Friday, December 20, 2013

Adjustment in credit card fees

Due to rising card fees, particularly for international and premium (reward) credit cards, we are forced to raise our credit card handling fee to 6% for conferences created on or after December 20, 2013.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Similarity rating can be included in the review message

The paper similarity score computed by docoloc or ithenticate (used to detect possible plagiarism) can now be included in the review assignment and confirmation templates. It is also listed on the review page. Thanks to Chris Dyer for the suggestion.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Editing topics of interest

To simplify editing long lists of topics for TPC members, we added a new toggle button for each topic group. Clicking on the button for the column switches all topics for that group to the column status, e.g., "no interest". Thanks to Pascal Frossard for the suggestion.

Automated review replenishment: finding new reviewers when some reviewer candidates decline

It is common that after the initial round of review assignments, reviewers either decline to review some papers or fail to confirm review assignments. Previously, chairs had to manually "back-fill" reviews in such cases. EDAS now offers a new function to automatically replenish reviews, using the conference review settings. The function, if enabled via "Once a day, papers that are short on reviews are automatically assigned additional reviews (after the initial assignment)" in Reviews:Configure, is run once a day, but only after the initial review assignment has been made. (EDAS checks that each paper has at least one review.) Thanks to Chris Dyer for the suggestion.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

New reviewer reminder variable: paper listing

Reminders for reviewers, i.e., one reminder for each reviewer, can now contain {reviews_incomplete}, producing a listing of all papers that are still missing reviews. If the template has HTML rather than plain-text format, the table of papers contains links to the review form and the paper. Thanks to Maria Greco for the suggestion.

Multiple topic areas for conferences

Conferences can now have multiple topic areas. These areas are used for sending call for papers that match author interests, as well as on the Submit paper page. You can configure these topics in the  Basic Information section of Conference:Configure. Thanks to Moshira Ali for the suggestion.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Make authors TPC members

Authors can now automatically be invited to be TPC members or designated reviewers. Reflecting common conference practice, only non-students authors are invited, however. See Reviews:Configure,  Technical Program Committee (TPC).

Attendee message board

Registered attendees and authors of accepted papers can now post messages that can be read by other attendees. See People:Attendees.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Proceeding milestones

Due to increasing difficulties with European customs formalities, we added one week to the schedule for shipping CDs or USBs to non-US destinations.

Make groups of TPC members active or inactive

You can now make a whole TPC group temporarily active or inactive, as well as assign papers and members in that group specific review types. See Reviews:Assign.

Outlook email

The native Microsoft Outlook (2010) email client seems to have difficulty with email encoded as quoted printable with long lines. It inserts spurious line endings for the soft line break (= followed by CRLF). If one enables automatic line breaks in Outlook, these get removed, but a warning is shown and extra white space is added within the word. I found a work-around (or kludge, if you prefer): break lines only at linear white space characters (0x20), as Apple Mail appears to do. I had to modify the PHP Pear mimePart.php function to make this work.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Wiki formatted email

Email templates and People:Email now supports Wiki-formatted email for a more "modern" email look. Wiki format uses simple textual conventions that allow you to make text bold and italic, include bulleted lists and simple tables. The email sent will contain HTML and should be readable on almost all modern email clients. To enable Wiki format for a particular template, check the "Use Wiki markup" option when editing the template.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Updated Terms of Service

We have updated our terms of service.

Native handling of non-US-dollar currencies

For conference registrations, we can now charge credit cards in other common currencies, namely Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Japanese Yen, British Pounds and Euros. The FAQ item has more details. For those currencies, this avoids that residents of Australia, Canada, Japan, Great Britain and the Euro countries see a different amount than the nominal registration amount on their credit card statement. Unfortunately, our credit card processor only accepts these currencies for Mastercard and Visa.

