RA-L Information for Conference Organizers
RA-L: Robotics and Automation Letters
CONF: Conference with RA-L Option (e.g. ICRA, IROS, CASE)
SPC: CONF Senior Program Committee
RAL Submission: MS submitted to RA-L with CONF Option
RAL Contributed Paper: MS accepted in CONF but rejected in RA-L
CONF-Only: MS submitted to CONF only (not to RA-L)
RALXplore: official IEEE Xplore publication of RA Letters (with DOI)
CONFXplore: official IEEE Xplore publication of CONF papers (with DOI)
CONFHandout: unofficial collection of papers presented at CONF (without DOI)
Conference Organisers should contact the RA-L Editor-in-Chief regarding the presentation of accepted RA-L papers at conferences
The information below was applied for the RA-L Conference Option until IROS 2022 and thus it is outdated.
For the RA-L CONF Option mechanism to work, it is important that the Conference organization and the RA-L editorial process, in particular review and notification deadlines, are well tuned and synchronized.
Notice that the RA-L Option has been implemented so far only with one Manuscript Management Service, i.e. PaperPlaza. Hence, instructions below refer to PaperPlaza settings and nomenclature.
Key points to be known by Conference organizers are listed here:
- Acceptance of papers for presentation at CONF is decided by the SPC, typically in a meeting in person. This decision must be made at least 90 days after the RA-L CONF Option submission deadline: at that time, first-stage reviews and recommendations from RA-L Editorial Board will all be available in the CONF database.
- A “RAL Submission” to CONF that is accepted by RA-L will be published as RALXplore within 180 days from the submission deadline. Such papers will not appear in CONFXplore.
- A “RAL Submission” to CONF paper that is rejected in RA-L, but accepted in CONF becomes a “RAL Contributed Paper”. Such papers will appear in CONFXplore, but not in RALXplore.
- All papers presented at CONF, irrespective of whether submitted, accepted or rejected in RA-L, will be featured in CONFHandout.
- Extra-page fees are due for all papers exceeding 6 pages that are published in Xplore. The extra page fees are collected by IEEE if the paper is published on RALXplore, while they should be paid to CONF if the paper appears in CONFXplore.
- Manuscripts are published according to different formats depending on the publication venue: RALXplore papers are in IEEE Journal format, while CONFXplore and CONFHandout papers are in IEEE Conference format. Templates are available to authors.
From these simple principles, a few operational instructions follow.
Scheduling CONF Operations
CONF operation scheduling must consider the constraints that are summarized in the table below. Conference organizers should make sure that their CONF schedule fits in the mask reported in the table. Any problem or clarification should be discussed with RA-L EiC ahead of time.
For the RA-L option system to work, it is necessary that the keywords of CONF are all included in RA-L keywords. Matching must be perfect (including spaces) for the computer algorithms we use to work.
Currently, the set of RA-L keywords includes all keywords used by ICRA, IROS, and CASE. Any changes to the existing set of keywords must be agreed upon by the Editorial Boards of RA-L and of all Conferences with an option.
Preparing for Final Versions
The final version(s) to be submitted by authors of RAL papers with CONF Option depend on the outcomes of the review processes involved, and can only be determined after both the CONF SPC and the final RA-L decisions. The latter typically happens 151 days after RA-L submission deadline.
Furthermore, because CONF registration implies paying possible extra page fees, no registration of RA-L papers should be possible until after the same date.
To manage final versions and registrations correctly, the following operation must be done in the CONF PaperPlaza database after final RA-L decision and before opening registrations:
- For all papers whose “Type” is “RAL Submission” and whose “External Status” is either “Rejected”, “Withdrawn”, “Discarded”, or “Unsuitable”, the “Type” is changed to “RAL Contributed paper”.
Conferences may use different registration management systems, which will need to interface with PaperPlaza to manage final submissions. If PaperPlaza is used for managing registrations, then the interface is built in. Otherwise, please follow these instructions.
