MPSA | Midwest Political Science Association > Annual Conference > 2020 Conference > Presenter Resources > Presenter Guidelines

Presenter Guidelines

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Presenter Participation Policy

In order to encourage broad participation, individuals may participate in up to three roles: presenting papers on no more than two panels, JSS or poster sessions (only one of these may be single author) and in one chair or discussant role. If three or more of your paper proposals are accepted, you must choose which two you will agree to present. Individuals not presenting may still serve as a chair or discussant for up to two sessions. Roundtables and Author Meets Critics do not count toward participation limits.

Additionally, first-year graduate students may not present on a panel or JSS. Only faculty may present on Symposia and only graduate students may present on Junior Scholar Symposia. You must have received a terminal degree to submit an offer to serve as a discussant. Single authored papers by an undergraduate may only be submitted to the Undergraduate poster session

If your proposal is accepted and you agree to present it, you must register for the conference by late February 2020 to guarantee a place on the program. (For paper submissions with more than one author, at least one author must register and present the paper. If additional co-authors plan to present, they must register.)

Submitters will be notified by email of the committee's decision beginning November 9, 2019. The conference program schedule will be available on the MPSA website in January 2020.  Please do not contact the national office regarding the date and time of your presentation.

The MPSA reserves the right to accept or reject any proposal. Reasons for rejection include, but are not limited to: topics not aligned with the focus of a panel; insufficient space on the program; failure to meet professional obligations in prior conferences (e.g., not completing a paper, not delivering a paper on time, failure to appear for a scheduled slot); failure to register for the conference; indebtedness to the association; and unprofessional conduct.

The conference takes place over four days, from Thursday through Sunday. Sessions will take place starting at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday and run through 12:05 p.m. on Sunday.

Poster sessions will take place Thursday through Saturday at these times:

Thursday: 9:45am-11:15am, 11:30am-1:00pm, 1:15pm-2:45pm, 3:00pm-4:30pm, 4:45pm-6:15pm                  

Friday: 8:00 am-9:30 am, 9:45 am-11:15 am, 11:30 am-1:00 pm, 1:15 pm -2:45 pm, 3:00 pm-4:30 pm, 4:45 pm-6:15 pm    

Saturday: 9:45 am-11:15 am, 11:30 am-1:00 pm, 1:15 pm -2:45 pm, 3:00 pm-4:30 pm


Panels and roundtables will take place Thursday through Sunday at these times:

Thursday: 9:45am-11:15am, 11:30am-1:00pm, 1:15pm-2:45pm, 3:00pm-4:30pm, 4:45pm-6:15pm

Friday: 8:00 am-9:30 am, 9:45 am-11:15 am, 11:30 am-1:00 pm, 1:15 pm -2:45 pm, 3:00 pm-4:30 pm, 4:45 pm-6:15 pm    

Saturday: 8:00 am-9:30 am, 9:45 am-11:15 am,11:30 am-1:00 pm, 1:15 pm -2:45 pm, 3:00 pm-4:30 pm, 4:45 pm-6:15 pm

Sunday: 8:00 am-9:30 am, 9:45 am-11:15 am, 11:30 am-1:00 pm

Each paper will be scheduled for a specific time slot within the session, and these times will appear in the conference programs.

Any communication regarding acceptance prior to printing the official program should not be construed as conferring a right to participate in the national conference. The association, through its executive director, reserves the right to change any aspect of the program (e.g., schedule, panel title) following printing and dissemination. The executive director, in consultation with the program chair(s) and committee, reserves the right to make all final decisions regarding participation in the national conference.

Special Scheduling Requests

The MPSA tries to distribute panels of the sections somewhat equally throughout the time slots. We do not consider requests for specific days or times for participation, except for reasons related to religious observances or unusual family circumstances. We will make every effort to accommodate these requests, but there is no guarantee that such requests will be honored. Though MPSA values teaching, approximately 80% of attendees teach, so we cannot accommodate teaching schedules. Special scheduling requests must be submitted to speelmon (at) mpsanet (dot)org no later than November 21, 2019.  The exact day and time of your presentation will not be determined until after this date, so please do not contact the office requesting this information.  The full conference program will be made available on the MPSA website in January.

Paper Citation Policy

By presenting a paper at the MPSA annual conference, the author(s) agree to provide a copy of the paper in advance to the discussants and chairs of the panel as well as upload the paper to the MPSA website. By doing so, the author(s) grant the MPSA a limited license to publish the paper on the website.

Posting Papers to the MPSA Website

Proposal submitters must upload research paper(s) to the MPSA website once the program is finalized. The deadline for posting papers is March 29; if you miss the deadline, you should still post your paper.  If your paper is nominated for a best paper award and it is not posted, it will not be considered for the award. Panel chairs and discussants are instructed that they may not include papers that are not posted to the website.

Recording Sessions

All sessions are open to anyone who is registered for the conference. MPSA may record the audio portion of certain sessions that are of interest to a broader audience, in which case all participants will be notified in advance so that they can plan accordingly.

Audiovisual Information

All meeting rooms have an LCD projector (Dell 3100 MP or 3300 MP) and a Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series laptop computer. Ballrooms do not. The Dell Inspiron 15 computers are operating with Windows 8. They are equipped with LibreOffice (a shareware version of MS Office), Adobe PDF Reader, Adobe Air, PowerPoint Reader, Media Player, and antivirus software. You should come to the session with your presentation saved on a USB flash or thumb drive. Please use an inexpensive, disposable drive that you can throw away after the presentation. Though antivirus software is loaded on the computer, there still exists the possibility your drive can get infected. Many people will be using the computers over the course of the conference and some viruses could be transmitted in spite of these precautions. Presenters will NOT be able to use their own laptop computers. DO NOT DISCONNECT THE LAPTOP COMPUTER; this may cause the LCD projector to reset and you may need technical support to fix it. This will use up the limited time you have for your presentation. You may practice using the computers and LCD projectors at the MPSA A/V Green Room (see previous page).

To begin your presentation, insert your flash drive into the USB port on the Dell Inspiron 15;

  • Open the appropriate software (i.e., to show a PowerPoint presentation, use PowerPoint Reader);
  • Find your file and double click on it to open the file;
  • Keep the flash drive plugged in during your presentation;
  • When the presentation is completed, close all windows;
  • Click on the Safely Remove Hardware icon (flash drive with a green check mark) in the bottom right hand side of the screen;
  • Wait until you are prompted to remove your flash drive, then remove the flash drive.

If you have problems, call PSAV at (312) 917-1706. Let them know you are with the MPSA Conference, the room you are in, the type of problem you are experiencing, and that you need an A/V engineer to assist you. For security reasons, the laptop computers and LCD projectors will be removed from all meeting rooms immediately upon conclusion of each day’s panels. Additional A/V services are available, at your cost and must be arranged in advance. Contact PSAV at (312) 917-1706 for quotes and additional A/V options.

Cancellation Policy

When you accept an offer to present your paper or offer to serve as a discussant or a chair, you are making a commitment to register and attend the conference. The MPSA assumes that you will not accept an offer if you are not certain that you can and will meet your professional obligations. If a family emergency or some other unanticipated event prevents you from attending the conference, please email the Conference Director at as soon as possible. (Not receiving travel funding is not considered a valid reason.)  In the message, include your name, the submission ID, role, the session number, and the reason you are canceling. Please do not contact the chair, discussant, or section head. The MPSA has to turn down hundreds of offers to present papers, so if you cancel your paper presentation after February 5, 2020 without a compelling reason, it is considered a late cancellation, which may result in not being allowed to present the following year.



Travel, lodging, and conference registration are the presenter's responsibility.