Does your project relate to the theme of a program session? If so, you may want to consider submitting it as a paper. Papers should be on a topic of interest to a large proportion of attendees, in general, or in a particular section. In general, paper acceptance is more competitive than poster acceptance, and so some consider papers a more prestigious form of presentation.
If your topic is likely to be of interest to a more focused group of attendees, a poster may be ideal. Posters provide an opportunity to showcase your work improving services or practices and to discuss your experiences with others dealing with similar issues. Your presentation style and the graphical nature of the material you want to present may also affect your decision to submit your topic as a paper or a poster.
For information about submitting a contributed paper, check out the Contributed Paper FAQ.
Abstracts are to be submitted using MLA's online abstract submission process. To use the system, you need to create an account with a login name and access key password. The steps in the process should be clear once you are in the system. You may continue to make changes to your abstract until the submission deadline, which is Friday, November 1, 2013, at midnight, central time. There will be no extensions of this deadline. You are encouraged to submit your abstract by October 30, 2013, to avoid the last-minute rush and allow time for technical assistance, if needed.
The abstract submission should recognize authors from past MLA annual meetings and connect you to your existing author profile once you enter your name and email. If your information has not changed, you do not need to change anything in your author profile. You do need to have author profiles for all of your coauthors, but if they were also authors at past MLA annual meetings, their author profiles are ready to go, too. You can then proceed to submitting your abstract.
You MUST write a blinded, structured abstract in English. Please refer to the MLA Research Section page for guidance on writing a structured abstract. Examples and additional information are available on the Research Section’s home page. Please consult the MLA Style Manual for guidance on style, spelling, and grammar.
To allow blinded review, author names, institutional affiliations, and address information must be listed in the author section of the electronic submission system ONLY, 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.
Your submission MUST include the objective and methods sections of the structured abstract. The objective section (for which you may substitute the research question) may not exceed 60 words, and the methods section (which may include brief descriptions of the population and expected results) may not exceed 140 words.
For the author block, please try to ensure that the author information you provide is as complete and accurate as possible. If you need to update author information, you may return to the abstract submission site to make the necessary changes. However, the site will be closed to further updates by February 19, 2014 (7:00 p.m., central time).
Yes, you may enter your results and conclusions now. All parts of the abstract (objectives, methods, results, and conclusion sections combined) may not exceed 400 words. This information will NOT be shared with reviewers. The information will be saved for inclusion in the final abstract if your paper is accepted.
Authors MAY postpone entering results and conclusions until after the peer-review process is completed. Authors selected for inclusion in the program will need to add the results and conclusions sections by February 19, 2014 (7:00 p.m., central time) if they did not already do so in the initial abstract submission.
Structured abstracts should NOT contain tables, figures, or bibliographic references.
Times New Roman, 10-point font, and Symbol font for symbols are the recommended fonts.
Every year, the MLA Research Section gives out several awards recognizing those paper and poster presenters whose work demonstrates high-quality research. All submitters are required to either select a type of research or designate that their presentation is not research. Those who select any type of research will be considered for the Research Awards judging process. Please check your submission to ensure that you have selected the type of research that best represents your work. For help in selecting the type of research, please see the “Inventory of Research Methods for Librarianship and Informatics,” published in the January 2004 issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association and available on PubMed Central.
As long as the poster has been revised based on feedback or new results since it was previously presented, it may be submitted.
As long as a poster has been developed or adapted for a specific meeting audience, it may be submitted to more than one meeting.
Unfortunately, you are not able to specify a preferred poster session. You will need to be prepared to present on the day you are assigned unless you have extenuating circumstances.
The author block and any other identifying information will be removed from your abstract to create a blinded abstract.
The blinded abstracts will be sent to the poster review panel for review. The reviewers will evaluate the blinded poster abstracts based on the following criteria:
The week of December 16, 2013, the primary author will receive by email an automated acceptance/rejection notification letter. All authors will be notified by email that the primary author has been sent the notification email. If you are primary author and have not received the notification email by December 21, please contact Tina Vickery.
All withdrawals or cancellations must be in writing and emailed to Tina Vickery, meeting manager. Be sure to include the full title of your abstract, abstract control number, and author name.
Preparing for the Meeting
Travel arrangements should be made as soon as possible after acceptance in December 2013, this is especially critical for international presenters who may need additional time. At least one author MUST be available to present the poster at the annual meeting on the date and time assigned. See MLANET for meeting registration and hotel information. If presenters need an invitation to present at the meeting to make travel arrangements, contact Susan Chesniak.
