At this point it has become a common practice for the Annual Meeting to extend the submission deadline, sometimes multiple times. On the one hand, this can feel like a tremendous gift; as someone who is often working on deadline when I get an unexpected extension it can feel like a weight is lifted. On the other hand, as an academic, an extension can be an invitation to a dilemma about working more on that submission versus all the other important things happening, just increasing the stress level. Like a snooze button on an alarm clock, it’s a mixed blessing.

Within the context of ISLS, we know that there are a lot of moving parts besides the experience of the submitters; reviewers essentially get a shortened deadline if submission dates are extended, and it has been challenging to ensure the ever-larger and increasingly complex proceedings can be produced in time, not to mention the work of scheduling the program once reviewing is done. The most typical answer to these constraints has often simply been pressuring people to squeeze things in to their already overburdened schedules. We do need to be considerate of the enormous volunteer workforce that reviews the papers for the annual meeting each year.

Many people have requested extensions of the conference submission deadline, with tenors ranging from timid, to pleading, to presumptive or belligerent. The most difficult requests to read are those from members of our community who have been touched by terrible circumstances, whether it is violent conflict or personal disasters. ISLS 2024, in keeping with our theme, is attempting to be a humane conference, one that does not escalate the productivity-centric habits that often dehumanize us in academia. In that sense, I tend to think about how we can give each other grace in this situation; we can try to act in goodwill towards submitters, and reviewers. But perhaps the most important act is to give ourselves grace.

Conferences come and go, and the ISLS Annual Meeting, unlike the old ICLS and CSCL standalone conferences, comes every year. This year is, for some people, a particularly trying one. Reinforcing the idea that success in our field demands presenting at every Annual Meeting, and that we need to pressure the system to ensure people can submit even in the face of open warfare, feels to me like reinforcing the wrong tendencies. Some people undergoing tremendous hardship will benefit from pouring their attention into their avocation and research, while others will need to turn attention to other issues that matter more, whether caring for loved ones or anything else that might not be on the academic annual performance review.

In that spirit, and will the full support of the program committee, we are not announcing a change of the deadline. Rather, we are enacting a once only grace period of ten days. Submissions will be accepted until November 16, with no penalty in the review process. If an extension would give you stress, don’t consider this an extension. But if a few extra days allows you to attend to other more important matters, please use this period of time. We give you permission, and hope you give yourself permission, to NOT prioritize submitting to the Annual Meeting at all if it is not the most humane thing you could be doing. And if you are at a point where bringing your work to our meeting brings you healing, resilience, and community, we welcome your submissions with open arms. Whichever you choose, we affirm your choice and hope you give that same grace to others.

-Chris