For a comprehensive guide, please download the slides and the Frequently Asked Questions for the Annual Meeting session "Orientation for Session Chairs and Discussants".
Your role as a "session leader" in a discussion paper session
may be formally defined as Chair or Discussant. Where there is a separate Chair, this person handles
introductions and time keeping, and the Discussant guides the content of the session.
In a Discussion paper session, presenters engage with each
others' work more than in a traditional paper session. Session
participants are expected to read all the papers assigned to their
session. To stimulate discussion, participants will present and
comment on papers of their fellow participants rather than their
The role of the session leader is to provide further
constructive feedback on each of the papers and/or future research
in the area and to moderate the discussion. Try to identify shared
constructs, linked findings, and contradictory results that emerge
across papers. Also, try to identify on-going debates, themes, and
puzzles within the topic domain and how the group of papers
contributes to them.
Here are some guidelines to help you prepare for and manage your
- Check for changes to your session.
Assign papers to participants and explain their
- Check the Online Program and the Program Addendum for any updates / changes to your session.
- Papers will continue to be withdrawn even until the actual sessions take place at the Meeting. Please check periodically for withdrawn papers in your session(s).
Prepare constructive feedback.
- Once the conference program is finalized, please make an
informed decision regarding which session participants should
present which papers and inform them of their tasks. You may find
it helpful to request confirmations from the authors of their
acceptance of their presentation tasks.
- Session participants' tasks are two-fold:
(a) Read all papers and prepare at least one comment regarding how
each of the papers could be improved or further developed, or how
they contribute to your own thinking or research.
(b) Prepare a brief summary of the assigned paper (up to 10
minutes) and up to 5 minutes of comments. It may be useful to
prepare slide printouts to aid in your presentation and distribute
them as handouts to fellow session participants. Make sure the
focal author(s) receive your feedback in writing.
Ensure participants' preparation level .
- Contribute to the discussion by helping to identify the most
promising direction for the papers' further development. You may
also be able to point to particularly promising future research in
Aim for an enriching experience in a supportive
- Remind the session participants of their tasks as the
conference approaches. You may find it helpful to request of
the participants to share their notes on the paper summaries and
comments with you several days in advance of your
session. Ensure the feedback is constructive and
- Decide on a logical sequence for presentations and allocate
time to presenters. Allow the focal author(s) to reply briefly
to comments on their papers before allowing comments from other
participants and/or commenting yourself. Time and moderate the
Annual Meeting Roles:
The Presenter Role
Session Leaders in a Traditional Paper Session
The Presenter's Guide
Onsite Session Participation