Guidelines for Editors of Future IFAC Events:
The development of digital publishing technologies and the universal availability of high-speed Internet connections have opened a wide range of opportunities for the publication of technical papers. IFAC is moving to the leading edge of electronic publishing, following a Council decision in September 2006 to move all its technical publications, including fully reviewed papers presented at IFAC technical meetings, to electronic support on the Internet.
This decision heralds profound changes in the way IFAC meeting publications will now be handled. Printed Proceedings volumes are being replaced by collections of papers available on a web site, called IFAC-PapersOnLine. This web site will provide open access to all fully reviewed papers presented at IFAC events. This dramatically changes the limited distribution provided by the former Proceeding volumes, as it will allow instantaneous visibility of all IFAC technical work across the entire world. Excitingly, in contrast to the current practice of other engineering societies, papers can be viewed and downloaded by individuals at no cost, which will make IFAC publications truly universally accessible. The new site will support the capability to search for papers based on the paper characteristics or content, and each paper will be uniquely identified by a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) number, the current standard for making electronic papers citeable.
This is probably the most important change in IFAC policies in recent years, and is expected to have a substantial impact on the number and the quality of papers submitted to IFAC meetings, as authors will know that their work will be made available to anyone who is interested. However, it is not without risks. By openly exposing its technical work worldwide, IFAC is making a commitment to maintaining a high level of quality in all its technical events, in order to maintain the value of the “IFAC” brand. It is the joint responsibility of the IFAC Technical Board, the Technical Committees, and the International Programme Committees of all IFAC events to rise to this challenge and to ensure that only high-quality material is published under the IFAC banner.
The new publishing scheme also poses new challenges to the organizers of IFAC events, and especially to event Editors who will now have the additional responsibility for the technical aspects of the electronic publication process. This document has been written as a guide for event Editors in order to help them to get acquainted with the new publication procedures and the technical requirements for the electronic paper files which are to be collected from the authors.
The purpose of this document is to provide a set of guidelines about the IFAC requirements which must be met by the organizers of IFAC Technical meetings in order to have the papers presented at the meeting published on the IFAC-PapersOnLine web site.
The preparation of the materials for publication is the main responsibility of the event Editor, who must work in close cooperation with the NOC (National Organizing Committee) and the IPC (International Program Committee) in order to ensure that all the publications-related activities of the event organization comply with IFAC Publications Requirements. The Editor is appointed by the NOC, in agreement with the Technical Committee(s) sponsoring the event. The Editor must also work in close cooperation with the Editor-in-Chief of IFAC PapersOnLine and the Editors-in-Chief of IFAC Journals, as described below.
IFAC meeting publications
A paper submitted and accepted to an IFAC meeting may only be published in electronic form on the IFAC-PapersOnLine web site (www.IFAC-PapersOnLine.net). This is the only publication which may result from an IFAC event.
The organizers of an IFAC meeting may provide preliminary materials including the papers to be presented at the meeting, and they can distribute or sell them freely, but these materials (traditionally called preprints in IFAC) can only be produced as support for the meeting and may not carry any kind of identification that enables them to be considered publications in any way, e.g. ISBN, code bars, or the words published by...
Additionally, an expanded version of a paper which has been presented at an IFAC meeting may be published (by order of priority):
- In a special section or a standalone paper in one of the IFAC Journals, following recommendation by the IPC and the agreement of the Journal editor.
- In a special section or a standalone paper in one of the IFAC Affiliate Journals, following recommendation by the IPC and the agreement of the Journal editor, provided that the paper is not being considered for publication in one of the IFAC Journals.
- As a paper submitted independently to the author to one of the IFAC Journals or IFAC Affiliated Journals.
- As a paper submitted independently by the author to a non-IFAC Journal, provided that neither any of the IFAC Journals nor IFAC Affiliated Journals have shown interest on the paper within three months after the end of the meeting. In this case, the paper must carry a reference to the IFAC meeting where it was originally presented and, if the paper has appeared on the website www.IFAC-PapersOnLine.net, also a reference to this publication.
The copyright of all papers submitted to IFAC meetings must be transferred to IFAC at the time of the final paper submission. The IFAC Secretariat will provide appropriate Copyright Transfer forms to the organizers for distribution to the authors or, alternatively, IFAC will set up an electronic Copyright Transfer mechanism on the IFAC- PapersOnline site.
3.1 Initial tasks
The following actions must be carried out by the event Editor as soon as the event has been approved by IFAC:
- Read, sign and return the letter from the IFAC Secretariat accepting the conditions for preprint and proceedings production, including the statement Preprints must not carry an ISBN, Bar Code, cataloguing details or the words "published by...".
