2017 Fall Conference FAQ



This FAQ addresses specific questions for the 2017 Fall Research Conference in Chicago, IL. Below you will find FAQ on both how to submit a proposal for the 2017 Fall Research Conference as well as general questions.  If you have a question and it is not answered by any of our FAQs, please feel free to contact Tristanne Staudt, Education and Conferences Manager, at tstaudt@appam.org.


Conference Submission FAQ Questions

Questions And Answers

What types of proposals does APPAM usually invite?

We are soliciting abstracts for (1) individual papers to be integrated into panels, (2) panels made up of 3-4 papers, (3) roundtables, and (4) posters. 


Session Definitions

Panel - Panels include 3-4 papers.  A chair and at least one, and a maximum of two discussants are required.  Presenting authors may not serve as the chair or discussant on the same panel. Individuals may only present a paper on one panel throughout the conference, though they may serve as a chair or discussant multiple times.

Roundtable - Roundtables are not paper dependent, but rather feature speakers who will discuss a topic from varying perspectives and draw the audience into a discussion on the topic.  Roundtable proposals should include no more than 4 speakers plus a moderator.

Poster - Poster submissions are single paper proposals that are presented in a poster format.  Presenters will be asked to discuss their work and answer questions during each poster session.  A first, second, and third pace winner will be selected from the presenters each day.

Please note that the Program Committee reserves the right to alter, combine and even transform proposals as it builds sessions for the conference.

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What information do I need to submit a panel?

In order to submit you will need the names, email addresses and affiliations of all participants, including non-presenting authors. You will also be asked to submit the following:

  1. Panel Title
  2. Overall Panel Abstract (no more than 500 words)
  3. Paper Titles (3-4)
  4. Paper Abstracts (no more than 500 words)
  5. Presenting and Non-Presenting Author Contact Information

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What does a strong panel look like?

A strong panel contains three or four papers, a chair and at least one, but no more than two, discussant(s). The panel abstract ties the papers together and clearly indicates how the panel relates to the conference theme and the selected policy area. Strong panels include a diverse range of participants, crossing lines of gender, race, affiliation and research methods and perspective.

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What information do I need to submit a roundtable?

Roundtable submissions are discussion-based sessions that require the following:

  • Roundtable Title
  • Abstract of the Session (no more than 500 words)
  • 2-4 Speakers with Contact Information
  • 1 Moderator with Contact Information

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When will acceptances/rejections be sent out?

All acceptance and rejection notices will be sent out in mid-July.

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In the past, I have submitted a panel and it’s been pulled apart, why does that happen?

Sometimes, upon careful review, the Program Committee decides that a panel would be stronger if certain papers were removed or replaced. This happens for reasons of diversity, to increase panel cohesiveness or to vary perspectives on a certain topic. When this happens they put together an altered panel using other papers available to them in order to create the strongest possible program for attendees. When altering a panel, program committee members may also change the panel title, replace the chair and/ or discussant(s) and reclassify the panel as belonging to a different policy area.

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What if my submission fits into two policy areas?

You will be asked to select a primary policy area, based on the 15 areas identified for the 2017 Fall Research Conference.  However, you will be asked during the submission process if you would like to identify a second area that your submission may fit into as well.  

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I’m having difficulty submitting my proposal, who should I contact?

If you are experiencing technical difficulties, please contact appam@confex.com. If you have a question about the conference or specific submission criteria, please contact Tristanne Staudt at tstaudt@appam.org.

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Do I have to start and finish my submission in one session?

No. You can start your submission now and finish it at a later date. Upon beginning your submission, you will receive an email with the login credentials unique to your proposal. Keep this email and you will be able to use the information provided to login and complete your submission at a later time. Your submission must be completed by the submission deadline. If any part is incomplete after the deadline, your submission will be deleted and not considered for inclusion in the conference.

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What should I do if I am submitting a proposal for the conference but I need my session or poster to be scheduled on a specific day?

If you have scheduling limitations, please email them to Tristanne Staudt at tstaudt@appam.org. Do not include scheduling limitations in the description or abstract fields of the submission systems as they are unlikely to be seen and will not be honored. Please limit scheduling requests to reasons of great importance including religious observances, medical needs or international travel limitations. Scheduling nearly 300 sessions is very challenging and requires many sessions to be scheduled during non-preferred time slots, we are not able to accommodate scheduling requests due to family matters or work/class schedules.

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Can I submit more than one proposal?

Yes, you may submit as many proposals as you wish. However, you may only present one paper at the conference. If you submit more than one proposal, the others must be co-authored and a co-author must be willing and available to present the work at the conference if more than one of your proposals is accepted.

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What are the chair and discussant roles?

You can find information on these, as well as all particpant, roles here.

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I have a question about the submission process that's not addressed here. What do I do?

Click on the "Submit a Question" link at the bottom of the page; the page will reload. Simply scroll back down to the bottom and submit your question.

Alternatively, you can email Tristanne Staudt, tstaudt@appam.org, directly with your question.

