Q & A for Session and Workshop Organizers and Participants

As you all know the Summit conference of iEMSs will contain a number of traditional paper presentation sessions that will be run in parallel to thematic workshops. There may have been some confusion about how the two parts will be organized and what do we anticipate as an outcome from both. So we have put together this Q & A Page in attempt to explain how we see it today. Please note that the conference format and structure is very much driven by the participants and we are trying to adapt as much as possible to the needs of the community. So please let us know if something needs to be changed or improved.

Q: What is the difference between a Session and a Workshop?

A: Sessions follow the regular conference type format, when presentations are made during a 20 min time slot, which ideally includes some time for questions from the audience. Workshops are convened to discuss a certain topic or problem. There is no prescribed format. It is up to workshop organizers how to structure the workshop. A workshop may be split into several groups each of which focuses on a different question or aspect. On the final day of the conference we will have a 'plenary' session where workshop organizers present on the progress and outcomes of the workshops.

Q: What will be the outcome of a Session?

A: All session presenters will submit 6 page papers that will be peer reviewed and published in the Summit Conference proceedings. The proceedings will be available on a CD and over the web. They will have an ISBN number and can be quoted as a peer reviewed publication. The best papers will be organized into special issues of the Environmental Modeling and Software journal, or other journals.

Q: What will be the outcome of a Workshop?

A: Workshop organizers and participants are expected to co-author a state-of-the-art (and challenges) Position Paper, which will be published in the Summit Proceedings (with no page limit). After additional review it will be published in EMS and/or as part of the Elsevier IDEA book series.

Q: Should final position papers be signed by all workshop participants or just organizers?

A: This is up to the organizers, but we would think that all the active participants should be authors. Otherwise what's their incentive to participate? Especially if they are contributing ideas, text, references, etc.

Q: How can we write a position paper in just the three days of the Conference?

A: We expect the work to start prior to the conference. Actually workshop organizers are asked to come up with a rough draft as early as the end of November, 2005. This draft will be posted on a web site that will allow all registered workshop participants to access the draft and provide comments, additions, ideas, etc. We will use the EMS ShortComs web site that has all this functionality. There will be a discussion board there to facilitate the discussions. The goal is to have a second, fuller draft version published in the Proceedings before the time we come to the conference. The conference will give an opportunity for some final discussions, and we will incorporate the latest ideas, polish the text and prepare it for a final submission.

Q: Which papers will be published in EMS or the IDEA Book Series?

A: All the Position Papers that pass peer review. Which may be hard bearing in mind that all the best brains supposedly will be involved in writing them. Please note that we won't be able to publish all papers that appeared in the Summit Proceedings (which will be on CD) again in EMS but selected ones will be. This was the situation from the last iEMSs meet where we had two double special issues. I imagine that we will be able to get a special issue of Ecological Modelling to publish other revised proceedings papers. Other journals are possible also such as Mathematics and Computers in Simulation.

Note that some sessions may be so successful that their papers warrant a separate book in the IDEA Elsevier series e.g. data mining, creative and rigorous model practice workshops, etc. If the case looks good we can do this.

Q: Exactly how much time do we have for the workshop, when will it be and do we have to schedule in a coffee break?

A:This will depend upon the number of registered participants. The more people you will attract the larger the time slot we will be able to give you. We are limited by the number of meeting rooms.

Q: is it possible to have additional tutorial time in a computer lab?

A: Yes, but we will have to arrange for that and announce that as a separate tutorial. Perhaps we will need to charge a fee for taking the tutorial. That will also cover some of the computer lab costs.

Q: How many papers can we accept, and will they be published as abstracts or full papers?

A:There will be at least one position paper coming out of each workshop. If there will be more, that is also fine. Workshop abstracts will be published in conference proceedings. Full papers are not required for workshop presentations, but they are required for session presentations. The workshops are really for discussions, consensus building and generating some seminal, state-of-the-art products. There may be a position paper authored by only part of the workshop participants, or even by one individual, but the review process for all of them will be the same and open for all interested workshop participants.

Q: Are reviews to be done on abstracts?

A:Yes, both session and workshop participants will be required to submit an abstract. This will be how we choose the participants. All abstracts that pass review will be published in the Summit conference proceedings, either as part of the 6 page paper, or as part of the workshop package.

Q: When do you require the final camera-ready copy?

A:Same time as full papers. March 31st. But all papers must be submitted for peer review by January 31, 2006.

Q: Where do participants submit their abstracts?

A: We will use the same web tool as before - WCMT - the conference management tool developed by Andrea Rizzolli and used during our previous conferences will handle all the abstracts and all the peer review of session papers. Only the position papers for workshops will be handled by the ShortComs tool, which allows unlimited reviewers and provides a discussion board feature.

Q: Workshop participants should register separately for the conference and workshop or there is a unique fee for both?

A: All the registrations are covered by one conference registration fee. There is no separate fee to participate in a workshop or session. Only tutorials will require an additional fee. All sessions and workshops are open to the public, everybody is invited to participate.

Q: And, do you have any idea of the "early registration date" to get cheaper registration fees?

A: Yes there is an early bird option. See the registration page.

Q: May I suppose that a link to the call for papers could be added into the Workshop description section of the Summit web site?

A: Each workshop has a link to the permanent Blog space. Please use this space to post anything you need about the workshop. This can be a call for papers, ideas about how to structure your papers and workshop, anything.

Q: How do I submit a Position Paper?

A: Please see the instructions at the bottom of the WORKSHOPS page.

Please send your questions to the Local Organizing Committee and we will add them to this list.