PCR review report for IAMCR 2020

The Participatory Communication Research Section (PCR) has now finished reviewing the abstract submissions for the IAMCR 2020 online activities.

Given the developments associated with COVID-19, and the health and safety issues and constraints related to travel and conference activity, IAMCR and its partners at Tampere University decided to switch to an online conference for 2020. The two main types of activities of this IAMCR 2020 conference will be:

  • The Online Conference Papers, where IAMCR members will present 1000 to 4000-word papers and get feedback on their work;
  • The Online Sessions, which will consist of a series of high-quality pre-recorded sessions. Each participating IAMCR Section and Working Group will be responsible for one (1) Online Session. We will also have one virtual cinema session (called “Flow34”), coordinated by Nico Carpentier.

In total, the PCR Section received 112 abstract proposals, including 4 panel abstracts, (which grouped 17 individual presenters). We invited one keynote PCR section presenter. In total, we thus had 109 individual abstracts, 91 submitted as individual papers, one keynote abstract, and 17 submitted as part of a panel proposal.

Unfortunately, when applicants were asked to confirm their participation in the IAMCR online conference, 29 out of 109 withdrew (or did not confirm). As the abstract of our invited PCR keynote session presenter was not reviewed, we reviewed the work of 79 applicants. We used a double peer review system, with each submission reviewed by one Section official, and by one of our 20 external reviewers. Two other external reviewers had to cancel, and for these 9 abstracts, a different Section official did the second review.

From these 79 applicants, 41 individual applicants and 15 applicants in panel proposals were accepted to present their work in the Online Conference Papers. Five individual applicants were invited to present their work in the PCR Online Session. These five included our invited keynote presenter, and four applicants that were among those who received the highest review scores. This also means that, with regret, our PCR keynote session was cancelled and the keynote talk integrated in our PCR Online Session. Moreover, one individual abstract was accepted to Flow34, and we decided to move one abstract to another IAMCR Section, to be reviewed there. This implies that 17 submissions were not accepted upon review, which gives us an acceptance rate of 78% (61 out of 78, not including the one abstract that was moved for review in another Section).

We are welcoming all these 56 papers to the PCR Online Conference Papers, the one paper to Flow34 (our virtual cinema), and the five following papers to the PCR Online Session, which will be entitled “Complicating Participation:

  > Tom Jacobson and Nicole Lemire Garlic: “Conceptualizing Participatory Processes at Multiple Levels of Analysis"
  > Jo Katambwe: “Disjunctive Participation: Metalogue as the grand narrative and process of digital societies in 21th century
  > Lauren Dyll: “Potentialities, Perceptions and Pragmatism of Participation in Cultural Heritage Processes: a case study of the Mashishing Marking Memories Project, South Africa
  > Kirill Filimonov: “Defying the State as a Discourse: Inclusion, Vulnerability and Trust in Russian Community Media
  > Anu Kantola: “Preferring Silence: How the Wealthiest Participate and What It Means for Studies of Participation

In the meanwhile, all applicants to the PCR Section for the 2020 IAMCR conference have been informed of our decision. Later, they will be briefed about the practicalities of their presentations, keeping in mind that the paper submission deadline is 19 June 2020.

As this report indicates, the shift to an online conference has generated a high level of complexity. We are very grateful to our colleagues in the IAMCR Executive Board, in the IAMCR Executive Secretariat and in the Tampere Local Organizing Committee, for their support. We also appreciate the patience and resilience of the applicants to the PCR Section. At the same time, we apologize for any inconvenience that this rather fluid situation may have caused, but we are also confident that we will have a great set of PCR presentations at the IAMCR 2020 conference.