[APG Public List] National Genealogical Meetings

jfonkert at aol.com jfonkert at aol.com
Fri Oct 2 08:20:48 MDT 2009

I've only been to a handful of national conferences, but I've perused the program of several others over the past 4-5 years.? From what I see on the programs, it would appear to me the conferences are of a quite different nature than academic or professional conferences it other fields.? The national genealogy conference programs do seem geared toward reporting research or new developments.? Rather, the programs seem to have the same core cluster of topics year after year (not a terrible thing, necessarily, as the conferences move around to different regional audiences).? The programs are heavy on instructional topics (record types, methodology, technology?-- again not inappropriate), but do not seem geared toward talks that report research or developments.? Personally, I would like to see more research-based talks that demonstrate problem-solving techniques.? I can read about census records or passenger records on my own, but I'd like to hear about how people solve interesting problems.

-----Original Message-----
From: DonnDevine at aol.com
To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Sent: Thu, Oct 1, 2009 10:19 pm
Subject: [APG Public List] National Genealogical Meetings

I just received an invitation from a large professional organization in another discipline to submit an abstract?for a?possible presentation at its March 2010 national meeting. The lead time is four to five months, depending on the subject matter, with the applicable cutoff dates?set by the committees responsible for different portions of the program.


Our national genealogical organizations have submission deadlines?up to 14 months in advance of the meetings, with the result that there is little or no opportunity for recent developments and discoveries to?be considered for?the program.


In most professions?where research plays an important role, national conferences are the means by which practitioners stay on the cutting edge.?Conference presentation usually precedes publication in peer-reviewed journals. However, in genealogy the very early?conference proposal?deadlines give print journals a clear edge on timely reporting of new findings.


Can anyone explain why genealogy is so different from other scholarly disciplines? Are presenters?unable to?propose?recent discoveries?because of the early deadlines? Or do conference planners?even look for?previously unpublished?research?findings and?breakthroughs, like?more effective methodologies, discovery of old errors, or use of novel sources?


Donn Devine, CG, CGL
Wilmington DE 

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical?Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation, and the board name is registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office.

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