- Contact the Editor-in-Chief of IFAC-PapersOnLine in order to get up-to-date instructions for authors and organizers. Any instructions that may have been passed on from previous meetings must be discarded. The current Editor-in-Chief of IFAC-PapersOnLine is:
Prof. Juan A. de la Puente
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, UPM
E-28040 Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 913 367 342
Fax: +34 913 367 333
3.2 First announcement and call for papers
The editor must check that the call for papers includes:
- The official IFAC Copyright conditions statement (see appendix D).
- Pointers to up-to-date instructions for authors.
- Instructions for draft paper submission.
Notice that full draft papers must be reviewed by the IPC in order to be acceptable for publication on IFAC-PapersOnLine. Abstract-based review is only acceptable if no publications are to be produced (e.g. IFAC may agree that papers presented at some workshops are not published).
Although some meetings have accepted in the past draft papers in free style, it is highly recommended that compliance to IFAC paper layout and file format be requested from the beginning. In this way, both authors and reviewers can have a closer idea of the appearance and extension of the final paper. Moreover, possible difficulties with layout or format conformance are better detected at this stage, with time ahead for solving them before the final submission is done.
Notice that this implies that only PDF files complying with the IFAC style rules and PDF requirements are admissible. This must be explicitly stated in the event Call for Papers.
3.3 Paper review and selection
The paper review and selection process is the responsibility of the IPC. The outcome of this process is a list of accepted papers and a set of review comments to be sent to the authors, possibly requesting them to make some modifications before submitting the final version of the papers.
3.4 Final paper submission
3.4.1 Paper files
Paper files must be submitted as PDF files. The organizers must provide the means for the authors to submit their paper files in a convenient way, e.g. by setting up a web site where paper files can be uploaded. The instructions for final paper submission must include the requirement that the paper files comply with the IFAC standards and PDF file properties, as detailed in the instructions to authors. Paper file compliance is the authors’ responsibility, as it is very difficult, and most often impossible, to modify an incorrect PDF file after it has been produced.
The event editor and the organizers must provide the means for ensuring that all the submitted files are compliant to the IFAC regulations. Some possible approaches include:
- Visual inspection of the files: Mostly for checking that the IFAC layout style is used and that no page numbers, headings or footers are included.
- Checking PDF properties with some appropriate tools.
Depending on the size of the event some checking methods may be more appropriate than others. Some submission services include tools that the authors can use to check PDF compliance before submitting a paper.
An important issue for the availability of papers on the IFAC PapersOnLine site is the metadata which are attached to the paper file in order to facilitate the search by keywords, authors, event names, and other keywords. The organizers must provide the means for collecting metadata from authors in appropriate format. The metadata format specification will be posted on the PapersOnLine site.
3.4.3 Copyright forms
The copyright of all papers must be transferred to IFAC before they can be accepted for presentation at the event. Authors must either fill in a copy of the IFAC Copyright Transfer Form or use an electronic transfer form as provided for the event. No paper may be included in IFAC-PapersOnLine unless its Copyright Transfer Form has been received.
3.5 Preprints and other material
The organizers of an IFAC event may provide preprints, i.e. collections of the accepted papers for distribution to the meeting participants, either in printed (e.g. a preprints volume) or electronic (e.g. a CD or DVD with PDF files) form. Preprints and other associate materials can be also sold or distributed outside the meeting, provided they do not carry any text or mark that enables them to be considered a publication or cited in any way. In particular, the event organizers must ensure that the preprints do not have any of the following:
- ISBN (International Standard Book Number) or any related identification number;
- Bar code;
- DOI (Digital Object Identifier);
- Cataloguing details;
- The words "published by..."
3.6 Publishing the papers
The final collection of presented papers is published on the PapersOnLine site. Therefore there is no physical Proceedings volume, but a set of files which can be read or downloaded from the site. The event Editor must compile the collection of the final PDF files, excluding the papers which are not presented at the meeting, on an appropriate digital support as instructed by the Editor-in-Chief of IFAC-PapersOnLine. The Editor must also supply:
- A PDF file with front matter, including: o Meeting title, location, dates, and Editor name(s) o Preface or presentation, as appropriate o List of NOC and IPC members
- A set of event metadata, enabling efficient search of the papers on the PapersOnLine site.
The material for publication must be sent by the event Editor to the Editor-in-Chief of IFAC PapersOnLine as soon as it is available, preferably at the time of the meeting.
4.1 Industrial papers
An IFAC event may accept industrial papers, which are only reviewed on the basis of abstracts, and are not published on IFAC PapersOnLine.
The organizers of a Workshop may decide not to publish the papers on PapersOnLine. In this case, no other publication of the meeting may be done. If preprints are distributed to the attendants, they may not be considered a publication, and the regulations in section 3.5 apply.
Although it is not required, IFAC recommends that Workshops publish their papers on IFAC PapersOnLine. In this case, all the regulations for IFAC publications apply to Workshops as well, including the requirement that full draft papers must be peer-reviewed.