There are other types of registrations supported by PaperPlaza: Voucher based, IEEE MCE, and API based. Direct arrangements with PaperPlaza must be made to arrange for the two latter cases.
The Voucher based registration system, the registration system would issue a voucher code for each paper that a registrant wishes to upload using the registration fee. When this code is validated in PaperPlaza, manuscript upload is enabled at the time of final submission. This requires some customization from registration vendor and should be programmed and tested well before final submission cycle of the CONF.
As an example, voucher codes codes can be defined as
CODE0= no extra page fee paid;
CODE1= 1 extra page fee paid;
CODE2= 2 extra page fee paid.
Correspondingly, PaperPlaza will allow to upload
CODE0: one "RAL Submission" paper of any length up to 8 pages
CODE1: one 7-page "RAL Contributed" paper
CODE2: one 8-page "RAL Contributed" paper
Note: for CONF-only papers, i.e. papers submitted directly to CONF, CODE0 allows uploading one 6-pages paper, CODE1 one 7-page paper, and CODE2 one 8-page paper.
Giving Instructions to Authors about Final Versions
Information is given to authors by means of individual messages and via the RAS RA-L Web page.
Messages to Authors
Authors of all submissions to CONF receive a letter of notification of acceptance or rejection shortly after the CONF SPC meeting. While all rejection letters are the same, acceptance letters can be different depending on whether the paper was submitted through RA-L or not.
For papers submitted through RA-L, the acceptance letter should inform authors that they will be required to submit the final version of their papers during a specific time window. The time window for final submission and registration is set by CONF organizers. It should not begin before all final RA-L decisions are available. A typical window for final submission and registration starts 160 days after RA-L submission deadline, and lasts for 10-15 days. The acceptance letters should also inform authors that further instructions regarding their paper will follow in due time.
An example of template for acceptance letters that can be sent to all types of submissions is reported below
IEEE CONF Acceptance Letter Template
To: %YOUR_TITLE% %YOUR_GIVEN_NAME% %YOUR_SURNAME%<br>
From: %MY_TITLE% %MY_GIVEN_NAME% %MY_SURNAME%<br>
Re: (%NUMBER%) %TITLE%
It is our pleasure to inform you that the contribution referenced above, for which you are listed as the corresponding author, has been accepted for presentation at the %CONF_NAME%, %CONF_DATES%, %CONF_LOCATION%.
We received xxx submissions, and it is commendable that your submission is among the XX.X% selected for presentation.
Electronic submission of the final version of your manuscript will open on mm-dd-yyyy and is due by mm-dd-yyyy through PaperPlaza. Please note that the final version for CONF 20XX must be formatted according to the conference template. Instructions for preparation of the final contributions, electronic submission, and registration are available at http://CONFwebsite/instructions-for-authors. This version of your paper will be included in the material distributed to the conference participants on a digital memory support. These instructions must be followed independently on whether the paper has been submitted also to RA-L.
Please also note that, as indicated in the commitment statement you provided when submitting your paper, the final version is expected to correspond in length and contents to your accepted submission, except for parts that might be added or modified to address the reviewers' comments. It is considered unethical to shorten or otherwise alter the final version in ways that make it significantly different than what was reviewed and accepted.
If your paper was submitted and has been accepted in RA-L, you should simply reformat the final Letter version of the paper in the conference format. If your paper was rejected for RA-L publication, please use all comments provided in the RA-L review process to improve your final conference version. If your paper is still under review for RA-L, please wait until you receive the final RA-L decision. This will happen before the final submission deadline for %CONF_NAME%. Then you will proceed as above.
Robotics and Automation Society and ICRA conference policy requires that at least one of the authors of your paper register and pay the conference registration fee prior to final paper upload. One regular registration can be used for upload of at most two papers and all associated attachments. If you are an author or co-author of a single contribution, your registration cannot be shared or used for uploading someone else's paper. One student registration can be used for upload of only one contribution.
