ISA World Congress of Sociology

Guidelines for Program Coordinators and Session Organizers

1. Conference format

Session allocation

The number of sessions will be allocated based on the number of the ISA members in good standing in the group as of October 2021 according to the scheme provided below. Members in good standing are individual members who have paid both ISA and the RC/WG/TG membership due for the current year.

Nº of ISA members in each group as of October 2021 Nº of sessions
250 members and more 26
200-249 members 24
150-199 members 22
100-149 members 18
50- 99 members 14
25- 49 members 10
<25 members 6

The number of allocated sessions is the total number of all sessions assigned to RC/WG/TG and includes all types of sessions as well as:

  1. A time slot for a Business Meeting;
  2. Joint sessions. Joint sessions cannot constitute more than 50% of all sessions in which a RC/WG/TG is involved (as host and/or co-organizer).

Type of sessions

RC/WG/TG are encouraged to diversify the form of their sessions. A combination of the following types of sessions is suggested:

  • Paper presentation session
    It is recommended that each session uses its 110 minutes to accommodate 4-5 papers and 15-20 minutes of collective discussion.
    All other papers should be listed as distributed papers in the relevant session and serve as “waitlist” for Session Organizers. These papers will be listed in the program and, providing the authors register in time, their abstracts will be included in the abstracts book. If a participant does not show up, the first participant listed under distributed papers will be asked to present a paper.
  • Featured or Keynote Speaker
    A session featuring a leading researcher in one of the RC/WG/TG fields, with a presentation of between 35 and 60 minutes duration, followed by a discussion period. This kind of session can attract more people from outside your group.
    These sessions are organized directly by Program Coordinators and/or Session Organizers and are not open for abstract submission.
  • Panel Session
    Panel session accommodates a larger number of invited panelists who will debate around a specific theme or on current issues of particular importance to the area of research. The floor will then be opened to the audience.
    Panel sessions are organized directly by Program Coordinators and/or Session Organizers and are not open for abstract submission.
  • Invited Session
    Sessions organized directly by Program Coordinators and/or Session Organizers.
    These are not open for abstract submission.
  • Author meets their Critics
    A debate around an important recent publication that could be presented by the author(s), with commentators and opening the floor to the audience. These sessions are organized directly by Program Coordinators and/or Session Organizers and are not open for abstract submission.
  • Roundtable Session
    In order to accommodate more papers, a regular session time-slot may be used for a maximum of 5 concurrent running round table presentations in one room (maximum of 5-6 presenters at each table).  Five tables will be set up at the same time and in the same room.  Each table will accommodate 10 persons including the presenters (suggested number of 5 presenters).  Each RC can organize up to 2 Round Table sessions within its overall sessions allotment.
  • Poster session
    Poster presentations of research information and results. Each RC can organize up to 2 Poster sessions within its overall sessions allotment. Each RC will be given a specific date/time for its Poster Session.
  • Joint Session
    Joint Sessions are sessions organized jointly by two or more RCs, or an RC combined with a WG or TG on a theme of overlapping interest. Please note that Joint Sessions must be included in the regular session allocation of one of the participating units. Joint sessions cannot constitute more than 50% of all sessions in which a RC/WG/TG is involved (as host and/or co-organizer).
  • Integrative Session
    Integrative Sessions connect around a debate on a common theme at least 3 Research Committees, Working Groups, Thematic Groups, National Associations (ISA collective members), or a combination of any 3 units.
  • Business Meeting
    Each RC/WG/TG is obliged to hold a Business Meeting to discuss current organizational matters as well as to conduct election, if appropriate. As an evening time-slot 19:30-20:50 is shorter and lasts only 80 minutes, it is recommended for Business Meeting.
  • Other formats
    Having a variety of types of sessions can enhance the quality of a meeting, especially if the organizers find the right people to participate in them. The above are simply suggestions. Other formats, such as a hands-on workshop, or a session on pedagogy may also be appropriate for your group.

Linguistic diversity

Although English is the administrative language of ISA, the Association does have three official languages, English, French and Spanish.

Presentations are primarily in the official three. However RC/WG/TGs are encouraged to support language diversity. If paper presentations are in languages other than English, then it is up to the RC/TG/WG to work this out creatively, given that ISA does not have funds to support simultaneous interpretation.

Suggested possibilities:

  • to have a translation of the abstract available as overheads, Power Point or distributed hard copy;
  • for the presenter to use a mixture of English and their preferred language;
  • to provide an oral sequential informal interpretation/summary by another RC member; 
  • to have a whispered interpretation/ summary provided by another RC member;
  • to have a volunteer typing on a computer a summary of the remarks as they are made;

Most likely, there are other strategies as well. Implementing the strategies requires advanced planning, including the recruiting of qualified volunteers. It is equally important that the possibility of using such strategies also be widely known in advance, for the information of both potential paper presenters and also members of the audience and for the necessary technological devices to be available on the spot. Conference rooms are provided with screen and computer for PowerPoint presentations.

