Top 10 Ways to Get Your Paper Disqualified

By Pat Curtin, University of Oregon

It’s that time of year. We’re all thinking about filing taxes—not to mention submitting our papers for the AEJMC conference. So with tongue firmly in cheek, if you want to ensure your paper is one of the increasing number of papers disqualified each year, just choose one of these 10 ways to put yourself out of the running.


10. Ignore the instructions in the paper call.

Remember that there is a general paper call and a specific one for each division or interest group. Not reading and following the instructions in one or both is a surefire way to have your paper disqualified.

9. Keep all identifying information on your file.

Each year, I put my cursor over a file to open a paper and review it and get the full details of who you are and where you work. While it’s nice to make your acquaintance, however remotely, if I can’t blind review your paper because of identifying file information, it’s disqualified.

8. Make me put on my readers.

Page limits are based on readable type. We all teach; we all know the tricks. Using 9-point font and single or 1.5 line spacing is a sure sign you’re asking for your paper to be disqualified.

7. Cite yourself—explicitly and frequently.

Good for you if you did a pilot study or published earlier work on which this study is building. But just put (Cite withheld for blind review) unless you really want to be disqualified. The same goes for additional data on a web site; don’t give us the URL until blind review is over.

6. Have questions but don’t ask them.

Research chairs are available to answer questions about what constitutes grounds for disqualification, as are members of the Standing Committee on Research. But if you want to be disqualified, don’t ask, and we won’t answer.

5. Think I’m in communication because I don’t do math.

Page limits are page limits. Having a 25-page paper with four page 16s isn’t a 25-page paper. It’s a 28-page one. And I don’t need my fingers to figure that one out.

4. Double dip.

Not sure which division or interest group to submit to? Submitting the same paper to more than one is a great way to have your paper disqualified and not have to continue agonizing over the decision.

3. Recycle.

Coming up a little short this year for submissions? Dusting off a paper already presented at a different conference will also ensure you meet the disqualification bar (student papers presented at AEJMC regionals are the one exception to the rule for most divisions and interest groups. See guidelines.).

2. Jump the gun.

Already sent the paper off for publication review but want to see the sights of DC? Submitting a paper that’s already out for review at a journal is a great way to ensure you miss the White House tour and Smithsonian. Not to mention some really great food.

1. Forget to submit by deadline.

OK, so technically this isn’t a disqualification, but it is a good way to ensure your paper isn’t part of the conference.

We’d actually rather see you all at the conference then have you become a disqualification statistic. It promises to be a great meeting, and we want you to be a part of it. Remember to read all guidelines and rules carefully, and ask questions if you’re not sure.

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