FAQ's - Submitting Proposals

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. Papers are formal presentations on a contribution of original knowledge by one or more authors within a thirty-minute period, including the 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion.


Poster presentations are especially useful for presenting information visually (e.g., charts, graphs, tables, diagrams). A longer time period and a more interactive format provide opportunities for extended discussion with other researchers.


Roundtable discussions provide opportunities for informal and in-depth discussions between presenters and attendees on a specific topic. They are particularly well suited for works-in-progress. They are not meant to be formal paper presentations but rather opportunities for stimulating conversations and networking among participants on shared research interests. 

New! Each roundtable session is scheduled for 60 minutes, during which three presenters present their work consecutively for 10 minutes each around a table. The remaining 30 minutes are used for the three presenters and the attendees to engage in a group discussion. There will be a time-keeper assigned to each roundtable session.

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


Colloquia allow for extended discussion on a particular topic, achieved through the organization of individual presentations that are clearly linked to the colloquium theme and to each other. Proposals for colloquia can be for either a one-hour or two-hour block of time. 

Two-hour colloquia: The number of presenters, the length of each presentations, and the format or structure of the sessions are left up to the discretion of the colloquium organizer, as is the decision to include one or more discussants. Generous time allowance should be made throughout the colloquium for extended audience discussion of the papers presented. Colloquium propoers should, in addition to describing the content to be discussed and the coherence across the individual papers/presentations, state how time will be allocated across paper presentations, discussant remarks (optional), and audience discussion; this should be done without identifying presenters by name in order to preserve anonymity.

One-hour colloquia: One-hour colloquia is a shorter version of the two-hour colloquia. Although the number of presenters, the length of each presentation, the format or structure of the session, and the inclusion of a discussant are left up to discretion of the colloquium organizer, they typically consist of three individual papers that are closely connected to the same topic. The colloquium organizer should be one of the presenters. Like two-hour colloquia, ample time should be provided for audience questions and discussion of the papers presented.

Please refer to the Call for Proposals for further details.

How many proposals may I submit?

New! Individuals may submit a maximum of one abstract as a single/first author, whether a paper (including papers presented in a colloquium), a poster, or a roundtable session. They may play an additional role as a colloquium organizer or discussant or workshop presenter. No individual's name should appear in more than three proposals of any type in the regular academic sessions.

How do I submit a proposal in multiple languages?

New! Abstracts for individual papers, posters, roundtable discussions, and colloquia shall be submitted in English with the option to also submit them in one or more additional languages. An abstract in a language other than English should be uploaded as a PDF document. At the top of the PDF document, indicate in English which language is used. Please name the PDF document using the following naming format: “AAAL 2024 [Language].” For example, “AAAL 2024 Portuguese.”

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 the entire submission into X-CD.

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. 

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

Yes, up until the Call for Proposals closes. Submissions may not be edited after this date. 

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. 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 proposal site to change how your name appears in the submission. Please log into your membership account and update the information there, as well. 

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 notification email, which will provide information on how 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 the Primary Organizer.

I cannot see the reviewers' comments. Why?

Only the person who submitted the proposal will 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.