Sunday, November 25, 2012

Supporting open access journals and conferences

An increasing number of journals and conferences have started to implement open access (author pays) or hybrid models, where authors may choose, for  a fee, to make their paper openly accessible. EDAS now supports a set of features to facilitate such journals and conferences.

For hybrid journals and conferences, you can set up appropriate categories, and set up fee for the open access options, possibly several. Authors can choose the option either when submitting their paper for review, or after it has been accepted. Before uploading the final manuscript, they must pay the set amount by credit card.

To avoid that reviewers are influenced by the open access choice of the author, categories can now be configured with fine-grained visibility choices, allowing restricting access to the authors, reviewers, TPC members, group leaders, track chairs and chairs for the paper.

For conferences, you can also use the event registration mechanism to collect open access fees.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Improved review paper collection

Based on a suggestion by Jörg Ott, I have added a page with the current reviews for the zip file that contains all assigned papers. This might help during the TPC meeting, for example. Each paper is one PDF file, preceded by the current review listing.

On-line conference proceedings

Increasingly, conference proceedings are made available on-line, rather than on a USB stick or CD-ROM. You can easily create such proceedings by creating a set of web pages, and then granting access to the pages via an access key. The conference then provides the access key to authors or registered attendees. This isn't meant to be highly secure - obviously, attendees can pass on the key to others. However, access is logged and users have to have or create EDAS accounts, so there is some deterrence to widespread sharing. The access key is configured under "Program, proceedings and BibTeX" at Conference:Configure. Users will be prompted to enter the key when they try to read the first paper; the system automatically remembers that the user has authenticated and will not prompt again for the access key.

Alternatively, if you're using EDAS to manage your conference registrations, you can designate specific registration options to include access to the papers.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reviews for session chairs

For some conferences, session chairs provide feedback on papers, e.g., to recommend specific papers for an award or journal publication. Chairs can now create a review type and assign reviews of that type to every session chair for every paper that appears in a session.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

New EDAS layout

We have modernized the EDAS layout a bit - the functionality is the same. Suggestions on usability and design improvements are always appreciated.

Keynote speakers for sessions

You can now add the name of a speaker, e.g., the keynote speaker or tutorial presenter, to a session.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

DNS outage today

Unfortunately, EDAS was affected by the DNS server denial-of-service attack on GoDaddy earlier today. (EDAS services are not hosted by GoDaddy, but the domain name is.)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Improved scheduling conflict checking

When assigning session chairs, EDAS now checks for more scheduling conflicts. For example, it won't allow assigning as chair somebody who is presenting a paper during the same time slot.

Copying reviews

Some conferences have multiple rounds of reviews, e.g., for abstracts and final papers. You can now copy reviewers from one review type to another, e.g., from the preliminary review to the final-paper review. See Reviews:Assign.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New conference app for EDAS conferences

Conferences managed by EDAS can now use a conference app, Conference4Me, to list sessions, show maps and distribute event news. The developers offer a discount for EDAS users. Please contact them for further details.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looking for PHP programmer

EDAS Conference Services is looking for an experienced PHP programmer on a casual (hourly) basis, to help enhance and manage the web infrastructure. If interested, please contact for details.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Quick paper status changes

Chairs can now change the paper status from the paper listing (Papers:List) by clicking on the colored dots. Simply include "Change paper status" in the listing.

Short paper numbers

Following a chair suggestion conveyed by Chris Dyer, EDAS now has an additional way to refer to papers that's hopefully a bit less cumbersome than the current ten-digit numbers starting with 1569. Papers within each conference group are now numbered sequentially, i.e., typically with a small integer. You can include the short paper number in templates, search for it and include it in the paper list. This number will become more prominent over time. Please let EDAS Help know if there's a place this number should be available and is not.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

New password recovery mechanism

If you forget your password, you can now ask for a password reset email, which allows you to reset your password to a new one. The reset URL is only valid for two hours and can only be used once. With this change, the EDAS database now only includes hashed passwords, reducing the chance of accidental disclosure of passwords that you might be using elsewhere. We are also strengthening the password requirement, so that trivial passwords such as 1234 or dictionary words are no longer acceptable.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Paper listing and export converging

There are two ways to get a summary of paper-related information, via Papers:List and Papers:Export. To reduce confusion, you can now also export whatever appears in the listing, by indicating Excel or CSV (comma-separated values) format on the listing page. Eventually, the separate export functionality will likely go away.

