Internal WAYEB Regulations
Organisation of the European Maya Conference Series
It is the purpose of the regulations presented hereafter to introduce a set of rules for the organisation of the European Maya Conferences by which it will be feasible to establish the conference series as an institutional event in the academic public.
In the organisation of a conference event and in following the regulations certain principled and ethical criteria that reflect the original idea of Wayeb and the European Maya Conferences since 1996 should be considered:
– It is the Association’s principal aim to bring together European Maya scholars and researchers.
– The European Maya Conferences should be a European forum for current and scientifically relevant research.
– The European Maya Conferences continue to be an opportunity for young scholars to present their research on the basis of quality and democratic principles in front of an academic audience.
The organisation of the European Maya Conferences should obligate all those participating in the organisation of a particular event to subordinate their personal interests and ideas to the general aim. The following regulations are formulated from the perspective of Wayeb’s democratic basis as well as the consideration of the criteria mentioned above. Herein, clarity is essential in order to reduce contestation of decisions made with regard to the organisation of the conference events.
§1 European Maya Conference
The European Maya Conference Series is intended to bring together scholars, students and other people interested in Ancient Maya Culture. Designed as an event that offers especially young scholars from Europe the opportunity to exchange recent findings on the Ancient Maya in mainly epigraphic, ethnohistorical and archaeological research, the forum also includes research on Colonial and Modern Maya, which contributes to a general understanding of Maya Culture. The European Maya Conference forum is generally accompanied by a workshop on Ancient Maya Hieroglyphic Writing. Both – workshop and forum – form an entity and shall ideally share the same theme.
The organisation of the European Maya Conference Series should continue to pursue its original aims and maintain Ancient Maya Culture as the main subject of study as long as paradigmatic shifts within research do not call for a change of the focus. The topic of Ancient Maya Culture should be understood to define the most salient feature of the European Maya Conferences as opposed to other similar events dealing with Mesoamerican or Ancient American Cultures in general.
§2 Wayeb Organisation of the European Maya Conference
Wayeb, the European Association of Mayanists, accepts the total responsibility for the continuation and organisation of the European Maya Conference series. In doing this, Wayeb complies with its aims as noted in the “Internal Regulations” Article 18 (changes to the status decided upon in 1998).
2.1. The European Maya Conferences are hosted by local institutions, preferably taking place in a different location each year. The shaping of the event depends on the respective host institution. Wayeb provides the general framework for the event, i.e. the selection of the hosting institution, acceptance of conference and workshop themes and partially for the selection of speakers.
2.2. Wayeb’s involvement in the European Maya Conference is implemented by a Conference Board, appointed by Wayeb to handle all matters regarding the European Maya Conference series. It is the responsibility of the Conference Board to assure that the European Maya Conferences are organized in accordance with the general aims and ideas as specified in the preamble and §1.
§3 Conference Board
3.1. The Conference Board is appointed by Wayeb and shall comply with the following functions:
3.1.1. The Conference Board will receive and decide upon applications (see §4) from the institutions willing to host the European Maya Conference. The Conference Board is responsible to make their decision by considering the general aims and principles as outlined in the preamble.
3.1.2. It is the Conference Board’s responsibility to ensure that a certain standard of scientific and academic quality of the event is met by taking an active role in the decision on conference theme and speakers to be invited. All aspects in which a conference does not meet these criteria will lie in the responsibility of the Conference Board.
To guarantee a certain standard of quality of the conference as well as some clarity of the decision making processes involved in its organisation, the Conference Board shall comply with two essential aspects:
126.96.36.199. Close collaboration between the hosting institution and the Board with regard to the invitations of speakers (see below)
188.8.131.52. Obligatory Call-for-Papers (see below)
3.1.3. With regard to 184.108.40.206., the Conference Board is responsible for the appointment of a Review Committee that will evaluate the results from the Call-for-Papers.
3.1.4. The Conference Board is responsible for all public relations concerning the European Maya Conferences (see §11).
3.2. The Conference Board consists of three constituents as follows:
1. A delegation from the Council of Active members. Active members who are interested in taking responsibility within the Conference Board or who may have been selected by their National delegations shall apply to the Administrative Council of Wayeb by sending a request to the president. The delegates are appointed by the Administrative Council for a period of two years. After this period a delegate may apply again. The Administrative Council selects among the applicants on the basis of the following criteria:
a. Number: The total number of delegates may not exceed seven in order to keep decision-making procedures manageable.
b. Nationality: A minimum of three different nationalities should be represented in the Board at all times. Active members who apply as national delegates shall be given preference.
c. Motivation: Personal motivation and experience as well as prior activities within the Board or Wayeb will be regarded in the selection of delegates.
