All posts by

So you Need to Update Your Abstract

One of the lessons we’ve taken from our sister-society ESMAC, is that in today’s digital age, it’s often easier once abstracts are accepted to let the authors put in their own updates prior to the conference. Why allow updates to begin with? For one thing, often the presenter changes, or people notice misspellings of names, titles, or other things. Occasionally, there are typos that need correcting.

In this year’s case, some folks are putting DOIs into their references so that we can actually register their abstracts with CrossRef. They have a pesky rule that says that current works (this year – 2 years) have to have the DOIs listed to be compliant with CrossRef standards. It’s actually a good rule because it means that people can find the work you’ve referenced by clicking on a link. But it really does make it easier if YOU make the change instead of asking me to make it later on. Editing PDFs is a black art at best.

So given that you want to update your abstract, how do you go about doing this? Make whatever changes you need to your document and then convert it to a PDF. Then go to our OpenConf website, and use your submission ID to login.

You might be tempted to go to “Edit Submission”, but you can’t actually upload a new file from there. If you do wish to update some of the meta information, you can change most of it (not the title) from the “Edit Submission” page. For some reason, OpenConf won’t let you change the title.

As the person who will be concatenating this all over the next few weeks, to me the important thing is your actual PDF. If that is correct, then all is well, since that will be what is ultimately indexed by CrossRef.

If you have last minute changes to your abstract, please get them done no later than May 22nd so that I can work on getting the program book together.

Thanks to Pete Quesada for working through the OpenConf system to find out how to make updates!


Tim N

Tuesday Night Social

One of the challenges of hosting an online conference is providing social spaces in which participants can interact outside of the formal bounds of the meeting. To this end, we’ll be opening one of our Zoom rooms during large parts of the meeting for informal gatherings. I’ll discuss that more in a later post.

But meetings are also a place where one can gather with friends and colleagues to have fun. Often this is in the form of a banquet on the next to last night, but it can also take other forms in person. In our original meeting in 2020, this was scheduled to be on one of West Chester’s “Swinging Summer Thursdays” in which restaurants give discounts, and the streets are blocked off so that restaurants can put out tables. Gay Street has a super-high density of restaurants, so the feel is like the downtown of a European city. We had planned a roof-top a-la-carte Mexican dinner in West Chester with encouragement to get out and try all the local pubs and breweries that you hadn’t yet encountered.

So in light of this, we felt that providing this element online would be a challenge. The programming committee discussed virtual beer tastings (yum!) as a pale imitation of the in person experience, but these came with large price tags due to shipping costs, and after polling random people including spouses, lab mates, and teaching colleagues, we figured that given the cost (over $100 per person) people would probably rather drink whatever they had on hand and experience something else.

The solution (we hope!) presented itself, when my family attended an online show by an improv comedy troupe we had previously seen in person: Better Than Bacon. This group started out in the early 2000s taking improv classes together, and then moved on to start giving shows. For the past several years they have been a fixture at the local performing arts centers. Furthermore, they often donate their proceeds to non-profits in the area via their Bacon Gives Back initiative.

Better Than Bacon will be providing our Tuesday night (June 8th, 2021) entertainment from 6.30-7.30pm via Zoom. We hope that you will consider donating to a worthy cause as they are donating their time to our organization!

All the best,

Tim Niiler

Recording your Screen

Since many of us have been online throughout the past year, we’ve all come to be familiar with the many different video conferencing solutions that are out there. What you might not know is that it is possible to use them to record a screencast directly without being in a formal meeting. This post will give you the basics of how to do it using Zoom, and also suggest some alternatives for those who might want something different.

Using Zoom

click to see video

For those of us familiar with Zoom, this method is really trivial. There are a few gotchas to look out for, but I felt it was fairly easy to do compared with other software I’ve used for the same purpose over the past year.

The first thing to note is that the yellow box in which your talking head is supposed to appear can be deleted if you’re using this method since your talking head won’t appear there. It will appear up and to the right as is shown in the image above. You can reclaim this space for content. So finish creating your content in Power Point, Google Docs, Keynote, or LibreOffice Impress, and get into presentation mode.

Next, start up Zoom. Many of us already have Zoom accounts through our institution this year. But if not, have no fear. You can get a free Zoom account and use it to create a video so long as your video is not very long.

Now that you’re in slideshow mode, and Zoom is running, click on New Meeting. You don’t have to invite anyone else, just start the meeting.

Next, check that you are not muted (button on lower left) and choose to share your screen. You will find a little green Share Screen button if you move your mouse down toward the lower frame of the Zoom window. If you have audio content to share, ensure that you check the box entitled “Share Sound” before finalizing your share. If you are just recording a voice over, this doesn’t matter. Move your mouse to the upper part of the window, and a pulldown menu will appear. Click on “More” and you will be given an option to record either to computer or the cloud. I would select “Record to Computer” as this will make it easier for you to find your work.

Make your presentation as you normally would. You might want to have a timer handy. Then when you’re done, move the mouse up to get the same pulldown menu, click “More” and then click on “Stop Recording.”

You won’t see your recording in mp4 format until you exit the meeting. Then you can upload your recording to this website if you are a poster author.

