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General Timelines, When and Who Does What

Contact: Christine Petit-Jean-Genaz (CERN)

Useful Documents Describing Conference Organisation:

Overview of Scientific Programme Organization and Proceedings Production: http://www.jacow.org/Editors/ScientificPrgmProceedings

Organizing IPACs (and other JACoW Events) with SPMS, An On-going Saga

Introduction to the JACoW Collaboration and SPMS, November 2018

Delivery and Initial Setting up of an SPMS Instance for Scientific Programme Management--The Basics, November 2018

Scientific Programme Management Between Setting up an SPMS Instance and the Conference, November 2018

Scientific Programme Management Just Prior to, During, and Immediately Following the Conference, November 2018

Request an SPMS Instance, set parameters, import classifications from previous instancesC-24-20
Composition of OC/SPC/LOC decided and entered in SPMS with privileges and rolesC-24-20
First SPC/OC meetingsC-20-17
Invitations to join SABC-19
OC/SPC/SAB invited to submit proposals (via SPMS) for invited oralsC-17
First Conference Announcement sent to Industry (via SPMS)C-15
SPC decides Main and Sub-classifications, SPMS customisation and invited oral presentationsC-14
OC approves SPC proposals for invited oral presentationsC-12
Invitations to invited speakersC-12
Conference Website On-line (at best) with scientific programmeC-10
Conference Announcement and Call for Papers via SPMSC-9
Second Conference Announcement to Industry (via SPMS) with full information about exhibition registration packageC-9
Deadline for nominations for accelerator prizesC-6
Deadline for Abstract SubmissionC-5
Deadline "cheap" booth registration/deadline for paymentC-5
Invite Editorial Staff (Core Editors, Editors, Paper Reception, Poster Session Managers, Presentations Management)C-4
SPC Meeting: Correct erroneous classifications (proposals from SPC, approval by Main Class. Coordinator). Select Contributed Orals, Decide Session ChairsC-4
Invite Contributed Oral Speakers via SPMSC-4
Accept/Reject Contributions via SPMS, encourage registration via e-mail, remind concerning registered presentersC-4
Publish the guidelines for the preparation and upload of papers and inform authors, remind concerning registered presentersC-3
Deadline for “cheap” delegate registrationC-2
Set up a pc with all software required for Editors, and clone to several pcsC-2
Clone software setup to all pcs to be installed in Proceedings OfficeC-2
Write to all contributors to warn of deadline for registrationC-2-1.5
Check there is a registered presenter to for ALL contributions (policy is that to be scheduled for presentation each contributions must have a registered presenter). Write to all primary authors where there is uncertainty. If necessary, withdraw contributions that cannot be presented.C-2-1.5
Set up server for paper upload via Region (PSI or JLAB), testC-1.5
Number posters into time and space (program codes) and enter into SPMSCC-1.5
Prepare printed programme bookletC-1.5
Write to Contributors to announce programme codes, remind of deadline, etc.C-1
Programme to printerC-1
Deadline for submission of papers for light peer reviewC-21 days
Deadline for paper submissionC-5 days
Editors begin processing at venueCC-4 days
Publish "pre-press" proceedingsC or C+7 days days
One week “grace” for late paper submission and re-submissionsC+7 days
Publish proceedings on JACoWC+2 to 3 weeks

Using this table as a guideline for when, the list below covers the what. Each item is listed as far as possible along with:

  • Approximate timing (Conference Date (C) minus amount of time)
  • Menu item(s) needed
  • Link to the documentation on this wiki
  • Description and additional notes

Request an SPMS instance

  • C-24 to 20 months
  • https://www.jacow.org/Editors/PermissionToUseSPMS
  • Send the required agreement email as shown on the web page. Each conference chair must request permission to use the JACoW tools of the JACoW chair and/or coordinator, who will ask the relevant regional support center to set up the instance.
  • This request calls for the all important respect of the integrity of the data in SPMS concerning the profiles and affiliations, and the respect of JACoW's privacy policy in order not to inundate profile/account owners with unsolicited e-mails.

Initial Parameter Setup

  • C-24 to 20 months
  • Overall Database Administration | System Parameters
  • Some of this will be prefilled for you by the Regional Support Centre, but you should verify it. Your conference logo needs to be sent to your instance administrator to be placed on the server. This logo appears in all the web pages' upper right hand corner and will link to your conference website (set within the parameters).

Enter key players in SPMS (authorized users/roles)

  • C-24 to 18 months
  • Overall Database Administration | Privileges, Roles & Users | Authorize https://www.jacow.org/Editors/PrivilegesRolesUsers
  • You will be doing this throughout the conference planning, so get a feel for it now. The Authorise screen and associated ones allow the Administrator to decide/enter functional roles, and to associate the people and privileges associated with them.

Composition of OC/SPC decided

  • C-24 to 18 months
  • Overall Database Administration | Privileges, Roles & Users | Authorize https://www.jacow.org/Editors/PrivilegesRolesUsers
  • Add the members of the OC/SPC to the functional groups in SPMS.
  • Create a Website for the Organisers (typically OC/SPC) to be able to publish Agendas, Notes, Documentation.
  • Invite OC/SPC members to meetings using the e-mail utility in SPMS (Editor/Proceedings Administration/Email/SPMS Roles).

