XMLPaper: XML-based Conference Paper Workflow

Cristian Talau

Software Engineer
Syncro Soft SRL


Popular conference management systems are monolithic solutions that are used across many fields and by very diverse audiences. As a result, these systems have rigid technology choices for paper format: PDF, TeX or Word which have limitations compared to a structured format such as XML. In addition, they do not cover all the steps in the paper submission lifecycle such as: collaboration between authors.

We propose a new solution for conference paper submission management that tries to improve the user experience in several areas: authors tooling setup, collaboration between authors, multi-step review processes, multi-format proceedings publishing. This paper will present a typical conference paper submission workflow and identify its steps, the stakeholders and the tools and technologies used. We will then present how our solution improves user experience of each of the stakeholders.

In this solution, the documents are authored in the an XML format, that supports publishing both as PDF and web portal. The output format is customizable and clearly communicated to authors so that they can preview how the paper will be published. Authors have a very intuitive user interface to draft the paper and to collaborate in cases where a paper has multiple authors. Reviewers can choose to review either the published PDF or directly on the source. In case of multi-round reviews, they can see the changes made between different revisions, thus being able to focus on the last updates.

From a technical point of view, the solution is composed from off-the-shelf Web services with a thin layer of orchestration. It may to be used together with a regular Conference Management System, replacing parts of its functionality.

To conclude the paper, we analyze how this solution is similar with other workflows related to content creation in a company, such as creating release notes or datasheets for a product.

Table of Contents

Conference paper submission workflow
Content creation
Peer review
XMLPaper architecture
The source format
Self-service project template
Steady-state workflow
Initial setup
User experience analysis
Similarities with other content creation workflows