2. The founding members (Laura Van Broekhoven, Philippe de Carlos, Alfonso Lacadena, Geneviève Le Fort-Werthmüller, Christian Prager and Frauke Sachse) supply the board with one delegate. They rotate every two years although individual members can be skipped, if they wish so for personal reasons.
3. The board includes an academic adviser, i.e. a scholar actively involved in current Maya research either with university affiliation or with active participation in several research projects, and preferably a European active Wayeb member with Ph.D. The academic advisor is elected by the General Assembly for a period of 5 years and is eligible for re-election; if the academic adviser does not comply with their obligations, the General Assembly can ask for dismissal and the election of a new adviser.
Filling a position in one of these posts requires individual active membership for at least one-year (see Statutes).
The composition of the Conference Board as pointed out above allows for a Board that is fully functioning at all time. Apart from the election of the academic adviser every 5 years, the General Assembly is not required to control the Conference Board.
The amount and form of participation of the national delegations will be subject to their own involvement and responsibility, i.e. they may elect delegates subject to their own conditions. Unless the national delegations provide the Administrative Council with elected candidates for the Conference Board, active members will be appointed on the basis of personal motivation only.
The proper functioning of the Conference Board itself is controlled by the president of Wayeb. The Conference Board is responsible for informing the president about its decisions. The president of Wayeb himself/herself may concurrently be part of the Conference Board.
3.3. Communicative functions within the Conference Board:
3.3.1. The Conference Board is “activated” in January of every second year starting in 2002. Active members who want to become delegates are invited to send their applications to the Administrative Council, respectively the Wayeb president until 31 December.
3.3.2. The distribution of responsibility for the various functions within the Conference Board, i.e. contact between institution and Board, correspondences, Call-for-Papers (see §7), etc. will then be decided upon. The members of the Conference Board shall nominate a speaker who will represent the Board.
4.1. Institutions who want to host the European Maya Conference must send their application to the Conference Board. The applications should reach Wayeb preferably two years before the conference will take place.
4.1.1. The official deadline for applications to reach Wayeb is 31 January of the year before the conference applied for, provided that the conference is continuing to be held in autumn/winter at that time [i.e. for a conference taking place in autumn/winter 2004, the application must reach Wayeb by 31 January 2003].
4.1.2. Ideally, the hosting institution should be informed about the confirmation one and a half years (1.5 years) before the event, so that they will be given sufficient time to prepare. That is, for a conference scheduled in autumn/winter, the decision as to where a conference will be hosted is confirmed by 31 May of the previous year [e.g. a conference hosted in autumn/winter 2004 should be confirmed by 31 May 2003].
4.1.3. If no applications reach Wayeb, these deadlines become void. In this case, it will be the responsibility of the Conference Board to find a hosting institution. Schedules and deadlines (for the Call-for-Papers) will then be decided by the Conference Board.
4.2. The following institutions can apply: universities, museums and other institutions or associations with an academic background. The institutions applying should be able to provide the adequate infrastructure and should also be able to access sufficient funding.
§5 Decision Making Procedures
5.1. The Conference Board will make its decision on the applications by majority vote, i.e. 50% plus one vote. The board will then communicate their decision to the applicants.
5.2. In case no adequate institution has applied or neither of the institutions can come up with sufficient funding, the Conference Board can decide to organize a self-financing conference on a “low-budget level”. The Conference Board should always prefer this solution to the cancellation of the conference in a particular year.
The Conference Board is compelled to assure a standard of quality in the European Maya Conference series and at the same time enable young scholars to attend and present their ideas.
6.1. At least 50% of the papers presented at the conference should be selected on the basis of Call-for-Papers/review procedures.
