FAQ's - Submitting Proposals

  1. When will I hear whether or not my proposal has been accepted?
  2. If my proposal is accepted, will my registration fee be waived?
  3. What if my proposal isn’t accepted? Will I be told why?
  4. How can I access the reviewers’ comments about my proposal?
  5. Can my proposal be reconsidered if it is not accepted?
  6. I didn’t receive confirmation. Why not?
  7. I cannot see the reviewer’s comments. Why?
  8. How can I get more information on the reviews of my proposal?
  9. I submitted a proposal for an individual paper, but it was accepted as a poster presentation or roundtable session instead. Is it possible that my presentation will be changed to an individual paper at some point?

Proposal Submission

My topic is __________. Which strand should I apply to?

Please read the brief descriptors for each strand, which are available through the Call for Proposals on the AAAL website.

Try to submit your proposal to the strand that most closely relates to your main theme. If you are unsure, please ask a colleague, professor, or supervisor who is familiar with AAAL Conference procedures.

If unsure about two possible strands, you can select a primary strand and a secondary strand.

Which type of proposal (individual paper, poster, roundtable, or one- or two-hour colloquium) should I submit?

You can submit a proposal to give an individual paper if you feel your work is complete and ready for a more comprehensive presentation of your research.

Roundtable sessions and poster presentations are well suited for works in progress. They generate interactive discussions with people who are particularly interested in your topic and thus offer valuable feedback and networking opportunities.

In a roundtable session, typically one presenter speaks to a small audience (typically 8 - 10 people) seated around a table, all of whom have chosen to attend that particular session. The 15-minute presentation is followed by a whole-group discussion of the work, in which all participants have opportunities to contribute. (total roundtable session time is 30 minutes).

There are many concurrent roundtables happening in the same room, but participants attend only one.

Poster presentations are especially useful for data that can be presented visually (e.g., charts, transcripts, linguistic landscape data, semiotic and multimodal analysis). They allow for much more sustained discussion and in-depth comments than formal papers.

Colloquia are multi-person discussions of a topic, either 1-hr in length or 2-hrs.  The purpose of the 2-hr format is to foster dialogue among attendees, so generous time allowance should be made throughout the colloquium for extended audience discussion of the papers presented. Colloquium organizers serve as the liaisons between participants in the colloquium and the program committee, and are therefore responsible for communication among the presenters and discussants. They should also ensure that all content is submitted in a timely and accurate fashion and that there is sufficient cohesion across the papers within the colloquium.

A one-hour colloquium format encourages conciseness and focus and allows (potentially) more time for discussion than the longer paper presentations. Sessions in this format will consist of three individual ten-minute papers within a one-hour time slot including an optional discussant. Each paper is allocated up to two minutes for clarification questions, followed by a discussant's remarks (if any) and then general discussion for the remainder of the hour. Colloquium organizers serve as the liaisons between participants in the colloquium and the program committee, and are therefore responsible for communication among the presenters and discussants. They should also ensure that all content is submitted in a timely and accurate fashion and that there is sufficient cohesion across the papers within the colloquium.

Please refer to the Call for Proposals for further details.

Individuals may submit a maximum of one abstract as first author, whether a paper (including shorter papers and papers presented in a colloquium), a poster, or a roundtable session. An individual may appear as a first author only once on the program. First authors are expected to present the research bearing their name, but all authors are encouraged to share in the presentation of co-authored research.

An individual may take on an additional role as a colloquium organizer or discussant. For papers, an individual may also appear as a co-author/co-presenter of another paper, provided they are not first author.

Should I include a reference list in my submission? If I do include it, does it count towards my word limit?

A reference list is not required and generally is not included. More commonly, a few in-text citations are provided to contextualize the work (in terms of theory or methodology). If used, references listed at the end of the abstract will count towards your word limit, as will in-text citations. In-text citations can be important for situating your research, but because they do count towards the word limit, you will want to be selective in how many you include.

Can I submit a proposal if I am a Strand Coordinator?

Yes you can, BUT you cannot submit a proposal to the strand you are coordinating. You are welcome to submit a proposal to another strand.

Can I submit a proposal to the strand for which I am serving as a proposal reviewer?

Yes, as a proposal reviewer you may submit a proposal to ANY strand.

What is required to submit a proposal for a colloquium?

To submit a colloquium proposal you'll need a title, and abstract for the colloquium as a whole, as well as for each of the individual papers. If you invite a discussant, you do not need an abstract or title for that discussant's contributions (just the name and institution). The colloquium organizer should submit the whole proposal. This year, the colloquium organizer initiates the submission by uploading into Confex the strand designation(s), colloquium title, and abstract, and then placeholders for the individual paper presenters, who are then sent a link and asked to upload their information (paper title and abstract). the colloquium submission is not complete until ALL information has been submitted.