First SPC Meeting

  • C-20 to 17 months
  • The SPC normally meets immediately before the OC to decide the look and feel of the conference programme, approves Main and Sub-classifications, proposes a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)
  • Scientific Program Administration | Classifications
  • Scientific Program Administration | Classifications | Main Classifications
  • Adjustments to Main and Sub-classifications are made using the screens under Main and Sub-classifications, and Combine Main and Sub-classifications. Experts, who are normally the SPC Primary Coordinators, are entered in the Experts screen whereby they have extra privileges to accept/reject proposals.

First OC Meeting

  • C-20 to 17 months
  • The OC approves the proposals of the SPC
  • The OC approves the proposals of the LOC, including decisions on the venue, the budget, etc.

Set up for Invited Oral Proposals

Invite OC/SPC/SAB to Propose Invited Orals (via SPMS)

  • C-17 months
  • Editor / Proceedings Administration / Email / SPMS Roles
  • Use the SPMS Roles email utility to send emails to the OC/SPC groups. Note the substitute values at the bottom of the screen to use as fields for the email. It is easiest to copy and paste these values into your text. You may also use basic html formatting within the text of the email.
    Clicking Submit will show you how many emails will be sent and will also allow you to preview the email and see a sample before you actually send it.

Announcement of the Industrial Exhibition (via SPMS)

  • C-15 months
  • Overall Database Administration | Email Utility (Repository) https://www.jacow.org/Editors/EmailUtilityRepository
  • While only 1 General Announcement may be sent through the repository to announce the conference and call for papers (around 9 to 10 months in advance of the conference), two mails to Industry are allowed to solicit for the exhibition and sponsorship; the first mail is normally sent 15 months in advance of the conference (when budgets are normally decided), and the second at the same time as the General Announcement, with complete information concerning the Exhibition package.
    Select the conference mailing list, and the affiliation type "industry".

SPC decides the invited oral presentations

OC approves the invited oral presentations

  • C-14 months

Invitations to Invited Speakers

  • C-13-12 months
  • Editor/Proceedings Administration / Email / Email Utility
  • Building the Programme Codes:
  • Invitations can be sent through the SPMS using the email utility, or via surface mail by doing a mail merge using the exported invited extract file (some speakers need a paper version to get approval for travel). A sample invitation letter can be found at the end of the Organizing IPAC document. At this stage it is useful to specify that a contribution to the proceedings is expected.

Once all speakers have responded to the invitations, the Administrator can choose to Withdraw all Proposals with no Accepted Priority or Withdraw all rejected proposals. Withdrawn abstracts can also be restored later if necessary using the Restore Withdrawn Abstract links.

Conference Website On-line

  • C-10 months
  • The Website should only go online once all information is available (avoid "page in preparation"). It should carry full information concerning the venue, the content of the scientific programme, list the invited oral presentations, and provide delegate and exhibition registration information, the call for papers, social events, etc.

Conference Announcement and Call for Papers via SPMS

  • C-9 months
  • Only 1 General Announcement email may go through the repository according to JACoW privacy policy. This email goes to only those who have signed up for this particular conference series announcement. It is highly recommended to be careful to craft and tailor the email properly before the actual send (do not copy and paste from word ...).
  • Prior to sending the announcement and call for papers, turn off the proposal mode settings in use for the SPC meeting, ensure the presentation types are correct, and open submission of abstracts.

Second Conference Announcement to Industry (via SPMS)

  • C-9 months
  • Provides full information about exhibition registration package with deadline for booth reservation on a first come-first served basis
  • Overall Database Administration | Email Utility (Repository)
  • Exception to the rule of only one announcement per conference. Industry gets a second email with more detail about the opening of booth reservation on a first come first served basis.

Deadline for Nominations for Accelerator Prizes

  • C-6-5 months
  • The procedure varies by region. The deadline for nominations/proposals is around the same time as for abstract submission. The Committee often meets just before the SPC that decides contributed orals. The names of winners should be decided and announced at the conference website, as well as to the press, and sufficient time allowed to contact the winners to organise their oral presentations during the conference.

Deadline for Abstract Submission

  • C-5 months
  • Overall Database Administration | System Parameters | User https://www.jacow.org/Editors/User
  • <Report/Search> https://www.jacow.org/Editors/AbstractQA
  • <Report/Extract>
  • Do Abstract Q/A, and then disable abstract submission just prior to turning contributions over to SPC to a) review main and sub-classifications and b) select Contributed Orals in preparation for their meeting.

Deadline "cheap" booth registration/deadline for payment

  • C-5 months

Invite Editorial Team

  • C-4 months
  • The editorial team needed to run the whole scientific programme management and proceedings production is made up of Editors, IT Managers, Presentation and Poster Session Managers, Author Reception, etc.

Calculating the number of persons required (some wearing several different hats) can be based on experience at previous events, taking into account the number of papers and oral presentations to be presented and processed. There is also a simple non-scientific formula (below). For IPAC and other larger events, there is an obligation to offer "hands on" editing training and mentoring to inexperienced or newly nominated JACoW editors which has to be absorbed.