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What is the Single Paper Listing and where can I find it?

Fully submitted panel submissions have an average acceptance rate of 47% compared to 26% for single paper submissions.  Check out the Single Paper Listing to find other similar papers and re-submit your work as a panel. This listing includes the policy area, abstracts, and contact information for each single paper submitted for inclusion in the 2017 Fall Research Conference.  

The Single Paper Listing will be opened on February 6th, and will be updated every Monday through April 5th.  You wlil be able to find the link to the Listing on the Submission Information Page


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When will submissions open and close for this year's conference?

We will begin accepting submissions in early February.  The deadline for all submissions will be April 5, 2017.

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Will there be an international focus at this year's conference?

Over the past few years we've received a growing number of requests for internationally-focused sessions at the conference.  This year, we've adjusted the submissions process to include questions that will help identify not only internationally-focused submissions, but state/local submissions as well.

You'll still be asked to select a policy area from the current list of 15 represented at the conference, but on the Title Page step of submission, you will be asked to identify if your submission identifies as international or state/local.  These identifications will not only point attendees in the direction of these sessions, but it will help the Program Committee better review the submissions.

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Hello, I was wondering if it is possible to submit one research topic as a proposal for a paper and proposal for a poster at the same time, or if such submissions were not allowed. Thank you.

Great question! 

During the single paper submission process there is an option to select if you'd like to have your paper considered for poster presentation in the event that it is not accepted for a panel. As long as that box is checked, your submission will be considered for both presentation types.

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2017 Fall Conference Questions

Questions And Answers

When is the 2017 Fall Research Conference?

The 2017 Fall Research Conference will be held Thursday, November 2 through Saturday, November 4 in Chicago, Illinois.

Association governance meetings and a pre-conference workshop will occur on Wednesday, November 1.

The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.  

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What is the theme for the 2017 Fall Research Conference?

The theme for this year's conference is Measurement Matters:  Better Data for Better Decisions. The theme was selected by APPAM President-elect David Johnson.

This conference will focus on the importance of data and measurement, and celebrate the government staff who work to improve the measures we use every day.  At recent Fall Conferences, we have heard about the importance of using evidence and research in policy making; focusing on data and measurement is the next step.  It is more essential than ever, in light of recent criticism of government data and statistics, to demonstrate the importance of government data.  

We hope that papers will stress the importance of measurement in public policy analysis, discuss how data are used to evaluate policy and performance, and demonstrate how different data or measures affect results.  We encourage papers that examine new data (e.g., “Big data”), new uses for current survey data, and the integration of both survey and administrative data.  Symposia and roundtables will present unique data sets that have been used to evaluate policy, the importance of federal data and federal measurement of key indicators, and the results of the recent effort on evidence-based policy making.    

The 39th APPAM Fall Conference will take place in Chicago, a city that hosted the first APPAM conference in 1979. In a nod to the importance of state and local policy, we encourage submissions that examine data, measurement and analysis from states and cities, strengthening our connection to the local communities.  As Becky Blank, Past President of APPAM and current Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin- Madison, has said Always remember that measurement matters!”

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How many sessions will be at the conference this year?

There will be just over 300 sessions at the conference this year, plus a number of special events including symposia, receptions, lunches, breakfasts, and networking mixers.

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How does APPAM determine how many sessions to schedule for each topic area in the Fall Research Conference?

The Program Committee is given a budget for policy area sessions that is based on the proportion of policy area submissions to the overall number of submissions received.  The APPAM president-elect makes the final determination of how many sessions there will be in each area based on recommendations from the Program Committee. There are almost always constraints within the hotel or convention center for space and these constraints dictate the overall number of sessions that APPAM can accept. Quality of the sessions always is the first and foremost criterion. APPAM prefers that each area have a minimum number of sessions each year and that there be a large number of areas represented. Otherwise, the conference will not offer a worthwhile professional meeting to persons interested in those topics. APPAM prefers that any area with more sessions than there are unique time slots have sufficiently diverse panels to allow two be scheduled opposite each other at one time without diluting their audience. The Program Committee often seeks to combine similar panels into a single session given the time constraints and high demand for participation.

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What policy areas will be represented at the conference?

There will be 15 policy areas represented at the conference.  You can find all the areas along with descriptions on the Policy Areas page of the website.

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When can I register for the conference?

Registration for the Fall Research Conference opens July 17, 2017. More information will be available in the coming months.

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Do I have to register online for the conference?

All registrations must be completed at APPAM.org. Registrations can be made using Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express cards. Domestic checks can be mailed to the APPAM office at 1100 Vermont Ave NW, Suite #650, Washington, DC 20005. We cannot accept foreign money orders or bank transfers from individuals. Please note that during the registration process, you will be given opportunity to print an invoice for your registration. You must send that invoice, along with your payment, to the APPAM office. 

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Do all attendees need to register for the conference?

Yes, all attendees must register for the Fall Research Conference, regardless of whether they are participating or attending in sessions and events.

