Three steps to submit an abstract:

  • Please read the following instructions on how to prepare your abstract before starting the submission process. Given our move to include a significant virtual component, there are some changes to the process from years past.
  • OPTIONAL STEP 1: If you intend to register for the meetings at the members' registration rate (see rates here), you should begin the abstract submission process by renewing your membership for 2021.
    • You can renew your membership at any time prior to when you register for the meeting, or
    • You can renew your membership as a first step to the process of then registering for the meeting and submitting an abstract.
    • You renew your membership or apply to join the AAPA through this link.
  • When you are ready to submit your abstract, steps 2 and 3 are done sequentially:
    • STEP 2: Go to this link to begin the meeting registration process.
    • STEP 3: Once you have registered for the meeting (and paid) you will be directed to the abstract submission portal.

As you begin to plan your AAPA 2021 presentation, please note:

  • Contributed research presentations convey leading research results to our peers.
  • Abstracts for 2021 cannot be a re-submission of your 2020 abstract.
  • There is no limit on the number of abstracts that an individual may co-author; however, each person may be the first author of only one abstract. Every abstract must have a unique author (and e-mail address) registered for the meetings.
  • The Program Committee is considering the use of three presentation formats. See the following section for more information. The three formats are:
    • the traditional 12 minute podium/video
    • a new 6 minute podium/video
    • poster
  • Most contributed presentations will be hosted on the virtual meeting platform.
  • Sessions will be smaller and include formal live networking events.
  • Below, you will find information about submitting a competitive abstract. Please read it when preparing your submission.
  • The deadline for submitting your abstract is October 15, 2021. This is a hard deadline, no exceptions.

Information About Poster and Podium Presentations for 2021:

The AAPA meetings have traditionally offered the opportunity to deliver presentations in either a poster or a podium format. With the inclusion of the virtual platform, please note that a podium presentation will generally mean a pre-recorded video presentation.

Following our tradition, authors are asked to state their preference for a podium or poster presentation as part of their online abstract submission. 

As we develop the virtual program, the Program Committee is exploring the possibility of a third presentation format, a 6-minute video. When submitting your abstract, you will be asked if you would prefer a 12-minute podium/video, 6-minute podium/video, or poster presentation format. Please give some thought as to whether or not the new 6-minute podium/video format might be ideal for your research.

Please note that podium and poster presentations will be uploaded to the virtual platform well before the start of the conference on April 7, 2021, so that we have time to check all the links and formatting. Details will be provided later, but please make note on your calendar that you will need to have your presentation finalized much earlier than in years past.

While we will try to match all authors with their preferred format, we cannot guarantee that your preferences will be met. This switch may be more common this year than in years past given that most of our program will be virtual, a format that we are learning to plan for as we go. Recent meetings have had a ratio of 3:1 posters to podium presentations. As we build a large virtual component to our 2021 meeting, please keep in mind that reviewer advice and programmatic requirements may result in the moving of some abstracts from podium to poster OR from poster to podium format. Final decisions regarding presentation type and abstract acceptance/rejection rest with the Program Chair.

Abstract Preparation:

All presentations will be represented in the Conference Program volume with a peer-reviewed published abstract. Please prepare your abstract carefully.

Abstracts are reviewed by two members of the Program Committee who rank  them on a scale of 1 to 3 (high priority, low priority, reject). If the abstract is acceptable, they also recommend whether it should be a poster or podium presentation.  To be ranked highly and accepted, the abstract must contain a clear statement of purpose, provide essential new information, including results of the investigation and conclusion(s), and address the importance of the findings for anthropology. We are aware that many organizations accept abstracts without results, but the AAPA does not. To be accepted, an abstract must include clear evidence that data have been analyzed and results have been obtained. Occasionally it is appropriate for abstracts to be submitted which do not include results but which are synthetic in nature. In general, however, abstracts must present new results. Abstracts cannot exceed 250 words.  

A careful selection of keywords at the time of submission on your part will enable your abstracts to be appropriately reviewed and help the Advance Program Committee to put together a coherent and exciting program. Please choose your keywords thoughtfully!

To avoid the rejection of your abstract, please do not...

