MSS Meeting/General FAQ’s


Q: What happens to my individual submission when it goes into the submission portal?
A: Once your individual submission (e.g. paper, poster, Pecha Kucha) goes into the submission portal, it becomes part of the MSS Meeting database. Once our portal closes, it will be sent to a “Voluntary Session Organizer,” (VSO), who will have the task of organizing topically-related submissions into sessions. A presider will be selected, and your paper will be placed in a session of papers as closely related as possible. If you are interested in serving as a presider, please indicate that at the time of your submission.

Q: How are sessions organized for the MSS meetings?
A: Sessions are either submitted as closed, i.e. complete sessions, or they are generated through the process of individual submissions organized into topically/thematically-related groups, as described in the answer to the question “What happens to my individual submission when it goes into the submission portal?”.

In a virtual meeting, the format for presentations are either synchronous (meeting together for the entirety of the session/presentations), or asynchronously uploaded presentations, with a designated discussion time. Please review the submission types prior to completing your submission for consultation on the appropriate type for your presentation. Both the synchronous sessions and the asynchronous uploaded presentations and discussions will be organized by themes, according to the processes previously described. 

Q: What functions do the organizer, presider and discussant have in MSS sessions?
A: Sessions with an organizer are now rare in MSS session meetings; they are only applicable in closed sessions and are not listed in the program. Most sessions are organized topically by VSOs.

Presiders manage requesting full papers in advance of the meeting, by keeping presentations on time and facilitating questions and answers for the sessions. Presiders may present in the same session and can also serve as a de facto discussant if no other is available. Presiders will be used both in the synchronous and asynchronous discussion formats, with further clarification provided on the unique components of this role in the virtual meetings.

Discussants, as a unique role with a separate individual, are optional in MSS session meetings. Discussants’ roles include previewing the papers and providing analysis and summary of the connections and significant contributions among the papers. Use of a discussant should be a  careful decision, balanced with time for questions and interactions among the audience members.

Q: I’m not a member of MSS. Do I have to be a member to submit a paper?
A: You do not have to be a member to submit a paper, but you must be an active member to present at the annual meeting. Once you find you have been accepted to present at the meeting, you’ll need to renew, or purchase, your membership by February 1st in order to be included in the program. NOTE: Current members will receive a renewal notice on or around November 1st; at that time, they may renew membership for the 2020 year. 

Q: What deadlines do I need to know throughout the submission and presentation process?
A: Please see our Deadlines page for more information.

Q: If I’m a presenter, do I need to register to attend the annual meeting?
A: Yes, all presenters must register to attend the meeting, whether in person or virtual. Your presentation does not provide complimentary registration.

Q: Is there any financial support available to participate in the meeting?
A: Financial support is available to eligible persons. Learn more about available support on our Awards page.

Q: My paper/presentation doesn’t fit with this year’s theme. Is there a place for me?
A: Yes! There are a number of presentation topics from which you can choose. Select which best fits your paper/presentation at the time of submission. A list of these topics is available on the Call for Submissions page.

Q. Can I submit a paper on which I am sole author and have a colleague present it?
A. No. Only authors or co-authors are permitted to present.

Q: If I am a presenter and find that I cannot attend the meeting as planned, what is the procedure I should follow?  
A: First, if you have co-authors attending, ask one to present in your place, notify the presider, discussant and [email protected]hemss.org of the change and provide them with the new presenter’s information. Second, if an alternative presenter is not possible, notify the presider and discussant immediately of the change and send an e-mail to [email protected] so a replacement paper and presenter can be found. 

QHow will technology be used during the virtual meeting?
A. MSS will employ or recommend a reliable solution (e.g. Zoom) for all synchronous sessions. The presenter will be required to supply their own hardware and internet connectivity for all access and submission purposes.