Conference Presentation Guidelines


APT conferences are known for an exceptional quality of academic exchange; people who attend the conference expect a unique intellectual experience. In order to maintain our very high standards, the following instructions provide general guidelines for panelists, discussants, and chairs. However, we encourage chairs to determine the specific guidelines for their panel in consultation with panelists and discussants. 

Paper Archive:

The Association maintains an archive of all papers to be delivered at the conference. One distinctive feature of the conference, strongly supported by positive feedback from the membership, is the pre-circulation and archiving requirement. All papers to be delivered at the conference must be posted to the archive no later than 1 October, to give chairs, discussants, and interested participants plenty of time to read them in advance of the conference. Panelists who do not post their papers to the archive by that deadline will be removed from the program. Note that only authorized users may access the paper archive. If you have any questions or concerns about the use of the archive, please let us know.

To submit your papers please go the conference home page for the year you are presenting to find the link to the archive. The general instructions are as follows:

1)      You must log in to your APT account to access the archive.
2)      Go to the online program for the year you are presenting.
3)      Locate your panel number and title on the online program (e.g. II.C Ideal & non-ideal theory).
4)      Click on the link for  Paper Archive from the conference page for the year in which you are presenting.
5)      Click on the folder on the left that corresponds to the year you are presenting (e.g. 2013 Nashville).
6)      Click on the folder for your panel.
7)      Click the New File button.
8)      Browse for your file, and add Display Name (default is file name), Tags, a Description, and Version Notes as you wish. Please do not change the Parent Folder. If you keep the Email Notification box checked, you will receive an email when people download the file.
9)      Click Upload File. Your file should now appear in the Filename list.

To download a particular file, just click on the green arrow to the right of the file.

If you have trouble accessing the archive (indications of "Access Denied), do the following. Go to Login to your APT account. Return to the conference page for the year in which you are presenting and click the link for the paper archive for that year. If you still cannot access the archive, please let us know at

As a courtesy, each panelist should also send an electronic copy of his/her paper to the other members of the panel. You will find these emails on the conference program that should be available by late August or early September.


Each presentation should highlight and frame the political and intellectual issues raised in the paper to allow the audience and the others on the panel to engage them productively.  Some audience members will have read the papers in advance. Therefore, we ask that panelists do not read their papers aloud.  Instead, they should summarize arguments and discuss key points. 


Discussants should address questions and comments to all papers on the panel, in order to stimulate conversation and debate on the political and intellectual issues they raise. Discussants should observe the predetermined time limits in order to ensure about one hour for audience participation and conversation (see “Timing” below). 

We also encourage discussants to give panelists a written copy of the comments. (Comments can also be posted to the paper archive if you would like them to be available to the general membership. You may submit your comments using the paper submission form, when it is available.)

We recommend that discussants leave minor editorial comments or comments that address more technical or narrow aspects of the paper for private discussion with the presenter.

Sometimes we include panels with two discussants. The purpose is to enrich the conversation by allowing each discussant to read fewer papers and thus to engage with the papers more carefully. Multiple discussants should coordinate with the panel chair and decide on a format that will maximize constructive engagement during the panel session.


Chairs should ensure that the panel runs smoothly and productively by doing the following:

  • Contact the panel prior to the conference to introduce the panelists and solicit questions about the panel and its format.  Please establish firm instructions about the time allotted for each panelist, aiming to preserve about one hour for audience participation and conversation.
  • When the panel begins, briefly greet the audience and introduce yourself and the name of the panel.
  • Introduce each presenter just before she or he begins to present. Please do not introduce all the panelists at the start of the session, because some audience members may arrive after your introductions.
  • When introducing each panelist, please note at least the panelist’s name, affiliation, and paper title.
  • Enforce the time limits for panelist and discussant presentations (see “Timing” below).
  • When opening the panel for discussion, make sure to scan the room thoroughly for questions, and ask all questioners to introduce themselves by name and affiliation.
  • If the discussion ignores any paper, solicit questions directed to that paper.


An active and engaged discussion between audience and panelists is one of the defining characteristics of APT conference panels. Ideally, the chair should preserve one hour for audience participation and conversation. At panels featuring four papers and two discussants, however, the chair may wish to allocate some additional time for presentations.


We permit and even encourage alternative panel formats, as long as the format respects the time for audience participation. Panelists, chairs, and discussants should work out the details together in advance of the panel. Chairs should raise the possibility of an alternate format with the others on the panel and facilitate any discussion.

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