Principles, Policies, and Guidelines

For those planning to submit an initial proposal, we also have some short notes about what is expected and about the selection procedure.


1. The Conceptual-Modeling Community

2. Organization

3. Funds and Liability

4. Publicity

5. Program

6. Hints for Running a Successful Conference

7. Action Checklist

1. The Conceptual-Modeling Community

1.1. Conference Basics

Name: The official title of the Conference is "The Nth International Conference on Conceptual Modeling". The official abbreviation is "ER'YY" or beginning in the year 2000 "ER20YY". ("Conceptual Modeling" is generic; "ER" refers to the original roots of the conference, which centered on the Entity-Relationship Model.) The conference may also be referred to as the "Conceptual Modeling Conference" or the "ER Conference". In this document the ER Conference is also referred to as "the conference".

Logo: The basic conference logo appears at the top of this document. When used for a specific conference the left box should contain the official conference abbreviation, the right box should contain a logo or statement designating the site of the conference, and the diamond should contain the dates of the conference. The logo can be modified slightly to add color, effects such as shadows, and a touch of local flavor for the conference site, but additions should be done tastefully. Any significant departure from the logo must be cleared with the steering committee chair before its appearance in print.

Language: The language of the conference is English.

Dates: The conference is annual. The dates of the conference should fall within six weeks of November 1st. Major holidays should be avoided as should direct conflicts with closely aligned conferences. Dates must be cleared by the steering committee before appearing in print.

Location: The conference site rotates successively among three parts of the world: (1) Europe, (2) the US and Canada, (3) Asia, Australia, Africa, and Oceana. Proposals from Mexico, the Caribbian, and Central and South America may be approved for any year; the cycle resumes where it left off after such a conference. The steering committee may approve exceptions to this rotation.

1.2. ER Fellows

The ER Fellows Award is an honor given to selected individuals in the conceptual-modeling community in recognition of their contributions to ER research, ER education, and ER community service. Since the annual ER conference is the flagship conference for the conceptual-modeling community, special consideration is given to candidates who have a sustained publication record in the conference proceedings, a record of encouraging students and others they mentor to become actively involved in the conference, and strong involvement in and service to the conference such as serving as a PC co-chair, conference chair, or steering-committee chair. Notwithstanding this intentional bias, ER Fellows may be selected from the broader community when they have clearly made significant research, education, and service contributions to conceptual modeling and continue to be actively involved in ER-community affairs.

To ensure oversight and continuity of the award, the SC chair chair should appoint one of the current ER fellows to chair the next year's selection committee, and six additional current ER fellows to serve on the selection committee. Each year, the committee should add at most two ER Fellows. The chair of the ER Fellows selection committee should call for nominations from the general community. A nominator and at least one supporter should make a nomination and submit material in support of the nomination to the selection-committee chair. Under the direction of the committee chair, the seven members of the committee make the final selection.

At the annual conceptual-modeling conference, the selection-committee chair (or an appointed ER Fellow in the absence of the chair) should recognize, honor, and give a plaque to each new ER Fellow. To give new ER Fellows the opportunity to attend the annual conference and be honored, the committee should complete the selection of new ER Fellows at least four months in advance of the annual ER conference, and the committee chair should send a congratulatory letter to the new inductees immediately after the selection process is complete.

1.3. Peter P. Chen Award

Initiated by Elsevier in 2008 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the journal, Data and Knowledge Engineering, the Peter P. Chen award honors one person each year for outstanding contributions to the field of conceptual modeling. The award is to continue annually. One person will be selected each year to receive a plaque and check for $1000 (US$). The ER Institute will provide the money for the award (although the steering committee should make an effort to find a sponsor to fund the award or to match funds provided from the SC budget). The award winner will be invited to be a keynote speaker for the upcoming conference. (If the winner is unable to attend and deliver a keynote address, there will be no future commitment for being a keynote speaker.) Because the winner is to be invited as a keynote speaker, the committee must coordinate with the PC co-chairs (who are responsible for inviting keynote speakers for the conference) and must complete their selection in sufficient time to avoid causing problems with invitations to keynote speakers.

Criteria for the Award:

Award Selection Committee:
The selection committee will consist of five people: the SC chair as the chair of the award selection committee, two SC members appointed by the SC chair, and the previous two years' recipients. (The SC vice chair should not be appointed to the committee but may serve as an award recipient.) Each member should serve on the committee for two consecutive years. The two appointed SC members should serve beginning in alternate years so that each year only one need be appointed. A newly appointed committee member should not have served on the committee during the past two years. At the yearly SC meeting, the SC chair should announce the appointment so that the entire SC is aware of the committee membership.

