Confious: Conference Management System
Highlights of Confious
Great Features Assure the Best Experience to Chairs, Reviewers and Authors
Multi-conference support
 Confious system is provided as a web service. This means that there is no need for separate installations for each conference served. Confious can support multiple conferences in parallel, transparent between each other. Therefore, the submission site of your conference can instantly be created. It takes no more than a single moment to have your conference ready to accept submissions.
Role-based Service
 Confious distinguishes between four types of users:
  • Program Committee Chairs (PCC) - PCCs are the persons in charge of the reviewing process orchestration. They setup and manage the whole conference process.
  • Senior Program Committee member (SPC) - SPCs are the persons that supervise the reviewing process for a set of paper submissions
  • Regular Program Committee members (RPC) - RPCs are the persons that review the papers
  • Contact Persons (CP) - CPs are the persons that submit papers to a conference.
    Two-tier Reviewing Support
     Distinction between regular reviewers and senior reviewers permits a two-tier reviewing process. This process ensures the quality of the reviews delivered to contact persons (authors) by providing a mean of better control over the submitted reviews. In the two-tier reviewing model each paper is reviewed by a number of regular reviewers, while an additional senior reviewer supervises the reviewing process. Senior Reviewer ensures the quality of reviews submitted by reviewers and if necessary asks them to re-submit a not very confident or poorly justified review. In cases where a reviewer's confidence level is not very high, senior reviewer can submit its own review as an extra review or as a summary of the other reviewers reviews. As most of the popular conferences incorporate such a reviewing model to guarantee quality of the reviewing process and the success of their conference, Program Chairs need to find appropriate software to support this task.
    Transaction-based Operations
     Database operations in Confious System are transaction-based. This means that any kind of trouble that can result in data inconsistency in the Database are avoided. Data inconsistencies may result in serious conflicts during the reviewing process. These kind of troubles are very regular to web information systems as they may arise due to network instabilities, power cut-offs or other unidentified reasons. Transaction-based operations ensure that data remains consistent.
    Paper Assignment Management
     Program Committee Chairs (PCCs) has the option to assign papers either automatically or manually. The most advantageous process includes an automatic assignment by the system followed by manual adjustment of assignments by the chairs. The automatic assignment algorithm takes into account the following constraints:
  • Matches between paper topics and reviewer's topics of interest
  • Bids of reviewers to specific papers ("High", "Neutral", "Low")
  • Conflicts that arise between reviewers that are co-authors of papers
  • Load Balance (The number of papers assigned to reviewers usually requires a normal distribution)
    Conflict Management
     A conflict of interest is defined when a reviewer would not feel confortable enough to review a specific paper because there is a kind of relationship with one or more of the paper's authors. Confious provides an easy way to effectively handle all conflicts of interest and therefore avoid to make certain assignments. Furthermore, Confious provides suggestions of conflicts based mainly in "similar emails" or "co-authorship" criteria. The "Similar email" criteron tries to identify users that are occupied in the same institute, while the "Co-authorship" criterion identify users that have coauthor at least one paper in the past.
    Dynamic construction of the "Review Form".
     The "Review Form" is the form that needs to be completed by reviewers during the reviewing process. Confious System gives to program committee chair(s) the possibility of constructing or/and customizing the review form on the fly. Chair(s) has the option to add, update or delete questions and possible answers from the review form and to specify whether a specific question will be included in the acceptance/ rejection notification sent to contact persons. The question types that are supported include radio buttons, textareas, checkboxes and drop-down lists. This is one of the most advantageous features provided by Confious System as it is not supported by almost any other known conference management system. If you are bored of static review forms, having always the same format and you would like to have the potential of providing additional questions to reviewers about a specific paper, then you will really appreciate this feature.
    Straightforward customization of acceptance/ rejection notification emails
     Confious System provides a straightforward way of customizing the acceptance and the rejection notification emails sent to contact persons (authors) after the reviewing process has end. In a first step chair prepares the text for both emails using a simple interface that helps to include dynamic information. Then, chair builds the notifications based on the already customized templates. This step helps chair to see each single built notification and potentially identify problems before sending them. If everything is ok, chair proceeds with sending the notification emails to contact persons.
    Phases Management
     The reviewing process represents a workflow system. This workflow concerns different users roles that brings forward several constraints and employs various tasks. The Confious System distinguishes between several self-regulating phases and provides a simple interface for their efficient management.
    Enhanced Communication Service
     Confious provides tools for effectively communicating with group of users (chairs, senior reviewers, regular reviewers, contact persons) that participate to the reviewing process. Communication is based on either group emails or on comments submitted to the system during the program committee meeting.
    Step-by-Step Monitoring Service
     Confious provides monitoring service that spans through the most essential tasks of the system. Chair monitors the paper submission process, the reviewer's bidding behavior and the reviewing progress.
    Task-Oriented Design
     Confious System is based on a goal-oriented design that facilitates the management and administration of a conference, enhances productivity and advances creativity. Special concern is given to bring tasks to an end effortlessly. Besides, confious system tries to elimitate the number of images used so as to be prompt to user's interaction and to permit access even from low speed connections.
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