SRP 2006: SRP Board Teleconference Jan 20th, 2006

Meeting Notes for SRP Board Meeting
Teleconference – Friday, January 20th, 2006

Michael Green
Ian Gotlib
Michael Young
Michael Pogue-Geile
Deanna Barch
Marty Harrow
Keith Nuechterlein
Lee Anna Clark
Tom Widiger
Ann Kring
Dan Klein
David Miklowitz
Scott Monroe

1) Approval of Prior Meeting Minutes

2) Dual Tracking at 2006 Meeting
Scott Sponheim requested that the board consider dual tracking for the 2006 meeting to deal with the issue that there will be more constraint in the development of the 2006 program due to the carry over in program from the cancelled 2005 meeting. A second reason to consider dual tracking is that the size of the meeting is growing, particularly in terms of poster presentations. Michael Pogue-Geile noted that last year, there were a number of potentially excellent talks that had to be moved to poster presentations due to a lack of space on the program. Lee Anna Clark noted that any “experiment” at the 2006 meeting is likely not to generalize, as the 2006 meeting will be unusual following the 2005 cancellation. It would cost an extra $3200 for 2 full days of extra rooms for parallel tracking at the 2006 meeting. The cost would likely be less for only one day or part of the day. A number of members suggested that we try a hybrid approach, in which we have dual tracking for part of the meeting. It was proposed that we frame the use of some dual-tracking at the 2006 meeting as being in large part of a response to the cancellation of the 2005 meeting and the likelihood of increased presentations, but also view it as an opportunity to try dual tracking again. If it does not go well in 2006, it is unlikely that it would go well in future years. If it goes well in 2006, it may simply be because of the unusual nature of the meeting, and it should be tried again in the 2007 meeting to assess whether it generalizes. The board voted to try dual tracking for part of the 2006 meeting as an “experiment.” More specifically, the board suggests that dual tracking occur for a half day on Friday, to allow time for members to generate feedback for the members meeting.

3) Proposed Changes to Smadar Levine Award
Lee Anna Clark and the committee had developed a proposal for changes that they felt would improve the process. The proposal was as follows:”
The Smadar Levin Award Committee would like to propose a revision of the selection process for the Smadar Levin Award arising out of our concern that the variability in what is included in the Supplemental reports complicates the decision-making process. We think that all would be served better by a more systematic approach. Specifically, we propose the following:

(1) We develop a form (probably web-based) form for submission of the author information. If desired, this could allow blind reviewing.

(2) We require the early submission to take the form of a prospectus or grant application in that it would include an introduction and hypotheses section, method section, and proposed analyses section.
The rationale for this is two-fold: First, everyone should have these completed by the time of submission, so it levels the playing field between those who have their results already and those who will have them by the time of the conference. Second, it leaves less to the subjective judgment of the applicants regarding what to include in their 1000-word description. We found that some applicants wrote essentially review papers, with brief results sections; some focused on their results with little to no information about their method (even such things as sample size or a description of the measures were omitted in some applications); others had a theoretical introduction and method section, but no results.

(3) We require a reference section, not included in the application word limit. It seemed that some applicants may have thought that references had to be included in their required word-limit and wrote shorter proposals. Others, perhaps, chose not to provide any references for the same reason or because they simply didn’t think that references are required in a poster.

(4) Selection of a group of finalists, perhaps 10 to 12 at most, would be based on the above-described application. Then, the winner and runners-up would be based on reviewing the actual posters (just those of the finalists) with their full results and conclusions.

Michael Pogue-Geile raised the one concern that if the form makes it clear that you may not have results at the time of proposal, it may encourage students to submit before they have results. In a sense it will reward those who have completed data. Lee Anna suggested that you explicitly tell students not to include their results, but just proposed analyses, so that there is a level playing field. Deanna suggested a variation, in which students are required to have an application that includes results, but that the application would not be due until one month before the meeting. This would give sufficient time for the committee to read the application, but give students a reasonable period of time to complete data analysis and interpretation. Ann Kring raised the issue of whether the program committee would know about the poster presentation. It was suggested that students be asked to submit a regular poster submission at the normal deadline, with the Smadar Levin application due at a later time. This idea met with general acclaim, so Lee Anna will take the Board's suggested revisions back to the Smadar Levin Committee for revision of the proposal, which then will be resubmitted for the Board for further consideration. Lee Anna clarified that any student could submit as long as they had a sponsor who was an SRP member.

4) Proposed Tribute to Phil Holzman
Sohee Park made this proposal. She asked if the society could have an appropriate award in Phil Holzman’s name. Michael Green’s initial reaction was that the request was complicated because we are a small society and already have two named awards. This is particularly true given that we already have one award that is in the name of a person from the same institution who studied similar topics. Michael Pogue-Geile raised the concern that we need to come up with some criteria or guidelines as to how we would decide who would or would not have an award named after them. The board agreed to solicit suggestions from those who worked closely with Phil Holzman and to discuss the issue further.

5) Website Update
Lee Anna Clark reported that the website committee has changed, and Lee Anna Clark has rotated off and Yue Chen has rotated on. They have provided Aaron Burke with a list of tasks for the coming year, the most important of which are to: 1) put counters on the pages to help guide decisions about webpage development; 2) restructure the site so that there are more things that can be done by the committee rather than requiring intervention on the part of Aaron Burke. Michael Pogue-Geile raised the issue of redoing the website so as to make it easier for the program committee to print out information on which members students would like to come to the poster. However, a number of board members suggested was that it was not clear that this was still needed, as the program was small enough that most members come by posters as it is. However, other board members felt that this was a still a very useful process and helped ensure that members made it to students’ posters in the face of interference from meeting others along the way. The consensus was to see if the website could be changed to facilitate this processes, such as having it automatically send an email to a member once a student requested by a student. This request will be passed on to the website committee. Michael Pogue-Geile also raised the question of whether the program book should be changed so that the abstracts are removed from the program and included as an alphabetized appendix. However, the board felt that the program was more useful the way it is currently structured.

6) Dates / locations of future meetings
– 2006 San Diego, CA (October 12th -15th)
– 2007 Iowa City, IA (Oct 4th – 7th)
– 2008 Pittsburgh, PA
– 2009 Minneapolis, MN
It was agreed that it would be good to decide upon specific dates as early as possible for future meetings, but with the recognition that larger societies (e.g., SFN, SPR) are unlikely to adjust their meeting date choices for us, as we are a smaller society.