The leading association
of public opinion and
survey research professionals
American Association for Public Opinion Research

Call for Abstracts

Important Dates:
November 9, 2017 – Abstract Deadline for Panels, Papers, Methodological Briefs and Posters and PORTAL Sessions
Mid‐January, 2018 – Acceptance Notifications Will Be Sent via Email

Submit an Abstract

The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) is pleased to announce that its 73rd Annual Conference will be held at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado, May 16-19, 2018.

AAPOR seeks proposals for full panel sessions, individual papers, methodological briefs, posters and PORTAL sessions. The theme for AAPOR’s 2018 Annual Conference, Taking Survey and Public Opinion Research to New Heights, signals AAPOR’s progress in navigating changes in public opinion and survey research methodology and it’s embracing of new data sources, populations, technology, analytical approaches, measurement and methods to understand public opinion. 
Given our theme, we encourage presentations that include methods and approaches for collecting, analyzing, presenting and quantifying public opinion and survey research that are on the forefront of our field.  While submissions on any topic across public opinion, survey and social science research will be considered, we specifically seek to showcase how surveys are being reinvented, redefined or reimagined in light of new technologies, big data, costs and declining response rates.  We also seek to learn from studies that are exploring new ways to process survey data using natural language processing or other similar techniques as well as survey studies that are pushing the boundaries of the types of data that can and is being collected by surveys.  We also want to understand how public opinion is being quantified in ways that may not include traditional surveys but may involve more systematic scraping or collection of social media data.  Studies that also seek to quantify public opinion about topics that are of great interest and importance to humankind are also sought. 
New This Year!!  For AAPOR 2018 we will have a mini-conference that will be spliced into the regular AAPOR conference schedule by means of a specially designated track called PORTAL (Public Opinion Research Training and Learning).  Each 90-minute session in the PORTAL track will feature two 40-minute in-depth introductory talks aimed at helping attendees become more conversant in a given method or approach.  The sessions are intended to be a tangible way to help AAPOR attendees retool in new and emerging areas of our field at a critical time of transition and to help researchers, students and practitioners alike take their own survey and public opinion research in new directions and to new heights.  Two presentations on complementary topics can also be submitted together as part of a PORTAL panel.  An example of a single PORTAL submission might include a presentation on “Optimizing Survey Data Collection using Mobile Devices.”  An example of a PORTAL Panel submission would include two presentations: (1) “Intro to R for Survey and Social Science Researchers” and (2) “Intro to Python for Survey and Social Science Researchers”.
Also New This Year!!  AAPOR’s Got Talent!  Taking inspiration from reality t.v. talent shows, we believe AAPOR members have the talent to tackle some of the toughest issues in survey research. Teams (or individuals) will submit pitches for how to address an important survey research problem identified by the AAPOR community. Five abstracts will be selected to present their pitches to a panel of judges in an open session at the 2018 conference. The judges and audience will then vote to decide which team has the biggest talent. The winning teams will receive cash prizes - $5000 grand prize and $1000 runner up prize!

