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SWPA States

General Information Important for all Submissions (SWPA and all affiliate organizations)
(Specific SPWA submission guidelines are below on this page; a link to affiliate guidelines is below)

For the upcoming convention, SWPA will only accept abstracts through  the SWPA online submission process. Thus, prior to submission, all authors for all organizations must complete either an SWPA member or a non-member profile.  (Choose the type of profile appropriate for your submission; all SWPA submissions require SWPA membership of all authors, but some affiliate organizations will accept abstracts from nonmembers or SWPA members.)  Using the online submission process allows each organization to use the online the review process (each organization is in control of its own abstracts, reviewers, and acceptance decisions) and greatly facilitates the building of the master program.

After all project author/co-authors have created a profile (and paid dues if submitting to SWPA), login to your member / non-member home page and click on the "Submit Abstract" link in the left-hand navigation pane. The "Submit Abstract" page will only be active during the period when SWPA is accepting abstracts. (Due to different cut-off dates, some organization submission options may be closed while others are open; be sure to pay attention to the relevant cut-off dates because organizations cannot move abstracts to other organizations.)

Be sure to indicate the organization for which you are submitting in the pull down menu, i.e. if you are a dues-paid SWPA member, but you are submitting to the Psi Chi, you should choose Psi Chi for the submission organization.

During the submission process you will indicate your desired presentation format (e.g. talk, poster, workshop, symposia, SWPA student research competition).  Prepare your abstract by following the instructions for that type of presentation, and then follow the instructions on the screen. NOTE: You should only submit a specific project / abstract one time - do not submit it multiple times under different formats or to more than one of the organizations (e.g. don't submit the same abstract as both a paper and poster, or to both SWPA and Psi Chi or SWToP).

During the submission steps, you will enter each co-author.  Authors/co-authors can only be added if they are a current member or have created a non-member profile (the application will not accept names that are not in the system), and SWPA members must also be dues current.  Dues status is clearly indicated on the web page that opens after login. 

We strongly recommend that you complete these required steps ahead of time so that all intended authors will be included in the submission.

Below on this page are the specific submission guidelines for SWPA poster and talks, symposia, workshops, and the SWPA student research competitions. Our affiliate organizations may have different submission guidelines and cut-off dates. 

Please see the detailed submission guidelines for affiliate organizations.

SWPA Submissions Guidelines

SWPA will accept proposals for the 2016 SWPA convention from 12:00 a.m. CST October 1 until 11:59:59 p.m. CST December 9, 2015. Psi Chi deadline December 9, 2015. SWToP deadline December 9, 2015. SAMR Deadline: December 16, 2015. SCBNA Deadline: 31 December, 2015.

In addition to having a current profile, all authors must have paid current dues in order to submit an SWPA abstract, but they do not have to be registered for the convention at the time of the submission. SWPA expects that at least one author will register and attend the convention if an abstract is accepted.  See convention registration for more information.

 ** ALL SWPA talk, poster, and student research competition abstracts must include methods, data, and conclusions (i.e. reviewers will reject research project proposals).   SWPA symposia and workshops are not required to present research project data.
Posters and Talks

Every submitted abstract for regular talks (15 minutes including question-and-answer period) and posters must consist of the following clearly delineated sections: Problem, Method, Results, and Conclusions. Every summary should specify the importance of the problem to the current literature, the procedure used to collect data, the findings of the research, the relevance of the findings to the original problem, and the implications of the research. Include citations, but do not include a reference list at the end of your abstract.

Submitted abstract length (text of the abstract itself, not including title or author names) for regular talks and posters are limited to 500 words. The maximum title length is 12 words.

Do not submit abstracts for which you have not yet collected data. Reviewers will reject abstracts that violate this criterion.

Student Research Competitions

Currently enrolled students may submit their original research as entries in the SWPA Graduate or Undergraduate Research Competitions.  All competition finalist presentations are scheduled as 20-minute talks. Showcase semi-finalists may be scheduled as posters or talks, based on program time availability.

A faculty member must sponsor each entry, but cannot be submitted as a co-author. The student author(s) will be listed as such and the faculty sponsor will be listed separately as the sponsor. Faculty sponsors may serve as collaborators as the project is carried out, but the writing of the abstract and the creation of the presentation must be the student's effort.

