Practically all papers published at CEUR-WS.org are published in the PDF format. This is now a quite old format, originally developed for printing. I still regard it as a good paper format, in particular when the PDF file is supporting navigation and easy lookup of references.

However, it is not a format that allows easy searching/querying of papers because it has no meaningful semantic annotation of its contents.

There are a few papers in CEUR-WS that were actually written in a semantically enriched HTML format. Will such a format become more popular for academic publishing? Or are we stuck with PDF for the foreseeable future?

I personally believe that papers should also be data, i.e. it should be possible to query the contents of a paper. There are initiatives like the open knowledge graph at TiB Hannover to represent the research questions, methods and results in a way to facilitate semantic queries across a large collection of papers. I find that very promising but apparently PDF does not support such machine-readable content at all.

Since mid 2020, we have been popularizing the CEURART style for paper to be published at CEUR-WS.org, see

Submissions using other styles were still accepted in 2020 thru 2021, but editors got informed that they should move to CEURART for future editions of their workshop/conference.

This posting is a reminder to prospective editors to adopt CEURART for future submissions. Details and examples are available at

http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-XXX/

There are templates for LaTeX incl. Overleaf, LibreOffice and Word. The CEURART template includes the CEUR-WS logo. Consult http://ceur-ws.org/HOWTOSUBMIT.html#FAQ for our conditions to use the logo in published papers.

CEUR-WS has adopted the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) for papers and volumes published on CEUR-WS.org.

It is important to to understand the difference between the legal provisions of CC-BY (see above) and the academic rules for publishing papers. The latter cover among other plagiarism, which is not so much a concern of CC-BY. CC-BY is a very liberal license. It supports the open-access publication chain by authorizing the publishers and users to store, access and distribute the papers.

CC-BY does not prevent certain undesired uses. For example, a third person could select a number of CC-BY-licensed papers and republish them in a book, as long as the clauses of CC-BY are not violated. This may not even require consent by the authors. Clearly, this is against academic standards. So, sanctions should be considered within the rule system of academia, e.g. by designating such a publisher as predatory.

Overall, the advantages of CC-BY are stronger than its disadvantages. CC-BY is the defacto standard for open-access publishing. Let’s hope that we get an improved version CC-BY 5.0 where some of the concerns are addressed.

Location designation for disputed regions

There a few regions in the world that are disputed between countries and where the current executive government is not recognized by many other countries. CEUR-WS takes no position in such cases but we ask editors of volumes to follow these two rules:

  1. We expect that proceedings editors advise authors to use neutral names in affiliation when the region is disputed.
  2. We require that proceedings editors use neutral location names in the main index.html file and in frontmatter/preface, if the event is organized in a disputed region.

CEUR-WS.org (CEUR Workshop Proceedings) publishes computer-science workshop proceedings as open-access for free, i.e. without article processing charge (APC). This allows workshop organizers to quickly publish their proceedings. New workshops in computer science are popping up almost every week. They are accelerators of leading edge research in our field. While large conferences and journals rightfully emphasize rigid reviewing, they cannot react so quickly to changes in the academic dialogue as workshops can do. Conferences aim for persistence. Workshops are more short-lived. They pop up, thrive, and disappear when the subject has become mainstream.

So, if you want to learn about the latest trends and results in computer science, then have a look at the recently published volumes at CEUR-WS.org!

We received a question from a conference organizer whether we would also accept open-access licenses other than CC-BY 4.0 for publishing proceedings, specifically the (British) Open Government License OGL 3.0. This question was the first time that I heard about this license. After doing a bit of research, it turns out that it shares similarities to CC-BY 4.0.

However, since it has a different wording, it is formally not equivalent to CC-BY 4.0. It is also not widely used for open-access publishing, in particular it will probably not be used outside of the UK. In contrast, CC-BY 4.0 is the de-facto worldwide standard for open-access publishing.

At CEUR-WS, we need to be economic with our resources. We provide the service in our free time and we are not lawyers. We thus uniformly require CC-BY 4.0 for papers. This implies that there is a single set of legal clauses applicable to such papers.

What do you think? Shall we be more liberal with open-access licenses?

Manfred

PS 2021-03-01: We amended our rules on CC-BY at http://ceur-ws.org/HOWTOSUBMIT.html#FAQ-CCBY. CC-BY 4.0 remains mandatory, but the copyright part of the license clause can cater for Crown copyright (certain authors employed the UK gorvernment) and “No copyright” (certain US government authors).

To streamline our workflows we shall stop with reserving volume numbers in advance by April 1, 2021. Almost all volume submissions come in without having reserved a volume number in advance. So, there is hardly any need for this service. On the other hand, reserving volume numbers creates extra workload on the editorial team. Submissions thus always shall get a volume number assigned by us when we receive them.

Comments are welcome!

Manfred

CEUR-WS.org publishes proceedings from all areas of computer science and information systems. One such specialized area is about the relationship of Law and Computer Science.

I quick scan on CEUR-WS reveals quite a number of interesting workshop proceedings:

Vol-321Legal Ontologies and Artificial Intelligence Techniques 2007.
Vol-465Legal Ontologies and Artificial Intelligence Techniques 2009.
 
Vol-482Legal and Negotiation Decision Support Systems 2009.
Vol-605Legal Ontologies and Artificial Intelligence Techniques 2010.
Vol-2143Automated Semantic Analysis of Information in Legal Text 2017.
Vol-2385Automated Semantic Analysis of Information in Legal Text 2019.
Vol-2484Workshop on AI and Intelligent Assistance for Legal Professionals in the Digital Work 2019.
Vol-2632MIning and REasoning with Legal texts.
Vol-2645Natural Legal Language Processing Workshop 2020.
Vol-2690CAiSE for Legal Documents 2020.
Vol-2681EXplainable AI in Law 2019.
Vol-2381EXplainable AI in Law 2018.
Vol-1296Semantic Web for the Law and Second Jurix Doctoral Consortium 2014.

This is just an example how CEUR-WS supports also highly specialized research areas.

Starting from now, we ask editors of proceedings submitted to CEUR-WS.org to include statements about the number of submitted and accepted papers into the index file, see http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-XXX/

We do not infer the quality of a submission from the acceptance rate but believe that this data enhances the transparency of the review process. Editors can describe more details on the peer-review process in their preface.

The Covid-19 crisis of 2020 has led to the conversion of virtually all conferences and workshops to online/virtual events. In computer science, papers in conference and workshop proceedings are regarded as valuable parts of a CV. However, conferences were always predominately meant as meeting places where experts of the field directly communicate with each other at a physical location.

With online events, the meeting character of the event is somewhat compromised. The current online tools are a weak replacement for discussions at physical locations. In particular, there are no coffee breaks, no discussions at the social dinner, etc. All these elements fall short. Consequently, the registration fee drops significantly and makes a participation more attractive to authors.

I am afraid, that conferences and workshops are on a route to become just publication outlets with reduced standards for peer review when compared to journals. The lower prices may lead to even higher percentages of conference/workshop papers in the CV of a typical computer science author.

I have no solution to this dilemma. But I believe that CEUR-WS must consider to adapt its pre-conditions to filter out submissions with too low standards for the peer review. What do you think?