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Generating a Printable Program Book

Abstracts Book, Speaker Disclosures, Author Index

Kunal Johar avatar
Written by Kunal Johar
Updated over a week ago


An program for a conference is like a program in theater or church - it lists brief information about all presentations to be held. This is often combined with an online gallery which contributes the visual identity of the performance. Program books start being considered archaic in the online age, but the are still an industry standard, so
they might stay for a while.

Program Book Generation is a Consulting Service, typically a one time cost of 6 to 12 hours.  After we have developed your custom program book output, it can be re-used year over year.

Below we are looking at the structure of a program book entry under the magnifying glass.

Abstracts Book / Listing

This is actually what an abstracts book is designed for - to provide visitors with the list of all speeches to be given at the conference and some additional information. Let’s look at the composition of each entry in the abstracts listing in more detail.

1. Abstracts ID number - this is a unique identifier used to simplify navigation and facilitate search of specific entries. The ID can have different origin, e.g. a letter may be assigned to a certain section of the conference and the number will indicate the order in which the current presentation will be given within a section: A01, B02, etc. Often the time is used to identify a particular speech, however, this might not work well if multiple sections are run parallel and the times can be duplicate.

2. Session Title is simply the name under which the presentation is known.

3. Authors and affiliations - this part lists all authors who contributed to the presentation in the order of importance (first goes the main contributor) along with references to their respective affiliations listed below.

4. List of affiliations - this part lists all affiliation of all authors named in the previous section, and there are a few important peculiarities about it:

  • Affiliations are listed in the order of importance for each author

  • Affiliations for the first author are listed first, etc.

  • If Author 1 and Author 2 have several overlapping affiliations, these should not be duplicated

Let’s look at the example: say, we have two authors Author 1 and Author 2. The affiliations of Author 1 in the order of importance are Affiliation 1, Affiliation 2, Affiliation 3. So, we will have 1,2,3 specified next to the Author 1 name in the Authors and affiliations section. If Affiliation 3 is first for Author 2 and Affiliation 2 is second, then we indicate 3,2 next to Author 2 name in Authors and affiliations section.

Note: this is where OpenWater abstract book generator can really make a difference - the algorithm will automatically analyze all affiliations related to the authors of a particular presentation, place them in correct order and remove all unnecessary duplicates.

5. Abstracts content - this part contains the abstract itself (usually 100-200 words) letting the visitors to familiarize themselves with the content to be presented.

Disclosures Form

The disclosure form is a list of disclosures that presenters want to notify about to avoid accusations of conflict of interest, if any. The structure of each entry is pretty straightforward:

1. Author name - the name of the author reporting a disclosure.

2. Paper ID(s) - identifier(s) of paper(s) the disclosure relates to.

3. Type of disclosure - indicates if they are an employee of a particular company, or simply get money from a particular organization.

4. Company affiliation - the name of the company the author is affiliated with.

Author / Speaker index

This is an alphabetic list of all speakers with all papers they contributed to (were listed as an author of). This is particularly useful if a visitor is listening to a speaker and really enjoys their presentation (or not). Then they can easily find out what other presentations this speaker participates in to be able to attend them (or avoid).

The structure of speaker index is as easy as 1-2-3:

  • Author name

  • Presentations IDs the author is listed in

What is needed to have a program book created?

If you want to order program book generation from OpenWater, there are a couple of prerequisites you should be aware of:

  • Ensure you have the right fields in your form: TItle, Topic, Author Name / Author Organization / Author Disclosure so that we could automatically pick it.

  • Send to OpenWater Support the PDF of your existing book (e.g. from the previous year) for us to see the structure and the indices you use.

  • Note: we provide the components to make your program book editor's life much easier, but we do not supply the final formatted book. So, you will get the three parts: Abstracts listing, Disclosure form and Speaker index that you then need to forward to your abstracts book designer to paste them in the layout and formatting of your liking.

The process of creating the program book for you, including all revisions and corrections, is usually up to a week.  This is a premium service.

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