[SIGCIS-Members] REMINDER: SHOT 2013, Portland, ME -- CFP and SIGCIS Panels.

Thomas Haigh thaigh at computer.org
Mon Mar 4 13:04:27 PST 2013

Hello everyone,


So far I have heard from two people with paper ideas for possible
incorporation into a panel, and one group with an existing panel proposal
interested in SIGCIS sponsorship. 


If there is anyone else out there who has an idea for a presentation they'd
like to get into a SIGCIS-organized panel for the main SHOT program then
please send it to me  ASAP so that I can get to work trying to fit the
submissions together.



From: Thomas Haigh [mailto:thaigh at computer.org] 
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2013 1:50 PM
To: members at sigcis.org
Subject: SHOT 2013, Portland, ME -- CFP and SIGCIS Panels.


Hello everyone,


The 2013 CFP for the annual meeting of our parent society, the Society for
the History of Technology is now online. The meeting is 10-13 October, 2013
in Portland Maine, which for international travelers is fairly easy to get
to as it is a 2.5 hour train ride from Boston or a short connecting flight
from many US hub airports. This is NOT the Portland on the west coast.
Meeting details at http://www.historyoftechnology.org/annual_meeting.html.
Deadline March 31. I lived in Maine for two years, and from the viewpoint of
Waterville in central Maine, Portland was a big bustling place with mild
weather and fancy restaurants. For Bostonians it's a small quaint town in
the exotic north with a blue collar tinge. Anyway, the weather will probably
be quite nice in mid-October. SHOT is a friendly conference, open to
newcomers. It's a good opportunity to meet people interest in the history of
computing, but also to interact with the broader community of historians of


SHOT traditionally has some themes in its CFP, but I do not see any this
time, just "any topic in the history of technology, broadly defined." Note:
this is NOT the call for the annual SIGCIS workshop, which usually takes
place on the final Sunday of the conference. Our call will follow and will
have a much later deadline.


Below is the description I prepared last year for those interested in SHOT
and in the service SIGCIS offers of trying to assemble ideas from people
interested in presenting in the main conference and knitting the resulting
abstracts into coherent, relevant panel proposals. Andrew Russell is now
SIGCIS Chair Elect, and so I'll be working jointly with him to get the
panels together this year.




SIGCIS generally organizes two or three panel proposals for the main SHOT
conference, and individual members sometimes also use the email list to put
together panel proposals with SIG sponsorship. These proposals are reviewed
like any others by the SHOT program committee. Sponsorship doesn't guarantee
acceptance, but working with the SIG raises the chance of your paper being
part of a coherent, relevant, and polished proposal. We also work to match
people at different career stages, of different genders, and in different
countries which the CFP says will boost chances of acceptance.


If you are interested in being part of such a panel please send me an
informal expression of interest with a brief description of your possible
contribution. I would like this by March 3, well ahead of SHOT's March 31
deadline, so that we have plenty of time to work on the panels.  I then try
to find common themes to develop in the topics that could tie them together
into a coherent looking proposal, and work with the authors to refine the
individual abstracts to meet the expectations of historians of technology.


SIGCIS members are also encouraged to develop their own panel proposals.
These can also be sponsored by the SIG. Feel free to reply to the list
(members at sigcis.org) to find additional panel members. For some years now
SHOT has been calling for more diverse kinds of proposal, such as
roundtables or interactive sessions. I've been told that not many are
submitted, but the program committee is open to them. 




Certain things are normal for history conferences but can confuse those from
other disciplines. SHOT isn't usually as explicit about some things in its
call as it could be. (NB: this part seemed to offend a few people last year,
but it's just making explicit the taken-for-granted cultural practices of
history conferences for the benefit of those who haven't been to graduate
school in the humanities. I'm not judging anyone. For example, in computer
science full papers are reviewed, scores and comments are shared with
authors, accepted papers are published in proceedings, and everyone is
expected to use LaTEX rather than Word. At ASIS&T, the main information
science conference, panels and reviewed papers are expected to feature quite
different kinds of content and there's a taboo against assembling scholarly
papers into a panel format. So if you ever venture outside history you will
realize that our practices are not universal.)


What you need to know: 


.         Panels generally run for 90 minutes and consist of three
panelists, a commentator, and a chair. Speakers get about 20 minutes each,
with 10 for the commentator, 10-15 for questions, and the remaining few
minutes lost in setup, handover, and late return of the audience from the
coffee break. Some panels are proposed as a whole. Others are assembled by
the program committee from papers submitted individually.

.         Most people now use PowerPoint, at least for images. Some people
use bullet points. Many historians still read papers word for word.

.         Reviewing is based on a one page abstract and one page cv, and
thus is obviously not double blind. Usually about 1/3 of submissions are
rejected, but you will never know why as you do not receive comments from
the reviewers. At least I've never received any. Selection is done by the
program committee members themselves, with program balance and session
coherence a concern. Therefore the odds of being accepted are generally
higher as part of a coherent panel than as an individual paper. 

.         The full paper is never reviewed or published, but you are still
expected to write out some version of it for the commentator to read prior
to the meeting.  The commentator is supposed to weave together useful common
threads in the papers, add context where missing, and make suggestions on
possible improvements. This role is known as a "discussant" in some
disciplines. SHOT commentators generally err on the side of niceness,
particularly versus some discussion I've seen in business schools.

.         All the chair does is to introduce the speakers, moderate the
question period, and make sure that everything runs to time. It's a good way
to get yourself onto the program if you don't have any new work to present.

.         Only one paper submission per person per year is allowed.  SHOT
discourages people from speaking two years running, but this has usually
been waived in the year following an "overseas" meeting, and last year's
meeting was in Copenhagen. I don't see anything in the 2013 call one way or

.         SHOT usually has travel money from the NSF and other sources to
help graduate student presenters and those "between jobs." This is applied
for separately after acceptance of your paper.


Best wishes,



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