Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Problem with authors that do not attend conferences and pay fees...

Yesterday I had an idea and before I forget about it, I thought it could be good to share it with the world. :) The reason I got that idea is that, very likely, I'm going to be vice chair of Information Systems Security event.

As far as I know, there are lot of authors that submit their papers to conferences with the intention to be published in proceedings, but they don't show up on the conference to present their work. This is regarded as rude. But, even worse is that there are also those that don't pay conference fees. Namely, usually the proceedings have to be sent to the press before deadline for payments, and also, there are those people that pay on the spot, which is also acceptable.

So, the problem is that authors promise that they will pay and attend conference, but in the end they don't do neither of those two things. So, the question is, how to revoke papers of the authors that didn't pay? Obviously, it is not possible to revoke paper from published proceedings. Nor it is an option to print proceedings later because it would incur additional costs (shipping). Lately, it is also common that conferences publish CDs with proceedings only. Those potentially could be duplicated on spot, but then again you have a problem that you don't know until the last day of the conference who will or who will not attend/pay and thus you would need to postpone CD until the end. This is also unacceptable as some people come only for a day or two and they leave before the last day of the conference, so again you have shipping costs. But shipping is not the only problem, the other is that people that attend the conference like to have papers in order to more easily follow presentation.

The proposed solution is simple. First of all, the proceedings would be published only on CD or USB. That is environmentally friendly approach. Next, all the accepted papers would be placed on the CD. BUT, they are encrypted and inaccessible without a key that is NOT on the CD/USB itself. Each paper with its own, unique, key. That key would be published on Web pages of conference (or on IEEE/ACM pages). Obviously, only those that payed (and attended the conference) will have keys published and thus, their papers will be part of the proceedings. The others will be completely unavailable.

This can be made quite transparent, in a sense that some application is started that obtains keys, and stores it locally if necessary so that content can be read when offline.

I think that's good idea. Even though its realization is questionable. What do you think? :)

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scientist, consultant, security specialist, networking guy, system administrator, philosopher ;)

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