  • Exceed the allowed word count of 250 words. This count applies to the text of the abstract (not including title, authors, affiliations, and grant support acknowledgements).
  • Write an abstract that describes a study similar in many respects to a presentation from a previous AAPA meeting or other conference. We know members are disappointed that they did not have the opportunity to present their 2020 presentation in person. The AAPA Executive Committee carefully deliberated and came to the decision that 2021 would be an entirely new meeting. This is in part because the 2020 abstract volume was peer-reviewed and published, and because presenters had the opportunity to upload their presentations. Given that the science has continued to advance despite the pandemic, the 2021 meeting will present the up-to-date state of our discipline. Please be mindful to revise your datasets, analyses, and/or contextual framing as you prepare your 2021 abstract. Self-plagiarism with a previous AAPA abstract or an abstract for another conference risks copyright infringement, and therefore, rejection from our 2021 program.
  • Write an abstract with no results. We are aware that other organizations do accept abstracts that have no results. The AAPA has a tradition of only accepting abstracts that show evidence of data analysis.
  • Write an abstract that describes a study with little to no relationship to biological anthropology.
  • Write more than one abstract as first author. Note: Introductions to and discussions of symposia do not require an abstract. If you are, for example, organizing a podium symposium you can do an introductory paper without an abstract and present a paper with an abstract. What you cannot do is be first author on more than one abstract.
  • Include extraneous information such as a list of literature cited.  
  • Miss the October 15, 2020 deadline. This is a hard deadline with no exceptions.

Here is an example of what the abstracts for AAPA look like:

How to Write an Abstract


When you are ready to submit your abstract:

  • Please review the example abstract above and make sure to have all pieces of information ready.
  • Pre-registration is required of First authors at the time of abstract submission. Payment is due at that time. If you want to pay the AAPA members' rates, submission of your abstract is a 3-step process: renew your membership, register for the meeting (pay the fee), and then submit your abstract.
  • Click here to renew your AAPA membership (or join) for 2021.
  • Click here to register for the 2021 AAPA Annual Meeting and submit your abstract.
  • Please encourage your co-authors to pre-register as well, this will be especially helpful as we prepare for the new virtual component.
  • Author information is needed for ALL authors on the paper: Full name (spell out first names), affiliation, e-mail address. Please confirm this information with your co-authors to ensure proper indexing of abstracts.
  • Title is entered separately from the abstract. Capitalize only the first word of the title and the first word after a colon. Please see the example above. Please follow these guidelines closely in order to improve formatting consistency of our annual abstract issue.
  • Abstract text is pasted into the online system. Limit 250 words. See instructions and formatting in the template above. Abstract content cannot be changed once submitted. Please proof-read carefully!
  • Funding statement (optional) text (about funding only) is to be pasted into the online system. Limit 30 words.
  • For abstracts that are part of an invited symposium, the first author will need to be sure to assign their abstract to the proper symposium by selecting the title of their symposium during the submission process through a pull-down menu.
  • Abstract classification/keywords. When you submit your abstract, you will be asked to chose ONE keyword from the first list, ONE keyword from the second list, and TWO keywords from the third list (see below). Please choose carefully! This will enable your abstracts to be appropriately reviewed and help the Advance Program Committee to put together a coherent and exciting program. 
  • Please be sure to complete the survey associated with the abstract submission as this will help us in planning for the virtual program, planning for childcare at the Baltimore component to the program, and in the nomination of new members for AAPA's Executive Committee.

2019 Abstract Keywords - final -v4

Additional Information:

Interested in chairing a session?  The 2021 meeting will include many more opportunities for chairing sessions. Unlike in-person sessions, the chair will be responsible for having previewed the presentations ahead of time and then facilitating a 1-hour long group conversation with the session participants and audience. We anticipate each session including 6-10 presentations. These sessions will be a key piece of our networking building mission. We encourage session chairs from across career stages, the main criteria being a willingness to facilitate the conversation. There will also be other duties associated with serving as a session chair, the details of which will be better-known once we have finalized the decision on our meeting platform. You will have an opportunity to indicate your willingness to serve as a session chair in the survey associated with the abstract submission process.

The Abstract Review Process: The Program Committee is comprised for AAPA members in good standing, and includes scholars from a range of fields within our discipline.  Each abstract is read by at least two members of the Program Committee with appropriate expertise. Each reviewer ranks the abstracts on a scale of 1 to 3 (high priority, low priority, reject) and recommends the most appropriate format (poster/podium) for the presentation. If two members recommend rejection, the abstract is reviewed by another member of the committee and by the Program Chair. The AAPA retains the right of rejection of any abstract. Decisions are final.

Notification of Abstract Acceptance/Rejection: By the end of December 2020, abstract decisions will be distributed via e-mail to the registered author. Your original submission confirmation email also includes a link to your abstract status page that may be used to check abstract decisions. Updates to that page will be available in late December.

Technical Notes: The online system will e-mail the registered first author a confirmation when you have successfully submitted your abstract. In some cases, especially gmail addresses and university email run by Google, this email may be filtered as spam. If you do not receive your confirmation email within 1 hour of submission, please e-mail [email protected]

Click here to renew your AAPA membership (or join) for 2021.

Click here to register for the 2021 AAPA Annual Meeting and submit your abstract.

QUESTIONS? email Vice President & Program Chair Leslea Hlusko at [email protected].

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