Note: SPSP is releasing two separate statements addressing concerns raised at the recent Annual Convention. Developing these statements involved careful consideration and input from various individuals. The separate release reflects the unique nature of each issue being addressed.


Dear SPSP Members,

On behalf of SPSP's leadership, we would like to share an update about a poster that was accepted for presentation at the recent SPSP Annual Convention but did not meet our scientific standards.

Many attendees raised concerns about this poster after seeing the abstract on our online convention platform. In response, the poster abstract was reviewed. Based on that review which revealed a lack of scientific rigor in the reporting of the results and a disconnect between the claims made in the abstract and the evidence provided in the data set, SPSP retracted the poster. While SPSP removed the poster from our convention platform and did not display the presentation onsite, it had already been viewed by convention attendees, members, as well as others in our community. 

We sincerely apologize to convention attendees. Acceptance of that poster suggests that we must review our processes to try to ensure acceptance of rigorous scientific content. We would like to share details about the submission review process:

Single presenter podium submissions (such as this one) are evaluated by three volunteer reviewers, who are SPSP members with a PhD. Reviewers receive around 30 submissions to review. Reviewers score three scientific criteria during evaluation: strength and rigor, contribution, and interest value. Separately, reviewers score the diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or anti-racism statements. More details about each of these criteria are available on the SPSP website.

SPSP accepts roughly 44% of single presenter submissions, on average. Submissions that do not score highly enough to be accepted as a single presenter talk are then considered for poster submissions (if the submitter indicated they wished to be considered for a poster). Single presenter submissions that score high enough to clear the threshold for acceptance as a poster are then added to the program. SPSP accepts 99% of poster submissions, on average. In the weeks leading up to the convention, SPSP imported this presentation alongside the other posters (roughly 1,800) to the online convention platform.

The SPSP Convention Committee is actively reviewing and discussing potential changes to the process above to minimize similar incidents in the future. SPSP members can expect an update about any adjustments to the review process before we begin accepting submissions for the 2025 Annual Convention.

We are striving to cultivate a more rigorous review process at future conventions. If you have any feedback, questions, or recommendations, please contact [email protected].

The SPSP Executive Committee

Cynthia Pickett, President
Dolores Albarracin, Past President
Diana Sanchez, President-Elect
Camille Johnson, Secretary-Treasurer
Rachel Puffer, Executive Director