Look before you leap — especially if you are going to jump over others

Today I got 120 odd emails from ISIT. Yes, that is right. 120. All were like this

Dear XXXX

The IEEE Information Theory Society and the Technical Program Committee of ISIT 2010 encourage authors to post preprints of their submitted papers on the arXiv (http://www.arXiv.org/) preprint server at the time of submission. More information can be found at http://www.itsoc.org/publications/arxiv

If you would like to link your arXiv submission to your ISIT 2010 paper
record for

#XXX: ‘XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXX’

for display on the ISIT 2010 website before the symposium begins, you may do so by clicking the following link:

http://www.isit2010.org/arXivUpdate.asp?q=xxxxxxxxxxx

You may alternatively link to a longer version of your ISIT paper. This does not necessarily have to be on arxiv. You can link to any online version.

We feel that this will make it easier for the attendees to browse the technical program and read the papers prior to the symposium, thereby enriching their interaction with the authors at the symposium.

Please note that this action is entirely optional.

Regards,
ISIT 2010 Program Chairs

A noble cause, gone horribly wrong. I suspect someone did not check the automated script and instead of sending emails to individual authors, all emails went to all authors.

As a result, they also had to disable the link to add an arxiv update, and will probably send a whole bunch of emails again. Shudders.

Instead of soliciting preprints from all the authors, wouldn’t it make it easier for attendees to browse the technical program and read the papers prior to the symposium if the organizers simply included a link to the submitted papers? Oh, the irony.

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2 thoughts on “Look before you leap — especially if you are going to jump over others

  1. It was an error with the software, not the fault of the TPC co-chairs. There are several reasons why it was not possible to make a link available to the preprints, mostly related to intellectual property. I suspect at some point in the future conferences will do this. It makes a lot of sense to have the paper before the conference, especially for a technical conference like ISIT.

    • Professor Heath,

      Thank you for the comment. I did not mean to put the blame on the TPC but on the software developers. Using a piece of code that sends out bulk emails without proper tesring is simply unacceptable.

      I understand that IEEE will not be happy if all the papers are posted online, but, surely, the authors will mot complain (rather they will be happy that their work is getting publicity). Hopefully some comprpmise will arise in the future.

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