The Center for Digital Research and Scholarship Launches Open Conference Systems Website for International Symposium
NEW YORK, September 19, 2012 –

Ahead of the International Symposium on Design and Practice of Geosynthetic-Reinforced Soil Structures at Bologna University on October 14th-16th 2013, Columbia's Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) has built and launched an Open Conference Systems (OCS) website for the symposium. Open Conference Systems 2.3.4.0 is open source conference management software developed, supported, and freely distributed by the Public Knowledge Project under the GNU General Public License.


The Symposium will cover a wide range of topics, including but not limited to, geosynthetic-reinforced soil retaining walls, soil slopes and soil structures for railways and highways. Speakers include Professor Dov Leshchinsky of the University of Delaware, who will be giving a Special Lecture, and Professor Fumio Tatsuoka of the Tokyo University of Science, who will be giving the Bishop Lecture. The Symposium has been organized under the auspices of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Materials Engineering (DICAM), Bologna University, the Italian Geotechnical Association, the International Geosynthetics Society, The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Technical Committees TC 101 (Laboratory Stress Strength Testing of Geomaterials) and TC 305 (Geotechnical Infrastructure for Megacities and New Capitals) of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.

Professor Hoe Ling, Professor of Civil Engineering at Columbia and a co-organizer of the Symposium, said of the website launch:

“While organizing a conference three years ago, I used e-mail to handle submissions /review process to avoid the the relatively high cost involved in utlizing the old-style submissions /review system. It was truly a painful process to correctly and effectively handle hundreds of papers and thousands of e-mails. Not long after that, I was informed that the Columbia University Libraries' Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) provided help in setting up and hosting the paper submission and review system. This was extremely helpful because although several commercial systems are now available in the market, they still require a substantial amount of one's budget in comparison to CDRS' rates. I therefore decided to approach CDRS for help, and found that they were extremely familiar with what we as conference organizers were looking for. The discussion has been easy, and within several weeks, the system was set up.”

CDRS is delighted to announce the launch of the Symposium's website. "It has been an extremely rewarding experience for us to work with Professor Ling and other organizers of the Symposium to launch the Open Conference Systems site, which is under a Creative Commons BY 3.0 License. This set-up will enable authors submitting to the conference to retain copyright over their work, while allowing others to freely access, use, and share their unpublished work, with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and its initial presentation at this conference," said CDRS Director Rebecca Kennison.

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The Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics focuses on two broad areas of instruction and research. The first, the classical field of civil engineering, deals with the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of structures and the infrastructure. These include buildings, foundations, bridges, transportation facilities, nuclear and conventional power plants, hydraulic structures, and other facilities essential to society. The second is the science of mechanics and its applications to various engineering disciplines. Frequently referred to as applied mechanics, it includes the study of the mechanical properties of materials, stress analysis of stationary and movable structures, the dynamics and vibrations of complex structures, aero- and hydrodynamics, micro- and nanomechanics, and the mechanics of biological and energy systems. The mission of the Department is to provide students with a technical foundation anchored in theory together with the breadth needed to follow diverse career paths, whether in the profession via advanced study or apprenticeship, or as a base for other pursuits.

The Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) serves the digital research and scholarly communications needs of the faculty, students, and staff of Columbia University and its affiliates. Our mission is to increase the utility and impact of research produced at Columbia by creating, adapting, implementing, supporting, and sustaining innovative digital tools and publishing platforms for content delivery, discovery, analysis, data curation, and preservation. In pursuit of that mission, we also engage in extensive outreach, education, and advocacy to ensure that the scholarly work produced at Columbia University has a global reach and accelerates the pace of research across disciplines. CDRS, led by Rebecca Kennison, is one of six entities that comprise the Digital Programs and Technology Services branch of Columbia University Libraries/Information Services. The Center was created in July 2007 to address the ongoing evolution of researchers’ and scholars’ needs as new technologies, policies, and systems of knowledge support arise.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services
is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.

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