Demystifying the Annual Meeting Submission Review Process

As the April 16 deadline approaches, it’s time to consider how you would like to participate in the Annual Meeting and compose your proposals. Whether you decide to submit a paper, gallery (poster), workshop, oral presentation session, or roundtable we encourage you to keep our peer review process in mind. Submissions are reviewed and ranked by section program chairs, and highly ranked proposals are most likely to be placed on the Annual Meeting program. To assist section program chairs and help ensure that we can accommodate as many papers and presentations as possible, please make sure that your abstract is clearly and accurately written, and that it is relevant to the anthropological concerns of your chosen section(s).

During the review process, program chairs and reviewers assess their received submissions to verify relevance to their section, designate Invited (section-sponsored) or Co-sponsored (sponsored by two sections) status to high-quality submissions, and form cohesive sessions from individual papers. Most importantly, all submissions are closely evaluated by program chairs and/or reviewers who consider the following categories during this process: (a) rigor of scholarship, (b) relevance to critical issues within the discipline, (c) importance to current issues of broad concern, and (d) overall quality.

In 2018, there are many important challenges that anthropology is best suited to address, and this meeting is a moment to make that point loud and clear.
In June, the Annual Meeting program chair-elect and I will visit the AAA office to populate the 2018 Annual Meeting program. We give first priority for placement to Executive Session submissions, followed by Invited and Cosponsored sessions designated by the section program chairs, and then the highest ranking evaluated submissions. We continue to place submissions until the program is full. AAA staff will send decision notifications to all submitters the week of July 16.

We hope that you will come to the meetings ready to explore many of the pressing issues currently facing our discipline and our world and look forward to proposals that demonstrate how a focus on change can be a positive force for groundbreaking anthropological research, new forms of cultural understanding, scientific awareness, and global empathy. In 2018, there are many important challenges that anthropology is best suited to address, and this meeting is a moment to make that point loud and clear.

For more information visit the AAA Annual Meeting page on the AAA website

Contact the AAA Meetings Department at [email protected]

Contact Executive Program Chair Jason De León at [email protected]

Jason De León is associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. He is executive program chair for the 2018 AAA Annual Meeting.

Cite as:  De León, Jason. 2018. “Demystifying the Annual Meeting Submission Review Process.” Anthropology News website, March 26, 2018. DOI: 10.1111/AN.808

Comments

So far, the rather bureaucratic structure of the computerized system to get a paper even considered is, in my case, a dismal process, as is the problem of receiving a response from the folks listed as being responsible for the web page. Having been a member since 1962, and one who did give a number of papers in the past at the annual meeting, it seems that the zeal to have various bits a pieces of data seems, to me, to exceed the rational for battling through the process which so, far, has failed for unknown reasons.

In 1962, we probably had fewer than 200 submissions, and we could sort through this volume of material in a different way. We now have more than 5,000 submissions, 40 sections, and 10 interest groups. In the name of consistency, fairness, and transparency across a widely distributed reviewer network, the process is necessarily more complex, and benefits greatly from the approach described in the AN article.

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Want to comment? Please be aware that only comments from current AAA members will be approve. AN is supported by member dues, so discussions on anthropology-news.org are moderated to ensure that current members are commenting. As with all AN content, comments reflect the views of the person who submitted the comment only. The approval of a comment to go live does not signify endorsement by AN or the AAA.