[Air-L] Let's talk about AoIR

Feona Attwood f.attwood at mdx.ac.uk
Sun Jun 2 02:11:09 PDT 2013

I think that this is a fantastic idea Sarah. It seems like it would overcome many of the problems that have been mentioned throughout this discussion.

It would also fit with the ideas people have already shared about improving the review process. As Program Chair last year I found it difficult to get enough experienced people to volunteer to review. Inexperienced reviewers were quite often very harsh in the way they approached contributions, or unsure about how to assess papers that didn’t fit with their own experiences/disciplinary backgrounds (making the sorts of comments that people in this thread have commented on and going on to mark contributors down for not having ‘findings’ or talking about ‘samples’ when that wouldn’t have been appropriate anyway for example). It was a lot of work trying to manage that.

What would have worked better would have been to have a much smaller team of reviewers, working to detailed guidelines and cross-checking with each other across the whole process. That would require a group of people who would be prepared to do a lot of work in a fairly short space of time but it would transform the reviewing process and would also result in a group who were spectacularly well informed about reviewing across disciplines and with real expertise in helping to manage the way AoIR conferences might develop in future. I’d be happy to get involved in something like that and maybe others would too?

On 2 Jun 2013, at 02:11, Sarah Florini wrote:

Hi, all.

Let me preface this by saying I’m a pretty newly minted PhD and am not yet wise in the ways of conference organizing. So, my ideas might be logistically unfeasible or outright naïve.

I was thinking about Lori’s point that tracks might discourage interaction among people from different fields. It’s a valid point. At the same time, different disciplines and approaches have different “needs” (which have been discussed at length, so I won’t reiterate them here). Is it possible to use tracks for the submission and reviewing process, but not for assembling the program? There could be a variety of tracks that allowed for more flexible submission processes and more targeted reviewing. These could be crafted to insure space for less “straight” research, performances, activist work, etc. that we want to have a home at AoIR (and that many, including myself, feel that the most recent CFP seems to have disadvantaged). But, there could also be a track for the kind of completed, full papers Nichole is talking about. Then, when it came time to put the program together, the tracks could be jettisoned. The panels would be assembled by a non-track centric logic. So, you might have a panel about X and it might be made up of a completed quantitative study what was submitted as a full paper, a theoretical piece, an ethnographic work in progress, and someone doing activist work. (I’m just randomly naming possibilities.) That way the selection process was more targeted to meet different needs. But, then when we actually got to the conference, those disciplinary (and pragmatic needs) didn’t dictate the interactions.

Also, I would love to see more discussion on the list. I, personally, haven’t really participated much until now because that didn’t seem to be the way people were using the list. Having this or some other space for discussion would be great. I really like the idea of webinars. I would be down for some webinars.


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