In the future, individual conferences will be classified only if the level of the conference papers deviates from the determined level of the series or the publisher serving as publication channel.
The Publication Forum Steering Group meeting decided on June 8th that the classification of conferences under the established name of the event will be given up. Until now, regularly repeated conferences have been listed and classified under the established name of the event. In the future, individual conferences will be classified only in those exceptional cases in which the level of the conference papers deviates from the determined level of the series (eg. Lecture Notes in Computer Science) or the publisher (eg. IEEE or ACM) serving as publication channel.
Peer-reviewed conference articles are still taken into account in the funding-model of universities. Only their Publication Forum level will be determined on basis of the publication series or the book publisher, rather than the established name of the conference.
From now on, the processing of conference publications is carried out as follows:
- Conferences which have their own series with an ISSN (eg. Proceedings of the PME Conference) are listed under the title registered in the ISSN International Centre, instead of the established name of the conference (eg. International Conference for the Psychology of Mathematics Education). Publication channel type in the Publication Forum database is "journal/series".
- Conferences which do not have their own publication series, will receive the level rating of the journal or monographic series in which the articles have been published (eg. SPIE Conference on Light-Emitting Diodes -> SPIE Conference Proceedings). Thus, publication channel type is "journal/series". If the proceedings do not appear in a series, the level is determined by the publisher as registered in the International ISBN Agency (eg. IEEE Communication Theory Workshop -> IEEE). In this case, publication channel type is "book publisher".
- Individual conferences will be classified under the established name of the event only in those exceptional cases in which the level of the conference papers deviates from the determined level of the series (eg. Lecture Notes in Computer Science) or the publisher (eg. IEEE or ACM) serving as publication channel. In these cases, the established name of the event acts as an identifier and the publication channel type is "conference".
Other conferences will be removed from the Publication Forum classification. In addition, where necessary, panels will re-evaluate series (lecture notes, procedia etc.) and book publishers that publish the proceedings of various conferences.
Proposals for new additions will be mainly processed as series or publishers. Only the panel 2 Computer and information sciences and panel 9 Electrical and electronic engineering, information engineering will handle proposals concerning individual conferences. Proposals must include a justification as to why the level of the conference papers should differ from the level of the primary publication channel. Publication Forum will not evaluate publication channels that do not have an ISSN or an ISBN (eg. PDF-files without identifiers).
New publication channels are processed according to the principles described above. With regard to previously rated conferences, the changes will be implemented by the end of 2016. In practice this means removing conferences from the database or altering conferences into series and, if necessary, the addition of new series and publishers in the classification.
From manual to automatic data processing
The main reason behind this change is that in most fields it is not reasonable to handle conferences as publication channels separate from publication series or book publishers. Also in Computer and information science, Electrical and electronic engineering and Information engineering it is possible to determine the level of most peer-reviewed conference articles on basis of the publication series or book publisher. There is also a technical reason for the change, namely the lack of unique identifiers for most conferences. ISSN and ISBN numbers, which are available to all publication series and book publishers, allow more reliable processing of publication data and cataloging of publication channels. The amount of manual work will reduce significantly. The Panels and university staff responsible for the publication data collection were consulted on the matter before the decision was made.
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