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Individual Abstract Instructions

Changes for 2013


Call for Papers on Selected Topics

Types of Individual Submissions

Guidelines for Abstract Authors

How to Submit an Abstract

Tips for Using the System's Formattable Text Boxes

Changes for 2013

The Program Committee has instituted several changes this year:

  • The maximum time allotted for the delivery of accepted papers  has been increased from 15 to 20 minutes;
  • Authors may request that their papers be scheduled during the poster session (see details below);
  • In response to requests from the APA membership, the Program Committee has expanded the number of categories to which abstracts can be assigned (see details below).


To submit an individual abstract to the Program Committee, you must 1) be an APA member in good standing and 2) create a user account for the online collection system. Further details are given below.


All participants in paper sessions at the Annual Meeting are required to be APA members in good standing.  (In the case of the January 3-6, 2013, Annual Meeting in Seattle, “good standing” will mean that dues have been paid through 2012.)  All submitters will be required to provide their APA membership number as part of their submission. (Please note that in the case of multiple authors, only the primary author will be asked to provide a membership number during the submission process.) If you need to look up your membership number, please click here. If you are not sure whether you have paid your APA dues for 2012, contact the customer service staff at the Johns Hopkins University Press at, 800-548-1784 (US and Canada only), or 410-516-6987 (all others). 

Please note that it can take UP TO FIVE DAYS for new or renewed memberships to be processed.

Absolutely NO extensions of the deadline will be possible because of unpaid membership fees or because membership applications were not submitted with sufficient time for processing before the deadline.


The Program Committee seeks to encourage wide participation among APA members at the Annual Meeting. The Committee therefore reminds all participants of its long-standing policy of limiting members to one appearance on the annual meeting program. An appearance includes participation as a presenter or respondent in a panel, seminar or workshop, an affiliated group session, an organizer-refereed panel, a session sponsored by an APA committee, or a regular APA paper session.  The only exception to this policy is that individuals who are members of both the AIA and the APA may appear in both a Joint Session and an APA program unit.  Serving as either the presider of an annual meeting panel or the leader of a roundtable discussion session is not treated as an appearance on the APA program.  In accordance with the single-appearance policy above, members may submit only one abstract for consideration at the Program Committee meeting on June 29-30.


Every member wishing to make a submission to the APA Program Committee must have a collection system user account.  There is no charge for obtaining this account. Members who created accounts to use last year’s system should enter the same user name and password in the “Welcome, Please Sign In” section of the login page. Forgotten user names and/or passwords can be retrieved by using the “I forgot my user name” and “I forgot my password” links on that page.

Members who did not use the system last year will need to click on the “Create an Account” link in the “Create a New Account” section of the login page and will be prompted to provide a username, password, and valid email address.

Call for Papers on Selected Topics

The Program Committee invites abstracts of papers dealing with the subjects of

  • Food
  • Law
  • Family
  • The End of Antiquity

Such abstracts must be assigned to one of the regular Submission Categories (i.e., codes A through Bb) in the online system, which does not include these subjects as separate categories, and they will be vetted along with all other abstracts received in each Category. We hope that, once all the abstracts have been vetted, having a number of abstracts addressing these four topics will assist the Committee in assembling thematically coherent panels consisting of papers drawn from different Submission Categories. All abstracts will be vetted in the same way regardless of whether they address these target areas and without prejudice of their chances of being accepted for the Program.

Types of Individual Submissions


The Program Committee welcomes paper submissions from individual members for oral presentation. A maximum of 20 minutes will be allotted for the delivery of accepted papers, and the Program Committee reserves the right to limit the audio/visual equipment requested. 


The Program Committee hopes once again to schedule a poster session during the annual meeting.  It feels that these presentations give authors the flexibility to display all of their data simultaneously in a variety of formats (graphically and electronically as well as orally) and give annual meeting registrants an opportunity to identify those aspects of the presentation that are of greatest interest to them and then interact with presenters one-on-one or in small groups.  Authors may request that their papers be scheduled during the poster session, but the Program Committee reserves the right to make the final decision as to the assignment of each paper it accepts.


Members may submit abstracts for papers to be listed in the Annual Meeting Program and published in the Abstracts book, but not to be presented orally at the Annual Meeting. In cases where the Program Committee does not think an abstract suitable for oral presentation, it reserves the right to accept it as a paper to be read by title or presented as part of a poster session.

Individual abstracts must be submitted online, and submission must be complete by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on May 16, 2012.  Detailed instructions on submitting individual abstracts are given below.

Guidelines for Abstract Authors

Before preparing your abstract please review the instructions below as well as the suggestions for the preparation of abstractsthat the Program Committee developed in conjunction with its workshop on abstract writing at the 2010 Annual Meeting. 


The abstract should contain the following information:

  • a clear initial statement of purpose,
  • a brief explanation of the abstract's relationship to the previous literature on the topic, including direct citations of any important literature (see "Citations of Literature" below)
  • a summary of the argumentation
  • some examples to be used in the argumentation.

