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Creating a Conference on PubPub

A simple guide and best practices to use as a starting point for creating conference websites and proceedings listings.
Published onDec 22, 2021
Creating a Conference on PubPub

This guide assumes that you have a working familiarity with PubPub’s Core Concepts.

PubPub is designed to support multiple years of conference proceedings per Community, with Collections representing each instance of the conference, and Pubs in each collection representing individual conference papers, abstracts, posters, and more. Conferences can also be embedded in the same Community as a hosting journal or institution. This guide will detail a basic setup for a conference that already has some content ready to be published.


1. Fill out Community settings

You should start by filling out your Community-level settings. You can learn more about basic branding and navigation considerations in our community setup considerations guide.

For conferences, there is one key settings field to keep in mind: Publisher. By default, the title of your community will be used as the publisher for citations and deposits. If you’d rather use a different name for the publisher, you should fill out these fields.

2. Create your first Conference collection

From the Community dashboard, create a new collection with the Conference type. You’ll be taken to the Collection dashboard for the new conference. From there, visit the Collection settings page. This page is where you can fill out the metadata needed to describe the conference (date, location, theme, etc). You can also add attribution for conference chairs, which will appear in citations and on every article you publish within the Collection.

3. Add Pubs to your Conference

Once you’ve set your conference’s metadata, you can start adding your papers by creating new Pubs within the collection. Clicking the “Create Pub” button from your conference’s Collection dashboard will automatically create a new draft Pub in the conference. You can also add existing Pubs to a conference from the Pub settings.

Pubs contain settings for figure numbering, citation and reference styles, authorship and attribution options, licenses, DOI depositing, and more. You can learn more about creating and configuring Pubs in our Pub Editor and Pub Settings guides.

4. Lay out your conference

In the layout tab of your Conference’s Collection dashboard, you’ll find the tools to create the layout for your conference. By default, the layout will contain a header block with the metadata you added, and a list of all the Pubs in the collection ordered by the order you set in the Collection overview dashboard. We find this to be a pretty sane default, but you can customize it to change the ordering of papers, break the proceeding into sections, add additional content or notes, and much more. You can learn more about configuring layouts in our Page Design and Management Guide.

If your conference accepts different types of papers, you may want to list them by type. To do this, create a new Tag collection for every type of paper you accept, add the tag to each relevant pub, and create a new Pub block filtered to each of those tags on the Conference layout.

5. Lay out your homepage

Every PubPub community contains a customizable homepage, which can be edited from the Pages tab of the Community overview dashboard.

Most conferences use the homepage to give a general overview of the conference, advertise next year’s conference, and link to proceedings of past years. Some also include non-proceedings content, like webinars and news updates.

To link to past proceedings, create a Pages & Collection block and include the Conference Proceedings collections you created. When you publish new proceedings, you’ll need to update this block.

If you think you’ll publish non-proceedings content (for example, news articles or webinars), you may want to display that on the homepage. To do so, you’ll want to create Tag collections for those types of content, and add Pub blocks to the homepage that filter for those Tags.

For usability and SEO purposes, we also recommend that conferences include a text block with a description of their conference. Many conference homepages also contain banners that link to registration and submissions pages.

You can learn more about configuring pages in our Page Design and Management Guide.

6. Create information pages and additional content

Most conferences should have pages describing their mission, registration process, submission and review processes, and listing their current and past chairs. Some conferences put all of this information on one about page. Others create one page for each. No matter how you do it, you can create new pages from the Pages tab of the Community overview dashboard.

Some conferences like to include news or updates sections. To do this, you should create a new Tag Collection for the content, with individual Pubs for each new post, and a Collection Layout to display your posts.

You can learn more about configuring pages in our Page Design and Management Guide.

7. Create your navigation

Once you’ve created your pages, you’ll want to create your navigation, which will help visitors browse and understand your conference. PubPub has two configurable navigation sections, one in the header, one in the footer. Conferences configure their navigation in lots of different ways, but in general, we recommend making it easy for visitors to find the latest proceedings pages, registration instructions, submission instructions, reviewer signup, and editorial information pages.

Often, conferences will create a dropdown for Proceedings that they update when new ones are published, a link to registration and submission instructions, a link to reviewer signup, and an ‘About’ dropdown with links to pages like mission and editorial boards. If you have a news or updates section, you should also create a navigation link to that Collection.

You can learn more about configuring navigation in our community setup considerations guide.

8. Publish your conference

At this point, you may want to add members, either to your entire Community, individual Conference collections, or individual Pubs, to help review or edit your content.

When you’re ready to publish your proceedings, you’ll need to make your content public. First, set all of your Pages to public. Then, set your Conference collections to Public. Finally, go to each of your Pubs and create releases for them. When you’re done, you can see how your site will look to others by visiting it in a private browser window.

9. Deposit your conference

Once the conference is published, you may want to deposit it to Crossref, so that they can be referenced by DOI. If you have an existing Crossref membership, you’ll need to reach out to our team so we can add your membership to our system. Otherwise, you can use PubPub’s membership to deposit.

Once you’re ready, depositing is as easy as clicking “Deposit” on the Conference Collection settings page, and then “preview deposit” on the settings page of each Pub you want to deposit.


Here are a few good examples of different types of conference setups on PubPub:

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