Selection committee members are not eligible for the award. If a member of the selection committee is nominated, the nominated person must withdraw from the selection committee or withdraw from the candidate pool. If two or more committee members withdraw, the remaining committee members should select replacement committee members from the SC, who will serve as ad-hoc committee members for the duration of the selection process.

Selection Process:
The selection committee is to solicit nominations from the field. The award solicitation should be well advertised through ER-related mailing lists and various email list servers including DBWORLD and ISWORLD. The ER community, at large, should be encouraged to make nominations. Nominations should be sent to the chair of the selection committee. Each nomination should be accompanied by a summary statement about the nominee and a justification for the nomination. Based on the criteria for the award, the selection committee is to choose the best candidate among the nominees. The winner should be immediately announced after selection.

2. Organization

2.1. Job Descriptions

Steering Committee Chair:
Do what is necessary to make all ER conferences successful. This includes soliciting proposals for future conferences; making final decisions on proposal selections; and delegating tasks that need to be done to ensure successful conferences such as promoting the conference among industrial and academic groups, writing and revising conference guidelines, and keeping track of email lists of persons interested in ER-conference activities.
Steering Committee Vice Chair:
Perform the same duties as the steering committee chair as needed to make ER conferences successful or as requested by the steering committee chair.
Steering Committee Treasurer:
Manage the ER bank account under the direction of the SC chair. The SC chair must approve all expenditures. Cosigners on the account must receive notification (usually by e-mail) from the SC chair approving expenditures before cosigning checks. Annually, or upon request, the treasurer must provide a report on the account status.
Steering Committee Conference Liaison:
Act as the representative bridge between the conference organizers and the steering committee. This includes advising the conference organizers on all conference matters; working with the conference chair to set up all necessary procedures, particularly money management procedures and major milestones; and assuming additional responsibility for successful conference operation as agreed with the conference chair. The liaison should be a person knowledgeable about organizing a conference and about the steering committee's operation.
Steering Committee Member:
Perform agreed-to tasks assigned by the steering committee chair.
Conference Chair:
Take the general responsibility for the conference. This includes submitting a proposal for the conference to the steering committee chair; appointing conference officers; establishing a budget and seeing that it is followed; establishing specific milestones and seeing that they are followed; and staying in close contact with all conference officials. The conference chair is also responsible to report planning, progress, operation, and results of the conference to the steering committee.
Local Arrangements Chair:
Arrange all local matters to make the conference run smoothly. This includes being the point of contact with hotel(s); arranging for transportation; making all physical-facility and audio-visual arrangements; organizing the social program; and coordinating with the PC chairs and the chairs for tutorials, workshops, exhibits, and registration to see that their needs for local arrangements are satisfied. The local arrangements chair is also responsible for the overall day-to-day operation of the conference.

2.2. Steering Committee Membership and Leadership

Qualifications: Steering committee (SC) members are chosen in two ways:
  1. Normal case: The SC chair should extend an invitation to the general (co-)chairs and program (co-)chairs for the current conference who also satisfy all of the following conditions.
    1. Published at least two ER papers (familiar with the main impetus of the conference).
    2. In addition to being a conference or program (co-)chair for the current conference, has served in at least one or more significant organizing or program roles for some other ER conference, e.g., general (co-)chair, PC (co-)chair, workshop chair, workshop organizer, panel chair, local chair, demo chair, tutorial chair, keynote speaker, tutorial speaker (significant ER service).
    3. Attended at least two ER conferences in the past six years, including the current year (sustained active involvement).
    4. Expressed a desire, in writing (in email to the ERSC chair, or otherwise), to actively participate in ER activities (willingness to invest time and effort).
    5. Approved by the current ERSC members. Having checked (1) through (4), the SC chair should contact the SC members in advance of an SC meeting (usually by email about one month before an upcoming SC meeting). At least 2/3 of the SC members should vote (via email) in order to have a quorum and 3/4 of the members who vote must favor the new member.
    Those who are not admitted into the SC in the current year may be reconsidered in the next two years if they so desire and the ERSC chair concurs.

    New SC members will join the SC immediately at the SC meeting held during that conference. No vote should be taken at the SC meeting; rather, the new members should simply be welcomed.

  2. Exceptional case: A prominent member of the conceptual modeling community may be nominated to become a SC member. The nomination must come from at least three SC members. At least 2/3 of SC members should vote in an SC meeting (or via email) in order to have a quorum and 3/4 of the members who vote must favor the new member.

    New exceptional-case members should be invited to the next SC meeting. No vote should be taken at the SC meeting with the proposed candidate present or waiting in the wings.