Here is the information that you'll need from each colloquium paper presenter in addition to the colloquium as a whole.
1. a title of no more than 15 words
2. an abstract of no more than 300 words 

If you have discussants, abstracts and summaries are not expected from them. 

Please refer to the Call for Proposals for further details.

Should the colloquium proposal list the contributors’ names?

No. In order to preserve the double-blind review process, names of individual contributors must not be listed in the larger colloquium proposal.

What is the difference between an organizer and a discussant for the colloquia?

The organizer is responsible for planning and facilitating the colloquium. He or she creates and submits the larger proposal for the entire colloquium. The discussant is the person who draws connections between/among the presenters’ papers and often has questions, suggestions, or recommendations to add, as a way of further exploring the papers’ findings. The organizer often is a paper presenter within the colloquium as well, although this is not required.

How many presentations should be in a colloquium?

Typically, two-hour colloquia have anywhere from 3-5 presentations. The one-hour colloquia must have three presentations.


Editing A Proposal Submission

Can I change my title/abstract/summary closer to the conference?

No, but, you may edit your proposal submission until the deadline. For the 2021 conference, the deadline is Monday, July 15, 2020 4:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time. NOTE THAT THIS DEADLINE IS SLIGHTLY EARLIER THAN IN PREVIOUS YEARS, TO ALLOW FOR GREATER ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT DURING THE PROPOSAL SUBMISSION PERIOD.

Can I change the strand I selected after I submit my proposal?

Yes, up until July 15, 2020 for the 2021 conference. After this date you may no longer change a strand.

I forgot to add my co-presenter to the proposal and I have already submitted. What can be done?

You can edit the proposal and add another presenter until the proposal deadline (July 15, 2020 for the 2021 AAAL Conference). But if the presenter is 1st author, this addition will NOT be possible if that same person is 1st author on another session (paper, roundtable, poster). They would be added as "co-author" (not "presenter").

How do I change my name and/or affiliation on the submission?

If you wish to change your own name (e.g., in the case of marriage, divorce, etc.) or affiliation, then you simply need to login to your profile on the AAAL website to change how your name appears in the membership records.

However, if you make the name change after the program has been finalized, the earlier version of your name may still appear in the conference program app.


Notification and Adjudication

When will I hear whether or not my proposal has been accepted?

Notices of proposal acceptances and rejections usually go out in October. The timing may vary from year to year, depending on the number of submissions, the space available on the program, the date of the conference, and when the proposal reviewers complete the process.

If my proposal is accepted, will my registration fee be waived?

No. All presenters who attend the conference are required to register. Co-authors who do not attend are not required to register. You do not need to be a member to submit abstracts or register for the conference, but members' registration rates are lower and we encourage all presenters to become members of AAAL.

What if my proposal isn’t accepted? Will I be told why?

Each year we receive a very high number of proposals for consideration. Given the limitations of time and space on the program and in conference hotels, the acceptance rate is generally under 50%. As a result, the review process is particularly stringent, and acceptances are highly competitive.

Each proposal will be reviewed by two scholars specializing in the strand to which you submit your proposal. Instructions for accessing your reviews will be provided in your proposal notification email. Please note that many factors need to be taken into account when creating the final program schedule, including even representation across strands. This can influence final decisions as well.

How can I access the reviewers’ comments about my proposal?

Once the review process is complete, you will be provided with a link in the notification email, which will allow you to access the reviewers’ comments on your proposal.

Can my proposal be reconsidered if it is not accepted?

No. Due to the large number of submissions, proposals cannot be reconsidered once the review process has closed.

I didn’t receive confirmation. Why not?

If you are not the lead author who submitted a colloquium or paper proposal, please check with that person. Only the submitter of the proposal will be notified; it is his or her responsibility to share information with co-presenters.

In the case of a colloquium, if you are not the organizer, you will not receive notification. It is up to the colloquium organizer to notify you.

I cannot see the reviewers' comments. Why?

Only the person who submitted the proposal will receive notification and have direct access to the reviews.

It is the submitter's responsibility to share this information with co-authors and/or panelists.

How can I get more information on the reviews of my proposal?

Due to the large number of submissions that must be reviewed, AAAL does not require our reviewers to provide comments for each proposal they adjudicate. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate requests for further clarification or feedback.

I submitted a proposal for an individual paper, but it was accepted as a poster presentation or roundtable session instead. Is it possible that my presentation will be changed to an individual paper at some point?

If your proposal was submitted as an individual paper and then accepted as a poster or roundtable, we also placed it on the waiting list to be moved into the category of papers in case of cancellations. These changes will be made on the basis of the ranking received (scores and reviewers’ comments) on the original proposal.