15 March 2017
Call for papers - handling of abstracts during scientific conferences
Scientific conferences constitute a unique type of events. They are organised by committees and universities, they have guests arriving, and they follow a slightly different set of requirements, than “ordinary” events. Inexperienced event organisers often ignore those additional elements. This entry is intended to give a little more insight into the manner of handling one of the most significant characteristics of such conferences – scientific papers.
A form containing conditions
The fundamental thing required to organise a scientific conference is a system that enables drawing up a form that contains conditions that must be met by papers delivered by lecturers. Such a form must contain all the variables that will help us go through further processes. Depending on your needs, they can include the following: categories of jobs, specific criteria, abstracts, annexes, etc. It is also important to make sure that your particular system is capable of modifying such variables in a very flexible way. This way, you will always be ready for an unexpected turn of events.
Once your form is ready, you can move on to the next step. The application supporting your conference must make it possible to receive papers via the form and to send confirmations to authors that their papers have been accepted. However, you must remember that accepting papers and registering participants are different processes, although they look similar! CONREGO has both functionalities, but not all registration systems operate in the same manner, and not all offer the same functions.
Processing and distributing
Processing is simply assigning papers to appropriate reviewers, depending on the categories and criteria that were used to classify them. Two options are available: papers can be distributed automatically or manually. It would be best if the system combined both possibilities, i.e. automatic distribution that takes into account a number of special cases.
However, reviewers must be notified that they have been assigned a paper, regardless of the option you have chosen. It is a small detail but it plays a very big part in organising a scientific conference. It is easy to imagine a situation, when a reviewer is simply unaware of the fact that they have received a paper to review.
Now, let’s get back to the main subject – reviewers have received documents, which they must now analyse and give grades. Sometimes, organisers require papers to be analysed in detail, which means that they have to give not one, but a number of marks, as there are multiple criteria to take into consideration. The system must be capable of calculating the average mark based on all constituent grades entered in the system, in order for the entire process to go smoothly. At that point, the organiser can make a decision, whether to accept or reject a particular paper. The entire process has been completed successfully!