September 12, 2018

Changes Coming for the 2019 Joint Midwest ASAS/ADSA Annual Meeting

Changes Coming for the 2019 Joint Midwest ASAS/ADSA Annual Meeting

As many of you know, the Midwest Joint ASAS/ADSA Annual Meeting provides an excellent venue for sharing important research, affords graduate students an opportunity for professional development, and is a great place to network with university and industry colleagues. Because of these important benefits, our annual meeting continues to grow and remain vibrant. While growth is a desired outcome because it confirms the value membership places on the annual meeting, effectively accommodating the growth requires constant evaluation and, at times, will also require some changes.

Since the conclusion of the last annual meeting, the Midwest Board of Directors has been evaluating all components of the annual meeting to identify ways of improving the quality and efficiency of the meeting. Based on these evaluations the Board has implemented several changes for 2019 that we hope will lead to an even better meeting. The following highlights some of the key changes (and the rationale for the changes) that will be adopted beginning in 2019.

Abstract Submission, Review, and Placement

At the 2018 Annual Meeting, there were 517 accepted abstracts which represented an increase of 79 accepted abstracts over 2017. Additionally, the 2018 Annual Meeting had 17 oral sessions and 18 symposia, as compared to 19 oral sessions and 12 symposia in 2017. The 2018 numbers for abstracts and combined oral and symposia sessions represent the upper limits for what the facility and allotted time can accommodate. To ensure we do not exceed these thresholds, the following will be implemented:

  • Abstract reviews will move to an accept/reject model, with the decision by the Program Committee being based on the simple review statement “Is there correct use of the scientific method”.
  • A $25 abstract submission fee will be required.
  • Abstract submissions will not include requesting oral or poster presentation. Program Committee Chairs will determine the best venue (oral or poster) for the abstract.
  • The number of oral sessions (combination of the symposia and 12-minute talk sessions) will be capped at 35.
  • The number of symposia will be capped at 18.


    Allowing the Program Committee Chairs to place abstracts in oral or poster sessions will help address any future swings in the number of abstract submissions, and will allow the number of oral sessions to be held at a number that can be accommodated by the facilities and time length of the meeting. Also, with a relatively minimal increase in monetary expenditure, additional poster sessions can be added to handle further growth in abstracts accepted.  The $25 submission fee will help ensure only the highest quality abstracts are submitted, and the simple accept/reject model for abstracts should also help ensure that only scientifically sound abstracts are accepted, while decreasing or maintaining reviewer time commitments.

    Graduate Student Competitions

    The number of undergraduate and graduate students participating in both poster and oral competitions has increased tremendously over time. This has created significant challenges in securing an adequate number of judges for these competitions, as well as challenges in completing these competitions in a timely manner so winners can be announced at the Business Meeting. It is also recognized that having oral “competition” sessions, which is necessary for timely and effective judging, prohibits students from presenting their research in discipline-specific sessions where they best fit and would have the attention of the largest audience. Additionally, it is the view of the Board that oral presentations in an appropriate discipline-specific session, rather than poster presentations, provide for the best professional development opportunity for graduate students. For these reasons, the following changes to the graduate student poster and oral competitions will be adopted in 2019:

  • M.S. and Ph.D. graduate student poster competitions will be eliminated.
  • For graduate student oral competitions, each university will be limited to one (1) M.S. student competitor and one (1) Ph.D. student competitor in each graduate student oral competition (i.e., one M.S. competitor and one Ph.D. competitor).

The Board recognizes that the undergraduate competitions encourage undergraduate participation and serve as a great way for undergraduate students to gain experience presenting in scientific meetings, so the undergraduate poster and oral competitions will remain unchanged.

The Board acknowledges that some of these changes represent significant deviations from the past. Feel free to contact one of the Board members if you would like to discuss any of these changes in greater detail.  A complete listing of the Midwest Board of Directors can be found at

Respectfully submitted,

Dr. Richard Coffey                                                        Dr. Jill Anderson

President                                                                     President

ASAS Midwest Section                                                 ADSA Midwest Branch