Accepted papers longer than six pages are subject to an extra charge of $XXX per extra page, for up to two extra pages. This extra page fee must be paid only once, i.e., it will be waived for %CONF_NAME% if the paper accepted for publication in RA-L.
More information on submission of final manuscripts and on types of presentations at %CONF_NAME% will follow in due time, before the final version submission deadline.
We look forward to welcoming you in %CONF_LOCATION% for what promises to be a strong and exciting technical program and conference.
%CONF_NAME% Program Chair
Editor-in-Chief, %CONF_NAME% Conference Editorial Board
%CONF_NAME% General Chair
A letter with further instructions to authors of RAL/CONF papers should be sent once all final RA-L decisions have been made. This letter will clarify whether extra page charges must be paid for registration, depending on whether the paper has been accepted in RA-L or not.
Accordingly, two templates of the letter of instructions about final versions are to be sent to author of papers whose “Type” is “RAL Submission” or “RAL Contributed Paper”, respectively. Examples of the two templates are reported below:
IEEE CONF Instructions for Type “RAL Submission”
following the acceptance of your RA-Letter/CONF contribution for presentation at CONF 20XX, we would like to share with you some instructions to prepare the final version of your paper.
As already communicated, the final version of your manuscript is due by Mm Dd, Yyyy through PaperPlaza.
Please note that the final version for CONF 20XX must be formatted according to the conference template. Instructions for preparation of the final contributions, electronic submission, and registration are available here (link to be inserted). Because your paper has been accepted also in RA-L, this conference version of your paper will only be included in the material distributed to the conference participants on a digital memory support. Notice that the final Journal version has a different format than the Conference version, but their contents should be the same.
Any extra page fees, as applicable to your paper, will be charged by IEEE directly for publication in IEEE Xplore of the RA-L paper, and is waived by CONF 20XX conference. Please make your registration fee payments accordingly.
IEEE CONF Instructions for Type “RAL Contributed paper”
following the acceptance of your RA-Letter/CONF contribution for presentation at CONF 20XX, we would like to share with you some instructions to prepare the final version of your paper. As already communicated, the final version of your manuscript is due by Mm Dd, Yyyy through PaperPlaza.
Please note that the final version for CONF 20XX must be formatted according to the conference template. Instructions for preparation of the final contributions, electronic submission, and registration are available here (link to be inserted).
Please use all comments provided in the review process to improve your final Conference version, and submit it by the deadline in conference format. This version will be included in the digital memory support and in IEEE Xplore CONF 20XX Publication.
Accepted papers longer than six pages are subject to an extra charge of $XXX per page, for up to two extra pages. Please make your registration fee payments accordingly.
Website Instructions for Final SubmissionsTwo types of accepted papers will be presented at CONF 20XX. If not otherwise indicated, the following instructions hold for both: (i) accepted papers that were submitted to CONF only and (ii) RA-L submissions with CONF option, which have been accepted for presentation at CONF 20XX.
Authors must submit their final version of camera-ready papers electronically in PDF format through the PaperPlaza system no later than 23:59:59 PST on REGISTRATION_DEADLINE (no extensions allowed). Before submitting the final version, authors are expected to revise their paper considering the feedback from the reviewers. Please follow the indications given in your acceptance letter.
All final submissions will be included in the material distributed to the conference participants. However, the CONF 20XX Publication in IEEE Xplore will contain only papers accepted for CONF 20XX but not accepted for publication in RA-L. Therefore, all papers presented at the conference will appear once and only once in IEEE Xplore, either in RA-L or in the CONF 20XX Proceedings.
For papers to appear in the Xplore CONF Publication, six pages in the standard IEEE Conference Paper Format based on the LaTeX template or Microsoft Word template are allowed for each paper. A maximum of two additional pages are permitted at an extra charge of EXTRA_PAGE_FEE per page, payable at the time of submitting the camera-ready version of the paper. Papers submitted to RA-L with CONF option, which have been accepted for publication in RA-L, will be waived CONF extra page fees. Fees will instead be collected by IEEE after publication in RA-L.
