PSV-3/4: Software Engineering

Need Statement for a
Conference Management System

Pierre Flener
Uppsala University, Sweden
Pierre.Flener at

Disclaimer: This is a lousy need statement, but all imprecisions are deliberate, for pedagogical reasons!


At scientific workshops and conferences, several researchers present their papers in several auditoria according to a schedule. A considerable amount of organisation needs to be done beforehand, usually by several people. Much of it is highly repetitive, standardised, low-level, errorprone work. However, conference organisers either manually perform these tedious steps or they develop their own incomplete, only partially automated solutions, because there are no computerised, configurable full solutions available. The objective of this project is to develop a (simplified) configurable tool that maximally assists the various organisers in their tasks.


The conference chair is the official president and host of the conference, and has to make all financial and local arrangements, such as sponsor finding, budgeting, accounting, design of the call-for-participation (CfPart), reception of the registration fees, accommodation reservations, catering reservations, auditorium reservations, registration, badge printing, participant list printing, reception of the proceedings, etc.

The programme chair(s) are responsible for the scientific programme of the conference, such as recruitment of the programme committee (PC), design of the call-for-papers (CfP), reception of submitted abstracts and papers, assignment of submitted papers to PC members for reviewing, reception and evaluation of the reviews, decision of acceptance/rejection of the papers, notification of acceptance/rejection to authors, reception of camera-ready copies, production of the proceedings, etc.

The publicity chair(s) must publicise the conference so as to draw in a maximum number of quality paper submissions and participants, via the design of a homepage for the conference, the distribution of the CfP and CfPart in electronic and hardcopy form, etc.

Programme committee (PC) members are responsible for filling in the review forms for the submitted papers. They do this themselves or they delegate parts of this task to colleagues.

Author(s) submit papers and their abstracts to the programme chair(s). A contact author is designated for each paper; all correspondence about a paper is done to/from its contact author. If a paper is accepted, at least one author must register to the conference, in order to present the paper.

A participant attends the conference presentations. Anybody can be a participant, provided they register.


A call-for-papers (CfP) announces a conference name, acronym, location, and date, and outlines the modalities of paper and abstract submission, such as deadlines, topics, sizes, formats, etc. (Sample CfP)

An abstract form has free-text entries for the author(s) of a paper, their affiliation(s) and address(es), a summary of the paper, and its topic(s). It also designates a contact author. (Sample abstract)

A paper is a report on scientific results. (Sample paper)

A review form has free-text identification entries (such as the paper identifier, the responsible PC member, the actual reviewer, etc), numeric entries for various criteria (such as relevance, significance, originality, correctness, etc), and free-text entries for confidential comments to the programme chair(s) only, confidential comments to the programme committee only, and comments to the author(s). The anonymous version of a review form does not feature its identification part and confidential comments. (Sample review form)

A camera-ready copy is the final version of an accepted paper, formatted according to the conference standards. (Sample camera-ready copy)

A proceedings is a volume with all the camera-ready copies, plus a foreword, a table of contents, and an author index. A copy is handed out at the conference to each participant. Sometimes, an additional post-proceedings is produced from the best papers, via invitation and another round of reviewing. (Sample proceedings)

A call-for-participation (CfPart) announces a conference name, acronym, location, and date, and outlines the modalities of registration. (Sample CfPart)

A schedule is the assignment of accepted papers to auditoria and time slots. It is handed out at the conference to each participant. (Sample schedule)

A participant list is a list with the names and full addresses of all participants. It is handed out at the conference to each participant.

A badge announces information about a participant, such as her/his name. It is handed out at the conference to the relevant participant, and is to be worn on the left side of the body, no lower than the navel.


The processes involved in scientific conference management have been mentioned and briefly described in the preceding two sections.

Last updated 10 January 2001.