CALL FOR ABSTRACTS FAQs

Do I have to be an LSA member to submit an abstract for the Annual Meeting?

In order to submit an abstract for a poster or paper, or to propose or participate in an Organized Session at the Annual Meeting, you must be a current LSA member.

Do I need to register for the meeting to submit an abstract?

No, but everyone who attends the Annual Meeting must register for it.

How many roles can I hold at the meeting?

Participants may only present one sole-authored paper or poster. Apart from that there are no restrictions on participation.



PROGRAMMING FAQs

How was the program selected and put together?

Members of the Program Committee and LSA staff meet in early September, as soon as the list of accepted poster and paper abstracts has been finalized, to organize presentations into thematic sessions. Members of the Program Committee who participate are the Senior Co-chair, the Junior Co-chair, the Incoming Junior Co-chair, and a fourth member of the Program Committee chosen for their contribution to subfield diversity among the participants.

Abstracts for posters and 20-minute papers are reviewed by members of the Program Committee and a panel of over two hundred external reviewers who are holders of the Ph.D. in Linguistics. Reviews are double-blind, meaning the reviewers do not know the identity of the authors and vice versa. Each abstract receives at least four reviews, and is ranked on a scale of 0 to 10. Because some raters tend to rate most abstracts low, and others tend to rate most abstracts on the high end of the scale, we “standardize” each reviewer’s scores using their own mean and standard deviation from their set of abstracts. This results in a “z-score.”

Why was my session scheduled at the same time as other sessions on similar topics? Can't this be avoided?

The LSA Annual Meeting includes 336 poster and paper presentations held over four days in a limited number of time slots; conflicts are inevitable. The Program Committee does its best to avoid thematic, section, and personal conflicts.

My paper was accepted and scheduled; can I still edit the title or the abstract?

No. Abstracts that are submitted on July 31 are final; no changes other than those due to typographical errors can be accepted.

My paper was not accepted; what are my options and how do I figure out why it was not accepted?

Rejection from the Annual Meeting program is a final decision, one not taken lightly by the reviewers or the Program Committee. Please take into account any feedback you may have received from reviewers, and see the LSA’s guidelines on preparing an abstract. You may also wish to seek more guidance from your peers or advisors.

 

SITE SELECTION FAQs

Why doesn’t the LSA meet in smaller/other cities?

Several factors go into our choice of cities:

1. We try to vary the North American regions in which we meet. We rotate our meetings among East Coast, Midwest/Central, and West Coast states in an effort to have the best reach to our members.

2. We need a major airline destination. Many LSA members travel from college towns served by regional airports; some travel from outside North America. A destination served only by a regional airport means several flight changes and adds significantly to the price of an airline ticket for many members.

3. LSA is a large annual meeting. The Washington, DC meeting in 2016 had nearly 1,200 in attendance. Only large conference hotels have the facilities we need. We have outgrown the facilities in many cities where we met in past years. Using convention centers, which would allow the LSA to meet in a larger range of cities, would add unacceptably to the costs of producing the Annual Meeting.

What criteria go into site selection for the LSA annual meetings, aside from affordability and ability to accommodate the meeting?

The LSA supports the right of workers to organize by practicing union preference in negotiating hotel and service contracts for any of its meetings organized. Wherever possible, the LSA also includes labor disputes in the standard escape provision in any LSA contract for annual meeting hotels and meetings.

Are there any cities/states where the LSA will not meet?

While there are no locations that are officially excluded from consideration as LSA Annual Meeting sites, there are factors that could make it difficult for the LSA to meet in some locations. Warmer-weather destinations such as San Diego, Phoenix, and parts of South Florida would have unacceptably high guest room rates. Immigration laws such as Georgia’s HB87 and Arizona’s SB1070 could adversely affect attendance at meetings held in those states.

How are annual meeting dates chosen?

Approximate dates of annual meetings have become traditional and well-established for many learned societies. Such conferences have distributed themselves throughout the academic year, so that scholars may attend more than one according to their professional needs. To avoid conflicts with other societies, with major holidays, and end-of-semester schedules, and in order to take advantage of lower hotel room rates, the LSA traditionally meets from the Thursday through the Sunday following New Year’s Day.

Is the LSA in contact with other learned societies to share conference planning information?

Yes, the American Council of Learned Societies supports conference planning for its member organizations. Their fall meeting for Executive Directors devotes considerable attention to conference and annual meeting needs. ACLS maintains discussion boards (Executive Directors and Meetings Departments) as well, so that the experiences and concerns of one group can be shared and addressed by all.

How are conference hotels chosen?

To ensure the best deal for our members, we obtain multiple bids from candidate properties in several different host cities chosen based on factors outlined above. We prepare invitations to bid for our conference business. This process takes place approximately five years in advance of the Annual Meeting.

Can't the LSA book a budget hotel too, to provide a choice?

The room rates are subject to negotiation as part of an overall package that includes a number of concessions such as complimentary or steeply discounted meeting room rental, food and beverage discounts, and complimentary Wi-Fi. We must guarantee the hotels that we will fill a minimum number of sleeping rooms. If our members don't fill that block of rooms, the LSA must pay the difference (attrition) directly to the hotel.

We do our best to make rooms available at a range of prices. Our contract always includes a clause that our members will receive the lowest rate available over the conference dates. Staying in the conference hotel is thus not only the most convenient choice for LSA members; it also supports LSA and the meeting itself. Because the LSA Annual Meeting takes place at a time of year when hotel occupancy is very low, we are well-placed to obtain extremely low room rates for our attendees.

How does the LSA make the Annual Meeting affordable for students?

The LSA uses approximately 50 student members as volunteers at the Annual Meeting. Volunteers work 8 hours over the course of the Meeting in exchange for complimentary registration. The low room rates the LSA negotiates are for single or double occupancy, but students may wish to add a third or fourth guest to a hotel room for a small additional fee in order to make the stay less expensive. The LSA also subsidizes student attendance at the Annual Meeting; factoring in audiovisual equipment, wifi charges, room rental, food and beverages, ASL interpretation, handbook printing, and the like, the costs associated with a student’s attending the Annual Meeting are more than her registration fee.

Why do I have to bring my own computer when presenting a paper?

The LSA hires a company to provide audio-visual services. The company's representatives set up the equipment and remain on call to troubleshoot. The standard setup is for a projector and screen or presentation-size monitor, plus the basic connecting cables. Adding computers would raise the equipment fees enormously, and would not guarantee that attendees would have access to the software they need.

Audio-visual services are the single largest expense incurred by the LSA in putting on the Annual Meeting, normally costing between $40,000 and $45,000 per year.

Why isn’t there more coffee/food served at the Annual Meeting?

In exchange for providing a competitively low room rate for our attendees as well as a number of other concessions, the LSA is contractually obliged to use the hotel’s catering service for any food and beverage served at official functions.

Food and beverage service accounts for the second largest expense incurred by the LSA in putting on the Annual Meeting, normally costing between $30,000 and $35,000 per year. Representative costs for food and beverage items, including a contractually negotiated discount, tax, and service charge, are as follows: Coffee/tea/decaf $113/gallon (about $5.50 per cup); canned water or soda $6.50/can; fresh fruit (for the Student Lounge) $52/dozen; bruschetta or cheese display (at Presidential Reception) $18/person.

Can you get a drink in Salt Lake City? 

Short answer, Yes!  Click here for more information.