#CEURWS, some rule changes Dec 2018

Dear all,

we plan some rule changes to become effective from December 2018 onwards:

(1) The minimum length for a paper published in a new CEUR-WS volume is increased to eight LNCS-equivalent pages (old: five). Exceptions may be possible for certain papers such as invited papers, if the other regular papers overfulfill the rule.

(2) All new volumes shall target an international audience. Therefore, at least 50% of the papers shall be written in English. We moderately discourage submissions of non-English papers.

Comments are welcome!

Kind greetings: Manfred

2018-11-14: The rules have now been amended and become operational by 2019-01-01, see http://ceur-ws.org/HOWTOSUBMIT.html#PRECONDS

  1. Ilia Bider said:

    1. CEUR was started as a channel for publishing workshop proceedings. In difference from conferences, workshops are places for discussion, not presentation. Thus, position papers, that are usually short, are very important for a workshop as they raise interesting relevant questions. They need to be short.

    2. Changing the rules often lead to the effort of gaming them. Increasing the minimum limit, will lead to the authors will be required to add a couple of more pages of text or pictures even if there is no need for it. Do we want it?

    3. Other conference publishers that are in the Norska systemet publish short paper, which are categorized in various terms as research in progress, opinions, and even posters. I do not think CEUR is unique in this way. Even Spinger proceedings often publish extended abstracts of keynotes and tutorials.

    Summarizing the above: If the rules are needed, I would suggest the rules that guide the ratio between the total size of pages in long papers (say >=8) and short papers ( < 8) rather than setting the low limit.

    Best regards

    CEUR author and CEUR volumes editor

  2. Dear Ilia,

    we certainly do not want to frustrate proceedings editors, though some rule changes in the past have done exactly that. The reason for changes are that the use pattern change. The position of CEUR-WS in the publication market has also changed. We started as an “underdog”, well below the radar of established publication channels. We are now one of the largest open-access publishers for computer-science proceedings. Some workshops/conferences have been publishing with us for more than 10 years. Such workshops are not only places for discussion anymore. The authors also expect that their papers are visible beyond the group of workshop participants.

    We would welcome if many workshops would decide to go back to the original purpose of workshops: to discuss novel ideals that are not yet matured. Such workshops would in principal not need a persistent publication of their proceedings. It may even be good not to publish an immature idea at an early stage.

    The reality in computer science is different: Since the technology moves so fast, researchers feel the need to publish even partial results as fast as possible.

    Our proposal aims at encouraging workshop organizers to include those papers in their proceedings that have a certain minimum size. We used to have a suggested limit of 5 pages. It is very hard to elaborate on a novel idea in just 5 pages *such that* a reader in the future can benefit from the paper.

    Your proposal to distinguish regular (long) papers from short papers is well-made.

    Kind greetings: Manfred

  3. In fact, IEEE has 5 pages two column papers, AAAI has 6 pages two column full papers without references, and Springer got 6 pages for LNCS short papers. So the decision to update to 8 pages is quite overreacting.

    Spending time on writing conference paper for 8 pages should be provided by some benefit, which is CEUR being indexed by Scopus and being OA, but most universities discredit proceedings not indexed by WoS, or even conference papers in general. In this sense, making proceedings in Ceur more demanding will not lead to better paper, as mentioned above, but rather make authors to balance their working time for writing these results for Workshops, which are VERY important part of research communications but whose publication impact is very low even if it would be twenty pages per article.

    I would also argue that having such a large database one can solve the problem of some Ceur workshops submitting very low-quality papers to be addressed by NLP algorihms, while automatically evaluating papers for (self-)plagiarism, lack of new ideas description or at least providing suggestions for moderating such editions.
    The current approach of increasing length will not help solve your main problem, rather just spent our time “leaking water” in papers, which was not accepted to core conferences or journals.

    Also, currently all top conferences are using msotly ACM DL, IEEE, Springer publishers, and it would benefit Ceur if you can shift people publciations from the well-known conference venues to publish at Ceur. In this case, the differentiation of short and full papers will be meaningful, but as it now it is directed not to solve THE problemof paper quality, but rather not to spend much time on it by increasing limits. Some journals in the end place limits 25-40 pages in two columns, so this idea may go on…

  4. Thanks, Ilya. Your feedback is welcome. We currently have a 5-page LNCS threshold. In the past, publishers and conference editors limited the paper size also due to economic costs because it led to more costly proceedings books. That restriction is no longer needed.

    We might formalize the difference between short and long papers more explicitly. For example, we could demand minimum 10 LNCS-equivalent pages for “regular” papers and at least 5 LNCS-equivalent pages for “short” papers. Then, there are no new obstacles but workshop organizers would need to quality short papers in the index file.

    The lack of recognition of conference/workshop papers is partly historical and partly justified. Computer Science is probably the only discipline that stresses the importance of conferences and workshops. The reason may be that we believe that our field is changing so quickly. CEUR-WS has (had) the mission to support workshops, i.e. the publication of initial research results that require to be discussed in a larger community. The risk is that we could make it too easy to have papers published and then indexed.

    I am not sure whether we should apply algorithms to check paper quality. But if there are readily available tools, it may be an option. Another option would be to publish the reviews together with the papers.

  5. J. M. said:

    +1 for supporting short papers. Please consider making this change as soon as possible, as it might directly affect the decision for the publication venue for upcoming events in which I’m involved. Thank you!

  6. We are not so fast! I believe the changes will be evolutionary. So, if your submission fulfills the old rules, then it is likely that it can be formatted in a way that it fulfills the new rules. We may offer a transition period to protect workshop organizers that are already preparing a submission following the old rules.

  7. J. M. said:

    “We are not so fast!” Take your time. I only wanted to give the feedback that the change is indeed frustrating for at least some workshop organizers.

    “So, if your submission fulfills the old rules, then it is likely that it can be formatted in a way that it fulfills the new rules.” I’m not sure how this would work though. Shall we ask authors to insert blank pages so that their papers have 8 rather than 5 pages?

    “We may offer a transition period to protect workshop organizers that are already preparing a submission following the old rules.” That sounds good.

    • We will see. Kindly add your name to future postings. This improves the communication.

  8. James M. said:

    Thanks for the prompt reaction! The updated policy accomodates the open dissemination of ideas while ensuring scientific quality.

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