Recently, I was involved in the publication of an open-access paper that allowed to attach accompanying research artefacts such as data sets. The artefacts were all open-access (produced for that paper) but one artefact was not. It had been produced by the organizers of a workshop to specify a so-called “challenge”. The artefact was openly accessible but when the workshop gut published by a computer science society, it became copyrighted by this society and was moved behind its paywall.So, new open-access publications cannot just include this artefact in their accompanying data sets.
I regard this as a poisonous effect of paywalled artefacts. It creates insecurity with the authors about what they can publish. It slows down research. Do not accept such behavior of paywall publishers! Demand that your results are freely accessible under a generous license. We are researchers. We share!
As written in the previous blog entry from January 4, 2022, the CEUR-WS team has decided to re-focus more on workshops, in particular international workshops. So what does that mean? Let me give my personal view. Please use comment to express your standpoint! We can then hope to come to a common understanding about the direction of CEUR-WS.
So, a “truly international workshop” for me is a workshop where the participants and the program committee members come from a many different countries. One can argue what “many” means but you get the idea: the more the better. This avoids the creation of “bubbles” where local communities discuss scientific problems only with themselves. But I believe we need even more for a “truly international workshop”. I think that the participants (and PC members) should have a history to go to conferences/workshops in many different countries. They should get out of the “bubble” and expose their results to the scrutiny of an international audience.
The best way to achieve such a goal is probably to organize the workshop in collaboration with a well-known international conference. Of course, there are exceptions. We do not completely rule out conference proceedings. Our quality check may be a bit tougher for conferences but if the quality is very high, those proceedings are welcome! Likewise, workshops that are linked to a country and where most papers come from that country are not excluded. In such cases, the authors of papers should have a history to present their results on truly international events.
There has been a bit of an inflation of the term “international workshop/conference”. This dates back decades ago. The attribute “international” was meant to stress the importance of the event. I believe we should scale down the use of the word. If an event is local, then call it “national workshop” or just “workshop”. We shall anyway see from the composition of the accepted papers whether the submission is indeed international.
National events are great. They help young researchers to get experience. However, they should then also be published nationally. At least, the organizers should seriously consider this option. A publication with a national publisher is also accessible internationally. So, it is not lost. What may be more difficult is to get papers indexed in DBLP and SCOPUS. But that is only fair!
All researchers want to have their works visible as widely as possible. But then you need to put an extra effort to get your works published in highly visible outlets. And that is hard. It is poised to get harder on CEUR-WS.
#CEURWS (CEUR-WS.org) will continue to provide free open-access publication of computer science proceedings. Based on the past experience, we want to further strengthen the international reach of proceedings volumes. This means for future submissions that we will check that the workshop (or conference) needs to be international in its target audience, the program committee, and the authors of the accepted papers. Some workshops may stem from national associations. We do not rule out these cases. But the call for papers shall target a worldwide audience of authors. This should also be reflected in a truly international composition of the program committee, to include well-known experts for the topics mentioned in the call for papers.
Another point of attention is the focus of CEUR-WS. We serve the computer science academic community. Sometimes, a workshop may have a particular cross-disciplinary character. Still, the papers should discuss the research questions from a computer science point of view. This is typically the case when authors have a computer science background.
CEUR-WS started as a publisher for workshop proceedings. Workshops have a rather small set of topics and they try to attract papers from the best experts for these few topics of interest. Later, CEUR-WS also started to publish some conference proceedings. We will continue to do so but the acceptance criteria for conference proceedings are more rigid. Conferences must be truly international and have a rigorous review process. We do not want to publish regional conferences (and for that matter regional workshops) anymore. (New) conferences with a very broad set of topics of interest should better publish elsewhere. There are plenty of alternative publishers!
The CEUR-WS Team has the authority to reject a submission if the pre-conditions are not met or the team believes that CEUR-WS is not the right venue for the submission. Since workshop/conference organizers have enough alternatives, we do not discuss such decisions. You can however make a rejection unlikely by following the rules and certain strategies to ensure the high quality:
Workshops co-located with well-known computer science conferences (IEEE, ACM, …). Well-known means that the conference is indexed in DBLP and has a long history.
The organizers of a workshop and the PC members are well-known in the fields represented by the workshop. They are mostly from computer science/information systems departments.
The program committee is international, as well as the group of authors
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.
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.
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.
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:
We expect that proceedings editors advise authors to use neutral names in affiliation when the region is disputed.
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?
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.