Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ACRL, batting .500

I submitted two poster session abstracts to ACRL for the upcoming conference in Seattle; one with a friend and a second with co-workers. Today I learned that one was accepted and one rejected. I'm used to rejection from ACRL, it's a smaller conference than ALA and there are a fewer amount of posters accepted. Acceptance and rejection are all part of professional development, something which should be understood by anyone submitting articles, posters and/or presentations. That said, I found the content of each email interesting.

First, the acceptance. After the "congratulations your proposal has been accepted" and further information pertaining to particulars was:

"Thank you for submitting your proposal for the ACRL 14th National Conference. It is through the efforts of individuals such as yourself that ACRL is able to meet its strategic goal of being a national and international leader in creating, expanding, and transferring the body of knowledge of academic librarianship. "

Very nice. A bit PR heavy, but nice none the less (and I don't mean that in a snarky way, it is nice to be appreciated).

The non-acceptance message was twice as long:

"The Poster Session Committee has completed the review and selection process. It is with regret that let you know your proposal ... was not chosen for presentation. The selection process was an exceptionally difficult one this year. We received more than 300 proposal submissions for the 150 available slots and many fine proposals could not be accepted."

"Thank you for submitting your work to ACRL and your interest in the National Conference. Although you may be understandably disappointed that your proposal was not accepted for the conference, please do not consider this a negative evaluation of the quality of your work, but rather an indication of the volume and quality of the proposals submitted. We look forward to seeing your work published or presented in another forum and hope that you will still join us at the ACRL 14th National Conference in Seattle."

Wow! Again, as with the acceptance, this was a very nice email and I appreciated the prompt notification. I know there is often a great deal of vocal unhappiness when presentations are not accepted, but is it really necessary to have such a carefully worded rejection? I would have been satisfied with simple notice that my poster had not been selected. I am not unhappy with the longer message, but wonder why so much?

Now it's time to start saving money ...

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