And Also New This Year!! Regardless of the type of paper you are submitting for the conference we are asking each submitter to identify one track from among these 10 that is most relevant and applicable for their abstract.    We understand that some submissions could relate to more than one track, but we are specifically asking you to make a decision about which single track you deem is the most appropriate. 
In addition to the primary track we are also asking submitters to select two to three keywords that describe the content.  If your paper could be placed into more than one track, using keywords will allow us to better position the paper within your chosen track.  Examples of topics included in each of the tracks are provided below each of the tracks to assist you in making this decision.  
AAPOR 2018 Tracks for Papers, Panels, Methodological Briefs, Posters and PORTAL Submissions
  • Attitudes & Issues: 
    • Papers dealing with substantive issues and attitudes of interest that are measured or studied using survey research methods such as attitudes toward marijuana legalization; immigration attitudes, views/impact of climate change, views about the government, immigration, attitudes about sanctuary cities, gender attitudes, health care issues, religion among others. 
  • Populations, Polls and Politics
    • Voting behavior; using voter files for sample surveys; exit polling methods; hard to reach populations; surveying minors and minorities; presidential approval ratings; mid-term election studies and the like.
  • Data Quality
    • Measurement issues; survey validity; impact of interviewers on quality; data quality for web surveys; impact of low response rates and missing data on bias; evaluation of imputation methods for improving data quality and the like.
  • Data Collection and Survey Participation
    • Approaches and methods for data (and paradata) collection within a fit-for-purpose paradigm; Advances and testing related to adaptive and responsive design; experiments with incentives for survey recruitment; testing various contact strategies; gamification of surveys; multi-mode survey administration; consent issues related to survey data collection; collecting different types of biological and/or specimen data within the survey context and the like.  
  • Innovations & Emerging Methods
    • SMS surveys, app-based surveys, data collection via the internet of things, sensor data collection, geo-fencing for surveys in place, collecting data using blue-tooth and near field technology, web scraping for data collection; AI survey robots; Natural Language Processing methods and testing; sentiment analysis; analysis of social media data; text analytics; visualization of survey data, dash boards for surveys, and the like. 
  • Multinational, Multiregional, and Multicultural (3MC)
    • Example topics: reducing language barriers; consistency of questions across multiple languages; coding issues related to multi-lingual data collection; methodological issues in achieving comparability and equivalence in cross national, cross cultural and cross regional (3MC) surveys across the survey lifecycle
  • Probability & Nonprobability Samples
    • Probability-based sample survey design and weighting; new methods and techniques for probability-based sampling; new methods for weighting probability-based and non-probability based samples; evaluating the quality of non-probability based samples; comparing online-samples and the like.
  • Big Data/Data Science and Surveys
    • Combining administrative data with survey data; using administrative data and other big data sources for sample designs; integrating data from multiple sources to make estimates/inference/designs.  Applications of machine learning methods to survey design, imputation and analyses; Improving survey participation prediction using machine learning; using Artificial Intelligence to enhance survey data collection/analysis.
  • Questionnaire Design & Interviewing
    • Advances in Cognitive interviewing; digital focus groups; Writing Survey Questions; Questionnaire Design for Web Surveys and Mobile Web Surveys; Experiments with CATI, CAPI, ACASI, and the like.
  • Research in Practice
    • Practical issues regarding survey data collection, in general.  Management issues related to survey teams, survey protocols and data; data security; practical issues related to executing multi-mode surveys; how to write successful RFPs on a shoestring budget; fit for purpose in practice – when to use what?; managing field staff effectively and the like.
Public opinion and survey researchers are working in a time of unprecedented change, challenge and opportunity.  Some of the most creative methods for collecting, combining, processing and analyzing survey and public opinion data are happening at this very moment in time.  We want to take just a second to ask you to take a minute to contribute to the conversation of like-minded researchers, practitioners, students and consumers of social data.    We really want to see how you are taking survey and public opinion research to new heights. 

Come on AAPOR – let’s rise to the occasion!!  Submit an abstract  today!

Important Dates:

November 9, 2017 – Abstract Deadline for Panels, Papers, Methodological Briefs, Posters, PORTAL track submissions and PORTAL Panels. 

Mid‐January, 2018 – Acceptance Notifications Will Be Sent via Email

Format types: When interested parties log on to the system to submit their proposal(s), they will be asked to select from the following presentation formats:
  1. Full Panels are organized sessions that focus on a common theme and include five participants in addition to the panel organizer. The organizer of the panel should enter up to a 300word abstract into the system discussing the issues to be addressed and their importance. In addition, the panel organizer must enter an abstract (up to 300words) FOR EACH proposed panelist. If complete information is not immediately available, the organizer must add information to complete the submission before the November 11 deadline. NOTE: It is important to remind your panelists that they should NOT submit a separate submission.
  2. Papers involve original research featuring an oral address of 10‐14 minutes to an audience. A 300‐word abstract is required at submission. Authors are strongly encouraged to prepare a formal paper in advance of the conference (usually 12‐15 pages in length) to share with the session organizer and moderator. In addition, authors are asked to make their presentation materials, such as PowerPoint™ slides, available to session attendees at (or following) the conference.
  3. Methodological Briefs are intentionally short (5-7 minutes) oral presentations of original methodological research that highlight significant empirical results (e.g., one table) with less theoretical elaboration than a full paper. A 300‐word abstract is required at submission. Authors are strongly encouraged to prepare short papers in advance of the conference (e.g., 5‐8 pages in length), and are asked to make presentation materials, such as PowerPoint™ slides, available to attendees at (or following) the conference.
  4. PORTAL track presentations are slated for 40 minutes each with 5 minutes for questions and answers.  A 300-word abstract should offer an overview of the topic to be covered and highlight examples that will be used to illustrate the method/topic, if appropriate, along with a very brief list of specific content items that will be covered. 
  5. PORTAL track Panel consist of two complementary PORTAL track presentations that are submitted together and if accepted will constitute a single 90-minute session within the PORTAL track.  Abstract submissions for a PORTAL track Panel should include a suggested name for the Panel, a brief description of the panel as well as the abstracts for BOTH of the presentations.  The guidelines for the abstracts for each of the presentations are the same as indicated in number 4 above for single PORTAL track submissions.    
  6. Posters are presentations of original research that rely on visual display (i.e., posters) combined with interactive author‐audience discussion. A 300‐word abstract is required at submission. Authors are strongly encouraged to distribute handouts or a reduced-size paper copy of their poster at the conference.   

