preliminary program publishes in C&EN.

Preliminary Program

The preliminary program, published in C&EN, and onsite program contain two sections: a general section listing social events and committee meetings, and information on registration and housing. The technical summary portion is a grid summarizing the symposia dates and locations.

Technical Program of National Meetings

The technical program available online or onsite contains the complete listing of all technical papers organized by divisions and committees.

Poster Presentations

Each horizontal poster board measures 4 feet high x 8 feet wide (including frame). All presentations must be confined to poster board itself. Computer display equipment, sound or projection equipment, freestanding or three-dimensional displays, demonstrations, experiments, or tables for handout materials are not permitted in the poster sessions.

Speaker Guidelines

See "Speaker Instructions" on the home page of the upcoming ACS National Meeting. The ACS National Meeting home page can be accessed by clicking on the meeting banner at

Sponsored Speaker

Sponsored speakers are presenters who have been invited by the division to speak at the national meeting and whose registration fee will be paid by the division.

Sponsored Speaker Registration

Divisions are given access to the Division Guest Registration site where they may register their sponsored speakers. There is a special one-day registration rate available to non-chemical scientist speakers. ACS members who are sponsored must pay the regular member rate.