Q4: Small Conferences

From Health of Conferences Committee

Question 4: WORKSHOPS, ETC.

Does your community provide venue for work not mature enough for your major conferences, such as:

  • workshop co-located at conferences
  • stand-alone workshops
  • panels
  • crazy idea sessions

On balance, are these other venues effect for advancing your field? What mechanisms, if any, do you use allow good papers from these venues to later achieve wider dissemination?


We have two mechanisms for dealing with non-mature work. First, papers that are rejected as full papers for the conference but that nevertheless meet a certain quality standard are accepted as posters. Second, our conference has Bird of a Feathers sessions in which people are invited to share their ideas about certain topics.


workshop co-located at conferences - our conferences include a range of tutorials on new and emerging ideas.
stand-alone workshops - in computer science education, CCSC and other groups sponsor quite a number of regional conferences. SIGCSE is in cooperation with these. Since these have a strong following, SIGCSE has not seen any reason to try to duplicate them.
Panels - each conference has a range of panels on new or emerging ideas.
crazy idea sessions - The SIGCSE Symposium provides an opportunity for "Special Sessions" and Birds-of-a-Feather than can promote a range of "crazy" ideas.
The SIGCSE Bulletin and conferences are the primary mechanisms for communication within the computer science education community -- especially at the college level. We have tried to expand this to other levels (with special emphasis on two-year colleges and high schools), within our resources. For example, we have had special conference rates for high school teachers.


We have a number of categories for such work. Here are descriptions from the CFP
Extended Abstracts discuss current work for which early submission of a full paper may be premature. If your abstract is accepted, you will be expected to produce a full paper, which will appear in the proceedings. Extended abstracts will be double-blind refereed. Clearly state the contribution of the work being described, its relationship with previous work by you and others (with bibliographic references), results to date, and future directions
Experience Reports present timely results on the application of Ada and related technologies to the design and implementation of applications such as the following: avionics, aerospace, automobile, command and control, consumer electronics, process control, transportation, trading systems, energy, medical systems, simulation, telecommunications, etc. Such reports will be selected on the basis of the interest of the experience presented to the community of Ada practitioners. You are invited to submit a 1-2 page description of the project and the key points of interest of project experiences. Descriptions will be published in the final program or proceedings, but a paper will not be required.
Workshops are focused work sessions, which provide a forum for knowledgeable professionals to explore issues, exchange views, and perhaps produce a report on a particular subject. A list of planned workshops and requirements for participation will be published in the SIGAda 2006 Advance Program. Workshop proposals will be evaluated by the Program Committee and selected based on their applicability to the conference and potential for attracting participants. Proposals should state the problem or issue to be addressed, the coordinator(s), and criteria for participant selection


workshop co-located at conferences - There aren't many. If there are, there is no open competition, they're sort of pre-decided by the chairs. Sometimes standalone workshops want to get more people and request to be co-located, but they're not really sharing anything other than the general location (usually within 1 hrs. drive).
stand-alone workshops - SIGDA has three: IWLS, TAU, SLIP.
panels - Most major events have panels.
crazy idea sessions - I would love to see this, but SIGDA doesn't practice it in any of its conferences. I like ASPLOS's idea - it should be used more often.
Unfortunately, publishing in workshops with no formal proceedings can have a backlash effect: double blind review of the same paper in a future event is jeopardized, which can mean that objective reviewing is not possible.


Only the poster session.
A poster is published in our proceedings and an author may freely submit an extended version to other conferences or the next edition of our own conference.


workshop co-located at conferences - Yes
stand-alone workshops – No
panels - Yes, especially at CSMS where papers are not required
On balance, are these other venues effect for advancing your field? - Yes, the workshops provide professional development opportunities.
What mechanisms, if any, do you use allow good papers from these venues to later achieve wider dissemination? – N/A


Our community is newer than many, so things like 'crazy idea sessions' haven't emerged. What we have instituted, however, is the :Doctoral Consortium, which has been a big success. This allows for mentioning of Ph.D. student research, plus some advice about jobs and preparation for jobs. We've not had very good experiences with panels, so we discourage these. A panel proposal would be considered, but would be scrutinized carefully.


Research-in-progress sessions provide a venue for work not yet completed. Panels are another venue, but usually author(s) need a paper published in the proceedings to get travel funding from their institutions. Panels may appear in proceedings, but are usually short.  :Stand-alone workshops are usually not as well attendedas major conferences.
Later wider dissemination of research-iin-progress is achieved by selecting papers for later publication in a journal.


workshop co-located at conferences - Yes we do this, to encourage attendance at the main event and also give a venue for work-in-progress.
Workshops are a generally positive phenomenon, increasing the places where experimental research can get heard.


Not currently although this topic will be documented for future discussion.


workshop co-located at conferences - Yes, as mentioned above, we promote workshops along conferences.
stand-alone workshops - We tend to de-emphasize these as attendence tends to be divided among too many competing workshops and conferences. The calendar of events tends to be pretty full in our area. Conference co-located, one-day workshops seem to work better.
Panels - Yes we have these. However, it is sometimes difficult to attract good panel speakers outside the pool of conference :participants, as these generally require travel-expense coverage.
crazy idea sessions - No, but work-in-progress sessions are encouraged.
We typically select the best papers from a conference for journal publication (within the ACM publication constraints). This has worked out very well.


We will again have co-located workshops at EC this year. We hope that these workshops will attract a wider audience, both researchers who are not in the SIGECOM community who attends EC as a result, and researchers from the SIGECOM community who attends the topical workshops as a result.


Workshops co-located at main conferences are extremely popular. This allows more people to participate. It also allows more focussed discussion, and advancement of science along promising directions. Overall workshops are great. We also have panels. I am not sure if they are that useful.


We have always done poster (short papers that didn't make it as long paper), but I think the number of posters accepted has increased over the years (this is just my impression; I don't have the actual numbers).
We also often have a session on 5-minute ideas, where attendees can stand up for 5 minutes and explain their "wild ideas." This is usually very well attended and enjoyed. Out of 219 submissions we accepted 30 full papers and 17 posters.
There will be 4 workshops co-located with Sigmetrics this year. The PC size was 51 people, which resulted in a (reasonable) load of 13 to 14 papers per person. In my opinion this is a maximum number of papers that a PC member can review on his/her own, as Sigmetrics traditionally does.


Yes at various venues. All these are good. In most conferences we tend to stream papers into journals. The system is not perfect yet but it is improving.


We use co-located workshops and panels.
We don't normally have a formal mechanism for disseminating workshop papers. We're trying to move to fewer workshops in HT to boost submissions to the main conference program. Now that TWEB has been approved, there may be some mechanisms for pushing some workshop/conference papers to TWEB.
Some of the workshops have spun off into full-fledged conferences, but mostly (if not completely), these conferences are not affiliated with ACM.