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I am responsible for publishing the proceedings submissions of the Scandinavian Symposium on Physical Acoustics, a smallish yearly conference with about 50 participants. After the symposium, participants who held a presentation are encouraged but not required to submit articles to the symposium’s proceedings. Typically, these proceedings end up with 5–10 articles, all of decent quality.

My aim is to publish the proceedings through a channel which makes the articles visible and searchable through at least Google Scholar. In 2016 and 2019, when I was previously responsible for publishing the proceedings, I uploaded the proceedings to arXiv.org through a process that I established with arXiv moderators and later described on my blog. This gave us the visibility and searchability that we wanted.

In 2016, this went fairly smoothly, but in 2019 there was an issue. Our symposium accepts a wide range of proceedings articles, including working papers that present a research setup and briefly describe preliminary results. However, arXiv have a stricter policy saying that “arXiv only accepts submissions in the form of an article that would be refereeable by a conventional publication venue”. The arXiv moderators therefore rejected one of our proceedings submissions, as they judged it not to be “in a format appropriate for publication in a conventional journal”. This is of course their prerogative, but it left the uploaded proceedings incomplete. (We ended up uploading the last article to ResearchGate instead.)

My question is therefore whether there are any other channels that we can upload such a proceedings to, which would give us similar searchability and visibility to arXiv, but where we can also be certain that we will be able to upload all of our proceedings submissions. Could ResearchGate, HAL, or another site be an option?

  • Are you interested in a printed version also? – Buffy Jan 24 at 13:41
  • @Buffy No, just online publication. – Erlend Magnus Viggen Jan 24 at 13:45
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    Just in case there are no better ideas: I would check what the local university library can offer. University libraries nowadays usually maintain some kind of open access repositories, and such systems tend to provide the right metadata fields that should make e.g. Google Scholar happy to index everything correctly. Maybe try to contact the relevant people of your local library and have a chat with them? – Jukka Suomela Jan 24 at 14:02
  • @JukkaSuomela, I was going to suggest something similar for a printed version. Many universities maintain a "University Press" that can sometimes be persuaded to publish such proceedings. For example, the EuroPLoP proceedings are published by UVK Universitätsverlag Konstanz GmbH. – Buffy Jan 24 at 14:14
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    Update: I have discussed this further with the main organiser of the conference, and we decided to try using ResearchGate this year. Unfortunately, ResearchGate told me that their policy does not allow me to upload the proceedings articles on behalf of the authors, like arXiv does. Instead, we will ask the authors to upload their own articles themselves, which should be easy enough. I will give another update when this is over, which will hopefully be sometime in April. – Erlend Magnus Viggen Feb 10 at 9:27
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We ended up publishing the proceedings through ResearchGate, using this procedure:

  1. The authors send their submissions to the proceedings editor for approval.

  2. The authors upload their approved submissions to ResearchGate, following a guide provided by the editor to ensure that the metainformation is consistently registered.

  3. The editor uploads a proceedings index to ResearchGate, which gives an overview of and links to the proceedings submissions.

This ResearchGate procedure has some advantages:

  • Fairly straightforward, both for editor and authors
  • Good searchability: The proceedings submissions are automatically indexed by Google Scholar
  • Good visibility: ResearchGate helps by suggesting the proceedings submissions to other relevant researchers

It also has some disadvantages:

  • Unlike the arXiv procedure, the individual proceedings submissions do not link back to the index.
  • The authors are required to register ResearchGate account and do the work of uploading their own submissions. (Unlike arXiv, ResearchGate never allows uploading by third parties such as a proceedings editor.)

All in all, this approach was quite successful and we are fairly happy with it. I imagine we will use it again next year. Of course, however, this is not the only possible approach, and I would still be interested in other suggestions!

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