At least one of the authors listed on the paper must be registered for the conference when the final manuscript is uploaded. A single regular conference registration can be used to upload two papers. A single student conference registration can be used to upload one paper. To link excess page fees with your paper number, please complete the final submission information for your paper before registering for the conference.
Step-By-Step Guidelines to Submit Your Final Paper
Step 1: Prepare your final paper using the available LaTeX or Microsoft Word templates and following these paper preparation instructions. Make sure to have the latest templates and do not change the formatting in any way. If your paper is accompanied by a video, an explicit reference to the accompanying video should be present in the text of the paper. For RA-L papers with CONF option: Please note that the final version for CONF 20XX must be reformatted according to the conference template.
Step 2: Check that the names of all authors and their order is identical in the PaperPlaza submission system, the paper, the summary slide, and the accompanying video (if applicable). Please write author names with only the first letter capitalized, that is, use Firstname Lastname in all instances, and do not use FIRSTNAME LASTNAME anywhere. . Please see that author names are updated in their PaperPlaza accounts before the final submission information is completed.
Step 3: Create a PDF version of your paper and perform the IEEE PDF compliance test. If your paper does not pass the test, you cannot continue and may read the PDF Test Help to revise the format of your paper until it passes the test.
Step 4: Please prepare one PowerPoint slide (and only one) that summarizes your paper. You must only use the PowerPoint template available here (link to be added) Please do not change the template and keep fonts and font sizes as prepared in the template.
Step 5: If your paper is accompanied by a short video (max. 10MB), please do not use special codecs (coders/decoders) to provide as much portability across platforms as possible. Using MPEG-1 or MPEG-4 video formats is strongly recommended. Accepted video contributions will be included in the conference proceedings and in IEEE Xplore. There, the video will appear as an enhanced object next to the PDF of the summarizing text (a sort of short paper).
If your paper features a video attachment, please prepare the following two plain text files:
Summary.txt file (max 1 KB). Describe in five sentences or less the contents or value of the video. This file helps IEEE Xplore users to make downloading decisions.
ReadMe.txt file (max 10 KB). This file must include the following sections:
Description: An overall description of the objects and what the audience can expect to gain by downloading them;
Player Information: Provide the minimum version of the player software that is required to play the submitted files. Include the name of the software, the version number, and any special requirements for the player;
Contact Information: The author should provide contact information in case users have questions regarding the extended material. IEEE will not provide any technical support.
Note that both above files should be in plain text format and have a .txt extension. They are needed by IEEE to include the video in IEEE Xplore.
Step 6: Update the final submission information (title, author list, number of pages, abstract, copyright) in PaperPlaza. To process the copyright transfer for each contribution, follow the Copyright Transfer link, and you will be taken to the IEEE copyright transfer site (IEEE eCP) in a new window. Follow the steps as described on IEEE eCP pages and make sure that the paper title and author list are correct before you perform the copyright transfer. Once the copyright has been transferred, you cannot update it via PaperPlaza, instead you must contact IEEE directly at email@example.com
Step 7: Register for the conference, indicating the paper number and any extra pages, through the author registration site. For RA-L papers with CONF option: Please note that the extra page fee must be paid only once, i.e. it is waived for the CONF 20XX conference if the paper is accepted for Publication in RA-L.
Step 8: Upload the following files in PaperPlaza:
A PDF file of your paper (max 6 MB) that has passed the IEEE Xplore compliance test,
A single summary PowerPoint slide (max 1 MB) based on this template (link to be added) and
If applicable, a video (max 10 MB) plus a Summary.txt and ReadMe.txt file accompanying your paper (cf. Step 5).
