How long are oral presentations?

Oral presentations are allotted different times –60 minutes, or 30 minutes– with 15-minute panel discussions.

What are the proposal specifications for the summit?

View Full proposal specifications and recommendations.

What is the review process and judging criteria? Can judges see who submitted proposals?

Proposals are given to appropriate session chairs, who selected reviewers who are experts in the subject area.

  1. Proposals are reviewed blind, so that authors were not known to the reviewers.
  2. Once proposals scores are received, the scores are normalized (adjusted to have similar ranges in review scores) across reviewers.
  3. All proposals are scored by at least three reviewers, low-scoring proposals and comments are cross-checked by session chairs.
  4. Session chairs then organize the sessions according to the proposal scores and create sessions that make as much thematic sense as possible.
  5. The program committee then meets to organize the program and continues to adjust the presentation schedule as attendees drop out or if they do not register by the ‘early bird’ deadline.

Proposals are scored based on four criteria:

  1. Originality: proposals containing significant new findings or presenting new approaches are given higher scores than those that describe updates, modifications to older findings, or routine applications of well-established research methods
  2. Quality: Proposals should demonstrate that robust research methods are used, including a scientifically robust study design.  The research should lead to a clear answer to the main research question(s).  The methods and results should be described in sufficient detail and the conclusions should be supported by the data.
  3. Importance: This criterion addresses the importance of the research in terms of advancing the science, conservation or management of marine mammals.
  4. Presentation: Proposals that are clearly written and concise received higher scores.  This criterion addresses how well the specific research question(s) and objectives, methods used, primary results, etc are explained, rather than the quality of the study itself.  A brief, clearly written proposal follows a logical order (e.g. aims, methods, results, followed by a clear interpretation of the results and any conservation management implications).

After adjusting for differences in scoring among individual reviewers, proposals are ranked on the basis of their overall score, and available slots for spoken presentations are allocated according to merit using all submissions combined, taking into account presentation preferences.

What is the category my proposal will be presented under?

Session Themes for presentations at the TRACS 2020 Summit will include:

  • Developing Academic Programs
  • Engagement
  • Community Partnerships
  • Operations
  • Planning and Assessment
  • AASHE-STARS Assessment
  • Institutionalizing Sustainability
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Your proposals are submitted under one of the above topics. In some cases, proposals are shifted to other themes in order to be presented as part of a cohesive block.

Can I make changes to my proposal?

No, proposals are reviewed and judged as they are received and will be presented as they were reviewed by judges.

When will I find out if my abstract has been accepted?

All submitters will be notified by the week of January 24th, 2019 as to whether their proposal has been accepted for presentation at the summit.