[Air-l] Conference absenteeism?

Ulla Bunz bunz at scils.rutgers.edu
Sun Sep 26 18:03:42 PDT 2004

Peter and others -
the timing of AoIR conferences is indeed something we have discussed intensely on
the exec listserve. This year's date was chosen mostly because of availability of
space at Sussex. Once the semester starts up again there, dorms are full, classes
are in session, etc.

In general, we have considered summer conferences but have, so far, decided to stick
with the early fall dates. There are many arguments for and against it, and I would
have to check my notes and the archives in order to give you details as discussed on
the exec on this, but I do want to point out to you that in some parts of the world
(and I believe Australia is one example of these "parts") the semester actually
starts in June or July and goes till about October. It is difficult for many of us
to take off time from teaching to travel to a conference, especially if it doesn't
take place in our own country. Unfortunately, just about any month you could pick
the semester is going to be in session somewhere!

Appart from semester schedules, moving the conference forward also influences our
conference scheduling. For example, for our October conferences, submission of
papers due date is generally February 1. If we moved the conference to, let's say,
June, that would move the paper/abstract due date to... October 1! Wow. That's next

Of course these are only two arguments and as I said there are many more both for
and against May-August conferences instead of September/October conferences. It's
certainly important for us on the exec to take note of opinion such as yours, so
thank you for bringing this up. If others on the list have opinions on this, they
are certainly encouraged to express themselves.


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