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Symposium Development

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Process and Tips for Developing a Symposium

See also: Example timeline

Draft proposal

  1. Complete proposal Template
  2. Discuss with RDWG Chairs and staff contact, then Working Group
  3. Plan timeline

Prepare material

  1. Symposium Main Web Page Template
  2. CfP Web Page Template
  3. Short description for announcements (two short, clear sentences)


  • In CfP, include a structured set of questions you would like addressed by the submissions and during the symposium. Group into high level categories, each category relating to a general area of investigation. These categories and questions will form the agenda for the symposium.

Coordinate on publishing web pages and announcements with RDWG Chairs, RDWG Staff Contact (Shadi), WAI Outreach (Shawn).

(If want to actively encourage more input, can ask for additional short contributions to be submitted to the public RDWG comments list.)

Prepare for Symposium

  1. For each accepted submission:
    • Note all the CfP questions where the submission content provides an answer, or implies that the author could provide an answer.
    • Ask the author which questions they may specifically like to comment on.
    • Define a set of 2-3 specific questions that could be asked of the author during the submission. Some questions might comes from reviewers’ comments.
  2. Allocate these submission-specific questions to the most appropriate CfP question. Create a table with each CfP question in the left column, and the specific questions for specific authors in the right column (and if appropriate, questions related to additional contributions sent to the mailing list).
  3. If there are questions not covered by any author, open these up as general questions to the symposium audience (stating that the question was not addressed by any submission).
  4. Allocate approximate times for each high level category, reflecting the amount of coverage for each that you think will be needed.
  5. Submit the table to RDWG for review.
  6. Share the table with the authors (submission authors and additional comment authors), so that they have an idea of when they're expected to speak, and what we expect them to cover. Make clear that it is a general guide, rather than a fixed plan, and the Symposium chair(s) might vary from it.
  7. Use the table to guide the flow of the symposium. Be flexible and don't worry about deviating from the structure somewhat to accommodate relevant discussion — as long as you leave ample time for remaining topics.