Throughout the whole history of scientific conferences, the focus has been on the presentations; what people are going to say. We thought differently.
Whereas journals focus on scientific advancements, we think that conferences should focus on people; the authors, the audience, the critics, the competitors, the collaborators, the mentors, the students and the supporters. The unique fun and excitement of conferences is the result of these people meeting face to face and having headed discussions. If this is what conferences are all about, then the program should focus on the people. By doing this, we should be able to open up a huge number of possibilities on how conferences could enhance human interaction.
Extracting people from the program
Traditionally, authors have been a simple text attribute of each presentation. Our first task was to assign and ID to each author, and to find out which authors were actually the same person. We did this with Nayose.
In the future, we might require all co-authors to be entered together with their work email address.
What this has enabled
We used author information to provide a list of related presentations. To our knowledge, this is the first time that anyone has done this for a conference.