Abstract Review Criteria

Evaluation of Proposals: Overview of Criteria

All proposals are evaluated through blind peer review by several reviewers. Each submission is rated by reviewers independently according to the criteria shown in this Table:


Reviewer Response Options

Appropriateness and Importance of the Topic/Issue/Problem 

1 (poor) - 6 (excellent)

Original Research with Theoretical Basis

1 (poor) - 6 (excellent)

Research Design / Conceptual Framework

1 (poor) - 6 (excellent)

Organization and Clarity of Abstract

1 (poor) - 6 (excellent)

Overall Numerical Rating

Average of the first 4 criteria

Potential to Contribute to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (select one)

Yes, No

Overall recommendation (select one)

Accept, Accept if Space, Reject


Open-ended feedback for the submitter


The rationale for these criteria is as follows:

  • The topic/issue/problem is appropriate and important
  • The research is original and motivated by solid theories
  • If an empirical study, the research design is of high quality and sufficiently explained, including clearly stated questions, data sources, data collection procedures, and analytic approach
  • If a conceptual study, the conceptual framework is of high quality and sufficiently explained, including integration of topic into current thinking, clear exposition of treatment of topic, and meaningful connections to the relevant research communities
  • Abstract is written in an organized and clear style (indicative of a clear and well-organized presentation)
  • In addition, whenever possible and relevant, the research has potential to contribute to AAAL’s values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access

As indicated in the Table above, each reviewer also makes a holistic recommendation to accept, accept if there is space, or reject; and they are encouraged but not required to offer open-ended feedback for the submitter.

Final decisions are made by the Conference Program Team based on: (a) the responses across categories (Table above) provided by the reviewers on a given submission, (b) the overall global recommendation by Strand Coordinators, and (c) available space at the conference and balance across strands.

Additional Evaluation Criteria by Submission Type

Proposals for Roundtable Sessions will also be evaluated for:

  • Clarity of objectives and intended outcomes of the session
  • Methods planned to engage participants in the discussion

Proposals for 2-hour and 1-hour Colloquia will also be evaluated for each of the following categories:

  • Appropriateness and significance of the topic
  • Presentation of original and on-going research studies OR differing or dissenting perspectives on an important issue
  • Coherence and complementarity of the papers
  • Manner of presentation
    • Two-Hour Colloquia: clearly indicated schedule of activity with significant amounts of time allocated for discussion of the presentations and audience participation)
    • One-Hour Colloquia: i) three clearly indicated separate papers, each with content that lends itself to a 10-minute presentation; ii) a colloquium organizer (who must be one or more of the authors of the individual papers); and iii) a clearly indicated schedule that allows for a minimum of 20 minutes of discussion following the presentation of the three papers

Please note that if colloquia are accepted, the schedule of activity, including the order of presentations, will appear in the conference program as listed in the proposal and must be respected in the actual presentation of papers.