The abstract should make it clear that the paper is suitable for oral presentation within the time limit (maximum time is 20 minutes).


  • Abstracts must be composed in 11 point Times font.
  • Abstracts must be no more than 650 words, not including bibliography.  See “Citations of Literature” below concerning the submission of bibliographical information.
  • Abstracts including Greek characters should utilize a Unicode font. It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that Greek characters appear correctly.
  • The author's name should not appear on any copy of the abstract.  However the title of the abstract should be in the upper-right-hand corner.


For documentation, footnotes should not be used. Incorporate citations into the text of the abstract.  In citing bibliography in the text, brief parenthetical references usually suffice, but be sure that these are intelligible. List complete bibliographical citations of the most important works in the separate text box provided, and refer to these in your abstract by author's name and, when necessary, date.  Note, however, that the abstract itself may not exceed 650 words.  Please Note:  Authors may cite relevant work that they have already published, but these citations should be in the same format as any other author's, i.e., in the third person.

How to Submit an Abstract

  • Review the requirements for abstract format and content, as well as the instructions concerning bibliography, above.
  • Click on this link to the submission system.  By action of the APA Board of Directors, all submissions being made to the APA Program Committee must be made in electronic form through this system.
  • When accessing the online submission system for the first time, click on the “Create an Account” link. After you create your account, return to the log in screen to sign in.

    Please note that this account is entirely independent from your APA “Members Only” Account. Trying to sign in with your APA username and password without creating a system account will NOT work.

  • Click the “Begin” button on the welcome page to start your submission.
  • Enter the required information. Please see “TIPS FOR USING THE SYSTEM’S FORMATTABLE TEXT BOXES” below to see specific information on ways to enter your title, abstract, and optional bibliography.
  • For an explanation of options for assigning a category for your abstract, please review this message from Joseph Farrell, VP for Program:

This year, in response to requests from the APA membership, the Program Committee has expanded the number of categories to which abstracts can be assigned. We hope that many of you will find that the new categories that we have introduced describe your abstract more satisfactorily than has been true in the past.

However, even though the number of categories has been doubled, we recognize that the possibilities are still not sufficiently capacious and diverse to cover the breadth of research that is being carried out in our field, particularly at the cutting edge. For this reason, we are asking you to categorize your abstract twice.

First, you must assign your abstract to one of the categories that you will find in the section called "Submission Category".  As we have done in the past, we will use this list to group abstracts for the purpose of vetting, but not for the purpose of assigning them to panels, which we will organize— again, as we have done in the past — without regard to the vetting categories and solely with a view towards putting together the most interesting possible program.

Second, as an experiment we ask you to describe your abstract according to several additional and optional categories — such as language, culture, genre, period, methodology, and so forth. We will use these descriptions in order to try to develop a more flexible system of categorizing abstracts. We do not require you to participate in this experiment: if the initial list of possibilities satisfies you, there is no need to categorize your abstract a second time. But we encourage all who are interested in this experiment to take part. If there is sufficient interest, and if the resulting descriptions show that there is a benefit in proceeding in this way, we will consider moving to a new system of categorization next year.

  • Be sure to click the “Finalize” button as prompted on the last submission screen. Your submission is not complete until you see a final screen that says “Submission Confirmation Receipt” which indicates that your submission status is complete. You will also receive a confirmation email upon successfully completing your submission. The Program Committee will not review incomplete submissions.
  • You may edit your submission at any time until the 5:00PM EDT, May 16, 2012 deadline. (Note that you may edit your submission even if you have previously clicked on the "Finalize" button.)  To do so, log in, click on “My Submissions” in the left-side menu, scroll down the page until you see your submission listed, and click the “edit submission” button immediately to the left of your submission title.  If you do make any changes, be sure to click the "Finalize" button again.
  • If you encounter any problems, click the “Support” button on the upper right and complete the form. Please note that author support is provided 8:00AM to 5:00PM Central Time, Monday through Friday. For Technical questions, tech support will normally respond within 24 hours during normal work hours, 8 AM to 5 PM Central time, Monday through Friday, excluding US holidays. Questions sent after 5 PM Friday will be answered Monday.

Tips for Using the System's Formattable Text Boxes

  • The fields for Paper Titles, Abstracts, and Bibliographies allow for italics, bold, underlining, etc.
  • When you click inside the text field, the text editor will pop up; if you wish to minimize it at any time, simply click outside of the text field.
  • Authors are encouraged to copy text from a Word document and paste it into the text. To do so, use the “Paste from Word” icon, which is a clipboard with blue “W” on the right side of the menu bar.
  • You can also paste directly into the text box by using the “CTRL + V” command. Using this method, you may get a message that states “The content you are trying to paste has MS Word formatting. Would you like to clean it?” and asks you to click “Ok” or “cancel”. Disregard the reference to cleaning and click “Ok”; you will see that your formatting has been retained.
  • It is also possible to enter text by typing directly into the text field.
  • Any Greek characters in the title, abstract, and bibliography text boxes should be in a Unicode font.

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