ISLS publications

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Temporary pages

vincent, 20080517, starting with the 'christopher-hoadley-version' of 20080331

Maintaining good records

Some things you should keep track of:

  • acceptance rates

Bare minimum, you should track numbers of submissions and acceptances in each category of submission. Better still would be to track this by country and/or discipline. Anything you can save from the conference submission system, try to keep a copy of. It’s important somewhere in the foreword to explicitly state that the proceedings were peer reviewed, and if there was a minimum number of reviewers you should state that. Any exceptions (invited talks) should be noted as such.

  • documenting acceptance ahead of time for international participants

You may need to write letters to some people affirming their participation in the conference, so they can get a visa to the country where the conference is held.

  • reviewers, program committee, program chairs, editorial assistants

These people should be acknowledged in the proceedings and on the website.

  • save that spreadsheet! helping keep bibliographic records

The pubs committee would love a copy of a spreadsheet or database with all the accepted papers including titles, authors, and page numbers. We’ve hoped for being able to provide an uber-Endnote database or the like for many years.

Telling authors how to format their work

ISLS should be agnostic towards A4 vs. US Letter sized paper, this means the conference decides between these (typically based on where it’s held, although perhaps based on who’s doing the proceedings). A template is important. Prior templates can be used. Try to leave margins such that A4 printed on 8.5x11 still works, and vice versa. Note that has special margins for allowing print copies to have wide distribution.

Getting copyright permission

  • What to do if parts were previously published

The current form says that authors have to get permission from any prior publishers of their work when they sign over copyright. If there are any special terms (e.g., acknowledgments required) please note and follow those.

  • What authors can do afterwards with their work

Our current form is pretty liberal with the authors’ rights to the work, but ISLS owns the copyright. This means they have to ask us if they want to republish as a journal article (other than JLS or IJCSCL), they want to stick it in a textbook, etc. We give this permission liberally. They should contact one of the pubscomm co-chairs who can write a letter.

  • How to protect copyright

According to international treaties, copyright is protected once the work is set down in a tangible medium. BUT, to protect copyright, there should be a copyright notice in the front. At minimum, the phrase “Copyright 2008 International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc. Rights reserved.” should appear somewhere in the frontmatter. In many countries, there is also a deposit requirement, meaning a copy needs to be given to the national library of the country in which it was published before we could sue anyone for violating copyright. In the US, this is the Library of Congress. Pubs comm. can try to help with this, but typically the local organizers will get better information by searching the web in their own country and in their own language. Even if it is not legally required to protect copyright, it’s a good idea. If the local committee can’t handle this, we can establish the US as the location of first publication and send a copy to the US Library of Congress. There is a fee which the ISLS should pay.

Publication modalities-who prints what how

Publishing vs. duplication vs. distribution Confusion about roles in past conferences has stemmed from the differences between the roles of publishing, duplication, and distribution.

The publisher is the entity that causes the creation of the document. The publisher does not need to do the printing, or even necessarily to provide the money (i.e., investors might be involved.) The duplication is handled by the printer, and a distribution company handles getting the work out to the public. For example, in the case of movies made by Pixar, the production company is Pixar—they are the publisher. But duplication is handled by some film processing company, and the distribution is handled by Disney.

We’ve had complex relationships in the past with Erlbaum, Kluwer, and Springer. For example, with some prior conferences, the publisher was the conference and/or university hosting it, the duplication was some local printshop, and the distribution was handled by Lawrence Erlbaum. This led people to incorrectly assume Erlbaum was the publisher of the proceedings. It also meant when Erlbaum ran out of extra proceedings for sale, they could not print more (since they were not the owners of the copyright, nor did they have the originals). If LEA can print more at will and they have the right to bring the work into existence, if they have some degree of control over content and are therefore legal responsibility towards content (for instance if it's found libelous), perhaps most pragmatically if it's their decision and financial risk to create the document, then they are the publisher.

