NEWS:
+++ REFSQ 2013 is over and has been a great success! See you all at REFSQ 2014 +++

Event Format

REFSQ is a highly interactive event. Sessions are organised so as to provoke discussion among the presenters of papers, discussants and all the other participants. Typically, after a paper is presented, it is immediately discussed by a pre-assigned discussant, then subject to a free discussion involving all participants. At the end of each session (or after a group of sessions), a discussion takes place about all the papers that were presented in this session (or group of sessions). This discussion is triggered and concluded by one or two discussion facilitators (depending on the number of paper sessions being discussed).

Which roles are there?

Three particular roles can be distinguished in this organisation:

Session Chair (SC) – introduces the presenters of the papers in a session. The SC takes care of the time, organises the discussion of a paper after its presentation, and gives the word to speakers in the audience during discussions. He also moderates session and plenary discussions.

Presenter (PR) – presents a paper. A PR is also often a discussant (see below).

Discussant (DC) – prepares the discussion of a paper. Each paper is assigned one DC. DCs are typically presenters of other papers in the same session, but can also be presenters of papers in another session. The DC gives a critical review of the paper directly after its presentation by presenting a slide that provides answers to a predefined set of questions (See under How do I know which role I have and what I have to do?).

The assignments of discussants will be made available to paper authors well before the conference.

How do I know which role I have and what I have to do?

PR – Your paper has been accepted and you will be the author who presents the paper. It is highly recommended that you attend all three days of the event and take an active part in the discussion of the other papers. Prepare your presentation and bear in mind the available time: full papers (full research papers and experience reports) are restricted to 20 min, and short papers (i.e., position papers, problem statements and research previews) are restricted to 10 min.

DCPlease have a look at the programme to check which paper you should discuss. Read the paper you are assigned to. Prepare a one-slide summary answering the following questions, depending on the type of paper you discuss.

  • For a research paper:
    • Technical solution:
      • What can we do now that we could not do before?
      • How sound is the solution?
    • Empirical paper
      • What do we now know that we did not know before?
      • How sound is the research method?
    • What is the next step to take?
      • Think of the quality attributes of a technical solution or of the external validity of empirical results.
    • Whose goals are served or helped by this?
    • Pick one of the following intentionally controversial questions to answer in your discussion:
      • What is the most questionable issue of the paper?
      • Why wouldn’t I use the same approach?
  • For an experience report:
    • What are the lessons learnt?
    • What is the context of the experience?
    • What are the next or new topics to research based on the reported experiences?
    • What new solutions are called for based on the reported experiences?
    • Pick one of the following intentionally controversial questions to answer in your discussion:
      • What is the most questionable issue of the paper?
      • Why is the experience not very representative?
  • For a vision paper:
    • So what? In what sense does this vision make a difference to what researchers and practitioners should do?
    • Is it controversial?
    • What new avenues of research does this vision imply?
    • Who would disagree with this vision?
    • Who would share this vision?
    • Pick one of the following intentionally controversial questions to answer in your discussion:
      • What is the most questionable issue of the paper?
      • Why this vision is not so visionary?
  • For a problem statement:
    • What is next for the research?
    • In what context can this problem be investigated?
    • For whom is this problem important?
    • Pick one of the following intentionally controversial questions to answer in your discussion:
      • What is the most questionable issue of the paper?
      • Why is the addressed problem not so important?
  • For a research preview:
    • same questions as for a research paper, but about the planned research

SC– You have received an invitation to be a SC. You have nothing to prepare before the event (except maybe contact the authors to get more information about them and have a look at the papers). Open your session and introduce the PRs. Keep the time and give the PR signs when the end of the time slot is approaching: full papers (full research papers and experience reports) are restricted to 20 min, and short papers (i.e., position papers, problem statements and research previews) are restricted to 10 min presentation. Invite DCs and organise the individual paper discussion, i.e., ensure that the discussion is structured. Close the paper discussion and hand over to the next PR. After the last paper discussion, moderate the session discussion, and close the session when the time is over.  Finally, you will write a brief session summary, comprising 2-3 sentence summaries of each paper and particular issues that were brought up by the discussant or audience. The session summary will also mention the main topics that were brought up during the session discussion.
Chairs of parallel sessions are sometimes responsible for summarising their session in a plenary session. You may also be asked to moderate such a plenary session.
You will find schedule information in the final programme.

 

How does it all fit together?

A typical session consists of at least 2 presentations. The flow of events is as follows:

Opening

  • The SC opens the session.

Paper presentation and discussion

For each paper:

  • The PR presents her paper (10 min for a short paper, 20 min for a full paper).
  • Individual paper discussion (10 min for a short paper, 20 min for a full paper):
    • The DC presents her one-slide summary of this paper. (typically 1.5 to 2 min)
    • All participants ask questions and discuss the paper in the remaining time.
  • The SC closes the paper discussion and hands over to the next PR.

After the last paper in the session, a general discussion takes place about all the papers in the session. The SC moderates it.