Term Limits: Steering committee members have three-year appointments, beginning and ending with the dates of the SC committee meeting at the annual ER conference. The membership is revolving and is automatically renewed for three more years if the SC member participates in an ER conference and attends the SC meeting at the time or before the membership expires. If an SC member with expiring membership had intended to participate in the third-year ER conference but could not make it due to unforeseen or uncontrollable events, the SC member can submit a request to the SC for a one-year extension, which can be granted by a vote of the SC. Repeated extensions are possible if granted by a vote of the SC.

Election of SC Chair and Vice_Chair: An SC Chair and an SC Vice-Chair are elected for two years. The Vice Chair automatically becomes the Chair after the SC Chair's term expires (or if the SC Chair resigns or becomes incapable of being the SC Chair). If the Vice-Chair (or someone else from the SC) takes over an unfinished term of the SC Chair, the total service can exceed two years, but not three years. Although the SC Chair can be re-elected as Vice-Chair, it is recommended that there be at least a two-year break between terms of service.

2.3. Submission and Approval of Conference Proposals

Proposal Submission and Approval: The steering committee, particularly the steering committee chair, has the responsibility to encourage and foster proposals. Any person or a group of persons can make a proposal for an ER conference. Proposals should be made in writing (by email) to the steering committee chair. Initial proposals should be submitted at least one month before the ER conference three years in advance of the conference being proposed and should be presented at the steering committee meeting of the conference three years in advance. The steering committee should provide guidance to proposer(s) in preparing a final proposal to be presented at the steering committee meeting two years in advance of the conference being proposed. The steering committee should make a final decision about which proposal to accept at the meeting two years in advance.

Proposal Contents: Initial and final proposals contain the same information, but initial proposals may be more tentative and need not be as detailed as final proposals. A proposal should contain:

  1. Location of conference (airport and transportation, city map, local sites of interest, ...)
  2. Tentative conference dates
  3. Key conference officials (for proposed conference chair and PC chairs, include background experience and current affiliation)
  4. Conference plan (program, tutorials, workshops, exhibits, ...) and milestones
  5. Preliminary budget (including projected number of attendees and projected costs for participants)
  6. Suggested hotel arrangements
  7. Sponsors and supporters (committed or potential)
  8. Banquet and other social activities
  9. Any anticipated problems and possible solutions (e.g., travel restrictions, economic conditions, ...)
Proposal Caution: None of the proposal contents should be publicly released until a final decision has been reached by the steering committee. If changes are necessary, approval of the steering committee chair must be obtained before releasing the new information. This particularly applies to any change of location, dates, conference chair, PC chairs, sponsors, and significant alterations in costs for participants.

2.4. Guidelines and Principles for ER Business and Conferences

3. Funds and Liability

3.1. Job Descriptions

Registration Chair:
Coordinate both advance and on-site registration. This includes administering registration policies as prescribed by the organizing committee, preparing registration information and forms, processing and acknowledging advance registrations, providing regular registration reports to the organizing committee, handling inquiries concerning registration, overseeing on-site registration, and making a final financial report.
Conference Treasurer:
Manage all money matters. This includes receiving and disbursing conference funds, keeping records to satisfy any participant country's tax laws and any not-for-profit organization requirements, and preparing final conference accounting for final reports to the steering committee.

3.2. Registration Costs

Registration Fee: The amount of the registration fee is subject to confirmation by the steering committee. The fee should cover the cost of an individual's participation in the conference (proceedings, physical facilities, food served, and social events). The amount of the fee should be such that the broadest possible participation at the conference is attained.

Registration Cancellation: The conference organizing committee is responsible to decide how to handle registration cancellations (i.e. full refund, partial refund, no refund). Every effort should be made to limit the penalty to a small handling fee, with the possibility of an additional penalty only as circumstances warrant.

3.3. Profit and Loss

Non-profit/Non-loss: Conferences are expected to operate on a non-profit/non-loss basis.

Start-up Cash: To aid with cash-flow during the start-up phase of a conference, the ERI/SC (ER Institute / Steering Committee) will loan seed money to conference officials, up to $5,000 US. A typical amount is $4,000. (This amount may vary in different circumstances and as times change.) This loan must always be repaid in full, even if the conference suffers a loss. A formal letter agreeing to this condition must accompany a request for seed money.

Grants from Sponsors: The conference organizers should try to raise money from other sources, preferably in the form of grants from both profit and non-profit organizations so as to keep the registration fee as low as possible. Grants that come too late to aid in lowering the registration fee should be used to improve amenities (better lunches, banquet, ...); any excess of late grant funds should be returned to the ERI/SC.