Special Cases and ExceptionsIn case the CONF schedule is particularly tight, final version submissions may have to be opened before the final RA-L decision. In this case authors may have to register to CONF without knowing the final RA-L disposition.
This case is unfortunate as it generates considerable overhead and some inconveniences. Possible ways of handling the situation are:
- CONF exempts from extra page fees all papers which are being evaluated for RAL publication at the time of CONF registration;
- CONF charges extra page fees for all papers presented in CONF, irrespective of whether the paper will be eventually accepted in RAL (authors may have to pay fees twice);
- CONF charges extra page fees for all papers presented in CONF, irrespective of whether the paper will be eventually accepted in RA-L, and reimburses those authors whose papers are eventually accepted in RAL.
In any case, when the CONF material is prepared to be sent to IEEE Xplore, it is of outmost importance that all accepted RAL submissions are excluded (to avoid double publication of the same paper).
Below is an example of instructions to be sent to authors in case the message must be sent before a final RAL decision is available:
IEEE CONF Instructions Before Knowing Final RAL Decision
following the acceptance of your RA-Letter/CONF contribution for presentation at CONF 20XX, we would like to share with you some instructions to prepare the final version of your paper. As already communicated, the final version of your manuscript is due by mm-dd-yyy through PaperPlaza. Please note that the final version for CONF 20XX must be formatted according to the conference template. Instructions for preparation of the final contributions, electronic submission, and registration are available here (link to be inserted). These instructions must be followed independently on whether the paper is accepted or rejected for RA-L.
If your paper has also been accepted in RA-L, this conference version of your paper will only be included in the material distributed to the conference participants on a digital memory support. Notice that the final Journal version has a different format than the Conference version, but their contents should be the same.
If your paper was not accepted for RA-L, please use all comments provided in the RA-L review process to improve your final Conference version, and submit it by the deadline in conference format. This version will be included in the digital memory support AND in the IEEE Xplore Publication of CONF 20XX. In all cases, your paper will appear only once in IEEE Xplore, either in RA-Letters or in the CONF 2016 Proceedings.
Accepted papers longer than six pages are subject to an extra charge of $XXX per page, for up to two extra pages. This extra page fee has to be paid only once, i.e., it is waived by the CONF 20XX conference if it is charged for publication in RA-L. Please make your registration fee payments accordingly.
Should your paper be still under review for RA-L at the time of the final CONF submission deadline, please proceed to submit the final Conference version by the deadline. The extra page fee (if applicable) will not be charged until the final RA-L decision is communicated.
Preparing the Xplore Distribution and the RA-L Index File
The material to be sent to IEEE Xplore for CONF Publication is typically prepared with the help of PaperPlaza. The distribution contains all papers presented at CONF, including papers whose “Type” is “RAL Contributed Paper”, but excluding those whose “Type” is “RAL Submission”.
The distribution also includes Front Matter material prepared by CONF Organizers, and an index file listing all papers presented at CONF and published in RA-L.
The purpose of the Index is that a person attending the Conference who wants to follow up on a presentation he listened to, goes to Xplore and easily find it although it is not in the Proceedings but in RA-L.
The index file, named "Index of papers presented at CONF 20XX and published in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters", has embedded URL links, so that readers can access the papers directly by clicking the D.O.I.
The landing page of CONFXplore must have the following Note
"Note: Selected papers presented at this conference have been published in the IEEE Robotics & Automation Letters (RA-L) and are available in IEEE Xplore. View the index (link to be added) of RA-L papers presented at the International Conference on Xxx (CONF) this year."
For example, please see ICRA'16 landing page here
The Index file is prepared by RA-L EiC Office. However, CONF Organizers have the responsibility to see that the Note and the file are correctly loaded in IEEE Xplore and that all links are functional. Once the index PDF is ready to be sent to IDAMS (IEEE Digital Asset Management System), an email should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with a cc: Casey Schwartz <email@example.com> and Linda Custor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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