For many organizations, papers and talks are presented in an annual conference. This conference is the lifeblood of the organization, the central event that the whole year is spent building up to. The reputation of your organization is based on having the best, brightest and most influential folks presenting.
Your call for papers is now closed and now you have a few hundred paper proposals that need to be scored and sorted through. Read on and see if this process rings a bill:
Most organizations still have a very manual and time consuming paper review process.
- Papers are first collated into their respective categories and then handed over to a committee.
- Sometimes the committee may print out all of the papers and sit around a room to discuss. Other organizations distribute the papers to various team members and ask them to sift through them.
- The best papers are shortlisted and presented to a committee chair for a final decision
Often times in this process you have to wonder how robust the review really is? Without much transparency in the process, the best papers may slip through the cracks. Besides the potential of losing some gem topics for your conference, the hassle of overseeing this review can be mindnumbing. There are so many people and proposals to keep track of that getting overwhelmed has become ‘just part of the job’.
If you are a seasoned conference planner, you probably have your spreadsheets setup to help cope with the chaos. If this is your first time on the task, it’s normal to not know exactly where to begin. Depending on the number of submissions you receive and the number of reviewers, we recommend trying onlineabstract review software. Some of the tasks this kind of software can help with include:
- Ensuring fairness by having all reviewers follow the same rubric
- Getting real-time status on which papers still have not been reviewed and which reviewers are stagnant
- Point-and-click re-assigning if a reviewer decides to flake out
- Automatic scoring / tabulation