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Convener guidelines

Last minute duties (please read carefully at least two weeks before the conference starts).

General information

In order especially to help new conveners, please find below a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Conveners and co-conveners are permanently assisted by the staff of Copernicus Meetings. We will inform you about any deadlines and milestones with regard to the organization of your session. You will be asked to use different tools of our Copernicus Office Meeting Organizer online system. For this purpose, you have already received a user account (ID and password) during the set up of the session programme. All links and related instructions will be given by email.

Please note that the programme lists the names of conveners and co-conveners for each session as well as their affiliation(s). Here, personal details such as telephone number and email are only displayed if permitted by the user. To do this, please log in to your personal data and mark the respective public directory entries. The Programme Committee strongly recommends displaying at least your email information.

The EGU General Assembly facilitates the presentation of scientific results in the form of poster presentations, oral presentations, and PICOs. From the perspective of the EGU, all scientific presentations at its General Assembly have equal status; there is no distinction regarding the standing of oral, poster, or PICO presentations.

Your convener duties include the following

  • Define your session by title, description, and organizers;
  • Advertise your session to your scientific community;
  • Rate financial support applications as an input for the support selection committee;
  • Organize your session in terms of contributions and schedule requests;
  • Select the presentation types of the different abstracts;
  • Define chairpersons for the actual run of your session at the conference;
  • Define judges for the Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) contest.

The following tools will assist you in the fulfilment of your duties.

Session modification

The session modification enables you to define or to modify the title as well as the description of your session, and enables the main convener to modify the order of co-conveners. Session details can be modified until the programme will be published on 20 February 2018. Thereafter, you can add public information which are visible in the programme. Furthermore, this tool provides you with up-to-date information and statistics about the contributions of your session during the whole period of the session and programme organization. This web interface is also the starting point for the tools mentioned below.

Please access the session programme and browse your session. You are kindly asked to log in by using the convener login link.

Abstract submission and first-author oral preference rule

During abstract submission you will see the abstracts submitted to your session when using the convener login at your session (session overview). For PICO sessions, the presentation request upon submission is fixed to PICO. For non-PICO sessions, authors are asked to select an oral or poster preference. Regarding oral preference, authors are allowed as first author to submit either one regular abstract plus one abstract solicited by a convener, or two solicited abstracts. Each further abstract has to be submitted with a poster preference. Since the system limits oral-preference submissions to one, authors will need to provide a transaction number (TAN) when submitting their additional solicited abstract. This TAN has to be provided by you. You will find a section about the first-author limitation in your session overview. Here, you can generate TANs, send emails to solicited authors naming these TANs, and you can keep track of TANs being already sent as well as the ones being already used. We suggest to send such TANs as early as possible to your solicited authors to avoid last-minute problems.

Support application assignment & rating

During the initial period of the abstract submission, authors are able to submit their contributions together with a support application. You are then kindly asked to rate those applications in order to provide the support selection committee with your preferences for whom should be granted financial support. Furthermore, you can upload additional contributions. Please note that applications without a convener rating and/or without payment cannot be considered.

Please rate the applications (a) by the quality of science, as well as (b) by the quality of the abstract. In order to emphasize your decision, you can add a comment to each rated application. The resulting rating score will be shown to your programme group chair in the following tool. You can also mark one abstract of your session as being essential. This will be shown in all following ranking and decision forms in addition to the rating value. Conveners are not allowed to rate or even comment on support applications in which they are involved as a co-author. These applications must be handled either by another session convener or even directly by the programme group chair.

Your programme group chair will then provide a ranking of all ratings within his/her programme group to the support selection committee.

The support selection committee will consider this ranking together with your rating and other priority factors (e.g. applicants rated by more than one convener and the fact that certain applicants may obtain national grants if offered a waiver and/or a small support). The above restrictions/priorities will mean that few, perhaps even no, applicants from certain sessions will receive a support. Furthermore, supported participants in some sessions may not be those most highly rated on scientific grounds by any given convener, particularly if the applicant was rendered as high priority by another convener.

All applicants will be informed about the final decision of the selection committee. Independent of a positive or negative decision, authors are requested to confirm their participation in the meeting by the given deadline. Abstracts without a participation confirmation will be withdrawn automatically.

SOI – abstract implementation

During the abstract implementation, you are asked to review abstracts originally submitted to your session, those which are suggested to be transferred to your session, as well as abstracts without an assignment. In addition, you may upload late contributions which were directly sent to you. Please note the guidelines for abstract submission. The outcome of this tool is the final list of active contributions to be scheduled in your session. Please note that late contributions uploaded by you require an approval by the programme group chair in the subsequent Programme Committee tools.

