Chairs or Discussants
Duties of Chairs
Individuals selected to act as Session Chairs on paper panels have duties before, during, and after their session. Before the meeting you determine the format and amount of time available to each participant, reach an agreement with the discussant about the deadline for receipt of completed papers, and communicate this and any other important information to the panel members. At the session during the meeting, you determine the order of presentations, introduce the members of the panel, keep the speakers to their time limits, and moderate audience participation. On panels where there is no Discussant, the Chair should feel free to provide thematic bridges between papers and kick off the discussion with a few questions, comments, or remarks. After the session you complete a brief report about the session for the Program Committee.
Information to Communicate to Panel Members:
- Sessions last one hour and forty-five minutes. Of these 105 minutes, questions and comments from the audience should be allocated at least 20 minutes. The remaining 85 minutes should be shared by the presenters and discussant(s).
- For paper panels: Set a deadline for the exchange of papers and distribution. It is especially important that Discussants receive papers in advance of the meeting.
- the LSA guidelines on accessibility
- Language policy: English is the official language of the conference.
Contact your Panelists
To see the email addresses of your panelists:
- Login to your LSA Account at https://netforum.avectra.com/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=lsa&WebCode=LoginRequired
- Click on the link "2013 Meeting Program" in the lower left menu
- Search for your panel by either typing in your name in the People Tab or the Session in the Sessions Tab
- Once you have arrived at your session page, then you will see all participant names and email addresses
Changes to Sessions
As Session Chair, responsibility for the session shifts from the session organizer to you. Please report to the LSA Executive Office, email@example.com, any and all changes to the session. The last date for changes for the Final Program is April 10. Changes after this date will still be made to the online program, but will appear only on the final printed program's Addendum Sheet. Changes to paper titles, session titles, or abstracts will not be accepted after that date.
Duties of Discussants
There are many models of how a discussant should operate. We encourage making comments on all papers after all presentations have been made. The best comments by discussants link papers thematically, highlight strengths of the papers, make suggestions for their improvement, offer gentle criticism where appropriate, and provoke discussion by the audience. We strongly urge balancing time allotted to general points about the common paper themes or points of connection with commentary on individual papers. Since you have limited time to make all your points that are specific to individual papers, we urge you to write down for the authors those most specific or small points so as to facilitate greater attention to the big issues in your oral presentation, which the audience is likely to find most provocative and interesting.
As for style, an important part of the LSA annual meeting culture is that your commentary should be supportive and constructive even when it is critical. The best measure of a discussant’s performance is the quality of exchanges with and from the audience that follow your comments.