News Item 35 (October 23, 1999)

Almost 300 Presentations During ICML

190 papers and posters have been selected for the contributed paper sessions, following the recent meeting of ICML’s international programme committee. Including the plenary speakers, the invited speakers and the programmes of the ten participating organisations, the congress will offer almost 300 presentations – with up to ten parallel sessions during the contributed papers programme.

ICML programme chair Arne Jakobsson was delighted that over 360 abstracts were submitted in response to the Call For Papers. It was even better news for the congress programme that the quality of the abstracts was extremely high, and that the global nature of ICML was reflected in the fact that they came from 55 different countries. Currently 134 papers and 56 posters have been accepted, and at least 45 countries will be represented on the plenary and contributed paper sessions.

In addition to the core programme, there will be sessions with a regional or special-subject focus organised by participating organisations, and these will include tracks on animal health, nursing information, pharmaceutical libraries and informatics. In addition to Japanese-language sessions, the programme committee is hoping to set up contributed paper sessions in German, French and Spanish.

The authors of the selected presentations are being asked to confirm that they will attend to present their contributions and to submit an updated abstract by December 1st.

How the papers were chosen:

The final selection meeting took place over two hot August days in London and was attended by eight members of the committee from Hungary, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, and the UK.

Before this meeting each abstract had been circulated electronically to all programme committee members for peer review. Seventeen people reviewed each abstract, giving a ranking on a scale of 1-5 plus comments on individual submissions if there was a particular point to make. Each abstract was considered individually and the cumulated rankings and comments (a stack of paper 15cm thick) provided the basis on which the final judgements were made. This methodology was set up in order to ensure both that the decisions would be broad-based and impartial, and that they would be informed by a range of views reflecting the world-wide professional community.