By February 19, 2014 (7:00 p.m.), update your abstract information in the abstract submission system. This update must include: unblinding any sections of the abstractthat require clarification and adding results and conclusions if they were not included in the original submission. All parts of the abstract (objectives, methods, results, and conclusion sections combined) may not exceed 400 words. Results and conclusions are part of what is considered for Research Section Awards.
In the spring, you will be reminded to upload a PDF or PowerPoint file of your poster to the abstract submission site by April 28, 2014. When your poster is complete, you can upload through the same website that you entered your abstract. Remember, you can upload the same file that you provide to your printer (as a PDF or PowerPoint file). An electronic copy of your poster will be made available by MLA on MLANET. You can also upload any additional media that you would like attached to your poster. The conversion of your poster, abstract, and media into this display format will be done automatically. Email and chat help are available on this site to answer any questions. The file will be put on MLANET so that attendees can preview your work and come to the session with researched and knowledgeable questions, targeting the most relevant posters. Files received after the website closes may be posted on MLANET after the meeting.
Fred Stos developed an excellent resource for clients at the Arts and Sciences Library at State University of New York–Buffalo. This comprehensive resource includes practical tips on creating, developing, and presenting a poster whether it is electronic or not.
Your poster will be assigned to one of the three poster sessions at MLA ’14. Sessions will be held in the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The schedule is:
Each poster presenter will have a cork board measuring 8 feet (2.4 meters) wide and 4 feet (1.2 meters) high. If you require a chair, you must request one in advance from Tina Vickery, meeting manager.
The cork board measures 8 feet (2.4 meters) wide by 4 feet (1.2 meters) high and will be available for all poster presenters. There is a border around the cork board that is about 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) wide. Other than the border, all remaining space is usable.
Pushpins, tape, and other mounting materials such as Velcro can be used to attach your poster to the provided display board. These are not provided; you will want to bring these supplies with you or ship them ahead with your poster. T-pins work well but do take a little bit of strength to get them into the board. The mounting material you select will depend greatly on the style and thickness of your poster.
Consider bringing scissors, pens, business cards, and paper to take down notes or comments and contact information from visitors to your poster.
In an effort to keep the meeting as green as possible and limit paper waste, only bring handouts if they are absolutely necessary. If you do opt to bring handouts, bring a limited number because you will need to transport them. An electronic copy of your poster will be made available by MLA on MLANET. Many participants may prefer to access information about your poster this way as it eliminates the need to carry around so much paper.
Yes, the official meeting logo is available electronically for use with presentations.
Presenters are responsible for the transport of posters session materials to and from the meeting site. If you are going to ship your poster materials, ship them to the hotel in care of yourself. For your protection, please use a shipping method that can be tracked such as UPS or Federal Express, and bring all tracking information with you in case of a problem.
It is advisable to bring a stored electronic copy with you to the meeting. It is likely you would be able to find a facility that can print a fresh copy for you in the worst-case scenario.
Posters may be put up any time before your session when the Hall of Exhibits is open starting Saturday evening. Posters may remain up until 2:30 p.m., Tuesday. It is important to remove the poster because the hall will close at 3:00 p.m., and convention center workers will take out the boards and recycle (destroy) any remaining posters to clean up the hall for next event.
You will be assigned a board and a session. This information should be sufficient to locate your poster board.
Have fun, answer questions, talk about your work, and share your knowledge. Poster sessions are a favorite for many attendees, a more informal way to network and talk about what we do. Enjoy it, you earned it!
For help with other aspects of your contributed poster or presentation experience please contact staff support, Tina Vickery, meeting manager, 630.929.7922, or Ray Naegele, director of financial and administrative services; 312.419.9094 x17. Support is available 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You are encouraged to submit your abstract by October 30, 2013, to avoid the last minute rush and allow time for technical assistance, if needed.
Viewing Posters Before and After the Meeting
Online meeting content library hosted by MLA will be available about three weeks before the meeting for everyone with e-Conference registration (individual or institution) and on-site registration (Inclusive, Conference Only, and One-day.) The library will contain posters that have been uploaded by authors.
For access to posters, log in with the login information on your registration confirmation letter. If you do not have this information, follow the “Need User Name or Password” instructions on the login screen.
All paid registrants (e-Conference and onsite) will have exclusive access to online meeting content for twelve months after the meeting.