International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy

June 21-25, 2021 - Online Everywhere

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2021 Virtual ISMS FAQ

1) Why can't I give my talk live, just like in a regular conference?

In the 2021 ISMS, only the plenary talks will be live. Due to the broad range of time zones spanned by our participants, there is only a 3-hour block of time that is even somewhat convenient for the vast majority of our community. We would need ~20 parallel sessions each hour to accommodate all of the talks if we just tried to squeeze our normal format into this time constraint.

2) Can you give an example of how I would "attend" a session?

Suppose you are interested in the "Spectroscopy with Undergraduates" Mini-Symposium. Starting on June 14 (one week before the ISMS), you will go to the ISMS web site and log in using the menu choice "VIRTUAL ISMS - VIEW TALKS." NOTE: You will only be able to see this content if you are registered with a $0 (zero) balance. This will take you to page that looks very similar to You would click on Friday morning (FA) and late morning (FH). When you click on those schedule links, each abstract will link to a page with a video of the talk and a "chat room" for that talk. This will functionally be just like watching a video on YouTube. When Friday comes around, the session page will have a Zoom link to the live Q&A meeting. Each speaker will have one minute (two minutes for invited speakers) to summarize their talk, and there will be three minutes (six for invited speakers) for you to ask any questions that came to you while watching the video.

3) I'd like to ask more than 3 minutes of questions for some talks - how can I do that?

As briefly noted in the last answer, each talk will have a chat room / discussion forum. You can type questions any time after the videos have been made available and the authors can reply at their leisure. We also hope you will use the social events to meet up with your colleagues for longer discussions, arguments, and budding collaborations.

4) Why do I have to submit my video and Flash Talk slide so early?

We want to make sure that attendees have a full week to view the talks before the start of the conference, which set a first boundary condition of June 14. When we emailed all of of the presenters on Apr 23 about the meeting format, we were not yet sure how long it would take us to process the videos and upload them to our hosting platform, so we told them that the deadline would be 1-2 weeks before the start of the conference. It turns out that it will take us a full week to do this processing, which puts us at 2 weeks before the conference, or June 7. We note that this is in line with other recent virtual conferences.

5) Can I replace my video or presentation file after it is uploaded?

The short answer is no. The long answer is yes. Video files are stored on a remote server that we do not own. It is a time-consuming, multi-step process for us to replace a file. We can do this in emergency situations, but please upload your final version of your talk! Birgit thanks you! Presentation files are easier to replace, but still take a little work.

6) I really can't get my talk uploaded so soon!

The pandemic and its accompanying burdens of sickness, lockdowns, and family responsibilities have made scheduling hard for everyone. If you need a few extra days to upload your video and slide, please let us know and we can make exceptions. Please note that this will be significant extra work for us, so please try to make the June 7 deadline if at all possible.

7) How do I know my video and/or powerpoint slide is okay?

Once Birgit processes your video and presentation file (which can take up to 24-hours), you will recieve an email from her with a link for you to review your video file on the remote storage site. At that time you will also be able to view your flash talk slide using the "Download" button on the upload page.

8) Wait - I have to make two different PowerPoints?

Yes: You will first make the presentation (presumably with 10-20 slides depending on your style) that you will use to record your talk,just as you'd make a presentation for a regular in-person conference. Unlike in previous ISMSes, you will not upload that big presentation to our web site. Instead, you will make a separate 1-slide summary of your work, which you will use for your 1-minute Flash Talk during the live Q&A sessions. You *will* upload that single slide as a PDF so that we can show it at your assigned time in the Q&A session.

9) In past years, the ISMS archived the PPT that I used for my 15-minute live talk. Are you not archiving those PPTs this year?

No, we are only archiving the Flash Talk slides.

10) Are you archiving the videos?

No, the videos will be taken down shortly after the conference. Several speakers were specifically concerned about their videos living forever on the internet.

11) What access controls will there be for the videos? I don't want someone to scoop me!

We are hosting the videos on the Illinois MediaSpace, which UIUC has used for its classes all year. The videos will be "unlisted", and the specific URL will only be available (with some digging) to registered users behind the ISMS login. This makes it exceedingly improbable for non-ISMS users to stumble upon your video. However, we note that we can't stop a registered ISMS user from posting the URL to their twitter feed/etc. Of course no matter what access controls we have, there is nothing stopping a malicious registered user from pointing their iPhone at their screen and recording your talk that way either, then posting it to YouTube. You will have to balance the risk inherent in the video broadcast format.