Common Questions and Answers
Since announcing the call for proposals in February, we have received questions about papers — the length, type of presentations, style of paper — so, we thought we’d the most common questions here to share them with the community.
Technical Papers at PNSQC
For the first 33 years of the conference from 1983-2015, we required technical papers. Abstracts would be submitted and evaluated by our selection committee. Authors chosen by the selection committee (usually about 40 abstracts out of over 100) would be invited to write a paper and present at the conference. Printed copies of the proceedings were distributed at the conference. In 2016 and 2017, we began offering the presentation-only option and dropped the printed proceedings.
Based on feedback from the past two years, we’ve decided to bring back both the proceedings and the requirement for technical papers for the 2018 conference. We realized the technical papers differentiated our conference from commercial conferences and that by writing a paper authors were required to refine and develop their ideas while presenting them clearly and concisely. The presentation was merely a summary of their technical paper and attendees could refer back to the paper in the proceedings if they wanted more detail or if they wanted to review the content in the future. The proceedings also served as a record for posterity of where we’ve come as a conference and how the profession has progressed over the years. It’s interesting to compare recent papers with those from the 80’s and 90’s and to see the gradual shift in focus in topics and what’s hot in the industry.
The Writing Process
Keep in mind that we only require the abstracts by April 1st, not the entire paper. Why? Our selection committee uses the abstracts to evaluate whether the topic fits with the conference and the tracks. Based on that, we then assign two reviewers to work with you to develop your abstract into a full paper. A paper is not long, with only a 1,000-word minimum — about four or five pages. Then, the author and reviewers work toward a camera-ready draft by August 1st. The camera-ready paper is then assembled into the proceedings with your colleagues’ papers in time for the conference on October 8th. When you and the other attendees register, you will have a choice of buying the proceedings or choosing the “green option” as all the technical papers are posted on the PNSQC website prior to the conference. We pass on the printing costs directly to you with a pay-for-service agreement with a printing company. The proceedings live on forever in our archives in electronic form as well. See some of the past papers and presentations in the Archive here.
Authors are required to present their papers at the conference in a 45-minute presentation including a Q&A period of between 5-15 minutes. This is a little longer than a Ted Talk, but we want to give the author ample time to cover the concepts of their paper in depth while allowing time for questions. It is an excellent chance to share your ideas while taking questions to expand your point of view with a discussion with colleagues with similar backgrounds.
I hope this answers some of your questions and concerns. Please consider submitting a proposal for PNSQC 2018. We’re on the road to quality and we’d love you to join us.
Don’t wait: Hit the submit button today!