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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Conference Update: Abstract Submissions, Volunteer Thanks, and Taking Public Opinion and Survey Rese

by Trent D. Buskirk, 2018 Conference Chair and Courtney Kennedy, Assoc. Conference Chair
AAPOR – we truly have Denver and the Mile High City in our sights! In fact, this year we took abstract submissions to a new HIGH with a record breaking 770 abstract submissions representing 894 individual presentations across panels, papers, methodological briefs, posters and PORTALs!
And thanks to 194 abstract review volunteers along with about a dozen more who filled in for nonresponse each submission was evaluated and scored for inclusion in the conference. The conference certainly could not capture the amazing content we showcase every year without the invaluable help from these reviewers. Many thanks to each of you for your help here!  For the first time in AAPOR history we used track specific score distributions to determine the base score for the first pass at acceptance into the program. But the scores are only one part of the conference curation process. Grouping outstanding submissions into sessions requires considerable focus, concentration, subject matter expertise and commitment. Enter the track Czars! Earlier in December a team of 8 amazing volunteers joined Courtney and I at the Kellen headquarters in D.C. to begin a two-day journey of reviewing submissions, grouping them into sessions and of course creating session titles (my favorite part!). Many thanks to the team of extraordinary members of the Abstract Selection Committee including: Courtney Kennedy, Ipek Bilgen, Beth-Ellen Pennell, Scott Clement, Aaron Maitland, Antje Kirchner, Sarah Dipko, Peyton Craighill and Philip Brenner.

Like any really good party we had prizes for the best session titles from four main categories: “Longest Session Title”, “Most Boring Title”, “Title with the best pop culture reference” and “Title with the Most Relevance to the Conference Location/Theme”.  You’ll have to wait for the preliminary program due out in a few months to wager a guess as to the winners.  
As a result of this meeting we are so happy to report that our conference is shaping up to be an awesome collection of 110 cutting edge sessions that include topics as far and wide as marijuana policy issues, the use of pastries as incentives, applications of machine learning in the survey process, the role of artificial intelligence in public opinion research, the internet of things and bots and surveys, political polling, the political divide and many others. This year also for the first time ever we will be having a PORTAL track which is an acronym for Public Opinion Research Training and Learning. Each of these 12 sessions, peppered throughout the conference, will have two 40 minute talks that are meant to be an accessible yet rigorous introduction to various contemporary topics in Public Opinion and Survey Research. The placement of the PORTAL track sessions in the conference has been strategic so that the PORTAL session will be among the first of many other paper, panel and methods briefs sessions on a related topic. For example, we will have a PORTAL session on issues related to 3MC research on Wednesday and the paper/panel/methods briefs sessions dealing with 3MC research will follow on Thursday – Saturday. The PORTAL sessions will be a great way to retool on something new or get up to speed on new advances in something familiar. I can’t wait to attend some of the PORTAL sessions on Data Visualization, Mixed Mode Surveys and advances in Push-To-Web Methods to name a few. We really are working very hard to offer an AAPOR Conference where you can take your Survey and Public Opinion Research to New Heights!
We can’t wait to share more of what’s shaping up around the Conference in the coming months. Until then, please pay close attention to these important dates and until the next Newsletter Posting we wanted to wish all of you a Warm, Festive, Fun, Peaceful and Joyous Holiday Season! Go AAPOR!!
January 10, 2018 Abstract Selection Notifications sent
January 30, 2018 Deadline: Abstract submitters to accept invitation to speak
January 29 – February 12, 2017 Call for Session Moderators
February 15, 2018 Deadline: Abstract submitters to edit abstract