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Seminar Organizer FAQs

  1. Can I present on more than one seminar?
  2. Can I chair one seminar, and present on another?
  3. I’ve just joined the ACLA, but cannot seem to submit my proposal.  Help! 
  4. I can’t access the submitted paper proposals, but my co-organizer can.
  5. How many papers do I need for my seminar?
  6. Help! I don’t have nearly enough papers yet!
  7. Help! I have too many excellent proposals!
  8. I’ve invited some people to participate in my seminar. How do I get their papers entered into the system?
  9. Can I present in my own seminar?
  10. How do I approve papers? Do I have to do any extra write-up?
  11. What if I’ve worked hard to write a great seminar proposal, have collected a bunch of great papers, and then my seminar gets rejected? Will I still have the chance to submit a paper to another seminar after Sept. 30?
  12. Someone dropped out of my seminar after Oct. 1st.  May I replace them?
  13. What constraints are there on my seminar’s makeup?

We hope this information helps! We are aware that a number of you will be new to the ACLA system (which is great – we love new participants in our conference!), and that you may have a number of questions and concerns. If this FAQ hasn’t answered those questions, please feel free to write the ACLA at info@acla.org.


 

  1. Can I present on more than one seminar?  


    No.  You may only present on one seminar.
     
  2. Can I chair one seminar, and present on another?  


    No. We have hundreds of seminars, thousands of presenters, and only four streams in which to schedule everyone. Allowing for anyone to participate in more than one seminar would make scheduling almost impossible.
     
  3. I’ve just joined the ACLA, but cannot seem to submit my proposal.  Help! 


    The ACLA’s membership portal is not currently connected with the login for the ACLA website.  As such, even if you have already become an ACLA member, you will still need to create a unique User ID/login for the ACLA website by clicking the “login/register” link at the top portion of the main acla.org page (just under the “become a member” link).  Once you have created an account for yourself on the ACLA website, then you should be able to login and submit your seminar proposal.
     
    PLEASE NOTE: ACLA membership is NOT required for you to submit a seminar proposal.  It is only after your seminar proposal has been accepted that the ACLA requires you to join the organization.
     
  4. I can’t access the submitted paper proposals, but my co-organizer can.  


    Make sure your login on the ACLA website matches the email address submitted for yourself on the seminar proposal. If you have verified that these match and still can’t access paper proposals online, contact info@acla.org.
     
    PLEASE NOTE: a purchased ACLA membership is NOT the same as your login on the ACLA website.  If you have not already done so, you will need to create a login/unique User ID on the ACLA website, such that you can create/access your seminar proposal and any papers submitted to your seminar.
     
  5. How many papers do I need for my seminar?  


    That depends. Seminars can run for either two or three days, depending on how many strong papers you get. The target is 8 papers for a two-day seminar, and 12 for a three-day seminar. We realize that sometimes you get a different number of strong submissions, and need to adjust the numbers slightly, so we have some flexibility on those numbers. A two-day seminar could have between 6-9 papers; a three-day seminar between 10 and 13. This allows for 15-20 minute presentations (shorter if you have 5 papers a day, the maximum we allow), with plenty of time for discussion.
     
  6. Help! I don’t have nearly enough papers yet!  


    Don’t panic: we’ve only received about 1/8 to 1/10 of the total number of papers we will receive, and more than half of all papers will arrive on the final day. It happens every year. So the number of papers you have now doesn’t reflect at all the number you will get. If you ARE worried about having a low number of submissions, here are some things you can do:
     
    • Advertise. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media are a great way to get people interested in your seminar.
    • Invite scholars.  Most successful ACLA seminars are a mix of invited papers and blind submissions, so if you know of scholars whose work you’d like to see as part of your seminar, write to them directly.
    • Consider merging. If by September 16th you do not have a minimum of 5 papers submitted to your seminar, you may want to consider a merger with another seminar (keeping in mind that over ½ of submissions that the ACLA receives come in on the final day of submissions).  To review a list of other seminars submitted, take a look at our master seminar list, found at http://www.acla.org/seminars?items_per_page=All (the list is also keyword-searchable).  If you find a seminar with overlapping interests, write the organizers of that seminar and propose a merger. If they agree, get in touch with us at info@acla.org. Ideally, we’d like to see mergers happen before Sept. 21, though we can consider them in the week of Sept. 21 - October 5th also.
    • And one thing not to do: Don’t accept papers you’re not happy with. Accepting paper proposals of poor quality tends to lead to unsatisfying seminars. Keep working on steps a-c, and I’m sure you’ll find some great papers.

        
  7. Help! I have too many excellent proposals! 


    Well-crafted seminar proposals on topics that are currently popular can easily attract 40, 50, 60 proposals, sometimes even more. If you’re getting more than enough papers for one full seminar, you can consider splitting your seminar into two (or three or even more as appropriate). Don’t feel you have to accept papers you’re not happy with in order to split the seminar, but if you have lots of strong seminars, you should feel free to explore a split. You’ll need to find new organizers for the split-off seminar(s). Contact us at info@acla.org if you’re exploring this option.
     
    PLEASE NOTE: Bear in mind that there is no guarantee that either or both split sessions will be accepted by the ACLA’s selections committee for the Annual Meeting.  Think carefully about the strength and coherence of the papers in any seminar you create.
     
  8. I’ve invited some people to participate in my seminar. How do I get their papers entered into the system?  


    They’ll need to submit their own papers by September 21st, just the same as everyone else. This actually saves you work, and reduces the chance of error.
     
  9. Can I present in my own seminar?  


    Yes! (You don’t have to, if you don’t want to, though). If you do plan to present a paper in your own seminar, remember that you must submit a paper proposal through the system just like everyone else.
     
  10. How do I approve papers? Do I have to do any extra write-up?  


    The paper approval process is designed to be as simple as possible – you’ll just need to click a button on the page for each paper submitted to your seminar. The button has been disabled until Sept. 21 to make sure every submitted paper has a fair chance at selection for your proposed seminar.
     
  11. What if I’ve worked hard to write a great seminar proposal, have collected a bunch of great papers, and then my seminar gets rejected? Will I still have the chance to submit a paper to another seminar after Sept. 29?  


    No. Seminar submissions at this date are final, but up until October 5th you will have opportunities to consider merging with another seminar, canceling your seminar, etc.
     
  12. Someone dropped out of my seminar after Oct. 1st.  May I replace them? 


    No.  Once the ACLA’s committee has reviewed each seminar application and the papers contained in it, there will no longer be any possibility to add other papers to your seminar.
     
  13. What constraints are there on my seminar’s makeup? 


    No seminar may have more than two participants from the same institution.  All seminars should aim at a balance of scholars at different stages of the profession, including having up to, but no more than, 50% participation by graduate students.  The ACLA’s selection committee will review both of these factors when deciding on a whether a seminar will be included or not.