Instructions for Moderators and Discussants

For most individual paper sessions and pre-organized sessions, a moderator and a discussant have been appointed for session management (see schedule by day for names of these individuals). Moderators are generally assigned from the list of presenters who will already be in the room. Roundtable sessions are assigned only a moderator.


  • Arrive at the session room five minutes prior to the scheduled starting time and introduce yourself to the presenters.
  • Attempts are made to assign a student room attendant to every session room. This person will help you contact necessary parties to take care of the audio visual equipment, room temperature control, and to assist you and the presenters at any time.
  • Look on the front table or podium for the yellow and red cards to assist you with letting presenters know their time frame. Please return these cards to the front of the room when the session is completed.
  • Inform presenters of the maximum time they can use for their paper presentation. This time can vary depending on the number of papers in the session and whether there is a discussant who needs time to respond. Introduce the yellow and red card system to all.
  • When introducing the session - please be brief - tell the audience how many papers will be presented, how long each presentation will be and when there will be time for questions. You will not have presenter bios, nor should you provide any personal commentary. Time is a premium for the presenters.
  • For each paper, introduce the author and the title of the paper.
  • Show the yellow card to the presenter when 5 minutes of presentation time is left. Show the red card when time is over. Be firm in your request to end the presentation in fairness to all other presenters. If you don't think you can insist if at all necessary, you might pass the moderator responsibility to someone in the room who can.
  • In managing the question-and-answer-time, please ask questioners to identify themselves and to keep their comments as short as possible to allow the presenters to respond in full.
  • Please ensure the session finishes on time. Sessions that overrun will affect next sessions.
  • In case you are presenting a paper yourself during the session you are moderating, we strongly recommend you present at the end of the session, even if this means altering from the printed program slightly. The efficient management of the session will benefit from it. When presenting your paper ask one of the other presenters to manage your time using the cards.


If you are interested in acting as a discussant, please contact the track chair for the topic of interest to you. It is the role of the discussant to raise points of discussion from the papers before opening the discussion to include the audience. The review should be brief enabling time for questions and responses. We strongly encourage you to contact each presenter in advance of the conference, follow up on any that have not submitted final papers and read each text prior to the session to prepare appropriate comments. Students and young faculty truly benefit from your effort. The conference committee does its best to avoid conflicts for discussants with their own paper presentations, however; if the end result is a paper-discussant conflict, we will ask you to step aside from your discussant commitment. We will not rearrange the schedule.