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

Conference Update: Abstract Submissions, Volunteer Thanks, Polling and the 2016 Election

by By Jennifer Dykema, Conference Chair, and Peyton M. Craighill, Abstract Selection Committee Member
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The 2017 AAPOR Conference is already breaking records!

This year we received a record number of proposals during the submission process. The sheer volume coupled with a shortened review window set the stage for what appeared an impossible task for our volunteer reviewers. However, in true AAPOR fashion, our members turned out in record number (230 to be exact!) to offer their evaluations of the many panels, papers, methodological briefs, and poster submissions we received. We express our sincere thanks to those who participated in this invaluable task. Immediately following the review period, a small group convened in Madison, WI for two days to select abstracts, group them in cohesive sessions, and track them by topic, day, and time. This was an intense job, requiring hours of focused concentration, and sharp eyes. Thanks to Trent Buskirk for supplying us with reading and magnifying glasses, and to the entire group – Peyton Craighill, Heidi Diederich, Nora Cate Schaeffer, Mandy Sha, John Stevenson, Adam Thocher, and Vince Welch – for their enormous contributions in shaping the upcoming AAPOR program.

We also received an unprecedented number of submissions related to election polling, ensuring that the upcoming conference in New Orleans will be the premier place to unpack key substantive and methodological issues about the 2016 vote. In all, 17 election-focused sessions are planned, offering content from the first session on Thursday to the last on Sunday. The sheer volume of accepted papers means concurrent election sessions will run through the heart of the conference—not an optimal arrangement, but the high quality of submissions made it impossible to avoid. We’ve organized two broad tracts: one geared toward election polling methods and one on substantive findings and implications. We’ll avoid sessions on the same tract conflicting in the conference schedule as best we can.

Exciting to note, we have sessions comprising a broad range of researchers including the usual suspects of media and public pollsters, academics from various institutes, and scholars from leading universities and colleges. In addition, we’ll be joined by several political pollsters, offering insights based on their unique perspective. While not all AAPOR members are interested in election polling, these sessions will touch on issues and themes central to public opinion research. Moreover, the accuracy of election polls – for better or worse – is the most public face of our industry, so there’s ample reason to take a close look at what happened and why.

And for AAPOR members less focused on the election, we are going to have a record number of sessions at the conference – just over 100 at last count. So be prepared to hear talks on the latest and most cutting-edge research related to data collection, emerging methods and innovations, sampling, questionnaire design, interviewing, and methods to increase survey participation as well as substantive findings from public opinion researchers on immigration, climate change, health care, race, gender, and religion.

No doubt, there will be something for everyone. And if the biggest problem is too much of a good thing, we think we’re in very good shape.
 
Mid-January Abstract Selection Notifications sent
January 31, 2017 Deadline: Abstract submitters to accept invitation to speak
January 26 – February 7, 2017 Call for Session Moderators
February 15, 2017 Deadline: Abstract submitters to edit abstract