An academic conference or symposium is a conference for researchers to present and discuss their work Together with academic journals, conferences provide an important channel for exchange of information between researchers.
Conferences are usually composed of various presentations. They tend to be short and concise: with a time span of about 10 to 30 minutes; presentations are usually followed by a discussion_ the work may be bundled in written form as academic papers and published as the conference proceedings.
Usually a conference will include keynote speakers. The keynote lecture IS often longer, lasting sometimes up to an hour and a half: particularly if there are several keynote speakers on a panel.
In addition to presentations, conferences also feature panel discussions: round tables on various issues: poster sessions and workshops. Some conferences take more interactive formats, such as the participant driven “unconference” or various conversational formats.
Prospective presenters are usually asked to submit a short abstract of their presentation, which will be reviewed before the presentation is accepted for the meeting. Some disciplines require presenters to submit a paper of about 6—15 pages: which IS peer reviewed by members of the program committee
or referees chosen by them. In some disciplines: such as English and other languages, it is common for presenters to read from a prepared script. In other disciplines such as the sciences, presenters usually base their talk around a visual presentation that displays key figures and research results.
A large meeting will usually be called a conference, while a smaller is termed a workshop. They might be single track or multiple track whereas the former has only one session at a time: while a multiple track meeting has several parallel sessions with speakers in separate rooms. The larger the conference, the more likely it is that academic publishing houses may set up displays. Large conferences also may have a career and job search and interview activities. At some conferences: social or entertainment activities such as tours and receptions can be part of the program.
Business meetings for learned societies or interest groups can also be part of the conference activities.
Types of Conferences
Academic conferences typically fall into three categories:
- The themed conference, small conferences organized around a particular topic;
- The general conference, a conference with a wider focus: with sessions on a wide variety of topics. These conferences are often organized by regional, national or international learned societies: and held annually or on some other regular basis.
- The professional conference: large conferences not limited to academics but with academically related issues. Increasing numbers of amplified conferences are being provided which exploit the potential of Wi-Fi networks and mobile devices m order to enable remote participants to contribute to discussions and listen to idea.
Advanced technology for meeting with any yet unknown person m a conference is performed by active organizer that may indicate fully identified and relatively located upon approach via electronic tags.
Organizing an Academic Conference
Conferences are usually organized either by a scientific society or by a group of researchers with a common interest. Larger meetings may be handled on behalf of the scientific society by a Professional Conference. The meeting is announced by way of a Call for Papers or a Call for Abstracts, which is sent to prospective presenters and explains how to submit their abstracts or papers. It describes the broad theme and lists the meetings topics and formalities such as what kind of abstract or paper has to be submitted: to whom: and by what deadline. A CFP is usually distributed using a mailing list or on specialized online services. Contributions are usually submitted using an online abstract or paper management service.
Increasingly: there has been a call for more sustainable academic conferencing: as flying to and consumption at conferences is one of the largest components of an academics environmental footprint.
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