VALA Events 2017: Getting the most out of your VALA paper and presentation

VALA invites you to our May Guest Speaker event for 2017. This 1-hour event will be run as a Zoom Webinar.

Join special Guest presenters Michelle McLean and Dr Ben Chadwick, hosted by David Feighan, who will be speaking on the topic “Getting the most out of your VALA paper and presentation”.

Access the event webinar recording in GigTV below, and the Slides in Google Drive


In this May webinar, VALA seeks to provide authors and presenters with some key advice and information for maximising the VALA conference paper experience – both in the writing and review of the written paper and in the onsite presentation of the content to a live audience.

Topic: “Getting the most out of your VALA paper and presentation”

VALA2018 will attract up to 100 aspiring authors and presenters of VALA conference papers. The process involves a 500-word abstract, assessed by at least 2 reviewers who then determine if the abstract is accepted for development into a full academic conference paper (3000-5000 words), accepted for presentation as an ePoster or not recommended for inclusion in the program.

For those abstract authors who are accepted into the conference program, the process of writing a quality peer-reviewed conference paper and presenting it at conference can be daunting; the skills required for those 2 outcomes are quite different.

Michelle McLean
Michelle McLean
Dr Ben Chadwick
Dr Ben Chadwick
David Feighan
David Feighan

Key concepts for discussion:-

  • Writing a successful peer-reviewed paper – what are reviewers looking for?
    • Original content
    • Technology elements
    • Technical construction of an academic paper – Introduction/premise, evidence, conclusion, citing references, bibliography
  • Delivering a successful conference presentation – what is the audience looking for?
    • Useful slides – fewer words, more use of images and graphics to illustrate key points
    • Engagement – with the material, with the audience via Q&A – eye contact – speak to the paper, don’t read it
    • Timing – practice the presentation until it is delivered within 1-2 minutes of the allocated time
    • Teamwork – if you are part of a presentation team, practice “passing the baton” until your flow and transitions are smooth; make sure you don’t repeat yourselves
  • Professional development and recognition – what’s in it for me?
    • Reputation – participation in a VALA conference enhances your standing in the industry
    • Visibility – put yourself in front of potential employers, colleagues, collaborators
    • Risk and reward – the peer-review and editorial processes for VALA conferences are rigorous and can be demanding; but they remove much of the risk associated with presenting original work, offer opportunities to improve performance and outcomes, apply robust quality control, and reward your efforts by showcasing your work in an environment known for its technical excellence.


  • Increase skills and competencies of VALA papers authors and presenters
  • Increase quality of draft papers and presentations

Speaker: Michelle McLean

Michelle McLean is Information and Lending Services Coordinator at Casey Cardinia Libraries and convenor of the Public Libraries Victoria Network ICT Special Interest Group. She has been a member of the VALA Conference Committee since 2010 and has presented papers, presentations and workshops at many library conferences, including each VALA conference since 2008.

Speaker: Dr Ben Chadwick

Dr Ben Chadwick has worked as manager of the Schools Catalogue Information Service at Education Services Australia (ESA) in Melbourne since July 2014. His professional interests lie in educational metadata and linked data. Ben began at ESA in 2012 as a metadata analyst working on the linked-data Australian Education Vocabularies.

Host: David Feighan

David Feighan is the Information and Library Services Manager at Mentone Girls’ Grammar School. David has twenty five years’ experience as a librarian within the corporate, government and school sectors. David is active within the profession, he has written numerous articles, presented at conferences, and has ran workshops. He is a past VALA President, and was the VALA2010 Conference Program Chair and the VALA2016 Joint Program Chair..


VALA Members and Non-members – FREE to attend (registration will be confirmed via email)
RSVP: limited numbers, so please register only if you will attend. No “no shows” please!

Registrations will open on Thursday 27 April.

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This webinar is delivered on the Zoom platform. Your event confirmation email will include your instructions to connect to the Zoom platform.


Registration numbers are limited for this event, and we appreciate prior advice if you are unable to attend.

Please contact the VALA Secretariat (E: or Tel: 03 9844 2933).


Online webinar


Wednesday 24 May 2017, 12:00 – 13:00pm AEST

For any enquiries contact VALA Secretariat via or (03) 9844 2933