Many of us who are neuroscientists are probably preparing to submit an abstract (due in the next few weeks) for the annual Society for Neuroscience. This typically involves filling out an online form, making sure you abstract does not go over the character count, and then submitting electronically. I remember the first SfN abstract I was involved in submitting. It was when I was an undergrad and I was so excited to be an author and to get to go to SfN. Back then, every SfN member would get a meeting booklet in the mail and there was a tear-out form with an empty blue box and you were supposed to type your abstract in it. Of course, this was the 1990's and nobody used typewriters anymore, so the key was to get your computer to print the abstract exactly where the box is. No easy feat, since MS Word sucked back then (ok it's not much better now) and it took a lot of finessing to get it right. I remember my PI asked me to make photocopies of the form that we could use as test runs. So I made a bunch of copies and we kept adjusting margins etc for like an hour until we got the printer to print entirely inside the box. Once we were convinced it was all set we put the actual form in the printer and printed the abstract.
When it came out, the abstract was basically half inch or so out of center with the box. Apparently when I made the photocopies I did not center the form correctly on the copy machine and our dummy forms were off by about half an inch. Ooops. Needles to say, PI was pissed. Eventually we had to find someone else who wasn't using their form and then retry the whole thing. This time PI made the photocopies. In the end it was all fine, abstract got printed, I got to go to my first SfN, and had a ton of fun, even if the meeting was in Anaheim.