Abstract QA (Quality Assurance)

Abstract QA involves checking that each abstract submitted is correctly entered respecting formatting (standardizing on the format of the titles, etc.) before going forward for examination by the Scientific Programme Committee (to decide contributed orals for example) or before being published in a programme booklet/abstracts brochure. Authors typically copy and paste, generating many errors in the text. The SPMS system has mark-up codes which can be used to render particular characters in abstract books etc.

Because the titles and abstract text, co-authors, footnotes, and funding agency metadata appear in the conference programme (and abstracts brochure if there is one) and via a search of the SPMS, it is important that all of these data are correct.

The job can be done any time, but probably the sooner the better.

If the administrator/editor wishes to QA each abstract as it's entered, it's wise to set the system parameter

Overall Database Administration / System Parameters / Email / Send Email to Administrator for New Abstract

to "Yes" and to QA abstracts periodically.

Alternatively, in the search screen:

http://{conference instance}/search.html

click on "Yes" in the popup "Requires Initial QA" in top right-hand corner to get the list of all abstracts that need to be QA'd.

Verification of Main and Sub-Classification and Reclassifying Abstracts

Approximately 15-20% of abstracts are wrongly classified by submitting authors. After the initial abstract QA, normally performed by an editor or the Scientific Secretariat, the SPC is to check and if necessary correct the main and sub classification for each abstract.

The exact set-up and procedure is demonstrated here: http://www.jacow.org/index.php?n=Editors.ReclassifyAbstracts

During the so called SPC/3 meeting, when the SPC decides which abstracts (posters) will become contributed orals, the following two procedures might come in handy:

http://www.jacow.org/index.php?n=Editors.RestoreWithdrawnAbstract

http://www.jacow.org/index.php?n=Editors.WithdrawAllRejectedProposals

What to look for in Abstract QA

Keeping in mind that titles and abstract text, funding agencies, and footnote text are extracted from the conference instance of the SPMS and included in publications and also the final conference proceedings, it is necessary that all of the data in these fields are homogeneously formatted and correct.

Check the following:

  • The title is normally in "title case", for example "This Paper is a Perfect Example of How Not to Prepare a Contribution to JACoW Proceedings" ... The title should not normally be in upper case: THIS PAPER IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF HOW NOT TO PREPARE ... This said, it is up to each conference to decide the formatting of titles, spelling (English vs American), etc. The most important thing is that it is coherent throughout.
  • The abstract doesn't contain any spelling errors and the English is as correct as possible (spelling not recognized by the system, or typing errors, will show up underlined in pink), text pasted in from Word will also substitute certain characters, sometimes with an upside down question mark (often the case for apostrophes).
  • The funding agency really is a funding agency (DOE, etc.), and not a request for sponsorship to attend the conference (yes that happens).
  • Footnotes are correctly formatted.

Check each abstract individually, or a few at a time, as explained above.

For each abstract:

  • Click on the "edit" link
  • Where no problems are spotted, scroll down and click on "Record QA Only".
  • Where errors need to be corrected, make the necessary changes, and scroll down to click on the link "Save Changes and Record QA".

The status of this activity can be seen in the activity log:

Editor/Proceedings Administration / Activity Log / staff

if the names of editors with editor privilege have been entered into the screen

Overall Database Administration / Privileges, Roles and Users / Authorize

It is important to note that clicking on "Record QA Only" will NOT record any changes made to the title, text, etc. It is essential to click on Save Changes and Record QA if changes have been made to any part of the abstract.

References

Christine Petit-Jean-Genaz: http://spms.kek.jp/pls/jacowtm2014/agenda.by_session?sid=WEPSR1