6.2. Provided the hosting institution has sufficient financial means at its disposal in order to invite speakers and scholars who do not pass the Call-for-Papers/review, the Conference Board will make suggestions to the hosting institution, naming relevant people who are leading specialists in the field related to the conference theme. This is to assure the quality of the event, and to enable institutions that might not have the “people” but the “money” to host the conference. However, the hosting institution is not required to follow these suggestions but is free in their decisions. In this, the hosting institution is asked to comply with the general idea laid out in the preamble and §1 and invitations for leading scholars in the field who are not selected on the basis of the Call-for-Papers procedure should always ensure the standard of quality of the research presented and should show preference for European scholars over non-European scholars on the basis of prevailing quality.
§7 Call for Papers
At least 50% of the papers presented should be chosen through a Call-for-Papers procedure. The Conference Board is responsible for the Call-for-Papers, i.e. announcement, collection of abstracts etc. After the elapsing of the deadline, the abstracts are passed on to the Review Committee (see §8).
7.1. Ideal schedule for the Call-for-Papers and subsequent procedures:
7.1.1. The Call-for-Papers starts at least one year before a particular conference is scheduled. For a conference scheduled in autumn/winter, the Call-for-Papers should be made public by November/December of the year before [e.g. for a conference taking place in autumn/winter 2004, the Call-for-Papers should have started by 30 November 2003, but preferably earlier]. The announcement should include a detailed outline of the conference theme.
7.1.2. In order to give willing participants enough time to a) become aware of the scheduled event, theme and Call-for-Papers and to b) hand in substantial work, the Call-for-Papers should run at least half a year. A Call-for-Papers for a conference scheduled in autumn/winter that has started in November should run until April/May [e.g. a Call-for-Papers that has started by 30 November 2003 should run until 30 April 2004].
7.1.3. After the closing of the Call-for-Papers, the Review Committee should ideally make their decision within four weeks, so that the results and decisions can be communicated to the accepted speakers at least 3 months in advance of the event [e.g. the results of a Call-for-Papers that runs until 30 April 2004 should be available by 31 May 2004].
7.2. Abstracts should be written in English or Spanish and should not exceed 250 words. The contents of the abstracts should comply with the general conference theme. Abstracts will be handed in to the Conference Board.
7.3. Participants in the Call-for-Papers are allowed to hand in one paper only. Since it is neither sensible nor possible to have one person present two different papers at the same conference, authors are asked to concentrate their efforts on one topic instead of handing in several papers in order to get a higher chance of being accepted.
7.4. It is subject to the decision of the hosting institution whether they can pay or reimburse participants who apply via Call-for-Papers.
§8 Review Committee
The Review Committee is appointed by the Conference Board on an annual basis and should be assembled by the end of the Call-for-Papers.
8.1. The Review Committee consists of an odd number of people – at least three (3) but not more than seven (7) – consisting of:
– active Wayeb members (three votes minimum)
– representatives of the hosting institution (one vote minimum)
– “specialists” for the theme of the conference (one vote minimum)
8.1.1. These above categories of criteria for the participants in the review may overlap.
8.1.2. Members from the Conference Board may be part of the Review Committee. The members of the Conference Board who are responsible for the Call-for-Papers procedures and receive the abstracts may, however, not participate.
8.1.3. Participants in the Call-for-Papers cannot be chosen to assist in the Review Committee.
8.1.4. The Review Committee can include conference participants who have been invited by the hosting institution without going through the Call-for-Papers.
8.1.5. Participation in the Review Committee requires active membership for at least one-year (see Statutes).
8.2. The requirements for participants in the Review Committee are: (a) fluent knowledge of English and Spanish in order to assure that all reviewers are able to read and understand abstracts properly, (b) a certain level of experience in the field.
8.3. The Review Committee should stay anonymous; only the members of the Conference Board should know the names of the participants in the review procedure.
8.4. The Review Committee will decide on one person to communicate the general results of the review to the Conference Board.
§9 Review Procedures
9.1. Abstracts going through review should not reveal the names, institutional affiliation, academic status, or country of origin of the authors. Members from the Conference Board who are not likewise part of the Review Committee will be responsible for receiving the abstracts and erasing this information from the files before sending the abstracts to the Review Committee.
9.2. Criteria of Judgement (to be followed by the Review Committee):
9.2.1. Quality prevails, i.e. actual and quality research should be preferred to less reliable ideas.
9.2.2. In the decision-making process, higher priority is to be given to papers directly related to the theme of a particular conference as it has been announced in the Call-for-Papers.
9.2.3. Abstracts that reveal that their contents have been previously published or presented at a conference should not be accepted.