Everyone presenting a paper or poster, taking part in a roundtable or acting as a chair or discussant must register and pay for the conference. APPAM requires everyone presenting papers on panels to register by September 22. APPAM reserves the right to remove/replace papers from the conference if panelists do not register by this date.

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What are the various deadlines for registration?

Early Registration Opens July 17, 2017
Speaker Registration Deadline September 22, 2017
Early Registration Ends September 22, 2017
Regular Registration Opens September 23, 2017
Regular Registration Ends October 27, 2017
Onsite Registration Opens November 1, 2017


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What are the procedures for getting a visa invitation letter to travel to the Fall Conference from outside the U.S.?

APPAM will provide visa invitation letters upon request to authors accepted to present papers or to otherwise participate in sessions at the Fall Research Conference. Please note that all persons participating on the program are required to register for the conference before a visa invitation is given. Other persons interested in attending the meetings must pay a non-refundable registration fee if they wish to request a visa letter. To request a visa invitation letter, please contact Meghan Grenda, mgrenda@appam.org. 

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What is a caucus, and how do I submit one for the conference?

This is a dedicated time for participants to gather informally to discuss new and emerging policy issues, to formulate new research questions, approaches to research and to form possible research collaborations. All caucuses will be presented over breakfast on Saturday, November 4.  

Additional information on caucus proposal submission will be available in Spring 2017.

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What special events will take place during the conference?

You can see a tenative list of special events on the conference schedule at a glance page.

Special events will also be listed in the online preliminary program, the mobile app, the printed program, and on the APPAM website.

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This is my first Fall Research Conference. I heard there was a special reception for members like me?

Congratulations on attending your first APPAM Fall Research Conference! We know you're going to have a great time.

First-time attendees and new members are invited to attend a special reception on Wednesday, November 1, from 5:30 - 7:30 pm. Invitations will be sent out in the fall as the conference approaches. If you haven't received notification of your invitation by early October, contact Meghan Grenda, mgrenda@appam.org.

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How can I learn more about chair, discussant and participant roles and responsibilities?

You can find details on participant roles as well as suggested formats for all sessions on the Participant Guidelines page.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Tristanne Staudt, tstaudt@appam.org.

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Are there guidelines for poster presenters this year?

Yes; these guidelines apply to all poster presentations for this year's conference. If you have any questions, please contact Tristanne Staudt, tstaudt@appam.org. 

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Will there be volunteer opportunities for the 2017 Fall Research Conference?

Yes, there will be volunteer opportunities for students. We will be seeking volunteers for both editorial and general assistance at the conference.  Please contact Kathryn Grandstaff, kgrandstaff@appam.org, for more details on these opportunities.

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What sponsorship, advertising and exhibit opportunities are available?

A full list of sponsorship, advertising, and exhibitor information will be available on the APPAM website soon!

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Will there be a conference app available again this year?

The APPAM Fall Research Conference mobile app will once again be available to all attendees. Whether you use a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, this handy application can help you keep track of your schedule, network with fellow attendees both near and far, find presenters and papers at a touch, and utilize social media to enhance your experience. Find the app in your device’s app store or download it in mid-September. Watch APPAM.org for more details.

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I have a PowerPoint/handout to accompany my presentation. What do I do?

If you’re presenting and want attendees to have access to handouts, Power Point presentations, or other documents, APPAM can upload them to the conference mobile app for attendees to peruse at their leisure. Contact Kathryn Grandstaff, kgrandstaff@appam.org, for more information on how to get your materials online.

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What meals are included in the registration rate?

Thursday: Continental Breakfast in Exhibit Hall, Poster Luncheon and hors d'oeurves at the Welcome Reception.

Friday: Spencer Award Lecture and Breakfast included in registration though there is limited space available. Tickets can be reserved during registration online, and heavy hors 'doeurves at the Presidential Reception.  

Saturday: Caucus Breakfast, Poster Luncheon and hors d'oeurves at the Closing Reception.

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Will any of the conference sessions be live-streamed or be accessible through video recordings?

Yes, some special events and symposia will be live-streamed and/or recorded at the conference.  Additional details will be available soon.

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Where can I find tips on how to get my proposal accepted?

Proposal Submission Webinar - February 23, 2017

Ever wonder why some sessions get accepted and others don't? Learn how to get accepted! 

APPAM is hosting a FREE webinar that will provide tips for getting your Fall Research Conference submission to stand out!
Webinar attendees will learn from seasoned APPAM panelists and Conference Program Committee members on what the proposal review process entails, what they look for when reviewing proposals, and what factors can increase your chance of getting accepted.

Register for the February 23rd webinar here.

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Is there a fee for submission of papers for the 2017 Fall Conference.

There is no fee to submit a paper proposal for the 2017 Fall Conference. Presenters of accepted proposals will be required to register for the conference. There is a fee for registration and the registration period for the 2017 Fall Research Conference will open in July.

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