Since CSCL 2005, ISLS has been the publisher for all our conferences. The current model is that the society owns the rights to the papers, and we try to get them out in as many ways as possible. The conference attendees prefer CDROMs, and these are cheap to provide, so we might ask a local copy shop to duplicate them for the conference and distribute them at registration. Digital searches require having the papers well indexed by online databases; so we make them available (duplicate/distribute) through the ACM Digital Library. Libraries prefer print copies, so we make print-on-demand available through as the duplicators, and we format the work so that the printed version can be sold by distributors such as (lulu handles both its own distribution and getting it to other distributors like amazon). Authors like to stick the papers on their websites, so we grant them this right through the copyright forms. We don’t rely on a single distributor, nor a single duplication service. ISSNs, ISBNs, and their implications An ISSN is a number for a serial publication (journal, magazine, or conference proceedings). There is only one for the whole run, although they want a separate one if it is published in different formats. The ISSN for the ICLS print series is 1814-9316 and CD-ROM is ISSN 1819-0138. It should appear on the upper right front "cover" as ISSN 1814-9316. The ICLS06 proceedings will be issue number 7, ICLS08 will be issue number 8. The CSCL print series is ISSN 1573-4552 and CDROM is ISSN 1819-0146. This should appear below the ISSN on the front cover.

An ISBN is a number which costs some money for a book, monograph, or other published work, that uniquely identifies it. Each bound volume should have one. In theory, you could have a single ISBN identify two books that are only sold together (think boxed set) but doesn’t support this, so if the proceedings are too big for one book, label each one “Part I” “Part II” and so on and give it its own ISBN. will sell ISBNs to us. They should be ISLS ISBNs, not ISBNs. That makes us the publisher of record. It’s a good idea to make the CDROM version of the publication available via lulu as well as the printed version so it can have an ISBN as well (even if you duplicate the CDROM for the conference attendees yourself or using a local service.) Like with ISSNs, ISBNs are supposed to be different for every edition (hardcover vs. softcover, CDROM vs. print) your institution and ways it is or isn't involved In the past, the local host institution has been the publisher of record for various versions of the conference proceedings. We are discontinuing this, although if the local institution needs to co-publish for some reason with ISLS, contact the pubs committee.

In general, your institution shouldn’t sign any agreements regarding copyright/publishing on behalf of ISLS (duplication and distribution are okay). Check with pubs comm. and with the Executive Officer. What the conference pays for vs what the society pays for Although this is still evolving, Chris proposes based on tradition and prior budgeting that the conference should pay for:

  • the costs of getting a copy of the proceedings for each participant in the conference
  • the costs of getting about 10 spare (CDROM) copies for ISLS pubs comm. to share with the ACM digital library, various national libraries, etc.
  • the costs of sample prints from Lulu and other one-time costs of print-on-demand
  • any special digital services that are one-time only for the conference

ISLS should pay for:

  • Blocks of ISBN numbers or other non-one-time costs of print on demand
  • Copyright registrations with national governments, if required
  • Webhosting for any proceedings or conference related materials on

Innovative formats and digital engagement We should take leadership in exploring new formats and digital engagement. For example:

  • First conference CD/DVD with videos from conference CSCL97
  • First html/web-based proceedings: CSCL99
  • First conferences with CDROM proceedings: CSCL02 and ICLS02
  • Online preconference discussion of papers: CSCL05
  • Podcasts: ICLS06
  • Tag cloud view of proceedings: ICLS08

We can be very flexible in what we provide to the field.

However, we should remember that print proceedings (print-on-demand is fine) is important for libraries which are traditionally bad at cataloguing other media, and web-based or interactive tools have a very short shelf-life. The core of ICLS and CSCL are the traditional proceedings, and this should be maintained, even when new formats are being explored.

For webhosting, wherever possible should be used. Prior innovative formats were lost when people changed universities, universities reorganized, etc. (CSCL99, CSCL02, and ICLS 98 are examples). Contact the ISLS web committee for details on access and what types of scripting the society’s ISP can handle.

Prepping the proceedings

Logos etc. Pubs comm. has the high resolution logos. They are quite large, so typically can’t be emailed, rather should be sent on CDROM. The trickiest part is determining what format to use, and how to make sure that format stays looking good.

JPGs are good for the web and that’s pretty much it. They do not scale well. Their colors are not ideal either.

The vector versions of the logos, suitable for print, are in encapsulated postscript. Unfortunately, MS Word takes vector EPS and turns it into non-vector crummy pictures. There are workarounds (see below).

In rare cases, for instance if you are mixing the logos with a photograph, you’ll want a high-resolution non-vector (raster) version of the logos. These are the TIF files on the CD. They are truly huge files.

