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RSA Annual Meeting Submission Guidelines

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RSA 2021 submissions

The RSA 2021 Annual Meeting is transitioning to a virtual event platform. Details regarding submissions to the online meeting program, including those already submitted during summer 2020, will be posted on in the coming months. Please see the main RSA 2021 page for more information.

Eligibility and submission limits

Membership requirement

An active RSA membership is required to log in to the Annual Meeting submissions website. This means that the person making the submission—typically the session organizer or the author of an individual paper proposal—must be logged in to a current RSA member account.

Lapsed RSA members, as well as scholars who are new to the RSA, may be added as panelists in a session proposal being organized and submitted by a current RSA member. All participants must ultimately renew or activate their RSA membership to participate in the conference.

Graduate student eligibility

The RSA welcomes graduate student speakers who are within one or two years of defending their dissertations. Predoctoral speakers should present dissertation research, not term papers. Their submitted CVs must include the dissertation title and expected date of completion to make their eligibility clear to the Program Committee.

All session proposals must include at least one speaker who has received the PhD or other terminal degree. Sessions composed entirely of predoctoral speakers and sessions that include precandidates or MA students will not be considered.

Scholars who are established in careers where the highest degree required is an MA are also welcome to present at the RSA conference and often do.

Submission limits: One paper abstract per year

An individual may submit one paper abstract for consideration each year. That one paper may take the form of an individual paper proposal, a paper proposal for a seminar session, or part of an organized panel. The submission software will not permit the submission of more than one paper by the same RSA member.

Note: Paper presentations rolled over from RSA Philadelphia 2020 count as that member's one allotted submission for the Dublin 2021 conference as well.

Roundtables and other session roles

In addition to presenting one paper, an RSA member may participate in one roundtable as a discussant, may chair up to three sessions, and may serve once as a panel respondent.

A member may not serve as chair or respondent in a panel in which he or she is a paper presenter. An organizer may present a paper in his or her own organized panel, but may not chair or act as respondent of that same panel. A member may serve as organizer, chair, and respondent of the same panel.

Here is a summary of the number of submissions permitted depending on your role:

Review Process
RSA Discipline Representatives
up to five sessions
sponsored session submission information
Since the Representatives will have vetted the proposals for quality and coherence, these proposals are accepted as long as they comply with RSA guidelines.
RSA Associate Organizations
(via official representatives)
up to four sessions
sponsored session submission information
Since the Associate Organizations official representatives will have vetted the proposals for quality and coherence, these proposals are also accepted as long as they comply with RSA guidelines.
Individuals submitting session proposals
up to five sessions
These session proposals will be vetted by the Program Committee for quality of papers and coherence of the session.
Individuals submitting an individual paper proposal
A member may submit one paper for consideration as an individual paper proposal. Individual paper proposals will be vetted and accepted proposals formed into compatible sessions by the Program Committee.


An individual may not serve as chair or respondent in a panel in which he or she is a paper presenter.

Here is the maximum number of times an individual may serve in each role at an annual meeting.

Organizer Chair Paper Presenter Respondent Roundtable Discussant Workshop Participant
up to 5 up to 3 sessions
1 1 1 1

An individual may serve as organizer, chair, and respondent of the same panel.

Here are the requirements and limits for session roles.

Organizer Chair Paper Presenters Respondent Discussant
Panel (2 presenters)
at least 1 at least 1
2 1 (required) n/a
Panel (3 presenters)
at least 1 at least 1
3 1 (optional) n/a
Panel (4 presenters)
at least 1 at least 1
4 none allowed n/a
Roundtable at least 1
at least 1
n/a n/a 4 to 8


What's in a proposal?

Individual paper proposal:

  • paper title (15-word maximum)
  • abstract (150-word maximum) abstract guidelines
  • curriculum vitae (.pdf or .doc upload, no longer than 5 pages)
  • PhD or other terminal degree completion date (past or expected)
  • discipline area

Panel proposal:

  • panel title (15-word maximum)
  • a/v requests
  • panel chair
  • respondent (optional)
  • discipline area

Each paper presenter must provide:

  • paper title (15-word maximum)
  • abstract (150-word maximum)
  • curriculum vitae (.pdf or .doc upload, no longer than 5 pages)
  • PhD or other terminal degree completion date (past or expected)
  • full name, current affiliation, and email address

Roundtable proposal:

  • session title (15-word maximum)
  • session abstract (150-word maximum) abstract guidelines
  • discussants (minimum four, maximum eight)
  • a/v requests
  • session chair
  • current email addresses for all participants
  • discipline area

Sponsored sessions: Associate Organizations and Discipline Representatives

If you are an RSA Discipline Representative or Associate Organization Representative, you have been authorized to submit sponsored sessions through a separate submission link on the main submissions page. This sub-menu will allow you to submit sessions for your organization or discipline, and will ensure that those sessions are identified with the proper sponsorship. Discipline Representatives are allotted up to five sponsored sessions, while Associate Organization Representatives are allotted one to four sessions depending on their organization’s size. Associate Organizations are also welcome to submit additional sessions, beyond their allotment, in the general pool.

No matter who actually organizes the sessions for your organization or discipline, only the official RSA representative may submit them with the proper sponsorship. If you are unable to submit in the sponsored module and believe you are authorized to do so, please contact the RSA for assistance. Please do not submit your allotted sponsored sessions to the general submissions pool. You must hold a current RSA membership to access the submissions site.


Sessions may be cosponsored by more than one Associate Organization or Discipline Representative. A cosponsored session counts toward the session allotment for each group. One representative should submit the session under their sponsored allotment. Then, contact to request the cosponsorship be applied. Both sponsoring groups will be listed in the conference program.

Sessions sponsored by Associate Organizations and Discipline Representatives will be reviewed by the Program Committee to ensure that they comply with RSA guidelines. Most paper presenters in sponsored sessions should be members of the sponsoring organization or discipline group.

RSA Membership

To submit a proposal to the RSA Annual Meeting, you must hold an active RSA membership. Lapsed members who wish to submit to the conference should log in to their account and proceed to the Membership Info page to find the renewal link. If you need to reset your password, use this form to send a link to your email on file. If you no longer have access to the email address associated with your past RSA membership, contact to request an update. Please do not create a new account if you have been an RSA member in the past.

If a member of your proposed session isn't in our database

All members of your session must have profiles in our member database. You will have the opportunity to search for them by first and last name when creating your session submission. If a participant is not in our database, you will have the opportunity to add that person, which will create an account in our database that they can later use to pay membership dues and register for the conference. You will need the scholar's name, current email address, and affiliation. Please be sure the email address is valid, or the participant will fail to receive important communications from RSA about conference acceptance and registration.

Cancellation Policy

Acceptance to the conference is a commitment to attend. To withdraw after the registration deadline, except in cases of emergency, is discourteous to your colleagues and to all those whose papers were not accepted for lack of space. If you cannot attend, your paper may not be read by someone else, and you will not be listed in the program. Speakers who fail to register and fail to show up at the conference to give their papers will be barred from speaking at the next year's conference.

If you must cancel your attendance at the RSA Annual Meeting due to an emergency and wish to request a refund, the following rules apply:

A partial refund of the conference registration fee may be available, under limited circumstances.

If you submit a refund request on or before 31 December, you will be refunded 50 percent of your registration fee, minus a $25 administrative fee.

No refunds will be issued for requests sent on or after 1 January.

Exceptions for serious medical and family emergencies will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the RSA Executive Director, President, and Vice President, upon receipt of an explanation. In such cases, if a refund is granted, a $25 administrative fee will be assessed.

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