ISLS2022 Conference Format Decision Policy

We proposed a hybrid conference to have advantages of in-person communication as well as remote participation. Although remote participation makes it easier for members to join the conference by reducing time and finance for travel, the fully online conference does not provide an authentic feeling of being at a conference. We can have wonderful discussions in paper and poster sessions in a fully online conference, but it is not as easy to have informal time and space to meet and talk about ideas. The “conferency” atmosphere, and opportunities it provides, is the advantage of the in-person conference. You can meet new colleagues and catch up with “old” colleagues, join great conversations among other scholars and students at social events, and learn about exciting work of ISLS members. It is an excellent opportunity for young scholars and students to develop their professional and social networks internationally.

The hybrid format takes advantage of both options. People who like to have a more a “conferency” experience can participate in the conference in person, with the novelty and excitement of traveling to a new location—Hiroshima, Japan. On the other hand, people who have concerns about the COVID-19 situation, do not have financial support, or have other personal/professional constraints can join the conference remotely as is suitable for them.

Having a hybrid conference is not easy for local organizing committees. The ISLS annual meeting is fully international, and we have to consider the time differences to make the conference programs satisfy both types of participants. Japan’s time zone is not well-positioned globally to manage overlapping times for scholars and students remotely participating in the conference. Therefore, we must think of three different time zones (Americas, Asia and Pacific, and Europe and Africa). We may have limited time slots for all the participants from the three regions to attend. Other time slots cover two of them. We mainly arrange presentations from the three regions within overlapping time slots (Asia/Pacific AND Americas, Asia/Pacific AND Europe/Africa, Americas AND Europe/Africa). LOCs do their best to make remote participation as comfortable as possible, but our efforts may not satisfy everyone.

Here is the schedule we are currently considering (please note that this is a tentative plan).

ISLS2022 program timetable
ISLS2022 program timetable legend

We will construct the conference program for on-site participants along with the ordinary time slots in Japan. Then, we will also schedule the online presentation sessions in the morning or late at night in Japan using several overlapping times. The main events, such as keynote and panel sessions, would be allocated to the overlapping time slots.

We will decide on the format and registration fees for the participants in early January 2022, before submission authors are notified of the results. The registration fees will be of two types: 1) on-site participants, and 2) remote participants.

We will have a hybrid conference if the following conditions are met

  1. The majority of society members and prospective participants elect to join the conference in person.
  2. There are no strict requirements for fully-vaccinated international scholars and students such as taking long self-quarantine after arriving in Japan.

If the requirements above are not met, we will have to move to a fully online conference format. However, even in a fully online conference, we will host the conference in our time zone. Therefore, more scholars and students in Asia and Pacific regions will be able to easily attend the conference than in the other continents.