Contents of this page

How long will it take for my paper to get published in the Journal?
The length of time varies, however, once your paper is received, your paper is matched to two appropriate referees and sent for review (maximum two week turnaround requested). Once the referee reports have been returned, we forward them on to you (with the referee identities removed). You are requested to return the complete paper for publication within another two weeks. Papers are accepted on a continuous basis, so your final paper will be published as soon as the publication process is completed, before or after the Conference. This means that, if desired and submitted early enough, the paper can be fully refereed before the Conference. This is of particular value to participants who require double-blind refereeing and confirmed publication before the Conference (and in this case, we request submission at least three months before the commencement of the Conference). As soon as registration has been finalised, papers can be submitted for refereeing. Once this process is finalised, your paper will be published in the Conference proceedings, even if this is before the Conference. Further details can be found in the publication timeline.
What does a virtual presentation mean? Will I present in a scheduled session at the Conference? Can I watch or listen to the keynotes online?
No, this is not an internet hoax. Nor does it mean that you will be virtually there, live and online. Virtual registration provides access to the electronic version of the Conference proceedings in the form of the Journal. At this stage, this means a CD of the full text of the papers for the year. As our technology develops, it is also planned to provide password protected free online access to articles and the audio of the keynote addresses. Virtual participants may also submit virtual presentations for refereeing and publication in the Journal, published in electronic and print formats. Papers may be submitted for publication at any time before the Conference, and up until one calendar month after the closing date of the Conference. So no, you won’t present in a scheduled session, though your paper will appear as a virtual presentation in the Conference program. And no, you won’t be able to watch the keynotes live. You will, however, receive the full text of the Conference proceedings (the Journal) when they are published.
I can’t come to the Conference this year. How can I be kept informed of future conferences?
Enter your name and contact details in the Newsletter subscription area of the Conference website, and you will receive regular Conference information. This information also goes to past and current Conference participants.
How did you get my name and email address?
We collected your name from a publicly advertised place, such as your institution or organisations website. We did this as part of a general search for people who work in areas related to the Conference themes. If this Conference doesn’t connect with your interests, please accept our apologies. If you tell us (by replying to the email with remove in the subject field), we will immediately remove you from the list. We are well aware that spam is one of the curses of the internet. However, our lists have been carefully and laboriously created by hand on the basis of areas of professional knowledge or academic expertise. In terms of recent anti-spam legislation, our email messages go to too few people at any one time to be defined as spam. They are certainly not the huge and indiscriminate automatically harvested lists that are used to try to try to sell you Viagra or investment schemes in Nigeria. In the past, we have sent out large regular mailouts of printed brochures. These, however, are becoming expensive and the environmental aspects of using a lot of printed paper has weighed increasingly on our consciences. This is why we have decided that email Conference notices are the lesser of several promotional evils.
Why is the registration fee so high?
On one measure the registration fee is high - compared to some academic and voluntary association conferences. On another measure, they are very cheap - compared to many professional conferences, for instance. We do try to keep the Conference fee as low as possible but, as you can well imagine, there are substantial costs in organising and running these events. The registration fee covers areas such as: venue related costs and audio-visual hire, a full time Conference secretariat including accommodation, travel and tour bookings, and morning and afternoon teas and lunches for the duration of the Conference. Registration also allows delegates the opportunity to be published, fully peer reviewed (and the refereeing process is very time intensive), in print and electronic formats and have access to the full Conference proceedings. More expensive conferences offer only some of these services. Less expensive conferences never do.
I’m having trouble with the forms on the Conference website. What should I do?
You need to submit a proposal through the online submission system. This process will gather all the initial information we need in a format suitable for publication on the Conference website and in the Conference program book. This is new technology, developed by Common Ground, and as such it is not without its glitches and flaws. We appreciate your patience, and we always welcome your feedback and suggestions. If you are having real trouble with the online forms (if you have an old web browser, for instance), download and complete the Call for Papers form. But please avoid this if you possibly can.
Why can’t I present three brilliant papers at the Conference that I have just completed?
As a matter of fairness and to maximise people’s capacity to speak within the constraints of the program schedule, at least one author of each paper must be registered to attend the Conference. The maximum number of papers accepted is one paper per registered author - which means, for instance, that two registered authors may submit and present two jointly authored papers.
Where will the Conference be next year?
We announce the next Conference one year in advance, in the program abstract book of the current Conference. We also announce the location of the next Conference to the Conference community through the Newsletter.
What level of editorial support does the Journal provide?
The journal provides light editorial support. Major editorial support is also available (such as extensive rewriting for participants whose first language is not English), but we have to charge for this service. Authors are also required to use the Common Ground Microsoft Word Authoring Template.
Can I change my proposal after it has been submitted?
Once your proposal has been submitted we do not allow return access to the proposal submission form. This is so we can maintain control over the papers submitted, and so people cannot decide to present on a completely different subject once their original proposal has been accepted. However, if people do want to make minor changes, they can. This is best arranged by emailing the requested changes to a member of our team.
Would my paper on Caterpillars of the Laotian Rainforest be a suitable contribution to the Conference and the Journal?
Yes, of course it is - providing you use this topic to address the Conference themes. There are two ways to find out whether your thinking is along the right lines. First, submit a presentation proposal through the Call for Papers area of Conference website. Then, second, if it is accepted, register for the Conference (in person or virtual), and submit your full paper for refereeing. If the referees can’t see the connection, then they will advise you what to do and suggest how you might make the connection, and if the very worst comes to the worst you can resubmit your paper after making revisions to address the referees concerns. The revised resubmitted paper will be sent to new referees. If you think the caterpillars paper could fit within the Conference themes, for our administrative purposes we ask you to go through the full presentation proposal process. This process requests the information we need in a format suitable for publication on the Conference website and in the Conference program abstract.
I can’t attend the Conference. How can I publish into the Journal?
We also offer virtual registrations, which provide access to the full text of the electronic edition of published proceedings of the Conference for that year. A virtual registration also allows for virtual presentation - submitting your paper as a virtual contribution to the Conference program, participating as an Associate Editor in the referee process, and publishing in the Journal.
The themes for the Conference seem very broad - how do I navigate my way around to find the themes that interest me?
When scheduling the program, the first round of session placements is based on the availability dates of the presenters and equipment requirements. This does place some constraints on the capacity of the program to sustain strands or blocks relating to a particular theme. We have in the past used thematic placing but received some negative feedback in regards to categorisation of people’s work. So, for the moment at least, there are no thematic strands. You might, however, like to get together a group of people to present a thematically coherent 90 minute colloquium session.
How long will it take me to find out whether my proposal has been accepted?
We try to review proposals approximately once a week, and get back to people as quickly as possible.
How could we host the Conference?
We are always looking for future venues and collaborations. If you would like to consider hosting a future Conference, please read the community area of this website, and email us at
Can I invite my aunt and her grandchild - who are coming with me on holidays, but not attending the Conference - to the Conference dinner?
Yes, of course you may. Accommodation, travel, tours and other extras for non-participants can also be ordered through the Conference website and secretariat.