MLA '08: Call for Papers and Posters
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The 2008 National Program Committee (NPC) invites submission of abstracts for contributed papers or electronic and print poster presentations at MLA ’08, May 16–21, 2008, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, in Chicago, IL. The NPC encourages papers and posters that facilitate collaboration and highlight the vision, use, or development of cutting-edge technologies and the means by which health sciences librarians can harness today’s powerful information environment to promote access to health care information. The NPC is promoting the concept of a “green” meeting, with alternatives to paper copies of handouts and posters encouraged. The final submission deadline is Monday, November 5, 2007.
Individuals are encouraged to submit to any one of the section-sponsored programs, whose specific titles and themes are posted on ths site. In addition, individuals may consider one of the NPC-sponsored sessions that will explore innovative ways to present and discuss bridging the gaps through papers and posters that present new ideas or highlight best practices in the field of health sciences librarianship. The NPC welcomes contributions covering current trends, research results, or use or development of innovative technologies and techniques. The committee also encourages papers and posters describing projects that demonstrate the value of health sciences libraries and information centers or discuss the role librarians and information professionals play in making health sciences information available to all. Papers and posters are judged on their relevance, originality, clarity, and strategic value to health sciences librarianship.
Papers should reflect either the general theme, “Connections: Bridging the Gaps,” or the particular theme of a section-sponsored session. They should also be of interest to a large proportion of attendees in general or to a particular section. Posters can have a more narrow focus. They provide an ideal opportunity to showcase techniques for improving services or practices and to discuss experiences with others confronting similar issues. Posters should not repeat information that has been submitted in papers.
Guidelines for Submission
As a guide in the submission process, review the article, “The Structured Abstract: An Essential Tool for Researchers”. Originally appearing in Hypothesis: The Journal of the Research Section of MLA, the article shows how a structured abstract can help turn an idea into a finished project. Also, review the Research Section’s structured abstract guidelines, noting examples of common forms and formats. Authors may postpone entering results and conclusions until after the peer-review process is completed. If the abstract is selected, authors will have an opportunity to add results.
For information on how to classify research, see “Inventory of Research Methods for Librarianship and Informatics,” published in the January 2004 issue of Journal of the Medical Library Association and available at PubMed Central. Please also consult the MLA Style Manual for guidance on style, spelling, and grammar.
Submit your abstract by November 5, 2007. Paper contributions should relate to one of the proposed section or NPC-sponsored titles. Please select the first session for which you are contributing a paper. You may also submit a second program title for which you would like your paper to be considered. However, you may not submit the same idea for both a paper and a poster session.
A presenting author needs to be identified upon submission and must register and pay for at least the day of presentation during MLA ’08. Audiovisual equipment supplied by MLA will be identified on the submission site, but Internet access and computer needs will be at the authors’ expense.
Presentations will be approximately fifteen minutes plus five minutes for questions and answers and changing speakers. Session moderators will confirm presentation lengths in March 2008. Presentations will be audio-recorded for sale by MLA. A few weeks before the meeting, presenters will be asked to email electronic slides and handouts to be incorporated in the recording. The NPC encourages contributors to the NPC sessions to make their presentations available on MLANET in advance of the meeting.
For more information about contributed papers, see the frequently asked questions on the MLA ’08 Website. Inquiries about section programs, abstracts, or contributed paper topics should be sent to Mary Holcomb, 2008 NPC Section Council liaison.
Submit your abstract by November 5, 2007. Posters should not repeat information submitted for papers. Awards will be given for best research posters.
Contributed posters should present research results, innovative library programs, or notable projects. Presenters may not submit the same idea for both a poster and contributed paper session. Poster submitters will be asked to categorize their posters based on predetermined themes that are described on the MLANET submission site. Some sections may enable the display of posters during the same time and in the same room as contributed paper presentations. Contributors will be able to self-select this option where applicable.
Poster boards will be eight-foot-by-four-foot in size, and skirted tables will be available for handouts. Electronic posters will occupy the same exhibition space as paper posters, and presenters should take advantage of the poster boards to draw attention to their presentations—perhaps by using signage. Internet access and equipment can be ordered for a fee, although a “canned” presentation is recommended. Electricity will be supplied by MLA.
Additionally, accepted poster presenters will be required to submit electronic versions (PDF, PowerPoint, etc.) of their posters prior to the meeting to give attendees a chance to digest material ahead of time. Posters and related handouts submitted by presenters will remain on MLANET after the meeting as well.
The lead or presenting author must be identified at the time of submission and are expected to pay for that day’s registration. Presenters will be required to staff their poster displays during their assigned times.
MLA offers an easy-to-use, online abstract submission process with blinding and formatting options. Abstracts for papers and posters must be submitted using the structured abstract template available on MLANET. The final submission deadline is Monday, November 5, 2007, at midnight, central time. There will be no extensions of this deadline. If you cannot submit online, contact Julie Ledogar before October 24, 2007, to receive a paper submission form by email attachment or fax.
The original submission must include, at a minimum, the objective and methods sections of the structured abstract. The total abstract is not to exceed 350 words. The objective section, for which a research question may be submitted, cannot exceed 60 words, and the methods section, which may include brief descriptions of the population and expected results, cannot exceed 140 words. Authors have the option to input the results and conclusions sections, not to exceed 150 words, with their original submission or they can add them in February 2008. In either case, the results and conclusions sections will be blinded during the review to make the process more objective. Abstracts should not contain tables, figures, or bibliographic references. Abstracts may be prepared and uploaded using Microsoft Word with Times New Roman, 10-point font, and Symbol font for symbols.
Accepted abstracts will be published in the MLA ’08 Abstracts: Supplement to the Official Program and on the MLA’08 Itinerary Builder Website.
Submitting authors can make abstract changes up to, but not after, Monday, November 5, 2007, at midnight, central standard time. At that time, the submission site will close and the review process will begin.
Important: To allow for blind review, author names, institutional affiliations, and address information should only be listed in the author section of the electronic submission system, not in the body of the abstract. MLA reserves the right to edit abstracts containing any author, institutional, or company names for the purpose of eliminating this identifying information before sending the abstract to reviewers. Authors are urged to blind their abstracts themselves because MLA cannot guarantee the resulting quality if changes must be made after submission. As noted previously, the results and conclusions field, if entered, will not be visible to the reviewers.
The primary author will be notified of acceptance by email sent the week of January 14, 2008.
Questions about the submission process should be directed to Julie Ledogar, MLA meeting coordinator .