You also have the opportunity to select 3–5% abstracts in your session of greatest relevance to a broad audience. The Paper of Media Interest check box allows you to select abstracts to be highlighted to journalists and to be considered for press conferences or posts on EGU's social media and blogging channels.

Please note that abstracts submitted to EGU2018 have an abstract processing charge (APC) of €40. Late contributions uploaded by you have an increased APC of €80 and also need to be paid, either by the author’s credit card (they can give you the details), or by you as a convener, who may choose to pay the APC on behalf of the author yourself, using your own credit card. Regarding the latter, conveners cannot be reimbursed by the EGU. Please note that such late abstracts have a strict deadline which is the end date of your tool SOI. Abstract sent by authors at a later stage cannot be accepted anymore.

SOII – session tagging

During the session tagging, you are asked to provide the Programme Committee with your scheduling requests. These may include inter-session relations, requests for a specific lecture room size, or any other information that you consider to be useful. You are also asked to define keywords from the EGU2018 list (download csv). These help to identify sessions with a similar scope that should then not be scheduled in parallel. Sessions very similar to each other might also be merged by the Programme Committee.

The Programme Committee will then schedule your session in terms of day, room and time. Missing information from the SOI or SOII tools will be filled in by the Programme Committee and the authors will receive a letter of acceptance/rejection by email.

SOIII – presentation selection

Following the time as given by the scheduling of the Programme Committee, you are then asked to do the following.

  • Subdivide the abstracts into oral and poster presentations. For PICO sessions, the abstracts are already marked as PICO;
  • Define the ordering of the talks and posters or PICO presentations;
  • Assign solicited abstracts.
  • Define the length of each talk. Oral and solicited oral presentations are 15 minutes including three minutes for questions. Division medal lectures that are part of a session are 60 minutes. Arne Richter Award lectures are 30 minutes. You should aim for no more than one solicited oral presentation per oral block.
  • For each oral block, as a guideline, include at least two early career scientist abstracts marked with "ecs";
  • Regarding PICO sessions, the system allows you to select a 10-minute introduction for one abstract. The rest of the PICO abstracts will automatically be selected as a 2-minute madness presentation;
  • Define at least two chairpersons for every oral, poster, or PICO time block.

Authors (first and co-authors) should not have a solicited oral presentation in the session(s) they (co-)convene. (Co)-conveners are discouraged from being oral presenters in the session(s) they convene.

Your selections will generate a draft session programme with a subdivision of the different times for the presentations. In this draft programme, you are asked to define a chairperson for each time block of your session.

Missing information from SOIII will be filled in by the Programme Committee, and the final meeting programme for all sessions will be uploaded. Then, all authors will receive their letter of schedule by email, mentioning the actual time and location of their presentation.

Information on solicited abstracts

Solicited submissions are those abstracts that you would like to particularly highlight in your session. Please note the following.

  • You should indicate the names of solicited people in the description of your session (solicited people: Eugene G. Underwood,; Janice E. Smith, This can be done by using the tool session modification (access through the link convener login in the session programme).
  • You can assign the status of "solicited" to oral, poster, or PICO abstracts when you compile your final programme (see SOIII). A solicited oral presentation is 15 minutes.
  • You should aim for no more than one solicited oral presentation per oral block. The ultimate number of abstracts that conveners receive will determine the number of oral blocks they receive by their programme group chair. Thus, it is sometimes difficult to tell how many abstract submissions to solicit. Use your best judgement, but be aware that if you invite too many solicited abstracts, you might not be able to put them all into your oral blocks. Programme group chairs will make a decision on whether an exception can be made to have more than one solicited oral presentation per time block, with the Programme Committee chair mediating in any exceptional cases.
  • First-author rule: Please be aware of the first-author rule for oral preference submissions.
  • Authors of solicited abstracts do not receive discounted abstract processing charges, registration fees, or travel reimbursement.

Daily programme

If you have any modifications in your session programme after uploading the final meeting programme, please forward this information directly to

. These changes will be included in the daily programme of each lecture room to be displayed on-site.

