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SPMS Setup and Key Tasks

Contact: Todd Satogata (Jefferson Lab)

This is a compressed introduction to SPMS setup and key tasks. Longer introductory presentations and resources are linked to in the references at the end of this page that cover the material in much more detail. Complex software like SPMS is best learned by

SPMS Key Concept: Profile

A Profile is a login to the SPMS representing a single person.

  • Profiles can have multiple affiliations and email addresses.
  • Anything associated with a person in SPMS uses their profile (e.g. authors, session chairs, committee members)
  • All SPMS profile behavior beyond authorship is configured by the Administrator in
    • Overall Database Administration / Privileges, Roles & Users / Authorize
    • Scientific Program Administration / Classifications / Main Classifications
    • (and on Referee pages for light peer review)

SPMS Key Concept: Abstract

An abstract is the abstract for a single scientific work associated with the conference.

  • Each has a single Presentation Type, a Main Classification, and at least one author
    • Presentation types are user defined (Invited oral, contributed oral, poster, ...)
  • Abstracts are the fundamental building block of the scientific program
  • Note: A single abstract can represent several contributions to the conference
    • e.g. regular poster, student poster, and a brief oral presentation

SPMS Key Concept: Session

A session is a container that groups together abstracts in the program

  • Sessions have short codes that become part of each abstract's program code
  • Each session is either only Oral or Poster (no mixing)
  • By convention we usually create different sessions for each presentation type
    • e.g. contributed talks vs invited talks
    • This makes clear via program code ID what is contributed vs invited
  • Each session has a date, location, start/stop times, session chair (for talks)


Those three concepts are basically enough to assemble a scientific program:

  • Authors create abstracts, and list their coauthors
  • A scientific secretariat/administrator constructs sessions and populates them with contributions (abstracts)
    • This process also organizes the program into groups of oral and poster presentations
    • Sessions can also be associated with roles (e.g. session chairs)

This scientific program has enough information for a program booklet already. But the administrator should not have to do everything.

SPMS Key Concepts: Role and Privilege

SPMS has information to manage all aspects of abstracts:

  • upload/download of papers and talks
  • editing and processing of submitted materials
  • reflecting status of processing to abstract (paper or talk) owners

The administrator can grant roles and privileges to SPMS to allow certain behaviors

  • Overall Database Administration / Privileges, Roles & Users / Authorize

SPMS Demos

Demonstrations from IPAC'17 SPMS instance of:

SPMS Code on Sourceforge

If you are a coder you can take a deep breath and get into the code of SPMS:

This is not for the faint of heart, but has helped me understand (and even fix) SPMS behaviors in the past.