FAQ:  Abstract Submission for the LSA Annual Meeting

Why is the abstract submission deadline for the 2020 annual meeting a month earlier than usual?

The deadline for submitting an abstract to the LSA Annual Meeting has been moved earlier because of the time needed to ensure that each of the abstracts we receive is reviewed by expert external reviewers, members of the Program Committee, and/or the Program Committee chairs.   In recent years, the number of abstracts submitted for the LSA Annual Meeting has grown (see answer to the fourth question, below), making it difficult to accomplish this task in the amount of time allotted to it previously.

Why is so much time needed?

Each abstract is reviewed by expert external subject matter reviewers, a member of the Program Committee, and/or one of the Program Committee chairs.  After the abstract submission deadline has passed, Program Committee chairs need time to assign each abstract to external reviewers, and the external reviewers require time to evaluate their assigned abstracts.  Members of the Program Committee need time to review the much larger number of abstracts that they have been assigned, and the Program Committee chairs require time to review an even larger number of abstracts.  Time is required for the Program Committee chairs to make final decisions about abstract acceptance, and to place accepted abstracts into thematic poster and paper sessions.  Finally, abstract submitters need to be notified in time to make their plans to attend the meeting.

Why don't you keep the later deadline for abstract submission and just notify people later?

Abstract submitters need to be notified with enough advance notice to make arrangements to attend the Annual Meeting.  In particular, students may need to prove their abstract has been accepted in order to secure funding to attend the Meeting, and international schoalrs need abundant advance time to apply for any necessary visas.

How many abstracts are submitted for the LSA Annual Meeting?

The number of abstracts submitted for the LSA Annual Meeting has grown by almost 50 percent in recent years, from 534 for the 2009 Annual Meeting in San Francisco to nearly 800 for the 2019 Annual Meeting in New York City.

Who reviews abstracts, and how many abstracts do they review?

Each abstract is evaluated by at least three reviewers, who may include:

  • external reviewers drawn from a pool of several hundred subject matter experts.  External reviewers may or may not be LSA members, but must hold a Ph.D. in linguistics or a related field.  External reviewers generally review between 15 and 30 abstracts in their area of expertise.a member of the LSA
  • Program Committee who is expert in the area(s) of that abstract.  The exact number of abstracts a Program Committee member reviews depends on their area of expertise, but it normally ranges between 30 and 40.
  • a Program Committee chair.  PC chairs review an even larger number of abstracts, ranging into the hundredss.  They review abstract in their areas of expertise and also step in as backup reviewers in case of any missing reviews.

But the abstract submission deadline is so early!  What can I do to get my abstract ready?