In the comments to this post, somebody writes the following about the American Sociological Associations 20-page limit for conference papers:
Why have a page limit at all? … That would spare us the annual routine of stretching margins, squishing tables to the point of illegibility, and cutting huge chunks out of the reference section (a new trick I learned this year) in order to squeeze under this arbitrary limbo pole.
Sociology confession: I ignore this rule.* I ignore it when I submit, and I’ve ignored it when I organize sessions. I tell other people to ignore this rule. I think you, too, should ignore this rule. I think you should especially ignore this rule if you’re organizing ASA sessions.
Question: do some people organizing sessions hold people accountable to this rule? Has anybody had a paper rejected from ASA on the grounds that it was longer than 20 pages? Has anybody organized a session and rejected papers that were longer than 20 pages?
(For anyone answering “yes” to the latter: why? Are you reliving your glory days as a hall monitor back in junior high? I guess somebody could say “It isn’t fair to people who did the work of getting their papers down to 20 pages,” but, well, enforcing “fairness” with respect to a dumb time-wasting rule just contributes to perpetuating the dumb time-wasting rule.)
* As it happens, I think my submission this year is less than 20 pages, but that’s because that was the actual length of the paper at the time of submission.