The Conference Paper

Papers for presentation at IAS-sponsored conferences are selected, or invited, for presentation at a technical conference by the designated officials of the IAS Technical Committee (TC) that sponsors that conference or session. Such papers must be judged by the TC to meet both the general criteria of the IAS and the more specific criteria of that TC, including any special requirements governing format, maximum number of pages, and deadlines for receipt of manuscripts. All conference papers must be prepared in strict accordance with these instructions unless other instructions are received from the Conference where the paper will be presented. In case of conflict, specific instructions for paper preparation for a conference supersede these instructions. Papers that do not meet the requirements of the particular conference and that do not follow these instructions will be returned to the author for revision, or rejected. Authors of accepted papers will be notified of acceptance by officials of the TC sponsoring the conference or session. (For conferences which are cosponsored by IAS in conjunction with other technical societies, the selection and notification process will be conducted by the conference's technical program committee rather than by an IAS TC.)

I. Requirements Specific to Individual Conferences

Before starting a conference paper, an author should know the requirements of the particular conference for which his paper is intended. The conference's Technical Committee Chairman and/or designated officials will know three important facts about that conference's requirements for paper preparation: 1) the format to use in preparing the manuscript; 2) the maximum acceptable length for papers; and 3) the deadline for receipt of manuscripts intended for the conference. For names and contact information, refer to the Conferences page on IAS web site.

   1) Format: There are two basic formats used by the IAS for preparation of conference manuscripts. They are as follows.

  • Double Column Format: This is the most commonly used format; it is the format the author should use unless instructed otherwise by a conference official. The author should use a word processor or desktop publishing system to produce a "camera ready'' paper on plain 8.5 x 11-in (21.6 x 27.9 cm) or A4 paper. A sample paper entitled "Preparation of Papers in Two-Column Format for the Conference Record of the Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting" may be found elsewhere on this web site. For the general text of the paper, a 9-point type size is recommended, but see Table I of the sample paper all for type sizes to use. NOTE: The use of large reduction mats, usually referred to as "model paper," is no longer acceptable for IAS papers.

  • Single Column Format: This format, used only by certain entities of the IAS, requires use of regular 8.5 x 11-in (21.6 x 27.9 cm) or A4 sheets of clean, plain white bond paper to obtain reproduction of the paper "as is,'' and without size reduction, in the Conference Record. The author types and/or affixes the material (text, figures, etc.) in a single column of single-spaced lines on one side only, leaving ample margins at the top, sides, and bottom.

Authors of submitted papers that do not follow the format for a particular conference will be requested to reformat their papers if the content of the paper is found acceptable for conference presentation. Even though such papers are not in the approved format, they are often sufficient to help TC personnel decide whether or not the authors should be invited to present such papers at a conference. Such manuscripts may also enable TRANSACTIONS and IEEE Industry Applications Magazine review procedures to begin, once arrangements for presentation of the paper at a conference have been completed.

Note: Because conference papers are reproduced for Conference Record publication using a process which renders exact replicas of the material supplied by the author, the quality of the final product (the Conference Record) is completely dependent upon the quality of the submitted ``camera ready'' manuscript.

These requirements are for the submission of camera-ready copies of the manuscript. As IAS and its conference committees move toward electronic publishing of Conference Records, there may be other requirements for submission of the manuscript in electronic form, either in addition to or in place of the requirement for camera-ready copy. At the present time these requirements vary greatly from conference to conference, authors must take great care to comply with he particular conference=s requirements, if any, for electronic submission.

    2) Maximum Length of Papers: The maximum number of pages for conference papers is 15 pages, unless specified otherwise by a designated conference official. The IAS Annual Meeting typically specifies their maximum paper length, as printed in their Conference Record, shall be 8 pages. Any pages in excess of 8 pages will have excess page charges billed to the Author. The author should check instructions for the conference where his/her paper will be presented to ascertain maximum allowable pages and if excess page charges will apply.

   3) Deadlines for Receipt of Manuscripts: The deadline for receipt of conference manuscripts is 135 days prior to the date of the conference, unless specified otherwise by a designated conference official.

II. Submitting the Conference Paper

The most expeditious way to submit a conference paper is to choose an IAS conference which includes the topic of the paper. For information on these conferences, refer to the Conferences page on IAS web site. If the author has prepared the paper for presentation at a particular IAS conference, the paper should be submitted to the Conference Program Chairman or the person listed in the "Call for Papers'' for that conference.

If the author is not responding to a Call for Papers and does not have any particular conference in mind, the paper may be submitted to the Editor of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS, whose name and address found on the back cover of any recent issue of this TRANSACTIONS. Such a submission to the Editor should be accompanied by a letter of transmittal stating that the paper has not been presented at an IAS-sponsored conference and also stating the author's willingness to make such a presentation if the paper is selected for conference presentation. The Editor will then forward the paper to the appropriate TC for consideration for conference presentation.

