Author Reception: Guidelines for Setup and Operation

IT Setup Only

A simple "rule of thumb" -- per 250 participants:

  • 1 computer for the counter
  • 1 staff member for counter duty (Author Reception Staff)
  • 1 computer and 1 staff member who has answerability to make editorial decisions. It is important to have this second machine set up, keeping the counter machine free for author reception.
  • 1-2 staff for filing

[Note: The task of filing and counter relief is shared between all staff.]

  • SPMS system: the Author Reception staff require the Sort/File/Edit privilege in Roles and Responsibilities.
  • The computer on the counter has a single use, the only software requirement is that of a browser window to access the SPMS system.
  • Opening hours: approx. 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. [?]

As the amount of participants increase, dedicated tasks need to be introduced.

  • small conference = <250 participants
    • 2 computers (1 for counter, 1 for Room Coordinator)
    • 1 Author Reception staff
    • 1-2 staff members for filing
    • 1 Room Coordinator - It isn't necessary for them to sit in the room but they must be available for assistance.
  • medium conference = 250-500 participants
    • 3 computers (2 for counter, 1 for Room Coordinator)
    • 2 Author Reception staff
    • 2-3 staff members for filing
    • 1 Room Coordinator - stays in room
  • medium/large conference = 500-1000 participants
    • 3-5 computers (3-4 on counter, 1 for Room Coordinator)
    • 3-4 Author Reception staff
    • 1 Room Coordinator - stays in room
    • 3-4 filing staff
  • large conference = >1000 participants
    • 5 computers (4 on counter, 1 for Room Coordinator)
    • 4 Author Reception staff
    • 1 Room Coordinator - stays in room
    • 4-5 filing staff

Filing Staff Duties

Glossary of terms: [needs expanding still]

  • Green: everything was okay. Indicates no further action required--paper can proceed to QA
  • Yellow: the source file was opened to fix a small problem. The author should proofread the paper in case things have inadvertently been changed.
  • Red: there are problems too complicated or time-consuming for the editor to fix. Author must come to the proceedings office.
  • QA: Quality Assurance
  • Room Coordinator: Someone who has answerability with regard to the proceedings, i.e. Conference Editor or someone with publishing experience.

Filing at startup

  • Three baskets in the Editor Room, three in the Author Reception Room.
  • Binders are in numerical order by day of the week, within the binder by paper#
  • Collect the papers from Editor Room and file the papers into the appropriate baskets in the Author Reception room (green/yellow/red).
  • Additionally the filing staff collect the papers from the baskets in the Author Reception room and file the papers in the binders at the back of the Author Reception room.

Filing when QA begins

  • Later in the week the QA process is started. The papers, which are green, are now removed from the binders and migrated to the Editor room. They are placed in a basket “for QAing”. An editor will collect the paper and process it. When they are finished the Editor puts the paper in another basket “QA final”. Filers collect the QA final papers, sort and file them.
  • When QA starts, there are 5 baskets in the Editor Room, the pre-QA baskets green/yellow/red and two additional baskets. 1 basket is for needing QA and 1 basket for QA final.
  • The papers in the basket of QA final are then brought into the Author Reception room where they are sorted, initially separated by QA failed and QA ready, then sorted by paper#. The QA ready are filed in a new binder dedicated to QAed, in order by day of the week and then paper#. Any QA failed papers found in the pile go into “needing QA” basket for QAing again by another Editor back in the Editor room.


  • Binders are separated to show green at the front, a divider then yellow.
  • Red papers are sorted in a dedicated binder.
  • QAed papers are sorted in dedicated binders.
  • Copyright forms are slipped into the same sleeve as the paper in the back.
  • Orphaned copyright forms are filed numerically in a dedicated binder.

[n.b. as papers are migrating the binders empty enabling re-purposing].

Reception steps

(a) Greet author, access SPMS system using Paper#; Check the log for information on the paper submitted by the Editor. This information may need to be conveyed to the author.
(b) If a copyright form is required the greeter checks off ‘copyright received box’ and confirms that the form has been signed.
(c) Once the paper is green the author is asked to sign or initial the paper to show acceptance of the paper for publishing. Greeter places paper in basket under counter for filing in appropriate binder.

1. Author is happy with paper.

Green: The greeter changes status to green in the SPMS system. [see steps a-c above]
Yellow: The Author reads the paper over to ensure that no errors have been introduced. [see steps a-c above]

2. Author is not happy with paper, and wishes to make a change.

  • Green: At green a paper is thought of as complete. Should an author wish to make a change to the paper at this stage of the process the greeter chooses to a) speak to the [room coordinator-need a name] seeking guidance or for the coordinator to speak to the author or b) speaks to the editor who worked on the paper and requests the editor to speak to the author. This is a judgement call based on:
    • Is the error significant enough to the author that this would cause embarrassment;
    • the data is grossly incorrect;
    • the author would withdraw the paper if not allowed to make this change.
[n.b. In extreme circumstances this may need to be taken up with the Proceedings Editor or the Program or even Conference Chair.]
  • Yellow: At yellow the paper is in an “incomplete” stage. The Editor has ‘touched’ the source file or PDF and requests the author to review the paper for any possible introduced errors made during the processing.
    • If the author has noted that the editor has introduced an error to the paper; the greeter will speak to the editor and ask if they wish to speak to the author or will convey any information to the author that the editor wishes addressed. The author is invited to check the SPMS system for when the correction has been made and come back to ok the paper. The author may be escorted to the Editor room and the editor may fix the paper on the spot. The paper would then go to green and the author would sign it off. The greeter will then update the SPMS system, changing the status to green. The Greeter at this stage checks that the copyright form is correct and record in the system that it has been received.
    • If the author has read the paper over, accepts all the changes that the editor has made but then wishes to make a change to the paper, you will need to follow the steps for 2a “author is not happy” – using your best judgment of how important this change is to the author and the impact on the editor. This is where reading the log is important. If the Editor has made significant changes to the paper they may not be cooperative with correcting a simple grammatical error that the author has missed at the proofreading stage before submitting.