Other Software

I often use different software to do my screencasting dependent on what I need to do. There are a number of web-based alternatives you can use including ScreenCast-O-Matic. As of this writing, it required me to download and install the free app, but in the past, it has worked for me directly in the browser. If you have Office365, you can record your PowerPoint directly as shown here. The box in the lower right of the sample PowerPoint was apparently originally designed with Office365 in mind since that seems to be where the “talking head” appears. And Linux users can use Kazam (which I used to record Zoom doing its recording thing).

Whichever software you choose remember to check your sound settings, then start your slide show, and then record and present. When you finish, stop recording first, and then get out of your presentation mode.

If you have any questions or need help with the process, feel free to contact me. See you in June!

Authors Q&A: What do I upload, and When Can Others see it?

There have been a number of questions of late regarding the presentation format for the conference. In this post, I hope to clarify things. See below for details!

If you’re a podium presenter

You are presenting live at the time on the schedule. Podium presenters need only submit their Power Point by May 22.  We are having presenters do this so as to avoid staging problems with presentations.  Our tech people will be running the presentations, and podium presenters will be narrating and having slides advance by stating “next slide.”     We will record their presentations via Zoom. Uploads for podium authors can be made here if you are logged in.

If you’re a poster presenter

Poster presenters are asked to be available in the scheduled Zoom room for Q&As about their posters. When poster sessions are on, we will have breakout rooms (per poster) for poster presenters to field questions. These will NOT be recorded. We ask that poster presenters post PDFs of their Power Points and a short 3 minute video introduction of their posters by May 22 so that they will be accessible in late May to all registered conference attendees. Uploads for poster authors can be made here if you are logged in.


Abstract authors who login only have access to the type of upload that fits them. If you are a poster author, they can upload MP4 and PDF files. If you are a podium author you can only upload PPTX files. If you are both, you have access to both types of uploads. We figured it was easier for people to have one login and multiple roles than separate logins for each abstract they submitted.

Access to uploaded and recorded materials

All AV materials will be stored on the website for the duration of our contract (Feb 2022) with SiteGround. After that, they will be put on for future consumption as decided by the board. AV materials will be available as follows:

  • Abstracts submitted via OpenConf: By Late May 2021 – Feb 2022.
  • Poster pre-recorded videos (MP4): Late May 2021 – Feb 2022.
  • Poster PDFs: Late May 2021 – Feb 2022.
  • Podium PPTXs: Only available to tech staff and presented live at scheduled times.
  • Recorded video of podium sessions (for example “Spine and Upper Extremity”): Available the day after the presentation – Feb 2022.

Availability of materials to paid conference goers is based on full or single day registration. For CME/CEU credit, materials must be watched within 1 month of the conference as per AMEDCO guidelines.

I hope this helps to clear up some things. As always feel free to contact me if you need more information or help. Watch this space for further updates as the website is about to start growing very quickly.

Tim Niiler

CMLA Luncheon Agenda Announced

When: Tuesday, June 8th at 12.30 (EDT) via Zoom

Gordon Alderink, PT, PhD
Jean L. Stout, PT, MS

The CMLA is the Commission for Motion Laboratory Accreditation.

Each year at the GCMAS meeting we provide an update on the accreditation process and a workshop for those interested in submitting an application for accreditation. Anyone who is interested in this topic is welcome to attend, but for those who intend to submit an application in
the near future it is strongly encouraged. During this session, we will provide an overview of the accreditation processes, and additional information of interest to GCMAS members who might seek accreditation for their institution.

Following a brief introduction, this year’s workshop format will consist primarily of a Q & A session with available members of the CMLA Board of Directors to answer general and specific questions regarding applications.

Update: You can find a PDF of the presentation here.

There is no charge for the workshop, but preregistration for the session is required.

For more information on CMLA and the accreditation process, please visit the CMLA website at

Website Update for Authors

This is just a quick note to let you know that we’ve updated the conference site for authors so that they can find poster and presentation directions without logging in. Originally, our thinking was that only authors needed to see directions for creating posters and presentations for this online conference. However, we’ve gotten feedback noting that authors often receive technical help from other members of their lab or institution, and that as such, it would be helpful to see these pages regardless of who you are.

For security reasons, only logged in authors will see the file upload menus on the left-hand nav bar. If you are an author and you haven’t yet seen your WordPress login invite, please email Tim Niiler, the conference chair ( to get an update. The initial email invites to all authors were sent out on March 15, 2021.

GCMAS is accepted as a DOI provider

This week, the GCMAS was accepted by CrossRef as a DOI provider. DOIs – Digital Object Identifiers – are valuable to researchers and clinicians alike in that they enable one’s work to b e indexed and more easily found across the web. DOIs are intended to be permanent links to academic work be it abstracts, conference papers, journal articles, webinars, or regular papers.

CrossRef is a not-for-profit membership organization that exists to make scholarly communications better.

Our intent at GCMAS is to use DOIs to index our conference papers so that researchers can see what has come before, benefit from this research, and avoid reinventing the wheel. Attaching DOIs to our research also makes this work more publicly accessible and helps our members to more widely disseminate our work.

We’ll announce soon when our DOI server is up and running.