The paper should be submitted with all of the following materials:

  1. At least four copies of the manuscript, each complete with all figures and tables, unless specifically stated otherwise by conference officials. It will save time ultimately for the Author if the format used for the paper so submitted is arranged in the format specified for that Conference Record. See above for information about the format of conference papers.
  2. For those conferences, such as the IAS Annual Meeting,) that also require the manuscript be submitted electronically, a disk which exactly matches the hard copies described in the immediately preceding paragraph must also be provided with the copies of the manuscript. Unless otherwise stipulated in the instructions to authors by the specific conference officials, the author(s) should comply with the following for preparing their disk:
  3. A letter of transmittal: This should contain, at minimum, the following information:
    • the name and date of the conference at which the author wishes to present his paper;
    • the name of the TC sponsor of the conference; or in the case of joint or multiple sponsors, the name of the TC he wishes to review his paper;
    • a statement affirming that the paper has not been published previously;
    • the name(s) of the author(s) accepting responsibility for presentation of the paper at the conference;
    • the complete mailing address, phone, fax number, and e-mail address of each author, which must be kept current (updated) thereafter by the Corresponding Author so that communications will not be hindered;
    • the name of the one author who will act as the Corresponding Author, who will take responsibility for all correspondence necessary to the future processing of the paper. Note: Communications from officials of the IAS that go unanswered, or are not answered promptly, by the Corresponding Author will result in rejection of the paper.
  4. An IEEE Copyright Form: The form should be filled out completely, signed, and dated by at least one author. This form may be found at the IEEE Copyright information web site.

    Important: The original manuscript of a conference paper will not be returned to the author after the conference unless the author specifically requests in advance that such action be taken. The author should retain copies of all of the submitted information, including the electronic files, for future use if the paper is selected for publication in IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS. The author must especially retain the negatives of any photographs used as figures in the paper, as new glossy prints will be required for publication of the paper in TRANSACTIONS.

III. Presenting the Conference Paper

A technical conference consists of blocks of presentations in which the material being presented is on the same topic; these blocks are called technical sessions. Each technical session is headed by a Session Chairman and is organized by a Session Organizer. It is the Session Organizer who makes the actual arrangements with authors of papers intended for that session. As a rule, three to six papers are presented at each technical session. Twenty minutes presentation time per paper is the usual allotment, but this may vary to allow for adequate presentation or discussion of the material.

English is the official language for paper presentation. If an author is not sufficiently fluent in English to present his paper, or if an author cannot present his paper for any other reason, it is mandatory that mutually agreed upon arrangements be made with the Session Organizer (or his designated representative) for a substitute presenter. If such arrangements are not made, the paper will be rejected.

It is always best if the author makes his own arrangements for a substitute presenter, because the author is the best person to present the paper and to respond to questions. Furthermore, the burden of finding substitute presenters is great, and for some Technical Committees it is beyond the extent of their time and abilities. For this reason, authors wishing to arrange for substitute presenters through the Session Organizer (or his representative) may encounter reluctance, if not outright refusal, to take responsibility for such arrangements. Assistance should be requested, however, if no other arrangements can be made by the author himself. In unusual circumstances at the discretion of Conference organization, a paper may be presented by title only.

IV. Visual Aids and Conference Presentation

Effective use of visual aids is the key to a successfully paper presentation. The visual aids used may take any one of several forms. Standard 35?mm slides are usually preferred, and a projector for these slides will always be available. Overhead projectors for transparencies may also be available, but some conferences prohibit their use. If used, these transparencies should be prepared in advance in a professional manner. Handwritten transparencies should not be used except in answering questions from the audience following the presentation. Some conferences are now providing equipment which allows projection of slides directly from computer files, using programs such as such as Microsoft PowerPoint. If absolutely necessary for a particular presentation, conference officials can usually arrange for video or film projection equipment, but the author will usually be asked to bear the cost of this special equipment. Visual aids can be used either continuously throughout the presentation or intermittently to emphasize important points. Each frame must convey and strengthen the message rather than merely repeat it. Each frame must blend with the continuity of the talk.

Message Impact: The most fundamental rule to remember is to keep all visual aids as simple as possible. Two simple frames, each limited to one main idea, are better than one complicated frame. By avoiding clutter, the message is emphasized and confusion prevented. Frame content should be self?explanatory, not requiring time-consuming clarification. Use few words - selected for effectiveness and immediate clarity - and eliminate detail, i.e., use simplified charts, graphs, tables, etc. Remember that line drawings and schematics usually have more impact than photographs, just as graphs have more impact than tables.

Visual Clarity: Again, simplicity is essential both in wording and in use of space. Do not jumble or crowd the picture (what is legible on the book page usually is not legible on the screen). A rule of thumb is that a slide should have print large enough that it is readable when held up to the light. Usually the slide can then be read from the back of an average-sized conference room during a presentation. Typeset copy or mechanical lettering (available in colors) should be used for best results. Typewriter print is not recommended unless a bold or jumbo type font is used. Space words at a distance at least twice the letter height. Prepare copy and artwork so that, when reduced, they will fit comfortably within the slide space, yet be large enough for people in the back rows to see.

Color: For line drawings, use white or pastel?colored lines and copy on a relatively deep?colored background. Try not to use solid white backgrounds; they create glare.

Presentation: Careful planning is the difference between success and failure. A good rule of thumb to follow is to spend at least one hour of preparation time for each minute of presentation. Do not lose contact with the audience by turning and talking toward the screen. With a neck microphone, turning toward the screen is sometimes possible. With a podium microphone, however, moving away from the microphone results in inaudibility. Finally, use duplicates to refer to the same slide at several different times. It is impractical for the projectionist to reshow a slide.

Commercialism: The same rules concerning appearance of company or institutional names and product names which apply to the written paper also apply to visual aids used in presentation. The author(s) name(s) and affiliation(s) may appear on the first slide of a presentation. Company or institutional logos should not be used. If the Session Chairman deems the visual aids to be too commercialized, their continued use in the presentation may be prohibited.

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