Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Speakers, Papers and GeoCom ‘13

Last week I wrote about GeoCom ’13 in the broad terms of what it is and why you should come if you are at all involved in the production or use of Geographic Information in the UK. This week I wanted to look in a little more detail at the very core of the event – the speakers and programme of talks.

We have over 40 speakers delivering a wide variety of talks from open GIS to infrastructure resilience. The key purpose of these talks is education and the sharing of knowledge, ideas and best practice between members of the UK GI community. To support this and to add transparency and extra credibility to GeoCom ’13 it’s time to talk about the selection process for the speakers...

Submitting Extracts:
The first step to having a paper and the corresponding talk accepted for GeoCom is to submit an extract. This is done well in advance of the conference (submissions closed in March this year) to allow plenty of time for review. To guide the extract submissions we publish a list of suggested topic areas on our website, however these are merely a guide based on the theme of the conference and not a constraining list.

Assessing the Extracts:
Once submitted extracts are peer reviewed by the AGI’s Council Committee. In the interest of fairness the council committee is drawn from the AGI’s wider membership and includes members from a wide variety of companies and organisations. Your extract submissions will not just be reviewed by the staff of a competing company!

Guidance on what we look for in an extract can be found here. In short however what we are looking for is something novel and informative that is communicated in a clear and concise way. What we are not looking for are thinly disguised sales pitches, obviously everyone has their own favourite bit of software which can be mentioned but 20 minutes on why X software is better than Y is pushing it!

Once the extracts have all been reviewed the successful authors are contacted and can begin preparing their contribution to the lively and varied programme.

Hopefully this sheds a little light on how the programme of speakers for GeoCom ’13 is selected and put together. With a bit of luck this will encourage some people to submit extracts next year, afterall it is you conference and this is a major opportunity to get involved and help determine part of the programme.

Finally it is worth mentioning that there are of course awards given for best paper as selected by the Conference Committee and best paper as selected by the delegates, presented at the annual AGI awards dinner!



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