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The New Shape of Annual Meeting Programs

mla16-logo-web-small-2.jpgIt’s already clear that this year’s MLA meeting, “Mosaic: Be Part of the Big Picture,” will be different. First, the meeting brings together three diverse organizations: the Medical Library Association (MLA), the Canadian Health Libraries Association/Association des bibliothéques de la santé du Canada (CHLA/ABSC), and the International Clinical Librarian Conference (ICLC).

There are also some significant differences in the contributed content process. The submission deadline for abstracts is earlier, to allow presenters to make their plans earlier and accommodate international travel to Toronto. Abstract submissions are currently open, with the due date, September 15, 6:00 p.m., central time, less than two weeks away. Submit early to avoid the last-minute rush and allow time for assistance, if needed.

Next, and perhaps most visible for many attendees, is that contributed paper sessions will be organized differently. In the past, paper sessions were sponsored by MLA sections or SIGs, and selected papers were grouped into preexisting themes. While Mosaic ’16 will still include sessions sponsored by MLA units (see the special content sessions FAQ), papers submitted through the general submission process will be grouped by common themes not necessary attached to a particular section or SIG. This will allow for more flexibility at this joint meeting.

Then there are the changes to the submission process itself. If you’re submitting an abstract, be sure to note the following:

  • Rank how you would prefer to present your content: paper, poster, or lightning talk
  • Designate your submission as either a research abstract or a program description abstract. The distinction is important, because your abstract will be appraised using different criteria (criteria are available in the papers and posters FAQ).
    • Research abstracts report on designing, conducting, and analyzing a research project.
    • Program description abstracts describe the creation and improvement of products, programs, technologies, administrative practices, or services conducted by librarians and information professionals.

Finally, posters will be presented in a new size, 48×48 inches (121.9 x 121.9 centimeters), a standard size for scientific posters. The new size will be less costly for presenters to produce, will be easier to transport to the meeting, and will remain up the full meeting. This last point is important, because members have asked for added time for viewing.  As in the past, authors will be asked to upload their poster into an online poster gallery and are encouraged to add audio/video clips for added interest. On site, posters will be staffed during one of three poster sessions. (Contact Melissa Ratajeski, mar@pitt.edu or Brenda Seago, bseago@gru.edu for more information.)

These aren’t the only things that will be different at MLA ’16. Keep your eye out for simplified registration packages and an expanded, enhanced Tuesday night party, which will include a celebration of CHLA/ABSC’s 40th anniversary—details to come.

To submit an abstract or proposal use the online contributed content submission form.  For meeting information and FAQs, see the Mosaic ’16 website.

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