NOTE: Regardless of the type of submission submitters will also be asked to select from one of the 10 conference tracks that are most relevant/applicable to their submission and to identify two or three descriptive keywords.   

Submission Deadlines:

All Abstracts should be submitted electronically by Thursday, November 9, 11:59 p.m. (EST). 

Electronic Submissions: All proposals and abstracts must be submitted electronically. Only electronically submitted abstracts will be considered. Interested parties can also access the online submission form on AAPOR’s website. Submitters will receive a systemgenerated email confirmation of their submission within 24 hours. If this confirmation does not arrive, please log back on the site to verify the system accepted your proposal.

Multipaper restriction: To promote broad conference participation, an individual may not submit more than two proposals as first author, regardless of the proposed format of the submission (panel participant, paper, poster, methodological brief or PORTAL presentation). Each submission must identify who will be the presenter at the conference.

Scheduling Conflicts:  To ensure we can schedule as many presentations at the conference, it is important that you list any known scheduling conflicts you may have with your submission.  For example, you may know of a second submission for which you are the presenter or you may have a conflict with a session because of a committee meeting or other commitment during the conference.  Please indicate any and all such conflicts in the CONFLICTS tab of your submission.  While we will make every attempt to accommodate scheduling conflicts, please be advised that in some instances it may not be completely possible to avoid them.  Also, please note that the conference will take place from WEDNESDAY May 16 through SATURDAY May 19. 
Evaluation and Review: The Conference Program Committee will evaluate proposals for quality, originality, and completeness. Each paper, poster, panel and methodological brief submission will be peer reviewed by at least 3 reviewers and final decisions will be announced in January 2018 for all presentation formats.  The final decisions about acceptance will be based on a track-by-track basis. 

PORTAL Track submissions will be evaluated by members of the Conference Committee along with members of the Education Committee and will be selected based on topic relevance, abstract content and space availability.  
All submissions that present original survey data must abide by the AAPOR Code of Professional Ethics & Practices by reporting, at a minimum, the information specified in Section III‐A of the AAPOR Code. Further, proposals should communicate work that authors expect to reach an acceptable stage of completion before the conference (i.e., by the end of April 2017). Here is an exemplar abstract

Space on the program is limited.   There will be some excellent individual submissions that cannot be integrated into a session and will, unfortunately, not be accepted. Authors submitting a paper will have a greater chance of being selected to participate in the program if they submit a full panel proposal. Alternatively, authors of individual papers have a greater chance of acceptance if they are willing to be considered for methodological briefs or poster presentations as we are planning on having more methodological briefs and posters this year in an effort to diversity the presentations that are included in the 2018 AAPOR Conference and to allow room in the program for the mini-conference PORTAL track. 
Confirmation: Submitters will receive automatic email confirmation of their submission within 24 hours. Submitters who do not receive this confirmation should log back on to the site to verify their submission was entered correctly in the system. NOTE: the submitter is the primary contact person and is responsible for notifying all other participants of acceptance, rejection, scheduling and any other information provided by AAPOR.
AudioVisual Equipment: All meeting rooms will have projectors, screens, microphones & laptops.

Special Interest Groups: Groups with common interests often meet informally during the AAPOR conference to share methods, research findings, and other information. AAPOR encourages such gatherings and will be pleased to include these gatherings on the official program. If you would like to organize such a group, please contact Trent Buskirk, Conference Chair.

Notice to Federal Employees: The AAPOR Annual Conference conforms to the OPM definition of a "developmental assignment." It is intended for educational purposes; over three quarters of time scheduled is for planned, organized exchange of information between presenters and audience, thereby qualifying under section 4101 of title 5, United States Code as a training activity. The AAPOR Conference is a collaboration in the scientific community, whose objectives are to provide a training opportunity to attendees; teach the latest methodology and approaches to survey research best practices; make each attendee a better survey researcher, and; maintain and improve professional survey competency.

Inquiries: Questions concerning the AAPOR conference or the proposal submission process should be directed to:

Trent Buskirk
Conference Chair
University of Massachusetts Boston

Courtney Kennedy
Associate Conference Chair
Pew Research Center

Damien Salamacha
Membership and Conference Associate

Submit an Abstract


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