|Release Notes is our monthly update that highlights some of the changes we’ve made to Ex Ordo. This month we released a new reviewing interface, better registration statistics and centralized reports.
Making Ex Ordo Even Better!
Our team have been busy over the past 2 months working on this update. It’s one that we’re very excited about and believe you will love it too. In this video we explain what this release update will contain.
New Review List
Keep track of the progress of each review in your conference, all in one place! You can now get a quick summary of each single review or overall reviews of individual submissions with the new review list.
One Click Marking
Reviewers can now assign scores with one single click! And, thanks to our new Reviewer Pack, reviews can be dowloaded as PDFs in a handy zip file, so they can be completed while on-the-go.
New Reviewer Score Card
Once a review is locked, the reviewer will be presented with a new score card, which now offers an easy-to-read summary of the scores and comments provided.
Better Registration Statistics
We have updated the registration statistics to only take account of confirmed delegates. As a result, you will notice that the number of pending delegates will decrease but there’s no need to worry.
Improved Registration Lists
Registration lists will now only display delegates that have confirmed attendance at your conference. Plus, thanks to the handy new search feature, you can easily find specific delegate information.
Communicate with your Delegates
We’re delighted to announce you can now communicate with your delegates through the Communication Centre – just like you can with authors, reviewers and presenters – in segmented or entire lists.
Access all of your reports in one centralized area! Download review reports, submission reports, conference reports and so on, from one single screen.
This update is about to make your Ex Ordo experience better than ever. We hope you’re as excited about it as we are!
We have just released a new version of the tool with three amazing features to give you more control over your data and content and make your life easier.
Ever wondered how suitable your reviewers are for the paper? Say no more! Ex Ordo now have a “star rating” for each reviewer’s suitability to a paper. Once submissions have been allocated to reviewers, you’ll be able to use this widget to replace a reviewer. The system will indicate which reviewer is the most suitable for the submission depending on the topics they chose and how many papers they have already been assigned. You can also easily add a new reviewer to the system.
We’ve made it easy to customise all the emails sent through the system, including automated emails. You can create templates for:
- Automated emails: Welcome email and Submission receipts
- Invitations: to Chairs, Admins, Track Chairs, Reviewers…
- Notifications: Acceptance/Rejection letter, Assigned submissions for reviewers
Instead of having to edit the email every time you want to send an invitation or a reminder, you can now create a template for a specific email.
Your feedback has been incredibly helpful to improve our product. Thank you! Get in touch to learn more about each feature firstname.lastname@example.org
2015 got off to a great start for Ex Ordo!
Our platform has seen some major enhancements: we’ve released new features to improve how we support conferences with complex processes.
- Tracks allows you to manage multiple streams for your conferences, and set different deadlines, topics, reviewers and chairs for each track.
- Custom fields makes it possible to customise the submission process and ask authors for additional information.
- Split abstracts makes it easier to ensure all the submitted abstracts follow a specific structure.
- Disable review allows you to skip review for specific submissions and accept them straight away
Tracks: manage multiple streams for your conference
Most conferences collect, review and accept all their submissions together, but some have a more complex process. They might need to review submissions in batches or to assign specific chairs to different groups of submissions.
They are what we call multi-tracks conferences.
Tracks are a way to have sub-streams within a conference, and to manage them independently. A track can have its own chair, deadlines, topics and set of reviewers. They work like sub-conferences within the conference.
For examples, tracks can be used to manage:
- A conference with submissions in English, French and Spanish and different reviewers for each language
- A conference collecting a first batch of submissions in May, which will be reviewed in July, and a second batch in August, which will be reviewed in September
- A conference on Instruments, which will have one Chair supervising all the submissions and reviewers dealing with Brass instruments, another one for Percussion, another one for Strings and another one for Woodwinds.
What’s the difference between a Track and a Topic?
We realised that sometimes, Tracks get confused with Topics. So, what’s the difference?
Topics are used to categorize submissions within a track.
Let’s take the example of a conference on Instruments.
It could be a multi-tracks conference with three tracks : Percussions, Brass and Strings. Each track would have their own set of topics. For the Strings track, topics could be: violin, cello, bass and harp. Each track also has different deadlines, a track Chair and dedicated reviewers.
