what would you think of this? conference related

(19 Posts)
spinassienne Wed 03-May-17 13:07:21

Humanities. I co-organised a humungous conference last year. In a week or so I'm attending a much smaller event on a similar theme and I see from the titles and abstracts that at least three participants are recycling their presentations wholesale from last year, including one graduate student. I'm not going to dob them in or anything, of course, but would you be hmm at that? Or has it become normal practice?

OP’s posts: |
Terfing Wed 03-May-17 13:11:11

Many people present chapters from their books etc. at conferences, so do recycle. It's not against any rules, I believe?

mumonashoestring Wed 03-May-17 13:16:43

Normal practice if the conference organisers are happy to accept it. Some conferences will specify that your abstract must be original/not previously presented but given how many events there are now it's more common to accept 'repeats'. Especially at smaller events where getting someone who's a decent speaker on a good topic is more of a priority than breaking new ground.

bigkidsdidit Wed 03-May-17 13:17:41

In science this is completely routine.

ifigoup Wed 03-May-17 13:26:34

Why wouldn't it be okay? I've often accepted invitations on the basis that I won't have time to prepare something brand-new, letting them know as a courtesy. For grad students I actually think it's really valuable to see how differently things can be received depending on audience.

GoatsFeet Wed 03-May-17 17:04:58

Just miss those papers.

It's normal - although I'd say it's VERY bad form for a postgrad to do it. They should be pushing out new material & getting peer feedback on it, not recycling. Leave that to the old lags like me who end up with about 8 hours to write a conference paper because we're at the beck & call of everyone else ...

Booboostwo Wed 03-May-17 18:06:48

Completely normal practice in my discipline, indeed you are supposed to 'do the rounds' with a paper, getting feedback, sorting out problems, responding to objections, etc before submitting for publication.

Once the paper is published though, it is a faux pas to present it again as you won't be able to change it and you are, in effect, ignoring the comments from the audience.

lovecreameggs Wed 03-May-17 19:58:34

Could well be that they're using the conferences to refine it and are presenting slightly different content

spinassienne Wed 03-May-17 22:03:17

Ok, seems like I'm in minority then... In my small field it's always the same faces at these things, and I do get hmm when I hear the same paper being trotted out for the third time to more or less the same audience. I'll try and keep a lid on it then!

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Foureyesarebetterthantwo Wed 03-May-17 23:21:54

I'm in social science. Twice at very different events is ok, but in the main national conference they make a big thing that you haven't presented the results elsewhere before there.

I don't want to hear the same data time after time, nor a particular argument. I usually find something else/different angle/different data, I don't have a big enough conference budget to say the same thing multiple times each year! If I don't have anything new to say, I don't go!

GoatsFeet Thu 04-May-17 09:06:45

Once the paper is published though, it is a faux pas to present it again as you won't be able to change it and you are, in effect, ignoring the comments from the audience

This. I was once at a conference in a country with a less high-powered academic culture, and the keynote speaker's paper was basically read from a condensed version of an already published article. I still remember that as a particularly shoddy thing to do.

But if I give a version of the same paper, it is reworked, and I welcome further feedback.

bigkidsdidit Thu 04-May-17 12:54:41

This is so interesting. In my field we wouldn't talk
About unpublished work as we would be so frightened of being gazumped.

spinassienne Thu 04-May-17 12:58:26

I think GoatsFeet makes an interesting point about academic cultures varying between countries. I'm not in the UK and I think it is more frowned on here to repeat yourself.

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JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Thu 04-May-17 13:06:00

I'm in humanities, and I think it's frowned upon, and would never do it myself. I would happily present different bits of the same project - i.e. two separate arguments that might go into the same big article ultimately- but actually repeating yourself near-verbatim? Not cricket.

The difference between repeating conference papers and having a conference paper and similar book chapter/ article is that the conference paper is a dry run of an argument, which is then later published in properly polished form.

I know some people do repeat themselves, but in my field, it's generally sneered at ('oh, it's X, yes he's giving that paper again'). I'm in the UK.

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Thu 04-May-17 13:07:54

So I guess, OP, do you know they are doing the exact same thing? I'm in English lit studies, and am giving 5ish conference papers this year. Two stem from the same project on a particular author so I am giving 2 papers with similar titles like 'XXX author and the cultural politics of YYY' and 'XXX and ZZZ: A re-reading'. But although they both concentrate on similar subject matter, they are not the exact same research/ argument.

spinassienne Thu 04-May-17 13:22:01

Well I'll only know after the conference if the material has been tweaked I guess, but the titles are identical, including the same pun, as are the abstracts.

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Foureyesarebetterthantwo Fri 05-May-17 08:02:10

I wouldn't be happy about that at all, I never give the same paper twice. I wouldn't feel bad if say they had done a talk at our seminar series at university, then went to a large conference with the same paper, that's pretty understandable. Just submitting the same abstract to multiple conferences would be seen as lazy in my field (social sciences).

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Fri 05-May-17 08:16:43

In science, its common for encore abstracts to be used if allowed by the conference. If not, it clearly states in the submission guidelines that encores will not be accepted and you have to declare that it hasn't been presented previously. Maybe if you organise any further events, you could specify?

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 07-May-17 05:10:59

I'm in English Lit and this is considered rather bad practice. PhD students might do it at an early stage, because they're re-writing, or you might do it if you knew you were presenting for very different audiences - that's common. But if you know the same people will be there, you'd usually try not to do this. I know a few people who are known recyclers and they do attract slightly unfavourable comments from everyone else.

At least they kept the same titles, though! The most annoying thing is when you loved someone's paper, so you go along to hear what sounds like their new work with a new title ... and it's the same! hmm

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