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I hope this isn’t a trend

Jul 11, 2011

On April 21, I received an announcement and call for papers from the organizers of ICRM 2011. The announcement noted that the scientific committee would start to select the abstracts for oral and poster presentations starting May 1. On April 28 I submitted an abstract for an oral presentation and received an automated reply noting that a decision would be made by July 1.

On May 9 I received a note from the conference chair, which stated, “Only abstracts of those who have registered by May 20th and paid their fee within 30 days of registration (and at least before June 20th) will be considered by the scientific committee for acceptance.” When I asked the organizers what would happen if I registered for the conference, and then decided to withdraw if my paper was not accepted, the reply included the cancellation policy, which states: “Registrations cancelled after July 1st 2011 or for no-shows at the conference will remain payable at full charges.”

So, at ICRM, in order to have your paper considered, you must pay the conference registration in full. And if they decide not to accept it, and you decide not to attend, you won’t get a refund.

It seems to the me that the decision to accept a paper should be based on scientific merit, not financial considerations. At ICRM, the scientific committee is actually more of an economic committee. I sincerely hope this isn’t the start of a trend among scientific conferences.