9.2.4. The hosting institution will inform the Conference Board of the exact number of “review papers” they will be able to schedule at the conference. Provided the quality of the papers allows for the scheduled number of presentations, the Review Committee will present the Conference Board with a first choice list of accepted papers and a secondary choice list of papers that could substitute for speakers who might have to renounce their participation later on, subsequent to the completion of the review.
9.3. The general results of the review will be communicated to the Conference Board. The Review Committee should ideally come to a joint decision as to which papers are to be accepted. Although it is subject to the decision of the Review Committee as to how they make the respective joint decision; the approach of having every reviewer produce a ranked list of the abstracts with a subsequent comparison of the individual results and discussion of particular deviations has proven operational in the past and can be recommended.
9.3.1. In order to avoid the possibility of plagiarism, both the first and secondary choice lists should be returned to the Review Committee by the Conference Board with names and institutions of the applicants attached. The Review Committee will reconfirm the results to the Conference Board (The disclosure of the names by the Conference Board after the completion of the review shall ensure that papers are not rejected for personal rather than objective reasons. A corrective by knowing the names of the participants is, however, relevant to prevent instances of plagiarism).
9.3.2. After reconfirmation, the Conference Board will accept the results of the review and pass the results to the organising institution.
9.3.3. After reconfirmation by the Conference Board, the decision of the Review Committee is not subject to discussion or revision.
9.3.4. The organising institution or the Conference Board will inform the authors of the successful papers in accordance with the number of papers required for the conference. In case speakers have to renounce their presentation, the organising institution can freely decide whether it wants to accept a paper from the secondary list established in the review, invite another scholar or skip the presentation.
9.4. In case abstracts in review do not meet the criteria for the conference theme of the Call-for-Paper but do appear to fit the theme of the next conference (that should ideally be known by then), these papers could be held back for next year’s review, or the applicants could be asked to hand in the paper again in the following year.
The workshop accompanying the conference will be organized by Wayeb (the specific organisation of this is still to be evolved). Standards and methods will be decided by Wayeb.
10.1. The workshop topic should ideally reflect the conference theme if possible.
10.2. Wayeb is responsible for the workshop book.
10.3. Workshop group leaders will be appointed by Wayeb (mechanism still subject to discussion).
10.4. The workshop will be self-financing, i.e. the fees for participation will be used to pay for the travel expenses/accommodation of the workshop group leaders. The fees should be set a) in accordance with general prices in the country of the hosting institution and b) under consideration that the costs for workshops (expenses for group leaders) will depend on the location.
[The paragraph on workshop organisation above is merely a rough draft which requires further discussion and elaboration; the information is, therefore, still subject to change.]
§11 Public Relations
The Conference Board is responsible for all public relations regarding the European Maya Conferences. Public Relations includes:
11.1. The European Maya Conferences are announced via the Wayeb website. The Conference Board is responsible for public relations and handles all texts concerning dates, deadlines, Call-for-Papers, links to the institution etc. to the web administrator who will update the website regularly.
11.1.1. The hosting institutions can additionally provide a website that contains information on localities etc.
11.2. The European Maya Conferences, including application procedures and the Call-for-Papers, may be announced at European and non-European institutions related to the field of Maya Studies, relevant academic Journals, other websites etc. One member of the Conference Board will be responsible for correspondence with these bodies.
11.2.1. It is the responsibility of the Conference Board to maintain and extend the Wayeb database of addresses/email-addresses of related institutions and individuals interested in Maya studies which can be used for publicizing a particular conference event. The data are protected, and neither addresses not email addresses will be made available to other parties.
11.3. Public relations further includes building up contact with institutions that might be interested in hosting the European Maya Conference and informing them about details and requirements.
It remains to be said that the practical organisation of a European Maya Conference lies in the hands of the respective organising institutions. However, the above stated criteria have been decided upon in order to give the European Maya Conferences a certain uniform shape and to help evolve a unique character of this only international annual event on Ancient Maya Culture inside Europe.
No institution is obligated to accept these regulations. Institutions who do not want to accept the regulations and features set out by Wayeb cannot be part of the “European Maya Conference” series. Conferences which deviate in topic from the general EMC focus (e.g. conferences exclusively dealing with Colonial or Modern Maya culture) or conferences with only pre-invited speakers do not meet the requirements of the European Maya Conference series.