Distribution of Conference Funds: Income from conference registration, loans, and other sources (e.g., sales of proceedings, sales of guest tickets to social events, ...) should be used in the following order of priority:

  1. Repayment of seed money.
  2. Operating expenses.
  3. Repayment of forgivable loans.
  4. Payment of expenses of conference officials.
  5. Surplus distribution.
All disbursements should be paid within four months following the conference.

Deficit: If the conference runs into a deficit, liabilities within a priority will have to be negotiated between the various parties before distribution. However, it is recommended that the deficit be shared among the parties at a priority according to the amount of their commitment.

Surplus: The ERI/SC receives 50% of any surplus. The remaining 50% should be split among sponsoring non-profit organizations proportional to the amount of their commitment. Should the ERI/SC have funds in excess of $15,000 US, the committee should use it to provide grants (rather than loans) to help lower the cost of registration. The steering committee has the right and the responsibility to decide how much a grant for a particular conference should be.

3.4. Bank Account

Use of Bank Accounts: Organizers may use a sponsoring organization's bank account for conference funds. Alternatively, organizers may open an account for conference funds. All accounts should be in the name of the conference, (e.g., "ERYY" or "ER20YY"), not individual names. Interesting bearing accounts are preferred.

Credit-Card Accounts: A credit-card account (i.e., MasterCard, Visa, AmericanExpress) should be established so that participants can pay registration fees with credit cards.

Caution: Care should be taken to ensure central control of money flow. Conference organizers should make sure that central authority for budget and financial control including proper reporting has been established.

3.5. Liability

Individual Liability: Conference officials should be aware that they may become individually liable in case of violation of copyright laws, claims of plagiarism, claims of slander, errors and omissions, trip-and-fall accidents, selection of unsafe carriers, to name the major risks. Thus, the conference officials are strongly advised to minimize their risks by taking an aggressive problem-prevention policy. This includes shifting the burden to authors by requiring them to sign copyright statements and transfer agreements; to participants by signing disclaimers on registration; and to external organizations such as hotel reservation agencies or travel agencies who can provide services not directly connected to running the conference and who can assume responsibility for all risks within their area of expertise. This also includes placing a disclaimer in the conference announcements and having the organization providing and running the conference venue assume the risks connected with the conference locale.

Disclaimer: The following disclaimer should be included in all conference publications: "The Organizing Committee of the ER conference is not liable for any loss or damage arising from the activities of this particular conference as exercised by its agents: conference organizers, carriers, proceedings, publications and program committee. Neither can the ER Steering Committee be held liable."

Liability Insurance: Officials must make sure that liability insurance is available to them to cover the remaining risks, and in particular to persons who are authorized to issue conference funds. This insurance should be purchased unless it can be provided by the local computer society.

3.6. "In-Cooperation with ACM"

It is recommended that each conference seek and obtain "In-Cooperation" status with ACM. (Constraints sometimes make this impossible, in which case conference organizers need not obtain "In-Cooperation" status.)

Purpose of ACM In-Cooperation Status: There are three main reasons to obtain in-cooperation status. (1) Insurance: ACM will not grant in-cooperation status without proof of insurance coverage. (2) "Seal of Approval": ACM's logo can only be used after obtaining in-cooperation status. (3) SIG Awareness: A SIG must approve the conference. Both SIGMOD and SIGMIS should approve an ER conference.

Obtaining ACM Cooperation Status: Section 1 of the "ACM SIG Conference Manual" ( explains in detail how to obtain ACM in-cooperation status. Within all the details in Section 1 is the contact information, which is found by clicking on "In-Cooperation Conference Information" and then on "ACM Office of SIG Services." The name next to SIGMOD or SIGMIS is the ACM contact person. Make contact and find out precisely what is wanted -- typically, just the standard in-cooperation application form, called a TMRF form (Technical Meeting Request Form). To obtain the TMRF form along with the guidelines for filling out the form, click on Section 1.6.4, "ACM In-cooperation TMRF Guidelines and Form."

Filling out the TMRF Form: Print a copy of the form. The first page of the form requests general information about the conference and is self-explanatory. The second (and last) page requires some signatures. The sponsoring organization should be the ER Institute, whose address is P.O. Box 80813, Baton Rouge, LA 70898, USA. If the general chair of the ER conference is a member of the steering committee, the chair can sign in behalf of the ER Institute; otherwise contact the president of the steering committee for instructions about who should sign the TMRF form.

Obtaining Insurance for ACM Cooperation Status: Along with the TMRF form, a certification of insurance must be submitted. The Novick Group has worked with ACM and knows what is required to obtain a certificate of insurance. The coverage they sell is called "Convention Cancellation Coverage." Contact information for the Novick Group: 11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 907, Rockville, MD 20852, USA, 301-770-6675 (voice), 301-770-6675 (fax). Request an insurance application form and a statement of coverage. The insurance application form is self-explanatory and can be filled out and signed by the general chair.

