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Session Leaders in a Traditional Paper Session

For a comprehensive guide, please download the slides and the Frequently Asked Questions for the Annual Meeting session "Orientation for Session Chairs and Discussants".

Your role as a "session leader" in a traditional paper session may be formally defined as Chair or Discussant.

Where there is a separate Chair, this person handles introductions and time keeping, and the Discussant guides the content of the session.

Preparing for the Session:

  • Check for changes to your session.
    • Check the Online Program and the Program Addendum for any updates/changes to your session.
    • Papers will continue to be withdrawn even until the actual sessions take place at the Meeting. Please check periodically for withdrawn papers in your session(s).
  • Make sure everyone gets copies of the papers (authors should also get copies of other papers to promote a panel discussion).
  • Assist presenters who do not have a laptop or cannot bring a laptop to the meeting by coordinating with the other presenters who do have a laptop. Laptops are required for presentations in a traditional paper session.
  • Contact the presenters in advance of the annual meeting to ensure that they are all set for their presentations.
  • If there is a Discussant, coordinate to set up debates, themes, puzzles that could be addressed and carried through the session.
  • Discuss the session structure and time usage with presenters well in advance.

During the Session:

  • DO NOT give the standard boilerplate about time and take up too much time doing it. Tell the presenters the rules before the session.
  • DO start out with a few words about the subject matter of the session and how each paper will contribute toward exploring that research domain.
  • Create an informal first-name atmosphere in the session to encourage discussion.
  • To ensure fairness, session Chairs must shut down presenters who do not conform to the prescribed time limits.

Annual Meeting Roles:

The Presenter Role

Session Leaders in a Discussion Paper Session

The Presenter's Guide

Onsite Session Participation

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