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I have noticed that there is no real workshop or conference in my particular field of research, that tends to be across different fields (for instance, security and risk). There are of course general conferences where I can submit a paper, but they are very general (i.e. either security, or risk), and somehow, I'd sometimes rather gather at the same place and the same time the small community who is working on this particular topic.

So, my question is: how do I create a workshop/conference? In particular, how to define the steering committee/general chair/PC chair/PC Committee? Is it better to be attached with a major conference? (I know some conferences have "call for workshops").

I'm interested both in technical answers and in useful advices (for instance, I guess that technically, you could create PC with only postdocs, but I can imagine that in practice, you need a good ratio of established researchers).

1 Answer 1

Here's some insight on the behind-the-scenes at NIPS:

Inverse Probability. 'NIPS: Decision Time'. Last modified 2014. Accessed September 27, 2014. http://inverseprobability.com/2014/09/13/nips-decision-time/.

So the decisions have been out for a few days now, and of course we have had some queries about our processes. Every one has been pretty reasonable, and their frustration is understandable when three reviewers have argued for accept but the final decision is to reject. This is an issue with ‘space-constrained’ conferences. Whether a paper gets through in the end can depend on subjective judgements about the paper’s qualities. In particular, we’ve been looking for three components to this: novelty, clarity and utility. Papers with borderline scores (and borderline here might be that the average score is in the weak accept range) are examined closely. The decision about whether the paper is accepted at this point necessarily must come down to judgement, because for a paper to get scores this high the reviewers won’t have identified a particular problem with the paper. The things that come through are how novel the paper is, how useful the idea is, and how clearly it’s presented. Several authors seem to think that the latter should be downplayed. As program chairs, we don’t necessarily agree. It’s true that it is a great shame when a great idea is buried in poor presentation, but it’s also true that the objective of a conference is communication, and therefore clarity of presentation definitely plays a role. However, it’s clear that all these three criteria are a matter of academic judgement: that of the reviewers, the area chair and the quad groups in the teleconferences. All the evidence we’ve seen is that reviewers and area chairs did weigh these aspects carefully, but that doesn’t mean that all their decisions can be shown to be right, because they are often a matter of perspective. Naturally authors are upset when what feels like a perfectly good paper is rejected on more subjective grounds. Most of the queries are on papers where this is felt to be the case.

Also has some other articles that are relevant, such as on NIPS Reviewer Recruitment.