3.7. Student Travel Fellowship

When funds are available, the SC will provide $3,000 for student travel fellowships. At every SC meeting the availability of these funds will be discussed and potentially approved for future conferences. The number of awards and their amount can be adapted to each conference, under approval of the SC. It is intended, however, that candidates for travel fellowships will be PhD students with accepted contributions for the doctoral consortium, which is usually held at each ER conference.

4. Publicity

4.1. Job Descriptions

Publicity Chair:
Publicize the conference. This includes preparing and submitting advertisements to journals (e.g., Communications of the ACM, SIGMOD Record, and Data & Knowledge Engineering); preparing the Call-for-Papers and distributing it to related conferences, applicable newsgroups and electronic mailing lists, and key personnel such as PC members and others on the organizing and steering committee; coordinating with workshops and tutorials chairs to see that their advertising needs are met; and working with the conference Webmaster to see that all advertising material is available on the conference Web site.
Conference Webmaster:
Place material relevant to the conference on the Web. This includes all items of interest for the conference (e.g., Call-for-Papers, advertisements, registration forms for the conference and hotels), links to information about past conferences, and links to local tourist information. It also includes developing/adapting/adopting a system for handling papers—storing and disbursing paper abstracts and the papers themselves, receiving and summarizing reviews, and processing author notifications.

4.2. Publicity Guidelines

Publicity Goals: Publicity is critical to success. The conference competes with many other conferences and workshops. All advertisements should be designed to attract the attention of a reader quickly and to show that the conference will provide a worthwhile program. Advertisements should be of the highest possible quality. The conference organizing committee (with suggestions from the steering committee) should decide how best to use their advertising dollars.

Sponsors, Supporters, and In-Cooperation With: Profit and Nonprofit organizations who sponsor, support, or work in cooperation with a conference should be recognized in all official advertisements. The designation "Sponsor" should be reserved to those who contribute significantly, financially or otherwise. The designation "Supporter" should be assigned to all organizations supporting the conference in a lesser role, financial or otherwise. The designation "In-Cooperation With" is for a professional organization that agrees to let the conference use its name but accepts no financial involvement.

4.3. Conference Web Site

Web Site: The organizing committee is responsible to build and maintain a conference Web site. The Web site should use the conference logo and should have an organized, professional look and feel. All pages should be static.

Mirrored Site: The steering committee may require the site to be mirrored at a second site. In this case, the steering committee will provide the second site.

5. Program

5.1. Job Descriptions

Program Committee Chair:
Be generally responsible for the technical program of the conference, including plenary sessions, technical paper sessions, panels, tutorials, workshops, and exhibits. The program committee may have at most three co-chairs. Co-chairs should be from different countries. At least one of the co-chairs should have a CS orientation, and at least one should have an MIS orientation. Co-chairs work together to accomplish the necessary tasks. These tasks include appointing PC members and obtaining their pledges to perform their duties, soliciting and processing papers, supervising the review and selection process, helping to find and invite keynote speakers, establishing the general structure of the conference program (e.g., number of sessions, papers, and panels), seeing that the panels are organized, setting up the final program in consultation with the general conference chairperson and other appropriate chairpersons, preparing and the conference proceedings for publication, and selecting and processing papers for subsequent journal publication.
Program Committee Member:
Help PC chairs make the technical program successful. The main task of a PC member is to review technical papers and make recommendations about which papers should be accepted/rejected. Generally, the task can be broader including playing a significant role in the PC meeting; helping review proposals for panels, tutorials, and workshops; encouraging colleagues to submit papers and proposals for panels, tutorials, and workshops; and promoting attendance at the conference.
Tutorials Chair:
Ensure quality tutorials. Solicit quality tutorial proposals, (along with the PC and conference chair) select the best tutorials from among the proposals, (along with the conference treasurer) ensure that financial arrangements for presenters are clearly settled, (along with the publicity chair) promote attendance, and (along with the local-arrangements chair) ensure that physical facilities and amenities meet the needs of attendees and presenters.
Workshops Chair:
Ensure quality workshops. Solicit quality workshop proposals, (along with the PC and conference chair) select the best workshops, work with workshop organizers on proceedings publications, (along with the publicity chair) promote paper submission and attendance, and (along with the local-arrangements chair) ensure that physical facilities and amenities meet the needs of attendees and presenters.
Panels Chair:
Ensure quality panels. Solicit proposals for panel topics. In cooperation with the program chairs, select one or more proposals (usually one). Work with panel organizers to ensure high quality panel participants and ample opportunity for audience participation.
Exhibits Chair:
Ensure quality exhibits. Solicit quality exhibits, screen exhibits for appropriateness for the conference, (along the conference chair) set a price for selling space to exhibitors, provide information about exhibits for attendees, and (along with the local-arrangements chair) ensure that physical facilities meet the needs of exhibitors.

