[OSGeo-Discuss] FOSS4G presentation review process

Barry Rowlingson b.rowlingson at lancaster.ac.uk
Mon Oct 1 09:10:25 PDT 2012

In our bid for FOSS4G 2013 Nottingham, we didn't precisely say how we
intended to select presentations for the main track of the conference.
Some discussion amongst the committee has been going on, and we think
it necessary to informally poll the community to get a feel for what
method is preferred.

Previous FOSS4Gs have not used anonymous reviews (note: the Academic
Track will be a double-blind review process, we are discussing the
main conference presentations here), and have used a blend of
committee reviews and community reviews. Note that even with a
numerical ranking system its normally still necessary to do a manual
step to get a balanced conference.

The big change we could do would be to have anonymous community
reviews. Proposals would be rated based on title and abstract only.
The arguments for this include:

 * selection is on quality of proposal rather than bigness of name
 * rating procedure can prevent up-votes from whoever has the most
followers on twitter
 * promotes inclusivity:

and against arguments include:

 * some names are big draws, and it would be disappointing to not have
someone because their abstract wasn't that exciting.
 * previous FOSS4Gs have used non-anonymous reviewing and that worked
fine. Why change it?
 * it may be hard to distil an exciting talk into an abstract without
losing the excitement.

So, as this would be quite a change for FOSS4G, what do you - the
OSGeo community at large - think? I do have a google poll nearly ready
on this, but lets have a bit of a debate here and maybe it won't even
be necessary.


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