2. Program Coordinators and Session Organizers

Role of Program Coordinator and Session Organizer

The Program Coordinator of each RC, WG and TG is responsible for organizing a program of high-quality sessions.

In cooperation with the Board of the group the Program Coordinator must define session themes and, perhaps, an overall theme for the group’s program, and choose competent Session Organizers who will ensure that the program achieves the academic quality expected at a World Congress.

The Program Coordinator will be contacted by the ISA Secretariat about any matters concerning the group’s program and, if needed, the Program Coordinator will then inform Session Organizers.

After the issuing of the Call for Papers, the Program Coordinator will help Session Organizers to decide on acceptance of abstracts submitted on-line by conference participants. If needed, the Program Coordinator can transfer abstracts between various sessions of the group.  

The Program Coordinator is expected to keep close track of the progress made by each Session Organizer and decide on the final structure of the program. The Program Coordinator is also responsible for sessions’ schedule.

Session Organizer is responsible for all correspondence concerning the session. It is the Session Organizer’s responsibility to submit accurate details about the session. All changes/updates should be done via on-line system.

It is very important that Program Coordinators and Session Organizers respect conference deadlines. No extension of deadlines is possible.

3. Duties and deadlines

March 7, 2022  24:00 GMT

Announcing Program Coordinators:  RC/WG/TG provide name and contact details of Program Coordinator to the ISA Secretariat

May 10, 2022  24:00 GMT

Submission of proposals to the ISA Secretariat for:

May 31, 2022: Announcing the Program Committee decision on accepted proposals

May 2 - 31, 2022  24:00 GMT

Call for Sessions

  • RC/WG/TG session proposer must submit session’s description on-line via Confex platform.  
  • Invited Session organizer (RC/WG/TG, Presidential, Plenary, LOC sessions, etc.) must submit session’s description on-line via Confex platform.  <

June 1 - 26, 2022  24:00 GMT

Final list of Sessions: RC/WG/TG Program Coordinator must finalize a list of sessions. Sessions format, titles, descriptions and the language in which they will be held (English, French or Spanish), as well as contact details of session organizers (name, affiliation, country, e-mail) will be available on the ISA conference platform run by Confex.

July 1 - September 30, 2022  24:00 GMT

Abstracts submission: Participants and organizers of invited sessions must submit abstracts on-line via Confex platform. Abstracts must be submitted in English, French or Spanish. Only abstracts submitted on-line will be considered in the selection process.

October 7 - November 7, 2022  24:00 GMT

Abstracts selection:  Session Organizer must complete selection of abstracts and provide a final presentation designation (oral, distributed, poster, round table). Session Organizers move good quality abstracts unsuited for their sessions to the Program Coordinator’s bin for transfer to another session.

Note: abstracts transfers should be done to the Program Coordinator’s bin as early as possible so that good abstracts may be transferred to other appropriate sessions to enable organizers to consider these transferred abstracts and make decisions within the deadlines.

Session Organizers add chairs, co-chairs, discussants, and panellists to their sessions as needed.

November 8 – 25, 2022  24:00 GMT

Abstracts re-location: Program Coordinator re-locates good quality abstracts considered unsuited by Session Organizers from the Program Coordinator's bin to other sessions.

No more sessions can be added after that deadline.

December 2, 2022  24:00 GMT

  • Notification letters: Confex sends notification letters to:
    • authors and co-authors of accepted abstracts
    • authors of rejected abstracts

December 15, 2022 – January 26, 2023 24:00 GMT

•    Sessions Scheduling
December 15 - January 15: Confex schedules Joint Session, Round Table, and Poster sessions
January 16 - January 26: Program Coordinators schedule regular sessions

January 31, 2023 24:00 GMT   

•    Applications for Registration Grants deadline: Program Coordinator receives applications for ISA grants submitted by the participants

February 15, 2023 24:00 GMT   

•     Submission of proposed Registration Grants recipients: Program Coordinator sends a list of selected individuals and amounts recommended to the ISA Secretariat for verification and approval.

March 22, 2023 24:00 GMT     

•     Registration deadline for presenters: Registration must be paid by the deadline. Confex matches registrations with accepted presenters and will send out last reminder to register. Presenters who have failed to register will be automatically deleted from the program.

April 3 - 18, 2023 24:00 GMT

•    Session Organizer modifies sessions based on withdrawal of non-registered presenters.
•    Chairs and discussants are assigned from among the registered participants.
•    Program Coordinator completes sessions schedule according to the conference timetable.
•    In case the type of an individual’s presentation is changed, or if a presentation is transferred to a different session, Confex will send notifications to authors with final session and presentation details after June 15 deadline.

May 9, 2023 24:00 GMT

•     Online program published