5.2. Technical Program

Structure: The PC-chairs under the guidance of the general chair determine the structure of the technical program. The final program should be set with the concurrence of the conference organizing committee. Highest consideration must be paid to maintain a quality technical program.

Papers: Except for invited papers, each paper must be refereed by at least three persons (PC members or qualified external referees selected by PC members). Papers should be selected primarily on the basis of quality, although a balance of topics should be taken into consideration. PC members may submit papers, but no authors or associates of authors of PC papers may influence the decision about a PC-member paper.

Invited Papers: Invited papers may be accepted without going through the normal refereeing process. These, however, should be rare. At least one PC member should read any invited paper and suggest modifications, if needed. Invited speakers should be informed that this will be done and that they are expected to cooperate. If an invited paper is low in quality, it is the responsibility of the PC chairs to ensure that the quality be improved or to reject the paper. This should occur rarely as extreme care should be used in inviting papers. (A keynote speaker may be requested to submit an abstract, or short summary for the proceedings. These abstracts are not invited papers; they may be edited, but should not be refereed.)

Implications of Paper Submission: PC chairs should ensure that authors understand the implications of paper submission, which are: (1) the paper has not been published elsewhere, (2) the paper is not and will not be submitted for publication elsewhere while under review, and (3) accepted papers will be presented at the conference by an author of the paper.

Best Student Paper Award: The following should appear in the call for papers.

A student paper must satisfy all of the following conditions:
a. The paper's first author is a student.
b. Students have done a majority of the research for the paper.
c. Students have written a majority of the paper.
[ ] Check here if the paper should be considered for the Best Student Paper Award.
A certificate of Best Student Paper Award will be given to each of the student authors. The distribution of actual award money among the authors will be left to the authors. The organizers are responsible to follow up to see that the award is presented.

5.3. Program Committee

Selection of PC Members: PC chairs have the responsibility to recruit and appoint PC members. PC chairs should select people who are: PC chairs should explain to potential PC members what is required of them and obtain their pledges to follow through appropriately.

Review Reports: The PC shall use the standard review form adopted by the Steering committee.

PC Meeting: The primary objective of the PC meeting is to help select the best papers for the conference. The PC meeting should be held on-line so that all PC members can participate. Discussion of a PC-member's paper, however, should exclude that PC member. PC chairs should direct the discussion.

Selection of Best Papers: (1) PC co-chairs nominate candidate papers (perhaps by reviewing PC-committee recommendations). They also identify which of the nominees are student papers, ensuring that there are at least two student papers among the nominees. (2) PC co-chairs choose a committee (possibly themselves) to select the overall best paper and a committee (possibly the same committee) to select the best student paper. (3) The best overall paper is selected from among all papers. The best student paper is selected from the remaining student-paper candidates. (4) Committees should strive to identify just one "best." If there is an n-way tie, there is an n-way split of any prizes.

5.4. Proceedings Publication

Proceedings Content: The proceedings should include regular papers, full keynote papers (or abstracts, if requests for a full paper are not honored), and demo descriptions (if any). The proceedings should not include poster papers, poster abstracts, panel abstracts, tutorial abstracts, industry papers, and industry abstracts. Additional publication of items not included in the regular proceedings are at the discretion of the organizing committee.

Author Responsibilities: Authors are responsible to provide PC chairs with all requested material for publication. In this changing world of publication, this may include camera-ready copies and electronic copies in specific file formats.

Working Agreement: The steering committee currently has a working agreement with Springer-Verlag for publishing conference proceedings. It is the responsibility of the steering committee to maintain this relationship with Springer or to provide for another outlet.

Further Publication of Selected Papers: The steering committee, with the help of the organizing committee, should provide a means for further publication of selected conference papers. This may be in a special issue or special section of a journal, or, possibly, as a book. Currently, Data & Knowledge Engineering provides the conference with the opportunity for publishing a special issue devoted to the conference. The PC chairs should take the responsibility to become guest editors. This entails selecting papers (perhaps with the aid of the PC), seeing that authors expand their papers appropriately, and working with authors and editors to see that needed material is provided for timely publication. Guest editors should aim to have subsequent publications available by the date of the following annual ER conference.

5.5. Guidelines for Tutorials

Purpose for Tutorials: Tutorials should enhance the conference, give attendees an opportunity to enrich their understanding about topics of interest related to conceptual modeling, and help bolster attendance at and participation in the conference.

