Page 11 - ASHG 2013 Program Guide

What does the ASHG Program Committee do?
The Program Committee consists of appointed ASHG members who have expertise
in the many topic areas that are represented at the Annual Meeting. For the 2013
meeting, the Program Committee reviewed 74 proposals for invited sessions. The
review process took into consideration the merit and timeliness of each proposal as
well as the need to balance topics in the overall scientific program. The proposals
underwent four rounds of review, with final selections occurring in February 2013.
Among the many excellent proposals submitted, only 21 proposals could ultimately
be accepted.
The ProgramCommittee also received 3616 scientific abstracts. The ProgramCommittee
had the difficult task of determining which abstracts would be accepted, and in what
presentation format. Below is a brief description of how this task was performed:
Based on the author’s topic preference and keyword selection, an abstract was
initially reviewed by the Program Committee member responsible for that topic. If
the committee member determined that the abstract would be more appropriately
categorized under another topic, it was transferred to that topic. Sub-topic
designations were helpful in assigning abstracts to the most appropriate topic.
Each abstract was then sent electronically to three reviewers (including a Program
Committee member) who are experts in the field. Each reviewer scored the abstracts
independently and without knowledge of the score given by the other reviewers.
Abstracts were then assigned a score from 1 (highest priority) to 8 (reject). The best
cumulative score that an abstract could obtain fromall three reviewerswas a 3 (1
In general, abstracts receiving scores within the top 8% for each topic were selected
for platform (oral) presentations. The number of available oral presentations for a given
topic was in rough proportion to the number of abstracts submitted for that topic, with
some discretion given to the Program Committee to adjust for the quality of abstracts
in each topic in a given year. The total number of oral presentations is 411.
The top-scoring abstracts from each topic were then considered by the Program
Committee for possible inclusion in the plenary session. Selection of plenary-
session presentations was based not only on the cumulative scores, but also on
the impact of the science being presented and the balance of topics in the session.
Six abstracts were chosen to constitute the plenary session.
Theconcurrent platformsessionswere thenassembled fromthe remaining405abstracts
chosen for oral presentations (step 3 above, minus the six plenary abstracts). Within
the constraints that each concurrent session has exactly nine abstracts, these platform
sessions typically contain abstracts grouped by topic/approach. Some of the platform
sessions are “multi-disciplinary” sessions centered around a topic and are designed to
bring together investigators interested in that topic from diverse areas of genetics.
To determinewhether the programmatic changes that we have implemented
were successful, we invite you to complete the online survey that will be sent shortly
after the meeting is over. The Program Committee welcomes nominations of Society
members who are able to serve and represent their human genetics subspecialty on
the Committee in future years. Please feel free to direct such nominations and inquiries
to the ASHG Administrative Office directly: