I work mainly with in silico method development and data analysis within biomedical research. For an upcoming conference I intend to go with a tutorial-type of submission instead of a "regular" conference submission, which in our field would be a teaser of upcoming papers or application of something that is already published.

Based on what I read here on Academia.SE, in other fields (e.g. CS) conference papers are more prestigious (and thus more desirable) than conventional journal papers, but in our field it's the other way around, people prefer getting a "real" publication rather than a "conference paper" and thus typically don't want to give away much at a conference. This is simply because a) the same set of results would not be novel if submitted later to a journal, and b) if the results are still preliminary there is always the risk of being scooped.

At any rate, given the background, I consider preparing a tutorial type contribution where I present the practical _do_s and _dont_s of this one particular type of data analysis. I have noticed that many scientists in the field are not very comfortable with this type of analysis and it would also be a nice way to promote my methods. I am mostly considering this as a poster presentation, but of course an oral presentation would work as well.

So my question is: Does a tutorial type submission differ significantly than a regular submission (for instance with respect to how the abstract should look like)? Is there anything in particular I should be careful about?

  • I think it depends strongly not only on the area, but on the venue. Tutorials (and tutorial submissions) mean different things in different venues, even within the same area.
    – badroit
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 15:31
  • @badroit interesting, i am not sure I follow 100% could you explain it a bit further?
    – posdef
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 16:05
  • In CS, for example, tutorial submissions refer (as Bill says) to half-day or full-day sessions on a topic. But even agreeing on that definition of a tutorial (which sounds different to that mentioned in your question), within CS, in terms of tutorial submissions/applications, some conferences require a medium-length paper (that will be published in the proceedings); some require an email to chairs; some require a full-blown application complete with topics, tutor CVs, links to a homepage with learning materials; some are invite-only and don't even accept submissions ... and so on.
    – badroit
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 16:09
  • If this is an uncommon thing to do, it may be worth emailing the organisers and discuss the details. If they like the idea, they may even use it to advertise the conference more!
    – Davidmh
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 18:21

1 Answer 1


Tutorials at conferences in my field (supercomputing/HPC) are half-day or full-day sessions where you and your co-authors get up and teach lectures on your proposed and (maybe) have hands-on sessions where the students can try what they learn. These sessions are usually on a special day either right before or right after the regular paper talks and cost extra for attendees. There are often honoraria for the presenters due to the level of work required to organize the sessions. The submissions tend to be much shorter than the papers, but they also include CVs for the teachers and sample lecture slides from related or prior tutorials or lectures. A tutorial would never be given as a poster.

Given that, perhaps you mean to present a paper or poster that would be more of a "How To" guide. Which is to say that you don't intend to give a half-day or full-day lecture on your topic. Perhaps you don't intend to give any new results, but simply show how certain methods are applied to you field. This might be acceptable to your conference's program committee depending on what is asked for in the call for papers/participation, but I suspect some sort of novel result will be required.

  • I should have clarified, yes I meant the latter (2nd paragraph)
    – posdef
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 12:20
  • I'd emphasize alignment with the call for participation for the conference. You will probably need to couch your discussion in terms of how your approach can be used in your area to create new results.
    – Bill Barth
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 13:15

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