No more duplicate email messages

When you send email via "People:Email", duplicates are now removed, so that each recipient only gets one copy. The function tries to be smart about recognizing if the same person gets the same message. For example, if the template contains the variable {papertitle}, authors will get one message for each paper; if it does not, they will get one message for all their papers.

Page limit settings moved

In some conferences, tracks are all the same except for the page limits. (For example, some conferences have demo paper and short paper tracks.) To facilitate maintaining such tracks, the configuration options for page limits, both for review and final manuscripts, have been moved to a separate forms page. That way, you can update all tracks, without having to re-edit the page limits.

Page breaks in conference programs

You can now insert page breaks before selected sessions, by editing the session configuration (see "Conference:Sessions"). The page break will only show up in the printed version, e.g., using the brochure or print output options.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Revised template structure

The internal handling for templates for email and web pages has been changed. This makes it possible to define custom subject lines for each conference, as well as to have more control over what messages get copied to whom. For example, track chairs, web masters and publication chairs can now be copied easily on selected messages. The only user-visible change is that the configuration for setting up cc's for templates has moved to the template definition, rather than the conference email configuration.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wiki or HTML for visa letters

Conferences often use EDAS to generate PDF visa letters for authors, confirming the acceptance of a paper. Until now, these visa letters had to be in a small subset of HTML. We have added the ability to use Wiki mark-up, i.e., plain text with a few symbols to denote basic formatting. For example, in Wiki mark-up, bold is indicated by a double-underscore, as in __bold__, and italics by a two pairs of single quotes, as in ''italic''. The system automatically detects whether a conference uses HTML or Wiki format. Wiki markup works best for letters with minimal formatting, while HTML markup is better suited for letters where you want to place multiple logos or have more fine-grained control over positioning of elements. Chairs should read the documentation for more details.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Restrict number of papers per registration code

If you are using a registration system outside of EDAS, you can now limit the number of papers that can be associated with one registration code. The limit is defined in the track configuration.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Track chairs like to get email, too

Track chairs are now included in the chair email copies, e.g., when papers are submitted. See Conference:Configure under "Email".

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Let reviewers know about the fate of a paper

For journals and some conferences, it is customary to let reviewers know whether the paper they have reviewed has been accepted or not by blind-copying (bcc'ing) them on the notification email. You can now configure this option in Reviews:Configure under "Who can see what?":

Reviewers for a paper are not bcc'ed on the author notification for the papers they have reviewed.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Conferences can now have any number of review forms

In the past, conferences were restricted to having two review forms - the basic review and a so-called meta review, i.e., a review or summary of the other reviews. This worked for most conferences, but some conferences do post-conference reviews and the old approach proved to be an awkward fit for the two-stage model. It also required a fair amount of special case handling. Thus, we have generalized the review model so that a conference can now have any number of review forms, each with different due dates, questions and email templates.

You can now also inherit (re-use) review form from other conferences more easily.

This change has moved a few review-related configuration options, such as review deadlines and templates, to Reviews:Review Forms. To create new review forms, such as a meta review, use the link at the bottom of that page.

This is a fairly major change, so it will take a bit for all functions to deal well with that generalization. As always, suggestions for how to make the configuration more intuitive are appreciated.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Registration features

Based on suggestions from SPCOM 2012, EDAS now supports two new ways to restrict event registrations: First, chairs can set events to disallow multiple event registrations for one event and each attendee. (Indeed, this is the default, since it makes little sense for most conferences to have both a student and a regular registration for one event for the same person.)

Second, you can add a category name to the event. Attendees can only choose one event with the same category name. For example, if there are multiple parallel tutorials, you could give them all the same category name, and the attendee could not accidentally register for more than one of them.

Finally, attendees can add notes to registrations, e.g., to indicate special needs or arrival/departure dates.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Plagiarism checking

EDAS uses two mechanisms to check for possible plagiarism. For IEEE conferences, it now uses ithenticate (CrossCheck); for all other conferences, the docoloc service. (The choice is not based on the quality of the external service, but rather simply reflects the fact that IEEE prefers that all of its conferences use CrossCheck, and pays for that service.)

What papers count?

It wasn't always quite clear which papers were counted to compute the EDAS charges. To deal with various special cases, we now count all papers that have been reviewed or that have been accepted or rejected. Generally, for most conferences, these two counts should be identical, but sometimes invited papers are not reviewed and some reviewed papers are later withdrawn, e.g., if the author fails to submit a copyright form or does not register for the conference.

Turn authors into reviewers

You can now automatically turn authors into reviewer candidates, by making all authors who have submitted papers for the conference reviewer candidates. Each candidate is assigned the union of all topics he or she has submitted papers on.