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December 3-5

Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement

ASP2020: A Virtual Conference

Abstract Submissions


The ASP strongly recommends that you read these Abstract Submissions Guidelines prior to submitting your Abstract. We also provide a pdf file for your printing convenience.

Submissions Deadline is October 26

The ASP invites abstract submissions in three categories:

  •       50-minute Interactive Sessions
  •       10-minute Oral Presentations
  •       Video Posters

Proposals for abstracts must be submitted via our online system, and not via regular mail or email. The Program Committee will rate submissions based only on the information you provide, so please complete the abstract form carefully. The abstract submission deadline is October 26, 2020. Late abstracts might be accepted for a short TBD time afterwards, but will have lower priority, so please submit your abstract on time.

NOTE: When you submit an abstract, you will receive a receipt and a separate registration number for that abstract. Registering an abstract is NOT the same as registering for the conference. All approved lead presenters will still need to register for the conference. Those who decline to register will have their session or presentation removed from the final conference program, though you can request a co-presenter assume the lead presenter role as long as they don’t already have a separate approved abstract as lead presenter in the program (see Limit section below).

Abstract submission character limits:

Title – 60 characters (approximately 15 words)

Abstract - 2000 characters (approximately 325 words)*

Feel free to compose your submission in a word-processing program and then copy it onto the online form. Exceeding the character limits will result in truncated text.

*We just increased the character count as of October 14, 2020

Abstract Submissions Options

50-minute Interactive Sessions:

For this virtual ASP conference, we still expect these sessions to be interactive and not just didactic presentations. Please plan to engage with your audience as best you can in whichever format you decide to run one of these sessions, such as a Workshop, Webinar, or Discussion. In your abstract, please describe how your session will be run, and what goals you have.

More than one presenter is encouraged (though not required), to help provide more perspectives, and to monitor your audience (e.g. typed-in chat questions) as well as time. Panel discussions of important topics are a key strategy that is encouraged, with perhaps two or three panelists/presenters stimulating the discussion, and with solicitation and incorporation of audience questions and perspectives. For any 50-minute Interactive Session, there should be 5 or more minutes of Q&A with the audience.

Fitting your content and discussion into 50 minutes might seem a difficult challenge, but we expect tightly-constructed Interactive Sessions with focused content and discussion. Keep in mind that larger subjects possibly warranting more discussion can be split up into 2 or more Interactive Sessions on different parts, as long as the lead presenter is different for each abstract submitted. Each abstract will be considered on its own merit.

10-minute Oral Presentations:

For short summaries of programs, experiences, evaluation results, research findings, or ideas to share that include a series of visuals or slides, the 10-minute oral option may be the most appropriate option. These presentations should be targeted to run 5-8 minutes, followed by a few minutes of Q&A with the audience (more Q&A time if the presentation is on the shorter side).

Video Posters: 

This is a new format introduced for this virtual conference, and is primarily intended for those who would rather prepare a presentation viewed asynchronously by attendees. Approved presenters of Video Posters will be invited to upload ahead of the conference a video up to 3 minutes in length. Such videos are welcome to include presented slides to communicate text or graphics in addition to the brief oral narrative provided by the presenter(s).

There will be dedicated time in the conference program for Video Posters viewing, to encourage attendees to peruse these asynchronous presentations at their own pace, and to make connections with the Video Posters presenters. We are working to set up a system where attendees can indicate interest to such presenters, for either questions or follow-up networking discussion.

ASP 2020 Program Strands

When entering your abstract information, you will be asked to choose one of the conference program strands most appropriate to associate your abstract with. The program strands for 2020 are as follows:

  • Online K-16 Teaching & Learning
  • Public Engagement in Informal Settings
  • Science Communication & Social Media
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Social Justice
  • Climate/Environmental Science & Dark Skies Preservation

Presenter’s Target Audience(s)

With that, you will also be asked to identify which type of audience(s) you are targeting or have targeted with the work described in your abstract. You may choose more than one type of audience, or just the one type most appropriate, from the following:

  • College teachers & students
  • K-12 teachers & students
  • General public
  • Children & families
  • Amateur astronomers
  • Informal educators and visitors

Limit on Abstracts Submitted

For this conference, you may be the lead presenter on just one abstract. We may receive more good abstracts than the Meeting can accommodate. Thus the Program Committee reserves the right to decline some abstracts or request a different format for the proposed session/presentation (e.g. poster instead of 10 minute presentation). There is no limit on the number of abstracts an individual may be listed as a co-presenter. Collaboratives are welcome to submit more than one abstract on related content, as long as each abstract has a different lead presenter identified, and each abstract has sufficiently clear and distinct content. Each abstract will be considered on its own merit.

How to Write Effective Abstracts

Ideal abstracts give a concise description of what you propose to do or say in your session or presentation, and best written so people not familiar with your work can understand it. It may contain a website URL for more information, although do not rely on a reader actually visiting that site before the meeting. 

ASP 2020 Conference Proceedings

The conference will publish proceedings through the ASP Conference Series to provide a record of the conference and a ready reference for those attending as well as those unable to attend. It also provides a publishing opportunity for those submitting an abstract and making a presentation during the conference.

After the virtual conference, all presenters who wish to have their work published in the ASP Conference Series volume must submit by January 25, 2021. This should be in the form of a short paper directly associated with your conference session or presentation. All contributed papers will be collected into a conference proceedings volume. Attendees will be able to pre-order the proceedings at a conference discount.

A conference proceedings webpage will be set up for paper submission and editorial details.


Any questions? Please email us at