Last minute duties

  1. Session modification: Log in using the link "Convener login" at your session in the session programmme. Here, you can edit your chairpersons, add public information to your session to be shown to the people reading the online programme, and find the mailing list of your corresponding authors for last information you would like to provide.
  2. Contact your authors and chairpersons by email. Please make sure that they are all attending. Let them know of any planned events associated with your session.
  3. Withdrawn abstracts: Take a look at your programme online to see if you have any abstracts marked as withdrawn. Please fill the gaps in the oral programme with discussions or with an oral summary of posters of your session.
  4. Active poster sessions: You can create a poster walk-through, where everyone has 1–2 minutes to present their poster. Ensure that you have two active chairpersons for every poster session.
  5. Define judges for the Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) contest. Judges can access their judge forms online through the OSPP judge dashboard as well as by using the EGU2018 mobile app.
  6. Publishing proceedings: Please consider a publication of your session’s proceedings in EGU's open-access journal Advances in Geosciences or as special issue in one of the thematic journals.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Q: Can session proposals be submitted after the submission deadline?

A: The deadline must be met. In the past we had some flexibility in this respect, but with the overall EGU programme becoming increasingly larger, this has become very difficult.

Q: What do we have to do regarding requests to co-organize sessions during the skeleton programme preparation?

A: Nothing. The programme group chair is responsible for these tasks.

Q: Can a session be co-sponsored by colleague science organisations?

A: The EGU encourages session endorsement by other colleague organizations as a means of strengthening ties and encouraging collaboration. Endorsement is expected to be reciprocal, involving endorsement of sessions at meetings of both partners. Session endorsement is intended for colleague scientific organizations and does not imply funding. An endorsing organization should furthermore not influence the work of the conveners or the content of the session. PG chairs decide on the endorsement of a session within their respective programme group, and suggestions for endorsement should therefore be directed to the corresponding PG chair.

Q: Can convener listings be changed after the session has been accepted in the session programme?

A: Yes, conveners can do changes in the co-convener listings (including/deleting co-conveners, changing the order of co-conveners) until the programme will be published. This can be done with the "Session Modification" tool, which conveners can access via the Convener Login link. Once the programme is published, it is no longer possible to do changes in the co-convener listing.

Q: A TAN entitles to submitting an extra oral-preference abstract. What happens to the status of oral-preference abstracts if the original session that issued the TAN does not attract enough abstracts to assign solicited orals to a participant?

A: We encourage conveners to think of the potential size of their session when giving out TANs. If you have a niche session do please not use all TANs. The status of abstracts submitted with oral preference by using a TAN is not effected by what happens to the session that issued the TAN. So both abstracts keep status of oral preference. But keep in mind that this does not guarantee an oral. The actual selection of oral presentations and also solicited oral presentations takes place only during SOIII – presentation selection.

Q: Can abstracts still be submitted, even after submission deadline?

A: Authors should be encouraged to submit their abstract by the official submission deadline. However, conveners can still upload late abstracts with the SOI – abstract implementation tool. These abstracts need a final acceptance by the programme committee. It is not possible to upload late abstracts after the SOI deadline. The arising abstract processing charges (APC) of such a late abstract can either be paid directly by the convener (by credit card) or the convener may request the author to pay the APC. In the latter case, a PDF invoice is sent to the author by email.

Q: How many oral presentations do I need to get a time block?

A: Please ask your programme group chair.

Q: How can sessions be merged?

A: This is only possible in the SOI – abstract implementation tool.  After informing the authors and giving them some time to request a transfer to a different session, please follow this procedure.

  1. Discuss between all conveners which session is going to be used as the basis for the new session.
  2. Update the title, abstract and list of conveners of the base session.
  3. Mark all abstracts in the other session for movement into the new session.
  4. Accept all those abstracts in the new session. The result is that the base session for the merge now contains the abstracts of both sessions, while the other session contains no abstracts and can be withdrawn, i.e. removed, in the next stage.

Q: When two sessions are merged, does this mean that one session has to drop its title and description?

A: It is recommended that the convener list, session title and description be adapted (in the session modification tool) in the case of a session merge. This is to guarantee the best representation of the ideas, topics and targeted communities.

Q: What does session tagging mean?

A: Session tagging means that the conveners check the provisional programme and look at the other sessions. They can request no-overlaps, back-to-back scheduling, and preferred days. Conveners also have to estimate the number of people in the audience.

Q: How do we schedule sessions?

A: This is the task of the respective programme group chair(s).

Q: What are the main time blocks of the General Assembly?

Time block Presentations
TB1 08:30–10:00
TB2 10:30–12:00
TB3 13:30–15:00
TB4 15:30–17:00
TB5 17:30–19:00

Q: Do conveners get a discount on APCs and/or registration fees?

A: No, conveners do not get any discount, neither on the APCs nor on the registration fee. But you are invited to our convener party!