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Annual meetings of the Ecological Society of Japan

Why are we so inflexible? - Reasons for requesting strict compliance with the deadlines and regulations

updated on 2017-08-17

The Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of Japan (ESJ) requests strict compliance with the deadlines for proposals for symposia, presentation applications, registration, and submission of abstracts. Delayed proposals, applications, registrations, and submissions after the deadlines will not be accepted. Adjustments to the presentation schedule and personal requests will not be undertaken. Here are the reasons why we are so inflexible and request your understanding and cooperation to the policy.

The annual meetings are organized by the Organizing & Planning Committees constituted by voluntary staff of the ESJ members. The development of a simple system of meeting organization and relief of burdens upon the committee members are necessary to convene the meetings sustainably.

Development of a simple system of automatic processing is indispensible to lighten the workload of members and reduce human error. All the processes of proposals, applications, registrations, and submissions are handled online through the system developed by the ESJ. Electronic data saved on the ESJ server lend themselves to automatic processing and help to reduce manually handled tasks.

For example, the system for editing the abstract book which can compile a stack of manuscripts in a few minutes. But, a single delayed manuscript creates a labor-some task of manually reediting the book. Furthermore, additional jobs to eliminate inconsistencies in the program, list of participants, abstract book and information on the web are cumbersome. Avoidance of manual revision is necessary not only for labor-saving but also for preventing errors.

Each deadline is scheduled to sequentially handle many tasks necessary for organizing the annual meeting of ESJ within the calculated amount of time. A delay of a task affects the starting time of the subsequent tasks. To eliminate the delay and finish every task in time, committee members must spend excess time and must sacrifice time spent for education, research, sleep, communication with friends and family members and so on.

The allotment work of a large number of presentations and assemblies is in itself a major undertaking difficult to automate. An attempt to change the schedule of an assembly or alignment sequence of two presentations for convenience of organizers and presenters will trigger a domino effect of successively creating needs of change.

Participants may send a request or enquiry for their specific reasons and circumstances. However, when request or enquiry from one person out of hundred participants gather, they will exceed 20 cases and give rise a pile of tasks for the committee members. In addition, for the Organizing and Planning Committee, it is almost impossible to judge which of many specific personal reasons are really serious, and the only possible solution is to decline all the requests.

You may think that 'one day or even an hour late is acceptable.' However, the delay may force committee members to start over already finished tasks. You need not wait to propose, apply, register, and submit until just before the deadlines. Early birds can get peace of mind. We would like to recommend you to do everything one day or even a week before the deadlines.

The Organizing & Planning Committees of the annual meeting of ESJ