Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Preface

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Preface

Article excerpt

As someone who has studied behavior change, it is rather apropos that this year, with the Research Consortium Board's blessing, I was able to incorporate a number of changes into the Research Consortium's annual convention program. The most notable change is that this year's convention program is being delivered primarily through thematic rather than subdisciplinary sessions, as has been done traditionally (see Table 1). Specifically, using the accepted, peer-reviewed abstracts I created helpful themes to arrange the convention program around, in an attempt to foster new collaborations and relationships as well as encourage growth in interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary understanding. This is consistent with the Research Consortium's mission and a long-standing identified strength of our organization. It is hoped that such programming will help the Research Consortium and Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance research excel in the future as well as better serve the needs of all conference attendees. Consider, for example, that of the 21 sessions listed in Table 1 (see p. iv of the preface), 17 (81%) have multiple subdisciplinary areas represented, and of the remaining 4, 3 have a distinct thematic focus (e.g., "Substance Use and Abuse" versus the traditionally used label of "Health"). It is hoped that this organizational strategy will create a lively dynamic within sessions, including attracting people to sessions they may not have attended historically.

Building on the tradition of offering annual programming aimed at professional and career development, this year's program features the 1st Annual Graduate Student-Research Consortium Scholar Social. This session was envisioned by current Research Consortium president, Ron E. McBride, and it will feature R. Scott Kretchmar, the 2007 Raymond A. Weiss Lecturer. Also being offered for the first time is a session tided, "RC 101: Introduction to the Research Consortium." While I had the honor of developing the session for this year's program, the idea originated from Jennifer Mak at one of the first Research Consortium board meetings I ever attended.

As always, the bulk of the nearly 300 presentations being offered through the Research Consortium are peer-reviewed free-communication, poster, and symposia sessions. This year we received 363 total submissions through the on-line peer-review system, and 74.7% of those were ultimately accepted (N = 271). Thirteen Review Panel Chairs (RPCs) coordinated 198 independent reviewers between late July and early August. Each reviewer received between 1-15 abstracts to review (M = 5.87, SD = 2.33). On the basis of these reviews, RPCs offered their recommendations to me. Ultimately, I made the final decision on all accepted/rejected abstracts; however, in < 1% of all cases did I go against the recommendations of the RPCs. Where 1 is low and 5 is high, accepted abstracts received a summative rating from the reviewers of 3.66 (95% confidence interval = 3.60-3.72), whereas rejected abstracts received a summative rating from the reviewers of 2.51 (95% confidence interval = 2.42-2.61). Balancing out the Research Consortium's program is a collection of collaborative, invited, and named lectures.

With the growth of the subdisciplines, the Research Consortium has been referred to as a leading organization of multidisciplinary research (Weiss, 2004). The thematic organizational and delivery structure showcased in this year's program attempts to capitalize on that strength. Please let us know what you think. Ultimately, this is your convention, and we want to make it the best possible experience for all conference attendees.

Finally, relative to the thematic areas listed in Table 1, it is important to note that these were driven by submissions, not by the Research Consortium leadership. Some themes are prominent and others are absent. What's missing? You tell us. And encourage your colleagues and graduate students from those areas to submit their research for consideration at future conventions. …

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