Before we comment on the conference, let us say that we recognize the extreme circumstances that our community is enduring and thank all of you as you rise to the challenge of supporting others, whether professionally or personally. We know many of our educational institutions are pivoting to online courses and our community is on the front line in executing these shifts, while simultaneously supporting family, friends, the community, and we hope you make time for self-care.
We took some time to deliberate on next steps with the OTESSA conference after Congress announced that there will be no on-campus conference. We wanted to hear from you. We are 100% confident in our ability to proceed with running a traditional intensive 3-day online conference, given all of the expertise within our board and members, but now is not the time. We are opting for a flexible conference model instead. We want to recognize the toll that this pandemic will take on our community and recognize the priorities for physical and mental health. We have not even faced the full impact of being sick, caring for those who are sick, or even being in mourning. We do not wish to add more at this time on an already burdened community. That said, we also recognize this is an isolating time as well, and we have an opportunity to provide options for our community to connect and support each other. We do not feel this has to take the shape of a traditional conference, however, whether online or onsite. Here is our plan:
- We will proceed with only publishing the proceedings that were accepted for both the research-oriented and practice-oriented submissions.
- We will proceed with inviting selected presenters to submit full papers to be a part of a new OTESSA journal that we will launch with Valerie Irvine, Michele Jacobsen, and George Veletsianos as the co-editors. The invitations will be guided by the feedback received from reviewers, who had the option to recommend a proceeding submission for a full paper invitation. These papers will comprise the first issue of the journal. Stay tuned for developments on this front.
- Currently, we do not plan to proceed with any conference presentations in the traditional 3-day format, even online. Instead, we are opting for a flexible conference model over the month of June. We will not have any keynotes, but we will support personalized options below to meet the diverse needs of our community at this time to either not connect or seek connection.
- We have cancelled the April 15 door crasher call for submissions.
We recognize that some presenters, with or without a proceeding, still seek to share their knowledge under the OTESSA 2020 umbrella and to connect with others to learn about the developments in their research or practice. In a pandemic, we feel it is unlikely that everyone would find the same 3-day window suitable. Some presenters, however, might be sick, busy caring for sick loved ones, or swamped supporting the pivot to online and may wish to take a pass.
Options for Presenters
- To present synchronously
- Anyone wishing to proceed with this option will have to self-organize.
- To provide support, we can collect and post details on our blog listing and promote via social media. We will provide an option to fill out a form with session details, such as title, presenters, date, time, sign-up link to access the video room.
- For members who do not have a video room, contact us and we can provide one.
- To present asynchronously via a blog post (open access)
- We will be aggregating presenter blog posts on our conference site or, for those who do not have a blog, we can publish directly on our site.
- A combination of 1 and 2
- To move forward with a proceeding (or full paper upon invitation), but decline to present
- Defer the presentation and/or proceeding (or full paper upon invitation) to our 2021 conference
- To withdraw completely from both the presentation and/or proceeding
Presenters are encouraged to select dates for asynchronous or synchronous sharing anytime in June. We recognize and expect that many people may forego the presentation option. We hope this personalized approach will best serve the diverse needs of our community at this time. Please be patient with us. We will contact you directly to learn which option you wish to proceed with, although you will need to proceed to cancel your registration with Congress and any accommodation as per below.
Membership & Registration Fees
Please note that this flexible conference presentation approach will not proceed under the umbrella of the Congress conference. We are grateful for the various sponsors who have supported the launch of OTESSA and we feel we can proceed using that support without having to charge any registration fee, given we expect few presentations to proceed.
- Presenters and authors must be OTESSA members to present synchronously or asynchronously, or to publish a proceeding/paper in 2020. This will support our operations, copyediting, flexible conference model, and new journal.
- Attendees who sign up to participate in a synchronous session will not be required to be members and all of our asynchronous presentations will be open access.
- We do encourage all members to renew their 2020 membership this spring, regardless of whether you are presenting or not, to support the growth of OTESSA and the ability to support additional community-building initiatives during this coming year.
Please stay tuned for further information on how to renew your membership with OTESSA as we now have to create that process separately from the Congress system. No one will be required to pay for the Congress registration portion or the OTESSA registration portion of the fees to present or participate in #OTESSA20 presentations or proceedings/papers.
At this time, EVERYONE who registered for OTESSA through the Congress website will need to request their own registration to be refunded from Congress, since we are withdrawing from participation in Congress for this year. This is an important step as your registration through Congress will not be applicable or transferrable to the flexible conference model we are mounting. The deadline to get a registration refund is April 30 and you can do that here. You may also contact the Federation at firstname.lastname@example.org. The $25 administration fee has been waived.
If you booked accommodation, please make sure that you do not forget to cancel it. To cancel your accommodation, send an email to email@example.com or contact your relevant host (e.g. hotel, AirBnB) to cancel your reservation.
Citing Your Work (Whether Cancelled or Not)
Please see this resource for how to cite a presentation that was to be given at a conference that was cancelled. That said, you have options. OTESSA20 at Congress was cancelled. Should you wish to withdraw entirely, you should use the first citation in the linked resource to cite the OTESSA conference in the Congress setting. If you move forward with publishing your proceeding, you could still list it as part of the Congress event, even though it was cancelled. See here for an example of how one references a conference proceeding (as part of a journal). Should you wish to proceed with an online presentation, however, it will NOT be associated with Congress, but will be as part of a separate OTESSA conference event at this time. See here for an example of how one references a conference presentation and use just the date in June that your presentation was shared.
We would like to end by expressing our sincere gratitude for everyone’s commitment to participate in our new community. We were expecting approximately 200 people from around the world and whose work in research and practice has provided global leadership in our field. We are extremely excited for OTESSA 2021, which will be held at the University of Alberta, and to the launch of our new journal. Given recent developments with the uptake of online learning and online research activities, we expect a surge of interest at next year’s conference. We know our collective expertise and wisdom is more important than ever at this time and we look forward to working together to provide leadership in the months and years ahead.
Please stay safe and take good care of yourself and each other.
Please direct your #OTESSA20 questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and your Congress registration and accommodation questions to one of the emails listed above.