Deadline Reminder - USETDA 2023 Conference - Call for Proposals

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John Hagen

Apr 19, 2023, 5:21:38 PM4/19/23
to ETD

Dear Colleague,

The US Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association (USETDA) will hold its 13th annual conference from September 20 – 21, 2023 virtually via Zoom. We invite graduate school, disability and student services, offices of diversity, equity and inclusion, library, information technology and industry professionals to submit proposals for presentations, panel sessions, workshops, and posters.

Submit your proposal online at

Deadline: Proposal abstracts should be submitted on or before April 21, 2023 to be considered for the conference program. Presentations, papers, posters, and recordings should be submitted on or before September 1, 2023 for inclusion in the conference proceedings.

Audience: The 2023 USETDA conference provides excellent educational opportunities for professionals from graduate schools, libraries, academic computing and others who work with electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), institutional repositories, graduate students, and scholarly communications. Our goal is to offer relevant, practice-oriented content that supports ETD productivity improvement and ETD professionals. This includes the advancement in ETD operations, the encouragement of the formation of regional ETD associations and networking communities, as well as providing useful and innovative resources, standards, and technology for the development and support of ETD programs. Proposals are welcome from libraries, graduate schools, disability and student services, offices of diversity, equity and inclusion, information technology professionals, graduate students, and faculty as well as library and information systems / services representatives.

Theme: The conference theme “Access and Accessibility: Exploring Equity and Inclusion in Digital Scholarship” will delve into accessibility as it impacts various aspects of the creation and dissemination of scholarly work. We interpret this theme broadly and encourage presentations that bring new light to these important topics. Some areas for possible exploration include:

·        Identifying strategies and best practices as we  educate stakeholders on ADA accessibility requirements and adapt our processes

·        Assessing embargoes, open access, discoverability of ETDs in repositories

·        Understanding and responding to the changing needs of students, graduate schools and libraries following the pandemic

·        Advocating for access to the tools and support that students, graduate school and library professionals, and IT personnel need to complete the thesis and digital publishing process. 

Presentation proposals should reflect one or more of the following three categories: Research Practices, Streamlining ETD Processing, and the Impact of ETDs. Presenters are encouraged to use the examples under the subtopics as inspiration, but are not limited to these ideas and can expand upon them or generate new ones based on the subtopic themes. Please see the USETDA website for additional conference topic ideas. 

I. Research Practices

1.   Graduate student and/or ETD professional panel (discussion of the student experiences in the ETD process including alternative formats, ease/difficulty with formatting requirements, communication gaps, access to and instruction on publishing/writing/research tools).

2.   Current and future trends in scholarly communication - how to engage your academic community; access (to internet, to repositories, to devices; accessibility (alternate formats, hosting platform compliance, use of ChatGPT and other AI platforms in the research and/or discovery process, etc.).

3.   Professionalization of the role of the ETD reviewer - Discussion on developing certifications to elevate the status of a reviewer by defining the important functions that the reviewer serves with a focus on student-centered services and other administrative tasks in the graduate school and libraries and related units (IT, disability, research, etc.)

II. Streamlining ETD Processing

1.   Best practices discussion - formatting review, issues, benchmarks, communications with advisors and committees, educating on access and accessibility, use of ChatGPT and other AI platforms in the ETD review process and use of related plagiarism detection resources.

2.   Institutional Repository / ETD systems, developments and innovations

3.   Formatting software/technologies and support (LaTeX, Word, Adobe, OverLeaf, etc.); support for staff/faculty/student on accessing and using technology; accessibility of technologies to use and also on the product produced

III. The Impact of ETDs

1.   Accessibility with ETDs and IRs: ADA compliance panel presentation or workshop. This could include IT or library technical experts on digital accessibility, including practical workflows and walkthroughs of how to check and make documents accessible, PDF subtypes. What are the standards? How do we communicate them to students? How do we train students to incorporate them into an ETD?

2.   How ETD reviewers and IR managers can better support historically marginalized communities at their schools through open scholarship

3.   Author rights - exploring diversity/equity/inclusion issues as it relates to the world of ETDs, not just through IRs

Submission Guidelines

The USETDA welcomes the following types of submissions:

Poster sessions - peer reviewed

Posters introduce late-breaking results, work in progress, or research that is best communicated in an interactive or graphical format. Poster presentations are 10 minutes in length. Two types of posters are encouraged:

●       research posters presenting new and promising work or preliminary results of ongoing projects

●       "best practices" posters presenting the practical implementations of an organization's practices or innovations

The content of the poster should clearly point out how the research or best practice contributes to innovative thought or design within the field, and how it addresses key challenges, as well as the potential impact on the participant's organization and/or practices in the field.

Joint submissions from students, librarians, graduate school administrators and other professionals demonstrating different perspectives on a single issue are particularly encouraged. Posters are expected to foster discussion in a personal and less formal setting. Poster presenters should submit an abstract of 350 words or less for consideration.

Breakout-session presentations and panels - peer reviewed

Single session presentations and panels are 50 minutes long and are invited on topics that focus on the themes of the conference. 

For single-session presentations, please submit a proposal of up to 350 words, providing a summary of the presentation topic and the qualifications of the speaker.

Panels must have a cohesive theme and promote lively interaction between panelists and audience members. Please submit a panel proposal up to 350 words, providing an overview of the issues to be discussed by the panel and brief bios of each of the panelists. Proposals should only list panelists who have agreed to participate and shall indicate the qualifications and contribution that each panelist will offer.

Flash Talk

Flash talks present information about best practices, innovative strategies, processes, tools, events, etc. in 5 minutes and may include up to two slides. Flash talks are a great way to share best practices as well as strategies or tools that enhance and support your students and your processes. For example, you may share a new tool or resource that you’ve discovered, discuss a new way of reaching out to students, give a tip that has made your job easier.

For flash talks, please submit a proposal of up to 150 words, providing a summary of the presentation topic and the qualifications of the speaker.

Conference workshops and tutorials - peer reviewed

Workshops and tutorials are invited on important topics that focus on the themes of the conference that need to be addressed in-depth. Suggested topics include workshops that are practical in nature and focused on access, accessibility or both; additionally we are seeking an “ETDs for Beginners” primer workshop. Workshops should provide participants with opportunities to engage with study materials, the presenter(s) and workshop participants through discussions in order to broaden and deepen understanding in a particular area. Workshops range in length from 1.5 to 2 hours.

Please submit a proposal of up to 350 words, providing a summary of the workshop topic and the qualifications of the speaker.


·        USETDA Conference Presentation Selection Rubric

·        Poster Session Resource Page (download doc)

Proposal Submission

Presentations are invited on themes in line with the call for proposals, including emerging issues, trends and opinions on controversial issues, analyses of tools and techniques, and contrasting viewpoints in complementary professional areas. By submitting your documents to this conference, authors agree to creative commons attribution licensing.

For the conference proceedings we welcome papers and/or PowerPoint presentations (pdf). For paper submission guidelines we refer you to the ALA Author Guidelines at We do not impose word or page limits, however, a practical guide for papers would be 10-15 pages in length. We also encourage authors to submit PowerPoint presentation files as a supplement to the paper or just the PowerPoint file if authors are not interested in submitting a detailed paper about their presentation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact John Hagen at

Once you have prepared your proposal according to the above instructions, please visit to submit it for review.

Conference Website


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