Special Topic Sessions
Special Topics Sessions (STS) are submitted by a facilitator. The facilitator organizes and plans the topic(s) and agenda for the session. These sessions can range from 1.5 hours up to 3 hours long.
As an STS facilitator, you are required to obtain and submit presentation length, presentation titles and presenter names during the submission process. If your Special Topic Session is accepted, each presenter will received an acceptance notification. Please make sure they are aware of your submission.
Pre-Conference Workshops (PCW) are an additional cost to the attendee and are submitted by a facilitator. The facilitator organizes the presenters, plants the topic(s) and outlines the agenda during the submission process. PCWs can be half-day or full-day. As the facilitator, please select which option you feel works best for the workshop. The conference planning committee will make all decisions to accept, decline or modify your submission.
As the facilitator you are required to outline presentation lengths, presentation titles, and presenter names during the submission process. If your PCW is accepted, each presenter will receive an accepted notification. Please make sure they are aware of your submission.
PCW facilitators are required to provide materials for the electronic attendee notebook. These materials are due 3-4 weeks prior to the conference date. These can consist of all the presenter biographies, presentations, articles, worksheets, etc. Note: PCW attendee notebook materials are not included in the conference proceedings.
For uniformity, the scale will be from 1 to 5 with the best abstracts rated 5. A rough guideline as to what constitutes a particular score is:
5 – A must-see for everyone and is a valuable abstract/presentation even for those that do not work in the particular area of study.
4 – A must-see for those that work in the same area.
3 – An average abstract/presentation that would hold the interest of those who work in the same area.
2 – A marginal abstract/presentation that would maintain the attention of only those that have vested interest in the particular work.
1 – A poorly constructed abstract/presentation that no one will want to see.
Below are the detailed guidelines provided to those volunteers reviewing abstracts. Consideration is given to originality, work status, technical content, benefits and significance, and abstract quality.
Quality of Abstract
- What was the quality of work (good project design, appropriate applications, etc.)?
- Does it fit with the conference theme (refer to the last page for the call-for-abstracts)?
- The adequacy of an abstract is considered indicative of the quality of the final paper or poster and of the presentation at the conference.
Originality of Work
- Is it a hot topic? Does it present new information? If not, was it presented in at a previous conference (okay but not great) or at a forum that would attract a different audience (minor)? The worst case is a literature review (no data).
- Consider that the paper should deal with new concepts or novel applications of established concepts. It may describe substantial improvements of existing theories or present new data in support ofextension of these theories. Comparative/supportive data should be included.
Usefulness of Work
- Actual benefits and widespread applications should be reported. Is this an unusual case ortypical of general applications?
- Is the work useful to the water industry? Does it conclude anything new that otherwise would be ignored?
- Consider if the abstract demonstrates concrete results with practical applications.
- Is it a sales pitch with no co-author who could speak to real-life pros/cons on the practical application of the technology/process/method (large negative impact)?
- Is there a local connection to the conference site (positive impact)?
- Is the presenter a dynamic speaker? Or a poor speaker?