Session formats include (1) panel, (2) poster, (3) roundtable, and (4) working group. Each format is described in detail below.
Panel. Four to five papers are represented on a panel, which also includes a chair and one or two discussants. The chair introduces the panel, each author, and the discussant(s), manages the time for each presentation, and insures that the discussion is polite and productive. Each author presents an abbreviated version of his or her paper. The program will list the exact time for each paper to be presented, the times for discussants to speak, and the time for questions from the audience. Feedback and comments are provided by the discussant, followed by comments, questions, and discussion including the audience. The chair manages the time for each presentation to ensure that each participant has equal time. (For example, if there are 3-5 presenters, the chair will allow approximately 5 minutes to introduce the session, 10-15 minutes for each paper presentation, 20 minutes for feedback, and 20 minutes for audience discussion.)
Poster. One paper is presented as a poster session, which may include a discussant. Poster sessions are held in the exhibit hall. Each presenter is assigned to an 8' wide by 4' high numbered display panel. Attendees have the opportunity to walk through and view the poster displays throughout the day. Click here for guidelines for presenting a poster.
Posters are particularly useful as a way to present quantitative research.
Roundtable. Roundtables provide in-depth examinations of specific topics, projects, or books (e.g., author meets critics or book reviews). Four to eight panelists participate in a roundtable, which may include a chair who introduces the panelists and provides a substantive introduction to the topic. The focus is on the discussion and interaction among panelists. Participants do not prepare papers.
Working Group. A working group is a conference within a conference. Participants commit to attend a small group of related or organized sessions. A volunteer coordinator for each working group proposes a theme, selects and/or organizes sessions for the group to attend, promotes the working group, and facilitates communication among participants. A working group consists of 10-25 participants. The MPSA assigns meeting space, maintains a roster of participants, and provides a certificate of participation upon completion, if requested. A working group may meet before and after a session(s) or during lunch for additional discussion and interaction.
Panel Presenters. Each author presents an abbreviated version of his or her paper at the specific time in the printed program. Feedback and comments are provided by the discussant, followed by comments, questions, and discussion including the audience. Papers should be posted to the MPSA website by March 21. Instructions about how to post a paper will be emailed to presenters in January.
Panel Chairs. The chair introduces the panel, the author(s) and each paper, and the discussant(s). In addition, the chair monitors the time for each presentation, making sure that no author exceeds his or her assigned time slot on the program, and insures that the discussion is polite and productive. The exact time for each presenter is listed in the program.
The chair records attendance and recommends papers for MPSA conference paper awards on a white card that is provided with his or her registration materials. Refer to the attendance card for directions on where to deposit it after the session. Award nominations also can be emailed to the MPSA office. The MPSA strongly encourages panel chairs to make nominations as soon as possible while the paper presentations are still fresh in their minds.
The chair ensures that all presenters upload their papers to the MPSA website prior to the conference so that the discussants can access the papers to prepare their remarks before the panel presentation.
Panel/Poster Discussants. Discussants provide feedback regarding research papers that are presented in a panel or poster session, pointing out both the strengths and areas in need of improvement. Discussants also may place the research in a broader context and discuss trends and themes. Discussants record attendance and recommend papers/posters for MPSA conference paperand poster awards on a white card that is provided with their registration materials. Refer to the attendance card for directions on where to deposit it after the session. Award nominations also can be emailed to the MPSA office. The MPSA strongly encourages discussants to make nominations as soon as possible while the paper or poster presentations are still fresh in their minds. Discussants can download papers from the preliminary online program prior to the conference.
For poster sessions, the discussants examine each poster to which they are assigned and provide feedback to the author. It is much more casual than serving as a discussant on a panel, where they provide feedback in front of an audience. Presenters must upload their papers to the MPSA website once the program is finalized. The deadline for uploading papers is March 21. See the instructions above for how to upload a paper to the website.
Poster Presenters. Presenters arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled session and remain throughout the session to answer questions. Each paper is presented on an 8' wide by 4' high display panel. Push pins are provided to attach materials to the panel. Presenters should remove their materials at the end of their session to make the display panel available for the next presenter. If a discussant is assigned to a poster session, the paper should be posted to the conference website by March 21. (Authors should refer to the preliminary conference program to see if a discussant has been assigned to their session.) Instructions about how to post a paper will be emailed to presenters in January.
Roundtable Presenters and Chairs. Four to eight panelists participate in a roundtable, which may include a chair who introduces the panelists and provides a substantive introduction to the topic. Participants do not prepare papers. They make brief introductory remarks before engaging in ad hoc discussions.