Selection of Tutorials: The tutorials chair, PC, and conference chair are responsible to ensure that the tutorial program meets the standards of the conference. The tutorials chair should solicit high-quality proposals, and the PC should review them and, along with the tutorials chair, make recommendations. The tutorials chair, PC chairs, and conference chair should all agree on the tutorials to be presented at the conference.

Tutorials and the Conference Program: The tutorials may either be part of the regular conference program, offered free to all conference participants, or they may be separate, with a separate fee for participation. If there is a fee, the fee structure should be such that tutorials are self supporting. Tutorial attendees should also pay the conference fee, making them full participants in the conference, as well as in the tutorials. Both tutorial presenters and potential attendees should understand that a separate tutorial with a fee may be canceled if there is not sufficient registration to warrant its being part of the program.

5.6. Guidelines for Workshops

Purpose for Workshops: Workshops should enhance the conference, give attendees an opportunity to discuss in depth particular topics of interest related to conceptual modeling, provide an additional outlet for publication of papers related to conceptual modeling, and help bolster attendance at and participation in the conference.

Selection of Workshops: The workshops chairs, PC chairs, and conference chair are responsible to ensure that every workshop meets the standards of the conference. The workshops chair should solicit high-quality proposals, and the PC should review them and, along with the workshops chair, make recommendations. The workshops chairs, PC chairs, and conference chair should all agree on the workshops to be held at the conference.

Workshops and the Conference Program: The workshops may either be part of the regular conference program, offered free to all conference participants, or they may be separate, with a separate fee for participation. If a workshop has a proceedings and is free to all conference participants, the proceedings should be provided for all participants. If workshops are separate, the fee structure should be such that workshops are self supporting and such that any proceedings to be published and distributed are covered by the fees. Workshop attendees should also pay the conference fee, making them full participants in the conference, as well as in the workshops. Both workshop organizers and potential attendees should understand that a separate workshop with a fee may be canceled if there is not sufficient registration to warrant its being part of the program.

Editors for Workshop Proceedings: When several ER workshops together publish a single proceedings, the editor names should include the names of the ER workshop co-chairs plus one representative for each workshop. (This avoids having a potentially lengthy list of editors for the proceedings.)

Proceedings Content: The proceedings should include regular papers, full keynote papers (or abstracts, if requests for a full paper are not honored), and demo descriptions (if any). The proceedings should not include poster papers, poster abstracts, panel abstracts, tutorial abstracts, industry papers, and industry abstracts. Additional publication of items not included in the regular proceedings are at the discretion of the organizing committee.

5.7. Guidelines for Panels

Purpose of Panels: Panels should stimulate open discussion and provoke thought about current issues in conceptual modeling.

Caution: Panel moderators should ensure that panel members do not monopolize time unreasonably or promote commercial products or companies.

5.8. Guidelines for Exhibits

Purpose for Exhibits: Exhibits provide a way for corporations to make the conceptual-modeling community aware of its products. Exhibits also provide a means for conference organizers to obtain additional funds by selling space to exhibitors.

Inclusion/Exclusion of Exhibits: Exhibits are optional and should be part of the program only if the organizing committee and the steering committee determine that they will benefit attendees, conference organizers, and exhibitors.

5.9. Guidelines for a PhD Symposium

Purpose: The PhD Symposium offers PhD students working in the area of conceptual modeling the opportunity to present and discuss their research and to interact with other researchers, experts in the field of conceptual modeling, who can provide feedback on their research.

Organization: The PhD Symposium has the same structure and rules as the ER Workshops, with two differences: (a) The chair and committee organizing the PhD Symposium is to be proposed by the ER conference organizers and approved by the ERSC. (b) The papers submitted for the symposium, must be papers whose only authors are PhD students.

Publication: The publication of the PhD Symposium papers will be according to the rules of the ER Workshops.

5.10. Guidelines for a Symposium on Conceptual Modeling Education (SCME)

Scope: The scope of the SCME is the education of conceptual modeling at any level: undergraduate, graduate, professional or continuing education.

Organization: The SCME has the same structure and rules as the ER Workshops, with two differences: (a) The SCME is a normal part of the structure of an ER Conference, like the ER PhD Symposium (b) The SCME chair is proposed by the ER conference organizers, and approved by the ERSC.

Publication: The publication of the SCME papers will be according to the rules of the ER Workshops.

6. Hints for Running a Successful Conference

The previous sections contain job descriptions and rules and requirements for ER conferences. This section contains miscellaneous comments, hints, and suggestions passed on from those with previous experience.

