How to propose a paper

Fill out the web pre-registration form. Include an abstract of your paper (100-500 words) and select the network you think suits your subject best. The conference language is English, the abstract and paper should also be in English.

New to the form is the option to add key words to your proposal. There is a list of pre-defined keywords. You can select up to 5 from this list and there is a box for one additional keyword that is not in the list. You can also select the region.

Important! You can get in touch with the chairs of the network if you want to discuss your proposal first. But please note that it is only actually proposed when you register online and on time on our website.

How to propose a session

As session organizer for a regular panel session: gather four speakers who will each present a paper on a related topic (the authors), a discussant who will start the discussion with a prepared comment on the papers and a chair. The roles of session organizer, chair and discussant can be fulfilled by the same or different persons. (NB an author cannot act as chair or discussant in the session. He or she can act as such in other sessions.) Confirm participation and arrange with these individuals the (date of) exchange of papers and the way the session will be conducted. If possible, have one or more substitute speakers available in case one of the speakers withdraws.

The ESSHC prefers sessions that are interdisciplinary and international. Please note that the conference language is English. We encourage alternative formats. Meet the author, roundtable, workshop, film with introduction, ...

In our online pre-registration form you can select "propose a session". In the form you can propose the entire session: title, abstract and proposed participants. For the proposed participants you select the role i.e. author, chair, discussant, organiser. Fill in: Name, affiliation, e-mail address and for the authors: paper title and abstract.

Important: You can contact the chairs of the network if you want to discuss your proposal first. But please note that it is only actually proposed after you register online and on time on our website.

How to present a paper

We cannot stress this enough: presenting a paper is not the same as reading it out loud to your audience. Here are a few basic tips:

Do not read your paper!

Apart from the fact that it is impossible to read your entire paper in the 15 to 20 minutes you will have for your presentation, if you do try, you are missing the point of what a presentation should be and you miss the opportunity to "sell" your paper and your research to the audience. The audience will get bored and lose interest within minutes if not seconds.  When you feel you need something on paper to help you get all the important points across, you can write out the presentation and read that.

Structure your talk

Basically. Introduction: Tell them what you are going to tell them  - .
Heart of talk: Tell them  -
Conclusion: Tell them what you just told them.

Using powerpoint is an option not an obligation.

Powerpoint and similar applications can be used in support of your talk, but they can also be distracting. Do not put too much information on one sheet and certainly not the entire text of your paper (yes, this has actually been done). Keep it clean and simple and limited to only a few. Do not just read what is on the sheet. Your audience is quite capable of reading that and in the process you might turn your back on the audience, which does not help you to connect..


Take your time to prepare your talk, and if possible have a look at the room some time before you have to present to get a feel for the room. Do not just take a deep breath and plunge in, but take some time to give your audience the chance to quiet down and then introduce yourself. Start with a small anecdote or story to connect with the audience and then move on to the serious bit.

If you type "How to present a paper" or something similar in Google, you'll get lots of links to interesting and helpful websites.  The structure of Ted talks may be a bit cliché, but they do work.

Tips for session chairs

Distribution of papers
Please contact the paper authors and co-authors of your session and make sure they upload or send you and the discussant(s) their paper one month before the start of the conference.
Please distribute the papers to all other participants in the session.

You are free to structure the session as you see fit, as long as all authors get the same amount of time to present their paper and there should be plenty of time for discussion. The participants will be used to the way most sessions are conducted. It might be useful to realise that this is the format both paper presenters and other participants expect, unless you tell them otherwise. In this 'standard procedure' each participant presents his or her paper. The time allotted to each participant obviously depends on the number of papers presented in the session, but would normally be something like 15-20 minutes. As chair you have to be very strict about the time a speaker has to make sure each presenter will get to present.  After that the chair or another discussant starts the discussion with a short comment connecting the papers.  This should not be another "paper" showcasing the discussant and should not take up too much time.

After that the discussion is open to everyone. Please make sure that there is at least half an hour, but preferably more, time left for this discussion. Also stress to the participants that they should not read their paper to the audience, but present their work. 

Roundtable sessions and Meet the author sessions are conducted in more or less the same way: the chair might want to give an introduction, in a Meet the author session the author should have about 15 minutes and in both types of sessions enough time should be left for a discussion with the audience (at least half an hour, preferably more).