Due to the limitations of our credit card processor, we can only transfer the amount to the conference after conversion to US Dollars or, for smaller conferences, Euros.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Travel grant jury granted selective access to papers and reviews

Members of the travel grant jury can now be granted access to papers and reviews. They will only have access to papers where one of the authors has applied for the travel grant the jury member is responsible for. Access is granted as for other review access, i.e., for the review over all at Reviews:Configure, and for each review question at Reviews:Review forms. Thanks to Nils Aschenbruck for the suggestion.

New visa letter fields: passport number and date-of-birth

Visa letters can now contain two new variables: the passport number and the date of birth of the traveler.

Categories can now be inherited by sub-conferences

Conferences can now designate categories as inheritable. Such categories are available to all sub-conferences, but only if the sub-conference does not define its own categories.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Workshops can requests to become part of the main conference

Workshop chairs can now request to join a conference as a sub-conference, without being chair of the overall conference. The main conference chairs will get an email requesting the association, and can then grant or deny the request. Thanks to Tom Pfeifer for the suggestion.

Ignoring inappropriate reviews

Implementing a suggestion from Tom Pfeifer, chairs can now mark completed reviews as inactive. Such reviews are not tallied for computing score averages and are not returned to the author in the decision email. They are shown on the paper page with a light gray background. Marking reviews as inactive can be useful when the review is not considered appropriate or helpful, e.g., because the reviewer scores the paper based on the belief that it falls outside the conference scope or the review is considered to show a lack of technical judgement or professionalism.

You can mark a review as inactive by unsetting the checkbox  "Review is included in score computation and sent to author" when editing the review status (e.g., by clicking on "Completed".)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Domain name reservation and renewal

For conferences that use EDAS for their conference web pages or just want EDAS to manage their domain names, chairs can now reserve and renew the domain name from the conference configuration page.

More flexible access control for conference programs and manuscripts

Based on suggestions from Goetz Pfander, we now allow more flexible access control to the conference program and manuscripts. You can grant selective access to TPC members, authors with accepted papers and registered attendees. (Naturally, chairs and publication chairs always have access.)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Progress bar for file uploading

Based on a suggestion from EuCAP 2014, we added a file upload progress bar, shown when uploading papers.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

User interface changes: tool tips, MD5

In order to make EDAS more accessible to casual users, we have added tool tips for every icon. When hovering over a link or icon, a brief description is shown.

We have also removed the MD5 checksum from the file listing, since this information was not very meaningful to most users. It is still accessible through the paper log.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Import Excel files

We will be allowing the import of Excel files, not just CSV files, for sessions, session papers and similar functions. Session importing already works. This makes it easier to import international characters (UTF-8).

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Authors as session chairs

Some conferences choose session chairs from among the authors of the session. EDAS now facilitates that by adding a selection page where chairs, publication chairs or track chairs can click on the names of paper authors and add them as session chairs.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Change in similarity detection

After discussions with the IEEE copyright office, papers are now checked for similarity once, immediately after the track review paper submission deadline. There is no need to re-check after acceptance since it seems rather unlikely that an author will submit an original manuscript and then submit a plagiarized version after acceptance of his original work.

This approach also avoids author needlessly trying to lower their similarity score for their original papers. This is not the goal of similarity checkers - they are only meant to prevent plagiarism. Since an author seems unlikely to inadvertently copy somebody else's paper, there is no need for honest authors to confirm that their paper is indeed their original creation.

This change avoids bothering chairs with lots of extra email and reduces the cost of plagiarism checking for IEEE, as they pay for each submission to the plagiarism tool (iThenticate).

Authors who wish to check their paper can use the Docoloc service directly by creating their own personal account.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Invite TPC members by interest

EDAS users can indicate that they are willing to be included in reviewer and TPC searches in their profile. Now, conferences can invite a limited number of such volunteers, selected randomly, to their TPC from the People:TPC menu. The candidates are selected based on whether one of their broad areas of interest matches the conference topic area. This is an experiment - we have to see if conferences abuse this feature.