[Air-L] Conferencing software for next year

bl506 at york.ac.uk bl506 at york.ac.uk
Fri Oct 24 00:49:23 PDT 2008


As the program chair for IR 9.0 I have provided some feedback already of 
course but for the benefit of this wider discussion I would suggest that 
the difficulties we encountered with OCS were both front-end and back-end.

The amount of difficulty faced by those submitting proposals (A lot of 
email enquiries) suggests that the interface was not very user friendly or 
intuitive - this may seem unexpected for the more technical minding but I 
suspect that to the social scientists and HCI people amongst us it is no 
surprise to learn that academics (even those engaged in researching the 
internet) are no different from the public at large in using such systems. 
Despite every effort by colleagues to clarify instructions and provide FAQs 
these were often misunderstood, ignored or simply irritated people who 
expected the system to be much easier to use. So I guess their is a 
user-interface design and policy set of issues to be resolved here.

Regarding the back-end of the system the main problem for me was the 
breakdown in the searchability function which led to hours of paperwork and 
manual cross referencng to find anyone with a query. This should however be 
something that can be fixed I would guess.

Brian   

On Oct 23 2008, chodge5 at utk.edu wrote:

>
>Our plan was to have the current conference chair (=chair of the group)
>work with OCS alongside the incoming group chair/conference chair so
>expertise and historical memory gets transferred along with training. Our
>initial experience of OCS suggests that each chair might want to tweak the
>setup (depending on the complexity of the conference, e.g.) but the basics
>of OCS would remain the same. So far we've found OCS very powerful (=
>complex, a drawback), and only occasional not as clear or intuitive as we
>would like. We're hoping that we can address some of these issues by
>providing clear instructions on the conference website and perhaps put
>togeher a simple internal FAQ for program managers.
>
>-c
>
>On Thu, 23 Oct 2008, jeremy hunsinger wrote:
>
>> Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2008 12:37:08 -0400
>> From: jeremy hunsinger <jhuns at vt.edu>
>> Reply-To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
>> To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
>> Subject: Re: [Air-L] Conferencing software for next year
>> 
>> Ben makes an interesting point.  'The imagination of the program  
>> chair' what what brought me oh prolly around 500 or so hours of labor  
>> over several years.  In fact, it was the constant requirements of the  
>> reimagining of process of program chairs that forced the move to OJS  
>> from a custom system.  The idea was that, we can no longer afford to  
>> invest in endless customization and specifically the endless re- 
>> imagination of the conference and the conference process.   We need a  
>> fixed model, and OJS was what was supposed to help to enforce that  
>> fixedness, but really it doesn't seem to have accomplished that, so  
>> perhaps we should resolve the problem more through policy than through  
>> getting a new system?  the system ojs system does seem to work for  
>> many different conferences.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Oct 23, 2008, at 11:07 AM, Ben Anderson wrote:
>> 
>> >
>> > On 22 Oct 2008, at 18:34, Ingbert Floyd wrote:
>> >
>> >> I think it would be interesting to see a group discussion of
>> >> conference system requirements by internet experts.
>> >
>> > one such 'requirement' is that the system can support the  
>> > 'submission/review/response workflow' that the conference organizers  
>> > want. My experience of the IR9 review process (others may disagree)  
>> > was that whilst the progamme chair & reviewers had a view of the  
>> > process they wanted, the system had a slightly different and rather  
>> > 'fixed' model. This produced a certain amount of confusion.
>> >
>> > If the IR10 programme chair/committee's mental model of the  
>> > submission process is not yet defined then deciding on a tool will  
>> > be a bit premature...(unless you are happy to adapt your process to  
>> > what the tool(s) provide)
>> >
>> > Ben _______________________________________________ The 
>> > Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list is provided by the Association of 
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>> _______________________________________________ The 
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>
>Chris Hodge
>University of Tennessee
>
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-- 
Brian D. Loader, 
Co-Director, 
Social Informatics Research Unit,
Department of Sociology,
Wentworth College,
University of York,
Heslington,
YORK YO1 5DD.
United Kingdom.

Tel:  +44 (0) 1904 432639
Fax:  +44 (0) 1904 433043
email: bl506 at york.ac.uk





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