Conference Management System (COMS)
COMS is a web application for managing delegate registration, payment, paper submission and paper review. Written in Perl and C, with a MySQL database at the back end, it is a comprehensive and powerful, yet easy to use solution for online conference management.
Quick overview of the functionalities of the system
- Registration and payment
Our conference registration module handles the creation of the registration form/s, the collection of online payments by credit card, invoicing, bookkeeping, email communications with the delegates and export of reports in Excel format. Although the system keeps track of all transactions, payments are collected directly into the organisers' merchant account. COMS has no access to the funds or bank details of the delegates.
- Abstract submission
Organisers can configure the submission form to include any number of items. A simple text editor or, alternatively, a rich editor allowing styling and the inclusion of tables and pictures can be used to collect abstract texts. Extended abstracts and full-papers can be uploaded in any specified format.
Organisers can configure up to nine numerical criteria for the evaluation of submissions by the reviewers. Textual appraisals and feedback for the submitters can also be collected. They can use blind reviews. Assigning the reviews to referees can be done manually by the Chair or automatically by the programme. The automatic assignmnent takes biddings by the reviewers into account, if the bidding process has been used. Automatic assignments can always be superseded by manual assignments. Reviewers can perform the reviews online from their account. Organisers can track their progress and send them reminders by email.
- Abstract selection
Abstract selection can be performed automatically or manually. The automatic option selects submissions on the value of the marks given by the reviewers and can be followed by a manual selection. Accepted abstracts can be assigned to sessions and ordered.
- Participant selection
Participants can be selected independently of the abstract selection process. Alternatively, their selection can be synchronised with the selection of abstracts.
- Emails - The email module can be configured to send automatic emails, bulk emails and email alerts to organisers. Filters are supplied to allow the targetting of groups of users when sending bulk emails. Prefilled templates are supplied for the bulk and automatic mails. These can be edited and personalised by means of placeholders.
- Data exports
The registrations, payments, submissions, reviews and results of the selection process can be exported to CSV or Excel for further processing. Submitted abstracts can be styled and exported to HTML (for import into MS-Word), XML (for import into InDesign) or PDF. Uploaded files can be downloaded from the FTP server.
- Book of abtracts
Submitted abstracts can be styled and exported to HTML or PDF. Uploaded files, as well as the PDF files generated from the submissions can be downloaded from the FTP server.
- Usage and payment of the system is on a per-conference basis.
- Each conference receives its own independent installation, comprising its own code, database and space on the FTP server.
- An installation can be set up on short notice and will be immediately ready to configure and use.
- An installation can be set up well in advance, to allow proper configuration and planning; it can stay online for up to a year after the event.
- Support is offered by email and phone during normal office hours (Austrian time).
- Adaptations to the system can be made for a fee.
About the system
- A hosted system
The software runs on COMS servers and is fully administrated by COMS staff. Delegates and organisers only need Internet access and a web browser in order to use COMS. Organisers do not need IT support or IT skills of their own.
- Simplicity of use
- Large conferences
COMS has been designed to handle large events with thousands of delegates and submissions.
- Multilanguage support
COMS installations are ready to use in English, German and French. Any combination of these languages can be used for an event. If more than one language is selected, the system remembers the user's preferred language. It is possible to substitute any of the predefined languages with another language, including a non European one, provided a translation is supplied by the organisers.
Access to all features of the system are controlled by a set of permissions which are allocated on the basis of a user's roles at the conference: authors and delegates have no access to the administrative side of the system; conference organisers have access to all administrative tasks and data; reviewers, editors and accountants have access to the tasks and data that are relevant to their role. On request, these permissions can be modified to fit the specific needs of an event, by extending or restricting access to specific tasks.
- Data privacy
In addition to the system of permissions described above, there are built-in features designed to preserve the privacy of the data. For example, users who upload files or pictures to the system cannot navigate the directory that hosts the uploaded files. Whereas organisers can view and download all uploads and data input by the users, users can only access their own.
- Editing of texts
All the texts displayed on a COMS installation can be edited by organisers, allowing them to adapt or rephrase any of the headings, explanations and instruction texts seen by the delegates and reviewers.
Daily or hourly backups are run automatically by the system and saved to a dedicated server. On request, daily backups can be saved to the FTP server for download by organisers who wish to perform their own backups.
Try out the system online.
Last updated: 23 May 2013