Or it could be a single-track conference, with a single set of reviewers and of deadlines. In that case, Brass, Percussion, Strings and Woodwinds could be your main topics. You could use violin, cello, bass and harp as sub-topics within the Strings topic if needed.
So how do you know if you should use tracks of topics? Tracks should only be used if you need to define different deadlines or different chairs for defined groups of submissions.
How is our system supporting tracks?
Using tracks has an impact on all the stages of the conference workflow: submission, reviewing, accepting.
You can configure the following elements separately, for each track:
- Track chairs: track-chairs can only see the submissions and reviews for their track.
- Submission deadline
- Reviewing deadline
At the submission stage, if tracks are enabled, then authors will have to first choose the track they want to submit to, and then their topics. For each track, you can choose when submission should open and close.
Reviewing and accepting
You can invite different sets of reviewers for each track. You can also choose different reviewing dates. This means you can start reviewing submissions for one track while still accepting submissions for another one. Likewise, you can accept submissions independently.
You can define if a reviewer can be reviewing submissions from all the tracks or limit it to only one track.
We’ll continue adding features to manage tracks. Eventually, it will be possible to configure different formats, custom fields and marking schemes for each track and the programme will be optimised for multi-tracks conferences.
Custom fields: collecting additional info from authors
With custom fields, you can now add custom questions and ask for additional information during the submission process. The custom fields are added to a new step in the submission process called “Additional info” and are linked to an abstract.
You can use four types of custom fields:
- Single line of text
- Single tick box
- Choose an option from a drop down
Split abstracts: a standardised abstract structure
The “Split abstracts” feature allows you to break down the abstract textbox in multiple textboxes. Instead of asking authors to copy paste their whole abstract in one field, you can define as many fields as needed and define a word count for each of them.
This is particularly useful if you want to make sure authors comply with a specific structure for the abstracts submitted.
Do not review: skip reviewing for specific submissions
You now have the option to mark a submission as “Disable review”. Disabling review for a submission means that you’ll be able to skip the review process for this submission and accept it directly.
This feature is particularly useful If you need to:
- Add a submission which have been reviewed offline
- Add submissions from invited authors/speakers which you don’t need to review
To disable review for a submission, you need to click on the button “Disable review” just below where the edit and withdraw buttons are located.
Your feedback has been incredibly helpful to improve our product. We’d love to get your opinion on these new features!
Let us know what you think:
The SCCUL Enterprise Awards are an initiative of SCCUL Enterprises Ltd aided by Ballybane Enterprise Centre and St. Columba’s Credit Union.
Declan Dooley, Chairman of the Judging Panel said “The quality of this year’s entrants has been extremely high, with each of them showing a commitment to making their businesses succeed through innovation and growth. Today’s awards have acknowledged the dedication, creativity, focus and success of the winning entrepreneurs and I congratulate them all.”
In 2012, Ex Ordo had already been commended “One To Watch” at the SCCUL Entrepreneurship Awards. Two years later, Ex Ordo’s CEO, Paul Killoran, says “Winning the ICT award is a great recognition for what we’ve accomplished in two years. We’ve strived to continuously improve our tool, and to build a strong reputation as an easy to use and innovative abstract management system. We’re now working with major associations, universities and corporations all over the world and we’ve became one of IEEE’s preferred providers for abstract submission and peer review systems.”
The ICT SCCUL award adds to the three previous awards won by the company since 2011.
For the second year, Ex Ordo participated in the IEEE Panel of Conference Organizers (POCO), held in Singapore.
To celebrate this event, Ex Ordo organised a prize draw for a free license of our abstract management system for IEEE Conferences.
The winner has finally been drawn: Dr Sahoo, from IEEE Singapore section, won a free licence to manage the technical programme for his next conference.
We’re delighted and look forward to working with IEEE Singapore section!
POCO is a great event where IEEE conference organisers from all over the world can network, take part in expert panels and sessions to learn about best practices and share their own vision of research conferences. At POCO 2014, Ex Ordo’s CEO, Paul Killoran, took part in the Panel on Peer Review to talk about best practices in abstract management.
Ex Ordo is a preferred partner of IEEE. We successfully support several IEEE societies such as the Intelligent Transportation Systems Society; the Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology Society; the Power Electronics Society and the Photonics Society. We also work closely with the Conference Publishing Services of IEEE.
Get in touch with us if you want to learn more about how we help IEEE conference organisers.