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If I see on an IEEE conference webpage that the deadline is set to the 30th of March (for example) what does that exactly mean? Does it mean the submission system will not accept any submission after 11:59pm on March 30th?

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    I would veer on the safer side and assume the submission system wouldn't accept any submissions after 11:59PM on March 29th. But that's just advice on being punctual. – Zibbobz Mar 20 '15 at 16:29
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There are three typical scenarios that you will encounter with most computer-science-style conferences (including most IEEE conferences):

  1. Submissions shut down at the exact time specified, and nothing late will be accepted. This is most common in large top-notch conferences with extremely fierce competition. If this is the case, a time-zone will almost always be specified as well.
  2. Submissions shut down an arbitrary but relatively short time after the deadline, i.e., when the organizers get around to switching it off. There is still likely to be little flexibility, but the conference is less high-stakes, and so they aren't worrying about precision.
  3. Submissions will actually be due ~1 week later, after a universal extension is announced. This is most common in smaller conferences that are more concerned with making sure they get enough submissions. It can also be counter-productive, since a tradition of extensions means nobody takes the first deadline seriously.

If you see a time zone, you're probably in case #1; if multiple past editions show an extension, it's probably case #3; otherwise, it's likely case #2.

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    Perhaps it is worth noting that if no time zone is given, this typically means "anywhere on earth" - so if at some spot on earth, the day of deadline hasn't ended yet, submission should still be open. – DCTLib Mar 20 '15 at 14:48
  • I just noticed it says the following :"The site closes for submission at 24:00 hrs (midnight) server time on the date indicated" . That perhaps? means on March 30th at 11:59 pm? – user3327426 Mar 20 '15 at 14:56
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    @user3327426 that does not mean anything to me. Where is the server? Is the server's clock in the same timezone, month, year, or century as mine? – emory Mar 20 '15 at 15:09
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    @user3327426 and emory: you can reasonably assume that the server's clock matches the actual time in some time zone. (It's possible for that not to be the case, but it's technically difficult to run a web server that way.) The chosen time zone is likely to be the one in which the server is physically located, but this is not a requirement and I would not make that assumption. So unless you're told what time zone the server is in, it's probably good to play it safe and treat this deadline as 24:00 on the date indicated in the first time zone anywhere on Earth to reach that date and time. – David Z Mar 20 '15 at 16:48
  • In at least one large IEEE conference, the deadline goes by Hawaii time (to ensure the deadline is the same for everyone based on day). Don't presume this though, obviously – gdp Mar 20 '15 at 21:50

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