Juggling Jobs: Depending on the circumstances, the conference chair may wish to combine jobs or create new jobs. Example 1: the chair may wish to also be the treasurer, or the local arrangements chair may be split into sub assignments with a chair for social events and a chair for physical facilities and arrangements. Example 2: professional secretarial help, provided by the organizing committee's organization, is extremely useful.

Ad Placement: Here are some suggestions about where to place ads.

Mailing flyers directly to potential attendees may not be necessary. Mailing hardcopies is expensive and not that effective.

Optional Program Components: Tutorials, workshops, and exhibits are optional. Use them to best enhance the conference. There has been a long-standing tradition for tutorials. Workshops aligned with conferences have become more popular both for ER conferences and conferences in general. Exhibits have not typically been emphasized. Conference chairs should decide each case individually with help from the steering committee.

Resolving Referee Discrepancies: Papers sometimes receive widely differing reviews. One possible way to resolve these discrepancies is to have an email discussion among the PC members who reviewed the paper. For this to be successful, all reviews must be in a week to ten days before the on-line PC meeting, an email discussion must be initiated, and reviewers must be able to alter their reviews. All this should be supported by the electronic review system.

7. Action Checklist

Numbers at the beginning of a line are suggested number of months before (-) or after (+) the conference. Position names in parentheses suggest which committee member might be responsible for the action. These suggestions serve only as a guide and may vary for a particular conference.

-42 Solicit proposals (steering committee chair)
-37 Send initial conference proposal to steering committee chair (conference chair)
-36 Present initial proposal to steering committee (conference chair)
-24 Present final conference proposal to steering committee (conference chair)
Make final decision about the conference site and chair (steering committee)
-18 Contract for hotel and facilities (local arrangements chair)
Assemble program-committee members (PC chairs)
Draft Call-for-Papers (PC chairs)
Establish Web site (conference Webmaster)
Approach professional organizations for cooperation (conference chair)
Approach potential sponsors and supporters for commitments (conference chair)
-15 Finalize program committee membership (PC chairs)
Establish plan for tutorials (tutorials chair)
Establish plan for workshops (workshops chair)
Establish plan for exhibits (exhibits chair)
Obtain "In-Cooperation with ACM" status (from both SIGMOD and SIGMIS)
-14 Place Call-for-Papers, committee organization, etc. on the Web (conference Webmaster)
Distribute Call-for-Papers to upcoming conferences (publicity chair)
-13 Complete agreements for sponsors, supporters, and cooperations (conference chair)
-12 Present status report to the steering committee (conference chair)
Distribute Call-for-Papers at the prior-year ER conference (publicity chair)
Announce and advertise the conference at the prior-year ER conference (general chair or publicity chair)
Release Call-for-Papers for advertising in journals (publicity chair)
-10 Obtain featured speakers (PC chairs)
Receive proposals for workshops (workshops chair)
-7 Receive papers (PC chairs)
Send papers to program committee (PC chairs)
Receive proposals for tutorials (tutorials chair)
-5 Complete refereeing process (PC chairs, PC members)
Hold on-line program-committee meeting (PC chairs)
Send notifications to authors (PC chairs)
Make author information available to authors (PC chairs)
Open bank account, if necessary (treasurer)
Establish credit-card collection accounts, if necessary (treasurer)
Make registration material available (registration chair, conference Webmaster)
Make final decisions for tutorials (tutorials chair)
Make final decisions for workshops (workshops chair)
Arrange for social program (local arrangements chair)
Arrange session rooms for program (local arrangements chair)
Obtain preliminary commitments for exhibits (exhibits chair)
Finalize advance program (PC, tutorials, and workshops chairs)
Post advance program on the Web (conference Webmaster)
-4 Obtain camera-ready copies (PC chairs)
Release advance program for advertising (publicity chair)
-3 Send proceedings to publisher (PC chairs)
Prepare final program for printing (publicity chair)
Arrange for bags/containers for conference attendees (registration chair)
-1 Arrange for audio/visual equipment (local arrangement chair)
Check details (hotel, technical sessions, and social events) (local arrangement chair)
Finalize exhibits (exhibits chair)
Print final program (publicity chair)
Produce signs for sessions (local arrangements chair)
Report status at pre-registration deadline (registration chair)
Arrange for local registration (registration chair, treasurer, local arrangements chair)
-.5 Check arrival of proceedings (PC chairs)
Assemble registration material for participants (name tags, proceedings, ...) (registration chair)
Make final check of everything and follow up (conference chair, local arrangements chair)
0 Enjoy conference (everyone)
Provide preliminary report about the conference and its financial status (conference chair)
+4 Make final disbursement of funds (treasurer)
Submit final report to steering committee chair (conference chair)