Call for Session Proposals: ARCHIVES * RECORDS: Ensuring Access

More, more, more. . . . More networking, more participation, more energy, more variety!

As the Council of State Archivists, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, and the Society of American Archivists join forces in Washington, DC, August 10–16, 2014, for our third Joint Annual Meeting, we encourage—and challenge!—you to propose sessions that will inspire and engage your professional colleagues. We’ve added several new session types and increased the opportunity for broader and more involved participation.

The 2014 Program Committee seeks sessions and presentations that broaden our perspectives and address the commonalities among archivists in all specializations and records administrators in various settings to ensure that the record is available to all who will benefit from it.

Proposal Evaluation

Session proposals are welcome on any aspect of archives and records management practices—local, national, and international—as well as their intersections with other professions and domains. Proposals will be evaluated on the strength of the 150-word abstract, the diversity of the speakers and their experience, the completeness of the proposal, and relevance to the meeting theme. Session proposals should incorporate one or more of the following:

  • A strong connection to the program’s theme (Archives*Records: Ensuring Access).
  • Inclusion of diverse or international perspectives and initiatives.
  • Relevance to CoSA, NAGARA, and SAA members and other interested attendees.
  • An intention to address the impact of the given topic for CoSA, NAGARA, or SAA members and/or the archives and records management professions.

Session Formats

The Program Committee encourages submission of proposals that may include, but are not limited to, the following formats:

  • Traditional. Open session (i.e., unlimited attendance) of seventy-five or sixty minutes, consisting of two or three fully prepared papers of fifteen minutes each and a comment-anddiscussion period. Please do not propose sessions of more than three presenters. A chair is not required for this format; chair duties may be performed by one of the speakers. Paper titles are required.
  • Incubator Session. Open session of sixty minutes, consisting of two presentations of ten minutes each that describe project, research, or collaboration initiatives in their developing or formative stages, and including at least forty minutes for audience feedback and discussion.
  • Special Focus Session. Open session of sixty minutes designed to highlight innovative archives or records management programs, new techniques, and research projects. Audience participation is significant.
  • Panel Discussion. Open session of seventy-five or sixty minutes, consisting of a panel of three to five individuals who informally discuss a variety of theories or perspectives on the given topic. A moderator is required; a commentator is optional.
  • Poster Presentation. Report in which information is summarized using brief written statements and graphic materials, such as photographs, charts, graphs, and/or diagrams mounted on poster board. Presenters will be assigned a specific time at which they must be with their poster to discuss it with attendees.
  • Lightning Talks. Eleven lively and informative five-minute talks in a sixty-minute Lightning Talk session format. The session chair secures commitments from speakers and compiles all presentation slides to ensure timely speaker transitions. Proposals in this category may suggest recommended presenters, but commitments should be secured soon after the proposal is accepted.
  • [NEW!] Alternative Format. Open session of sixty minutes in a structured sharing environment. Sessions may take a variety of alternative forms, such as world café, with four meeting stations positioned around the room with a discussion topic posted at each, allowing participants to rotate through a variety of discussions; fishbowl discussion, in which a small number of chairs are placed in the center of a large circle and participants cycle into the center chairs to speak and take questions from the audience; Pecha Kucha 20x20, a simple presentation format in which twenty images are shown, each for twenty seconds; or any number of conference session formats. We welcome your creative ideas for how your topic might best be addressed! Proposals in this category must specify the format and session facilitator and may suggest up to four presenters who will be involved in the session.

Reminder for Proposal Submitters and Session Participants

To broaden participation in the conference, no individual may participate as a speaker in more than one session (with the exception of the lightning talk format or other "alternative" format). Session proposers should ensure that all participants understand this policy, which will be strictly observed by the Program Committee.

Archivists and records managers who participate in the program must register and secure institutional or personal funding. Participants who are not archivists or records managers, or who are from outside the United States and Canada, may be eligible for complimentary registration upon request. CoSA, NAGARA, and SAA cannot provide funding for speakers, whether they are international, nonarchivists, non–records managers, members, or nonmembers.

Proposals for the 2014 Joint Annual Meeting are due on October 7, 2013 [deadline extended]

Please note that the Program Committee will not be able to consider proposals received after the deadline.

To submit a proposal: Download, complete, and email the form at [not available]. For additional information, see “Instructions for Completing the Session Proposal Form” or contact 2014 Program Committee co-chairs Jami Awalt, Rachel Muse, and Arlene Schmuland at


See also Call for Continuing Education Proposals.

Annual Meeting referenced: