2017 Call for Abstracts & Sessions
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Submission Types

The Conference Committee of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning cordially invites faculty, researchers and students in planning to submit proposals for:

  • Individual paper presentations
  • Roundtable discussions
  • Poster presentations - More Details
  • Lightning presentations for Housing and Transportation tracks (new for 2017!) - More Details
  • Pre-organized sessions - Before submitting, we strongly suggest you take a look at the Instructions
  • Non-Reviewed Sessions - Instructions & Submission Form

All Abstract Submissions
Please note that ALL proposals with the exception of non-reviewed sessions (see above), should contain the required information as described below including keywords and references.

If you think that any of the following requirements are inappropriate for your work, please provide other relevant information. You will not have the option to attach full bibliographies, reports, or full papers during the abstract submission process.

Your abstract should contain the following information in about 600 words and be suitable for publication online without any further editing:

  • Central theme or hypothesis: what research question are you trying to address?
  • Approach and methodology: how will you address that question?
  • Findings
  • Relevance of your work to planning scholarship, practice, or education
  • Key words
  • 3-5 major references to allow the track chair to place your work in its field [you will be limited to 5 references]

PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD your abstract submission while online! Abstracts cannot be altered after the submission deadline.

Abstract submissions for papers, posters and lightning presentations should have clear research questions, be of import and pertinence to planning, use acceptable methodology, present results, and discuss implications for scholarship, practice, or education.

Only abstracts that meet these criteria will be accepted for the conference.

Key Words
Provide at least one, but no more than five.

  • Key words help track chairs in putting together coherent paper sessions.
  • The Book of Accepted Abstracts published to www.acsp.org will have an index of key words.

Provide at least three, but no more than five.

  • The abstract submission system will restrict the listing of references to a total of five (5) references.
  • In the past, submissions have been rejected because of a lack of references.

AICP Credit Eligibility for Your Submission
AICP pre-approves the ACSP Conference sessions so AICP members know the sessions they attend will be accepted for continuing education credits. During the abstract submission process, you will be required to use a pull-down menu to indicate an AICP-related topic for your abstract. There may not be a perfect fit choice, but select the one that seems the closest to your topic. This is a list created by the AICP.

Submission Fee & Payment Policy
The required fee for online submission is $25 per abstract, prior to finalizing the submission.

  • ACSP does not accept abstract submissions by email, fax or mail.
  • Abstracts sent directly to the track chair will not be accepted.
  • Payment of the submission fee requires the use of a credit card. ACSP accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover.
  • There are no abstract submission fee refunds.

Poster Sessions
Posters are a highly effective way to present one’s research. For 2017 we enthusiastically encourage faculty, researchers and students to submit poster proposals highlighting their work. Posters can be set up anytime Thursday of the conference in the exhibit hall. The conference will feature accepted posters during a reception in the exhibit hall for several hours on Friday afternoon. Posters will remain on display until the end of the conference. Posters are subjected to the same rigorous review process as papers, except that the materials in posters have to be well-suited for visual presentations. Two best-poster awards will be presented: One chosen by a panel of judges and the other by conference attendees. The winners will be announced at the Saturday Luncheon.

All posters should be about 30 x 40 inches, in either portrait or landscape orientation.

Authors may present both a paper and a poster at the conference, but not from the same abstract submission. Authors must be in attendance during the Friday afternoon reception in the exhibit hall to discuss their poster or they will not be considered for Best Poster.

The presentation of a poster does not require a submitted final paper.

Lightning Presentations for Transportation and Housing & Community Development Tracks
The format for lightning presentations is designed to provide lively, informative, interaction among the researcher, discussant and the audience. Requirements for the abstract submission are the same for the lightning presentation option as they are for posters and papers.

Five minutes will be allowed for each presentation; a live countdown clock will be visible. Presenters will be warned when one minute remains, and when time is up, the presentation ends, even if in mid-sentence!

Five (5) minutes of discussion and Q&A from the audience will follow each presentation. If questions from the audience do not fill up the 5 minutes, the moderator will move on to the next presentation.

  • Each presenter will be allowed three slides maximum (not including the title). It is required these slides be turned in on Thursday of the conference. No changes will be allowed after turning them in.
  • The presentation does not require a submitted final paper.
  • The audience will be invited to submit additional questions or comments directly to researchers immediately following the presentation using the conference app (instructions to attendees will be provided).
  • We will be looking for strong moderators and discussants for this new presentation format!
  • Track chairs reserve the right to assign Individual oral [paper] presentations to a lightning session.

Pre-Organized Sessions
The conference committee encourages the grouping of papers in pre-organized sessions that have strong intellectual merit, but reserves the right to realign papers when it has all the proposals. Pre-organized sessions that comprise all faculty from one university or only students will be rejected unless the organizers provide justification for the listed authors.

Please read the instructions for submitting a pre-organized session before attempting to do so in the abstract submission process.

A pre-organized session requires one lead person to work in the abstract submission system before the other authors. This leader creates a session title and completes additional general information fields including the name and email address of the primary author for each of the included papers. Once the session is created, the system will then email the participating authors with a link they can use to submit their own papers. Although we cannot guarantee the discussant will not have a schedule conflict, we recommend this session organizer invite a discussant for the session. Please email a note to the conference coordinator, Donna Dodd, so she can track the session’s successful submission: ddodd@acsp.org.

If you submit a pre-organized session with only 3 papers, the session will be scheduled in a 60 minute time slot; a 4 paper session in a 75 minute time slot; and a 5 paper session will be scheduled in a 90 minute time slot. The fact that your session is pre-organized does not preclude track chairs from asking the pre-organized session organizer if additional papers may be added to your session.

Roundtable Submissions
Successful roundtables are those that have the clearest focus and foster discussions. Participants listed in the program should make short summaries of their viewpoints and engage in discussions with each other and the audience. A roundtable requires an organizer who submits the abstract and confirms participants, a moderator to manage the session at the conference (optionally the same person or different people), and a minimum of three participants in order to remain on the program. A successful roundtable requires strict enforcement of time limits that leaves a large block of time for audience participation. Roundtable session do not include any paper presentations and are generally placed in a 60-minute time slot.


Track Information

The 2017 conference will be organized around fifteen tracks. You must indicate one track to which you are submitting the abstract. Many – perhaps most – topics cut across two or more tracks. If you are uncertain about the appropriate placement for your work, we encourage you to correspond with relevant track chairs before submitting the abstract. During the abstract submission process, you will be asked to indicate a second track to which the abstract relates closely.

Do not mail or email your final abstract submission directly to a track chair. It must be submitted through the abstract submission website.


The Fate of Your Submission

ACSP uses a blind review process. Due to the volume of submissions, proposals will either be rejected or accepted. Many excellent proposals are rejected due to lack of space on the final conference agenda.

  • If an author’s abstract is rejected for an paper presentation, the author will not be offered the opportunity to present the work as a poster or as a lightning presentation.
  • Track chairs may invite authors of acceptable abstracts to present their work as posters if the track chair believes that the work is suited to a poster presentation. Such a request is not a statement about the quality of the proposed work; it is a statement about whether the research is better suited to a paper or poster presentation. The final decision is with the track chair and the track chair has the option to reject the paper if the author does not agree to switch to a poster.



All authors related to an abstract submission will receive an email indicating acceptance or not for the 2017 conference. If you did not receive yours, and your co-authors did, please check your spam or junk mail folders before contacting ddodd@acsp.org.

Authors should get in touch with track chairs if they wish to receive feedback on their abstract.


Multiple Program Placements

Participants on the final program are limited to:

  • one presentation of a paper whether in a paper session, pre-organized paper session, or lightning presentation session;
  • one placement on a roundtable;
  • one (or two max) placement(s) as a discussant of an oral paper presentation or lightening presentation session;
  • one placement in a poster session

A reminder that lightning presentation sessions are restricted to the Housing track and the Transportation track.

