eResearch Australasia is currently an annual conference, and the organisers welcome your suggestions and ideas for improving the event to make it more valuable and enjoyable for all attendees. You can forward these to us at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In particular we welcome any nominations for potential keynote speakers.
We also encourage you to express your views at the scheduled Feedback Session at the conference, as well as the Survey sent to all delegates after the conference.
Not surprisingly a number of questions and suggestions recur from year to year, and frequently reflect the challenge of balancing a wide range of factors regarding attendees and their interests, costs and logistics. Some of the more Frequently Asked Questions are listed below.
eResearch Australasia would not be possible without a large number of dedicated volunteers, who represent the broader eResearch Community through their efforts, expertise and views. If you would like to contribute to this team, now or in future, we would love to hear from you. Specific roles are:
- Review Panel – each member referees a moderate number of paper submissions. Reviewers are often also invited to act as Session Chairs.
- Program Committee – collectively develop the call for participation and the conference program including scheduling of all sessions.
- Organising Committee – oversight of conference including budget, logistics, keynotes and sponsors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
|Why is the conference always held in the same two venues?||There are a limited number of local venues that can meet the requirements of a conference of this scale. These requirements include a large auditorium, multiple presentation and meeting rooms, exhibition space and network connectivity. Such venues generally need to be booked more than 12 months in advance. Other factors in venue choice include cost, accessibility, facilities (accommodation, dining etc) and value to potential sponsors.
The Organising Committee is continually monitoring potential venues that meet these criteria, and welcomes further suggestions and information on venue options.
|How are the keynote speakers chosen?||Speakers are selected and contacted by the conference Organising Committee, drawing on input suggestions from the Program Committee and other colleagues. The aim is to choose speakers with maximum appeal to attendees, based on their ability to engage with this audience, and inspire through compelling presentation of their visions and achievements.
A key element of this goal is to have a diverse set of speakers that reflect a range of demographics (e.g. age, gender, cultural background), topics, regions, sectors, roles and perspectives.
Identifying suitable speakers that meet these criteria and are able to present at the conference is a recurring challenge.
Suggestions of potential keynote speakers are encouraged and may be forwarded via any of the available channels – conference email above, conference survey, twitter, committee members etc.
|I keep having instances where I need to choose between two clashing events. Can’t the topics I’m interested in be grouped together better?||As with any conference of this scale, all aspects of the program, including number, duration and timing of the different types of presentations, need to be carefully chosen to address the needs, interests and priorities of the likely audience.
It is the role of the Program Committee to act as a representative subset of this audience, in developing a program that maximises the number and range of quality presentations, in a schedule of sessions such that similar subjects occur serially rather than in parallel.
Such a program can never be perfect, especially in an area like eResearch where subjects are often interconnected or overlapping. Rather the aim is for the program to be *optimal*. In an optimal program, any change that suits some delegates would have greater negative impacts (e.g. further clashes) for other delegates.
With respect to missed presentations, the intention of all events at the conference is to stimulate further engagement, which is of course why all presenters have published contact details.
|eResearch Australasia has supplanted the old APAC conferences. Why can’t it be more like them?||Advanced computing is a vital component of eResearch. Hence the conference has specific streams on Advanced Computing (including high performance computing, high performance data, cloud and high throughput computing) as well as Research Software Engineering and Processing, Analysing and Visualising Data. These areas are also strongly represented in the keynote presentations, workshops and organising committee, while the bulk of conference sponsorship is from computing vendors.
While all the ingredients are in place, ultimately it is the quantity and quality of contributed presentations that determine the balance and standard of the technical program.
|The eResearch Australasia conference is intended to focus on both Australia and New Zealand. Why aren’t there more attendees and presentations from New Zealand?||The organisers are keen to see an increased presence from New Zealand in particular, and also from other regions including Asia, Africa, Europe and America.
Travel costs and commitments will always be a challenge from these destinations (and indeed from Western Australia). Hence, the small number of accepted papers that are withdrawn tend to feature a significant proportion from outside Australia, including New Zealand. In addition, the 2017 conference was held the week before IEEE eScience in Auckland, which most likely would have increased the appeal of these events to long distance visitors, but also reduced the number of trans-Tasman travellers.
The conference remains the natural forum to discuss Australian national initiatives for eResearch infrastructure and services. Nonetheless, scheduling such sessions within parallel streams means that there should always be multiple alternatives for those overseas delegates with limited interest in specific national initiatives. The five selection criteria for reviewing submissions include “Interest and relevance to the eResearch community”, to target a balance of regional and global perspectives.
It would be desirable to see more New Zealand representatives on both the Organising Committee and the Program Committee. While these will continue to be solicited, volunteers or suggestions are also most welcome.
Ultimately it is the quantity (and quality) of submissions, registrants and exhibitors that will define the representation at the conference.
|Why isn’t there a greater focus on software tools and demonstrations?
Why are there so few people at the Solutions Showcases?
|In principle these questions should answer each other!
Solutions Showcases were specifically introduced several years ago as a result of attendee feedback on this need, and to utilise “free” time and space during the breaks, rather than compete further with existing parallel sessions.