Category Archives: Schema

Managing Authors and Participants

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.

Future directions

In the future, we might require all co-authors to be entered together with their work email address.

What this has enabled

Recommended presentations

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.


Integration of Exhibitor information

In all current systems that I am aware of, exhibitor information is managed completely separately from the scientific program. However, from a programming perspective, they are actually quite similar.

If we could integrate exhibitor into the conference program, it would be trivial to include luncheon seminars, etc. in search results. It would also be possible to do interesting Ad placements.

Exhibitors as Presentation objects

We could make the Exhibitions and the luncheon seminars as a Session type similar to “Workshops”, “Symposiums” and “Posters”. This way, it will be straightforward to include luncheon seminars into timetables and exhibition maps. It will be simple to also add “likes” and “my schedule” support.

Exhibitors should be free to edit their stuff.

Contrary to the presentations, exhibition stuff does not need to be edited by organizers. The exhibitors should be free to add information as they wish.

Exhibitors should have a live feed.

Prior to MBSJ2012, I entertained the idea of having a live feed of exhibitor activity, much like a Twitter hashtag for the exhibition that was more integrated with Ponzu. However, after seeing the failure that was JBS2012, I’m not so sure. Maybe this isn’t the best way to do it.