Sunday, March 15, 2009

Irsee, we have a problem

We should be sending out the final shepherding notifications this weekend but we’ve hit a few technical problems. We expected to have all papers allocated to shepherd by now but we have a few papers still in search of a shepherd. (If your a shepherd, if your reading this, and you’ve not offered to shepherd a paper yet, please contact me!)

This should have been resolved this week but the Hillside mail server seems to have developed a fault – I keep getting mailed delayed messages in return.

Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, Joe Yoder looks after the server for Hillside and a quick mail to him would have fixed it. But guess what? My mails to Joe keep coming back with mail delayed.

If anyone sees Joe (or can give me his phone number!) please get in touch.

Normal service should be resumed real soon now.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Accept / Reject decisions gone

I have just sent out all the EuroPLoP accept/reject decisions. If submitted a paper to EuroPLoP and don't have an message from me then get in touch. O, if you have a co-author check to see if they got the message first.

Below is the text of the latter, the bits in [[brackets]] only went to some authors.

Onto the shepherds....
Acceptance to EuroPLoP 2009 shepherding

Dear XXX,

We am please to inform you that your submission to EuroPLoP 2009 has been accepted into Shepherding. As you should know this is the first of three gateways a paper needs to pass in order to be workshopped at EuroPLoP.

We are currently seeking Shepherds for all accepted papers and provided a Shepherd is interested in working with you on your paper we will put you in contact soon. It is very rare that we cannot find Shepherd for an accepted paper.

You will also been assigned a member of the Programme Committee (PC) to monitor the Shepherding process. Normally the PC member will take no active part in the process. However, if you, or the Shepherd, experiences problems you should contact the PC member in the first instance.

You are expected to submit a second review copy of your patterns by 20 April 2009. The committee will review the paper for:
- Evidence of improvement over the initial submission
- Evidence that you, as author, are open to suggestions for improvement
- Evidence of useful, original patterns in a recognisable pattern form; or, for papers submitted to the applying patterns track, evidence that the paper contributes to the body of knowledge on applying patterns

Having submitted the second review, you and your Shepherd should continue working to improve the paper.

The PC will issue final acceptances (or rejections) by 8 May. If you are accepted into the conference you, or a co-author, will be expected to register by 24 May. Failure to do so will be considered as a withdrawal of your paper.

The final conference version of your paper must be submitted by 19 June 2009.

On 8 May your paper will either be accepted into a Writers Workshop at the conference or into the Writing Group. If your paper is accepted into the Writing Group you will be expected to undertake a second round of face-to-face Shepherding at the conference. If your paper improves enough over the first three days of the conference it will be admitted to the Writers Workshop on the last day.

Only papers which have been through a Writers Workshop will be included in the conference proceedings.

[[You should be aware that at this stage that the PC reviews so far make it likely your paper will be directed to the Writing Group.]]

[[Your paper was originally submitted to the applying patterns track. However the PC feel the paper is more appropriate to the general tracks. We therefore propose to move the paper.]]

If you cannot accept these conditions you should withdraw your paper today.

For more information about the conference, Writers Workshops and the review process please see the following links:

If you have any further questions please contact Allan Kelly or Michael Weiss.

Allan Kelly,, Programme Chair
Michael Weiss,, Conference Chair

Monday, March 2, 2009

Paper reviewing and accepting/rejecting

We will be looking for Shepherd, and accepting and rejecting papers for EuroPLoP in the next few days so I wanted to write a few words about how we got to this point.

In the last 10 days we have been reviewing all the submissions to EuroPLoP 2009. When I say we I mean: the Conference Chair and myself, the Programme Chair, plus the conference programme committee and two specialists on the applying patterns track.

Each reviewer marked a selection of papers on a scale of 1 to 5 – 1 being strong reject and 5 being strong accept. Most reviewers looked at about 8 papers. We then looked at the average scores.

Papers below 2 were rejected immediately.

Papers above 3 we will be accepted for Shepherding.

The papers in the 2 to 3 range were more difficult. So we asked for some extra reviews. Some papers improved their score and some went down.

We have now decided to accept these papers, however, the authors will be told that there is a possibility their paper will be directed to the writing group. If they feel they cannot accept this condition they should withdraw their paper.

Acceptances and rejections will be going out soon. These are not acceptances into the conferences these are acceptances into Shepherding. During Shepherding we expect papers to improve in quality – that’s why we’re prepared to accept papers which have what might seem like low scores into the process.

In the next few days I will start allocating shepherds to the papers. During shepherding the author and shepherd work together to improve the paper. Authors need to submit a revised copy by 20 April and are expected to keep working keep on working on the paper with the shepherd.

After 20 April the we’ll review papers again and papers which are still scoring low may be rejected at this stage. Papers which score low may still have potential, these papers will be accepted into the writing group.

The writing group is an additional round of Shepherding that occurs at the conference itself. It differs from the first round because it happens face to face. Authors get two or three sessions with their Shepherd and they get time to work on their papers. If the papers are good enough by Friday evening they are accepted into the workshops on Saturday.

Shepherding, Writing Group and Workshops all aim to improve the paper. Workshops are not presentations, they are not reviews, they are directed discussions.

We’ve added one more condition to paper acceptance at EuroPLoP this year. This is a hard-nosed administration/financial decision.

Authors of accepted papers are expected to book their attendance by 24 May. Believe it or not this helps use keep the costs down.

Hillside Europe and the conference organisers (Chairs and PC) aim to keep the price of EuroPLoP low so we don’t make a profit and we try to trim and excess spending.

Once or twice in the past, papers have been accepted from authors who then don’t attend the conference. We understand when something happens, a personal emergency or such, and we try to refund their money if we can – but no guarantee. But when an author doesn’t book a place, and we hold a room for them it costs us money.

So this year we are asking authors to book early.