Abstract Selection for Research Paper
Firstly, the Academic Committee of the 10th International Conference – Seminar on Tamil Studies, thanks all the scholars for responding overwhelmingly to its request to submit abstracts for research papers on eight distinct topics that were published by the committee in summary and in detail. The Committee first released the Request for Abstracts on the conference website in the first week of October, 2018 and immediately thereafter disseminated the request mainly through the regional Vice-chairs to scholars internationally. The abstract submission deadline was initially set as November 30, 2018, but based on requests from few regional Vice-chairs for additional time, the submission deadline was extended to December 15, 2018. The Committee only accepted for the conference those abstracts that were received by December 15, 2018, 11:59:59 PM US Pacific time and abstracts that were received after this deadline were dropped from consideration for the conference. To those authors of the abstracts that were dropped, the Committee empathizes with them sharing the disappointment and pain it might have caused them for missing the deadline after having taken the time and effort to submit an abstract.
Thereafter, the Academic Committee immediately set about accounting for all the abstracts received by the deadline, 1150 in total, which were then further classified by topics to facilitate the review process. To keep its commitment to bring deserving and high-quality research papers for the conference and in order to have a fair and objective evaluation of the abstracts removing any subjectivity and bias in the evaluation process, the Committee decided to adapt a double-blind-review process, to conceal the identity of the author and the reviewer from each other throughout the review process.
To facilitate this review process, an independent team was setup by the Academic Committee who concealed the identity of the authors from the abstracts before sending them to the reviewer. The reviewers were selected by the Academic Committee from among a pool of internationally reputed scholars who were considered specialists in their respective areas that were aligned to the conference topics. Guidelines were provided to the reviewers to individually rate the abstracts into four categories: Excellent, Very Good, Acceptable and Unacceptable. In the review process, a few randomly selected abstracts were sent to an additional reviewer to validate the consistency in the rating among the reviewers.
After the completion of this initial evaluation, the committee carried out an additional review of the abstracts that were rated as ‘Excellent’ and ‘Very Good’ to select the final list of abstracts for research papers that can be considered for presentation at the conference, which amounted to around eleven percent of those accepted for review. The Committee then sent a letter individually to these scholars congratulating them on the selection of their abstracts for research paper and requested them to submit their research paper by March 31, 2019. The scholars were also informed that a final determination of inviting them for presentation at the conference would be dependent upon a review of the research paper for quality and consistency of the contents with the theme of the conference. The letter also stated that the committee plans to complete this review and will communicate its decision to the authors by April 30, 2019.
Those abstracts that did not make the above selection list were dropped from consideration for presenting at the conference but the Academic Committee recognizing that there was potential for a good research paper among them has offered an option to its authors that if they desire they can continue their research paper and submit it by April 30, 2019. The Committee may consider including that research paper in the collection of Conference Research Papers after review and found to be consistent with the theme of the conference.
A third category of those abstracts, that were rated as ‘Acceptable,’ also were dropped from being selected for the conference but the Academic Committee gave its authors a similar option to continue their research if they desire and submit the research paper by April 30, 2019 which the Committee may consider including in the collection of Conference Research Papers after review and found to be consistent with the theme of the conference.
All other Abstracts were categorically dropped from selection for the conference but the Academic Committee has decided to publish those abstracts consistent with the theme of the conference in the collection of Conference Abstracts.
In all cases, the Committee, to show its appreciation for the scholar’s willingness and their time to write an abstract and submit by the deadline for the conference, has emailed individual letters informing them about the decision of the Academic Committee about their abstract and the final letters were emailed by February 19, 2019.
Finally, the Academic Committee expresses its appreciation and thanks all members of the Academic Committee and the review scholars who were involved in the entire selection process of the abstracts. Above all, the Committee expresses its appreciation one more time to all the authors who submitted an abstract and thanks them for their patience and cooperation.