The originals used to create the logos are in adobe illustrator format. These might be appropriate if you are working with a professional graphic designer or printer who wants to alter the shape of the logos and/or use “spot color” for printing. (This is a processs by which instead of making all the colors out of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, the paper is printed with ink chemically formulated to match a specific color.)

Cover, title page, copyright page For the record, the title of the conference as it should appear on title page is "The International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2006" We have had lots of prior permutations including Proceedings of the... International conference *for* the Learning Sciences Nth annual conference of the .... You can doll up this stuff (and add subtitles) on the front cover, but please try to keep the design emphasizing the core title (under which we have our ISSN), and put only the core title on the title page.

The publisher is the International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc. The cover should have "sponsored by" and the ISLS logo on the cover somewhere. URL would also be nice.

You should explicitly list editors. You can treat this as conference chairs plus program chairs, just program chairs, program chairs plus editorial assistants, whatever. But make an official list because this is important for cataloguing, put it on the title page, and label them as such.

The world is a better place if the names of program committee and steering committee make it into the proceedings.

Put the notice "Copyright 2006 International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc." somewhere (preferably title page). You can substitute the c-in-a-circle symbol © for the word copyright but putting a c in parentheses (c) doesn't count legally. (Bizarrely, the abbreviation "Copr." does count.)

Formatting suggestions Proofing, editing, style, etc. Digital formats and various gotchas The target format for the digital versions of the proceedings should be PDF, not a scanned version either!

Microsoft Word is preferred by many people for assembling the conference proceedings because it is familiar, and most people have it. However, it has some problems and is not really designed for professional publishing. So here are some hard-won workarounds, if you choose to use MSWord. Note that PDF is becoming more and more editable, so assembling everything in PDF format using Acrobat professional and various third party addons is a viable alternative to using Word documents.

If you use word, the first problem will be the logos. When creating a pdf from Word, it defaults to using the low-res preview version of images in EPS format. So they will look bad. The workaround is to print to a virtual printer (Adobe Acrobat pro allows this) or on the Mac, to print to postscript. Then use Adobe Distiller to create the PDF. Do NOT use PDFMaker plugin, or the default “print-to-pdf” choices.

A second issue is font variation. There are many versions of the Times font, and a few versions of Arial and Helvetica. Use the compatibility checker and/or search and replace in word to replace all the variations “Times” “New York” “Times New Roman” “Times Roman” “TimesRoman” “TimesNewRoman” and so on with one font.

A third issue is people using fonts in places you won’t ordinarily them. Embedded figures or objects may include some random font which can cause the document not to print correctly. If you see a strange font in someone’s figure, contact them for a replacement, or try double clicking the figure to see if you can edit it.

To make the pdf as portable as possible, use the settings on Adobe Distiller and the print-to-postscript feature to “embed all fonts”. When manipulating or optimizing the PDF in Acrobat Pro, don’t choose options that remove the fonts from the pdf. (“embedded subsets” are okay). This means the fonts are actually inside the PDF and therefore can almost always be rendered.

Word tends to revert to its favorite page sizes (i.e., the default size of the country in which it was purchased). Page setup… will fix it, but it may come unfixed when someone prints it to a local printer of a different sized paper. You will, despite your instructions and templates, get submissions in both A4 and US Letter format, no matter what the conference formatting guidelines say. Be prepared to open word files and resave in the correct format for your proceedings. If assembling PDFs, you will need to contact the author for a reformatted version. “Shrink to fit” will not solve this problem since US Letter and A4 are not the same height-to-width ratio; you’ll end up with strange margins. Save time for pestering authors to fix this problem.

Word files can contain viruses in their macros. It’s strongly recommended that you turn off macros in the copy of word you’re using to edit the proceedings, and that you keep a current virus protection program running at all times when handling the submission documents.

It’s recommended that every page should contain a proceedings page number, and the title and year of the conference somewhere in the header or footer. You could even add a very tiny copyright notice. See ACM proceedings for examples.


  • preflighting
  • print duplication

Disseminating the proceedings

  • digital versions
  • print on demand
  • copies for the society and what will happen to them
  • Library of Congress, copyright clearance center, ACM Digital Library, etc.
  • fulfillment issues
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