Substitutions of types of placements are not permitted. If you have more than one appearance in one of the categories in this paragraph, in fairness to everyone, we will ask you to withdraw the additional appearance(s) and to inform the appropriate track chair(s) prior to the scheduling of sessions.


Important Information for Students

If you are a masters or doctoral student, you may submit an abstract for a paper, poster or lightning presentation based on research undertaken in collaboration with a faculty member. Students may also submit abstracts for papers, posters or lightning presentations based on the results of research from their dissertation or thesis. The abstract submission system will require you to certify that either or both of these conditions are met, and you will be asked to include the name and e-mail address of your advisor or dissertation supervisor with your submission so that track chairs can confirm this information. In submitting a paper to the conference, your advisor or dissertation supervisor certifies that your research is ready for presentation at a national, flagship conference.

Students may submit an abstract for a paper, poster or lightning presentation based on research undertaken independent of collaboration or supervision with a faculty member. The abstract submission system will ask you to confirm your research was undertaken independent of collaboration or supervision with a faculty member.

Student submissions are evaluated using the same criteria as all other submissions.

Abstract submissions for general purpose papers or for work done in preparation for qualifying exams will be rejected and as a reminder, there are no abstract submission fee refunds.


Final Papers Are Required

You are required to submit a final paper to both your session discussant and conference organizers by Monday, October 2, 2017. Final papers are required for those presenting in a paper session or pre-organized session, but not required for posters, roundtables, or lightning presentations.

The names of authors that submit by the October 2nd deadline and the title of their presentation will be highlighted in the program and in the conference app as having a paper available on request for attendees. Conference attendees often use this information to judge the quality of a session they are considering attending.

Discussants are not required to provide comments on presentations for which final papers were not submitted.

  • You will not be allowed to change the content of an abstract after it has been submitted.
  • Over the course of the summer, you may make minor modifications to the title of the final paper.
  • You may not substitute different research if the original research is not complete. Please notify conference organizers that you must withdraw as soon as you know this is necessary.
  • Submitted final papers are not considered “published” when submitted to conference organizers. Your colleagues will be instructed to contact you directly.



Track Chairs will invite and do their best to confirm discussants for all paper sessions. We welcome volunteers and suggestions for discussants proffered by authors and pre-organized session leaders. If you are willing to act as discussant or have a suggestion or nomination, there is a simple form to complete through this link. Discussants may serve two sessions if invited to do so.


Scheduling Requests

ACSP recognizes ONLY religious holidays as valid reasons for scheduling requests. Once the schedule is created, authors who cannot present during their scheduled time must withdraw their paper from the program. We strongly recommend you do not make travel reservations until you know your schedule, which should be available in late July.


Book of Accepted Abstracts

PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD your abstract submission while online! The Book of Accepted Abstracts will be posted at the ACSP website, so it is important that references are complete, all names are spelled correctly, and the text is proofread thoroughly. We cannot edit your submission after publication and there will not be an opportunity for you to edit your work after the abstract submission deadline.


Student Paper Awards

Please see detailed information about awards for students and faculty.

  • Online submission or nomination is required and open now.
  • The deadline for most submissions or nominations is June 1.
  • While not all student awards offer a cash prize; all winners of student paper awards will be granted complimentary conference registration including a ticket to the opening reception.

Notifications by Award Committee Chairs directly to winners will be sent in early August in order for the student to make advance plans to attend the conference in October.

All faculty and student winners will be significantly recognized in all available media (web site, news articles, web profiles, social media announcements, and in the final print program. There will not be a student award ceremony at this year’s conference. Authors of award winning student papers, as always, will be invited to present their work in a highlighted session on Saturday of the conference.



Program questions should be addressed to: Rayman Mohamed, ACSP National Conference Committee Chair, rayman.mohamed@wayne.edu.

Abstract submission procedure and payment questions should be addressed to: Donna Dodd, Abstract Submission Manager and Conference Director, ddodd@acsp.org.


The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.


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