It was pointed out that there was no discussion about the reviewing process or expected paper content outlined by ASEE to help with this perceived increase to the proceedings reputation. All divisions are responsible for the review of their own papers, and setting expectations for content of those papers.
During the Professional Issues Forum those of us still at the conference on Wednesday afternoon had a lively discussion about what this means for our division, which has previously been what was called an “abstract only” division.
The first order of business during the session was to make sure all members of the division had a complete understanding of which sessions would be effected, what we have control over as a division, and what exists for potential work-arounds.
As requested during the session, I’m going to write up my comments (as best I can remember them 5 days later) for all division members who were not present, and as a reminder for those who were there.
- First, all presentations during technical sessions and the division poster session are required to include a paper in the conference proceedings. Presentations during panel sessions, guest speakers and distinguished lecturers are not required to publish a paper.
- Technical sessions are all those where presenters have suggested their paper and been assigned to a session which was designated as a technical session. In a technical session all presenters are members of ASEE.
o This has always been the bulk of the sessions offered by ELD.
- Panel presentations can include both papers suggested by authors through abstract submission and/or invited guest speakers.
o As an example, our Biomedical Informatics session in Pittsburgh was a panel presentation.
§ Mary Lou Klem was an invited guest speaker.
§ The other two presentations were submitted as abstracts.
- Division poster sessions: this is the Wednesday morning session, when all posters from all divisions are presented. Any posters presented during this time would need to have published papers accompanying them in the proceedings.
o The benefit of this session, and our participation in it, is that we have the opportunity to present our posters in a situation which allows non-librarians to review our information.
o Posters are not considered second tier publication or presentation options at ASEE. The posters provide an opportunity for divisions which receive too may quality papers on a topic for one session to have the ‘extras’ presented in the poster session.
There is one potential mechanism available to get around the need to publish a paper in order to present during the conference. The panel presentation option would allow ELD to receive abstracts for a session, place them all in a panel presentation, and the authors would not be expected to publish a paper with ASEE. This option could also be used for a local poster session which would not include published papers. In this example we would assign a collection of abstracts to a session, have all the posters displayed around the room and have each presenter give an approximately 5 minute presentation on their poster. The rest of the time could be used for people to mingle and ask questions of the authors.
- There was a concern that panel presentations would not have authors and titles listed in the program. Unless there are changes to SmoothPaper, any abstracts submitted that are assigned to panel presentation, will continue to have their title and author information reflected in the conference program.
- This option was maintained specifically for divisions like ours, where publish to present has not been the way we have operated and requiring papers could be a hindrance to our future conference participation.
As mentioned above, the reviewing process for papers is the responsibility of each division. This means we can set our own guidelines for what we are expecting in submitted papers. A bit of additional discussion about this topic during the EEC (Extended Executive Committee) meeting on Wednesday afternoon, brought up the point that the publications committee has guidelines it uses for review of submitted papers. As a starting point, these guidelines will be posted for ELD members, so they can be aware of what the reviewers are looking for when they read the papers.
ASEE is still unclear about our concern regarding their required copyright transfer in order to publish your paper with them. Mel DeSart, the chair of our Scholarly Communications Committee, will continue to work with our incoming PIC IV chair, (Noel Schulz) our representative to the ASEE Board of Directors. The goal will be to get a generic author rights addendum, applicable for all ASEE authors. More information on the progress in this area will be forthcoming from Mel.