Submissions must consist of the four following clearly delineated sections: Problem, Method, Results, and Conclusions. Every summary should specify the importance of the problem to the current literature, the procedure used to collect data, the findings of the research, the relevance of the findings to the original problem, and the implications of the research.  Do not include Tables and Figures, but describe results in the submission.

Word length: the summary should range from 1500 to 2000 words. Submissions shorter than 1300 or longer than 2000 words will not receive consideration. Previously presented or published work is ineligible. (Sample Student Competition Submission)

Submissions from Psi Chi students that do not make the top 4 finalists in each category are automatically forwarded to the Psi Chi program chair for inclusion in the Psi Chi competition and program. There is a separate check box on the student competition form for such students to indicate they are Psi Chi members.  Please check this box to ensure that your abstract is forwarded.

Student research paper competition outline:
  • SWPA will sponsor student research talk competitions at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • The Awards Committee will screen initial entries and select the top four entries in each category for 20-minute Competitive Awards Talks. SWPA will cancel a given competition if the competition in question receives an insufficient number of entries.
  • Those submissions that did not make the top four finalists, and that indicated Psi Chi membership during submission, will be forwarded to the Psi Chi program chair for inclusion in the Psi Chi research competition and program.
  • The Awards Committee will select from the remaining entries those that qualify for a Student Research Showcase. Selected students may choose to present either a 10-minute talk or a poster. There is no fixed limit to the number of Student Research Showcase talks/posters.
  • Qualifying criteria for the Student Research Showcase are:
    • Submissions must correspond with the Submission Guidelines for Student Research Competitions
    • Summaries must present data that have already been collected, analyzed, and evaluated.
    • The summary must be well-written.
    • The student must explore a question that is psychological in nature and clearly establish the rationale for the question in the Introduction.
    • The student must present methods that clearly address the question at hand.
    • The data must support the student's conclusions.
  • Award levels:
    • Competitive talk awards in each category (undergraduate and graduate) are distributed as follows:
      • First place--$300
      • Second place--$200
      • Finalist (presented to the two remaining competitors)--$100 each
    • Research Showcase presenters each receive $50.
  • Non-qualifying papers: The Awards Committee and SPWA Program Chair may assign summaries that do not qualify for competitive or showcase presentations to other talk or poster sessions if they are acceptable for general presentation at SWPA. Such papers will carry the designation Student Research Submission in the published program.

Procedures for judging student papers:
  • Judging student research competition papers occurs in two steps:
    • Initial screening is completed by Awards Committee members.
    • Final judging by people other than those on the Awards Committee occurs at the talk sessions. The Awards Committee Chair solicits senior researchers who are Professional Members of SWPA to judge the Competitive Award Talks.
  • Principles of Fair Judging:
    • Three judges will screen all summaries.
    • At both steps in the judging process, any judge who has another relationship with the student will recuse him/her self from all aspects of judging that paper. Such a person will not comment to other judges about the student or the paper during the review process, and will not chair any review session during which that paper is considered.
    • "Another relationship" exists when a student is pursuing academic work under the direction of a judge, or when a student is in an academic program in which the judge has supervisory responsibilities for the faculty member who is directing the student's work. "Another relationship" also exists when there are personal connections between the student and a judge that others could perceive as producing bias.
    • Any student or other SWPA member who perceives the possibility of bias should communicate that concern to the Awards Committee Chair who will then adjust the review process to eliminate the perception of bias. Students may ask their faculty sponsors to communicate their concerns.


Submissions from individuals (at least 2 presenters plus the session chair) wishing to present a symposium must include:
1.    a  title (12-word max) and a 50-word abstract summarizing the workshop;
2.    a summary for each of the symposium's participants (the combined word count of these summaries should not exceed 500 words).

All symposium participants must be SWPA members. Priority goes to those symposia that incorporate authors from different universities or professional affiliations.

Workshops and Special Meetings

Within the limits of available time and space, SWPA will provide rooms for workshops and special meetings.  Some workshops may qualify for Continuing Education credit.  Contact the Program Chair to discuss your request.  Workshop length may be 1 or 1.5 hours.

Submissions from individuals wishing to present a workshop must include a title (12-word max) and an abstract summarizing the workshop (max 500 words for the text of the abstract itself, not including title or author names).  

Continuing Education workshop proposals will go through an additional approval review, which will require more information from the presenters (e.g. current vitae, objectives). THERE WILL BE NO CE WORKSHOPS THIS YEAR DUE TO CHANGES IN OUR ABILITY TO GAIN APA APPROVAL.

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