The number of editors to be invited is decided by the SS/Editor, coordinating with the LOC Chair re. budget.

For early EPAC/IPACs a very non-scientific formula allowed to do the job:

  • the number of papers to be processed will be approximately 80% of the contributions submitted at abstract submission
  • 80% of this 80% needs to be processed during 3 days of pre-conference processing
  • estimate an average of 35 papers per day per experienced editor during pre-conference processing.

An example with 1000 contributions in the SPMS:

  • 80% of 1000 = 800 contributions to process in total
  • 80% of 800 = 640 papers to be processed in 3 days
  • 640 divided by 3 days = 213 papers to be processed per day
  • 213 divided by 35 (average number of papers per editor) = ~6 pre-conference editors are required for pre-conference processing.

Six is thus the "lower basic" number of experienced "core" editors to achieve 80% of the pre-conference processing prior to the arrival of delegates - this is a hard target, and it is often only reached on the fourth day.

Add double the above number of editors for the conference week, to take into consideration all of the other tasks and the mentoring of the new and inexperienced editors, and the quality assurance of all contributions (QA), as well as processing of transparencies.

This does not take into account unexpected problems with software installation, IT, bandwidth, etc. which can seriously jeopardise completing the job. It also errs on the low side these days since more effort is devoted to ensuring references and citations are correct.

It is particularly critical for the larger events, with for example 1500 contributions in the SPMS, to have a slightly larger team to allow half a day or a day off for the pre-conference "core" editors who work a straight 9 (often 10-hour) working days, involving high levels of concentration.

The travel expenses of Editors are normally at the expense of their own institutes or conferences - constituting direct sponsorship of the conference. The hosting conference covers the cost of accommodation and a modest per diem, a conference bag and conference materials. Refreshments are normally provided for all of the staff in the proceedings office (breakfast, lunch, snacks). The full team is also invited to all social events (Chairman’s cocktail, reception and banquet). A special dinner is also on occasion organized for the whole team on the Saturday evening prior to the conference.

SPC Final Meeting

Invite Contributed Oral Speakers and Session Chairs

  • C-4 months
  • Editor/Proceedings Administration | Email | Email Utility
  • Building the Program codes: https://www.jacow.org/Editors/BuildingProgramCodes
  • Invitations are sent through the SPMS using the email utility, similar to when sending the Invited Oral emails or via surface mail by doing a mail merge using the exported invited extract file.

Accept (occasionally reject) contributions via SPMS

  • C-4 months
  • Remind authors of the deadline for cheap registration (C-2) and necessity for a registered presenter for the work to be scheduled/presented.

Publish guidelines for Authors

  • C-3 months
  • Last guidelines for authors on the preparation and upload of contributions to the proceedings by e-mail
  • Email authors concerning the guidelines for the preparation and upload of contributions to the proceedings, with another reminder about the necessity for a registered presenter ...

Deadline for Early Delegate Registration Discount

  • C-2 months

Preparing Computers for Proceedings Office

Mail to Authors

  • C-2-1.5 months
  • Write to all contributors to warn of the imminent deadline for registration, and to ensure there is a registered presenter
  • Ensure there is at least one registered co-author, and that the presenter for each contribution is also registered, in line with IPAC (and many other events) policy to only schedule contributions where at least one co-author is registered. Requires numerous iterations with authors and may require withdrawing contributions where nobody can attend to present the work.

Set up Server for Upload of Contributions, and Test

  • C-1.5 months
  • Two servers: PSI (normally for events in Europe and Asia) and JLAB (normally for the Americas) provide the passcode

Assign Programme Codes to Posters

  • C-1 month
  • Number posters into time and space (assign programme codes) ensuring there is a registered presenter for each contribution

Enable paper upload in SPMS

  • C-1 month

Mail to Authors

  • C-1 month
  • Write to Contributors to announce program codes, to remind concerning templates, reference formatting, and how to prepare and how to upload

Prepare printed programme booklet as necessary

  • C-1 month (or less depending on printing time)
  • Volker Schaa has developed scripts to produce Abstracts Brochures and Programmes

Programme to printer

  • C-1 month

Deadline submission papers for peer review

  • C-21 days
  • The peer review system was reported by Ivan Andrian at TM'17. The procedure was refined for IPACs '17 '18 and '19.

Deadline for paper upload

  • C-5 days

IT Staff set up at the venue (arrival is the previous day)

  • C-5 days
  • IT Staff set up the computers, etc. at the venue

Processing of Contributions (Editors arrive the previous day)

  • C-4 days
  • "Core" Editors begin processing - aim is 80% of papers by Sunday

Full Editorial Team Begins Working (arrival the day before)

  • C-1 day
  • New Editors are mentored by experienced "core" editors
  • Author Reception Staff, Presentations and Poster Session Managers begin work


  • Workflow during conferences presented in JACoW TM presentations

Publish "pre-press" proceedings

  • Lunchtime on the last day of the conference

One week “grace” for late paper submission and re-submissions

  • C+7 days

Publish proceedings on JACoW

  • C+2 to 3 weeks