Session Speaker Instructions

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Overall Responsibilities

Prior to the Conference:

  • Complete and submit the online ATS COI Disclosure questionnaire. Questions about the COI form? Please contact:
  • When preparing your talk, refer to the session objectives and title for your presentation
  • Adhere to the time allotment specified by the session chair/organizer; and leave time during this allocated time for a general discussion with the audience after your talk.
  • Prepare and upload your PowerPoint presentation.
  • To ensure visuals are consistent in format, please see the Procedures for Electronic Presentations. (Available in late March 2024)
  • Do not use industry logos or brand names in your PowerPoint presentations.
  • Complete the online Speaker Agreement Form prior to uploading your presentation(s). (Available in late March 2024)
  • Visit the Speaker Ready Room onsite to be sure your presentation is running correctly.
  • If you are not able to attend the conference and present in-person, please contact your session chair.

Managing Conflicts of Interest

Mandatory Disclosure of Relevant COI by Session Chair and Speakers – both to ATS and to Attendees (Learners) – and Formal Review before the Conference

  • COI forms must be completed online at the ATS COI website by the deadlines announced in the instructions to be emailed to chairs and speakers*.
  • Disclosures will be reviewed initially by ATS COI staff, and when warranted, by members of the ATS Ethics and Conflict of Interest Committee. When conflicts are reported or perceived, some chairs of sessions designated for CME credit will also be instructed to return to the ATS COI website to review the disclosures submitted by their speakers and choose a management option if needed (i.e., an ATS-prescribed step to ensure that the speaker’s content is seen as unbiased). Chairs can contact ATS COI Staff if they need assistance. Staff will contact Ethics and COI Committee members and may contact the respective Program Committee Chair if the session chair and staff are unable to resolve a matter.

Disclosure to Session Attendees at the Time of Presentation:

  • In addition to disclosure-to-ATS prior to the conference, chairs and speakers must disclose to learners (audience) any financial relationship with commercial entities that is relevant to her/his talk, according to ATS and Accreditation Council for CME requirements. Speaker creation of a disclosure slide for this purpose may be required, and if so, a slide template will be provided at a later date on the ATS website. Chairs and speakers will be notified of procedures.
  • Please also orally note any commercial relationships that are relevant to your talk, and if you wish, assure the audience that your findings and recommendations are free of commercial bias.

* Disclosure and review of speaker changes made past these deadlines will be arranged separately. ATS COI staff are available for assistance at       

Please also note:

  • The ACCME prohibits the use of employees from ineligible companies as organizers, chairs and presenters in accredited CME activities. The ACCME defines ineligible companies as those whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. In addition, the ATS also requires disclosure of any payment or services received from a manufacturer or distributor of a product or process thought to cause or aggravate the respiratory disease or disorder under investigation. Sessions that do not meet this requirement will be ineligible for CME credit.
  • The ATS prohibits persons affiliated with the tobacco industry – including as an employee, consultant, advisory committee member, grant recipient, or in other roles - from organizing, chairing or presenting at conference sessions. ATS similarly now prohibits persons affiliated with any cannabis entity that promotes recreational use and/or non-evidence-based uses of inhaled cannabis products if the relationship has existed within the past 12 months preceding application for presentation at conference sessions. ATS does not, at this time, explicitly prohibit persons affiliated with the vaping industry in these ways from participation (unless the company is tobacco industry owned fully or in part) but may impose conditions to ensure that content is scientifically rigorous, non-promotional and complies with any legal restrictions. Future ATS policies may affect participation by persons involved with these industries more extensively.

*International Conference requirements for COI management may be found at

Scientific Integrity

International Conference planners and presenters have diverse interests and relationships that contribute to the success of the Conference but may also cause potential or actual conflicts of interest (COI) that must be disclosed, reviewed, and managed to comply with Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) requirements. To accomplish this in the context of a large number of Conference sessions and diverse topics, ATS must rely heavily on each program committee, session organizer, chair, and speaker.

Please ensure that the following requirements are met as you organize and carry out your session:

  • Independence, balance and scientific rigor.
    • All participants in official ATS activities, including conference session organizers and speakers, are required to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct.
    • 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.
    • Although accredited continuing education is an appropriate place to discuss, debate, and explore new and evolving topics, these areas need to be clearly identified as such within your individual presentations. It is the responsibility of faculty to facilitate engagement with these topics without advocating for, or promoting, practices that are not, or not yet adequately based on current science, evidence, and clinical reasoning.
    • Content cannot be included in accredited education if it advocates for unscientific approaches to diagnosis or therapy, or if the education promotes recommendations, treatment, 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.
    • Content must be free of commercial bias.
    • Data presented should not be outdated.
  • A balanced view of therapeutic options
    • 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.
    • Use of generic names for therapeutics will contribute to this impartiality and is preferred.
  • Disclosure of relevant conflicts of interests (COI) to ATS and learners
  • Promotion within accredited continuing education
    • Educational materials that are part of accredited education (such as slides, abstracts, handouts, evaluation mechanisms, or disclosure information) must not contain any marketing produced by or for an ineligible company, including corporate or product logos, trade names, or product group messages.
    • Faculty must not market or sell their products or services within their presentation or within the educational space.

*See related ATS policy at  

Photography During Presentations

Attendees are prohibited from using flash photography or otherwise distracting the presenters or members of the audience. However, photographs may be taken during sessions or poster presentations, provided that the photographs are strictly for personal, non-commercial use and are not published in any form.

ATS requests that any speaker who does not want their content posted on social media or shared on other websites, make an announcement to attendees at the beginning of their presentation. Presenters may also add the request to their presentation.