Paper Status Codes

The now familiar processing status codes:

  • Green dot: paper processed successfully.
  • Yellow dot: editor encountered problems with the file submitted and had to edit the source files to correct them. Requires author to proofread.
  • Red dot: editor could not process file(s).

These codes came into being at EPAC'96 when it was decided to introduce a form of feedback on status of processing of files of contributions to the proceedings. Electronic publication was in its early days, and it was hoped that this feedback would help "train" or "prepare" authors for the task of preparing electronic versions of their contributions to conference proceedings.

John Poole, the first JACoW chair, invented the original "dotting board," where author reception staff manually carried processed papers with the editor's status dot to a board outside of the proceedings office and stuck a corresponding dot on the board. This was very labour intensive, until the database designer, Matt Arena, developed an electronic dotting board. This is normally displayed on a large flat screen close to the author reception and reflects the status of processing of papers taken directly from the meta data in the SPMS. The e-dot board screen can be viewed via "General/Reports/Electronic Dot Board", or more specifically at the conference SPMS URL (eg

The look of the electronic dotting board is tweaked to fit the available monitor via

  • Overall Database Administration / System Parameters / E-Dot Board

SPMS instances are delivered with default settings at

  • Editor/Proceedings Administration / Processing Status Codes

The settings are for green, yellow, and red dots (the dots are images stored at the SPMS regional support centre), though it is in principle possible to add new colours (if the corresponding images are also available at the RSC).

This screen includes a field for editors to enter an e-mail message that is triggered automatically to each primary author each time the status of processing is modified.

This screen furthermore allows for setting parameters for when authors are allowed to upload files, depending on the status of the processed contribution. The criteria are usually:

  • Green dot: no further upload by authors (if an editor has spent time correcting a file, it is preferable not to allow authors to upload without discussing the implications with the editor).
  • Yellow dot: no further upload by authors (again, if an editor has spent time on a file, it is preferable that any modifications requested by authors are discussed with the editor).
  • Red dot: re-upload is possible (note that editors should be aware that some authors deliberately upload drafts which cannot be published as "place holders" - these authors should be informed that this kind of behaviour seriously delays publication and that it is preferable to submit a day or two after the deadline, rather than to submit drafts which that the time of the editorial staff).

Another parameter included in this screen is whether the paper is publishable.

  • Green dots are in principle publishable (though other parameters relating to presentation in the sessions are required before final publication on JACoW for most events)
  • Yellow dot papers are in principle not finished since they need the agreement of the author to the editor's modifications.
  • Red dot papers are not publishable.

Also in this screen are the parameters for the e-dot board:

  • the text that appears on the e-dot board corresponding to the status code
  • parameters that relate to the dots displayed at the e-dot board concerning the colour and size of the graphic image of the dots, via pixel width, pixel height, dot colour, and background colour.

The next column on the right of this screen controls whether authors can edit the abstract of the contribution in the SPMS.

Following this, the two columns "User Validate" and "User Validate Status" are used to allow authors to change the status of their contributions. If "User Validate" is set to "Yes", and the email message box is populated, the author will get an email inviting them to log in to their SPMS account, proofread their contribution, and if they are happy to change the status of their paper to the value entered in the "User Validate Status" column.

The final column on this screen is the "PDF Required" column. This prevents editors from accidentally setting a contribution to green, without first uploading a PDF file.