Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System
And CTT Abstract Processing Services
Technical and Cost Proposal
25 January 2006
c/o Ms. Judy Johnson
American Astronomical Society
2000 Florida Avenue NW, #400
Washington, DC 20009-1231
Coe-Truman Technologies, Inc.
500 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1410
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Table of Contents
Executive Summary......................................................................................................................... 2
Need Relief? .................................................................................................................................... 5
Come to the OASIS ......................................................................................................................... 6
Submission Relief .................................................................................................................. 8
General Interface ................................................................................................................... 8
Login ...................................................................................................................................... 9
Abstract Home Page .............................................................................................................. 9
Data Entry Screens .............................................................................................................. 10
Submission – additional features ......................................................................................... 14
Structured Sessions (Full Proposal/Session Submissions) .................................................. 16
Administration Relief .................................................................................................................... 22
General Interface ................................................................................................................. 22
Record Lookups ................................................................................................................... 23
Reports ................................................................................................................................. 26
Notification System ............................................................................................................. 31
Sessions ............................................................................................................................... 33
Administration Module – additional features ...................................................................... 35
Reviewer Relief ............................................................................................................................. 36
Review Administration ........................................................................................................ 36
Online Review ..................................................................................................................... 37
Advanced Session Slotting Capabilities .............................................................................. 38
Review Site – additional features ........................................................................................ 50
OASIS Services ............................................................................................................................. 54
Client Services ..................................................................................................................... 54
Kick Off Meeting and Training ........................................................................................... 54
Abstract Processing ............................................................................................................. 55
Review Process .................................................................................................................... 55
Session Building and Notification ....................................................................................... 55
Quality Assurance/Quality Control ..................................................................................... 56
Publications ......................................................................................................................... 57
Program Planner / Itinerary Builder .................................................................................... 58
Program Planner – additional highlights ............................................................................. 61
Cost Section ................................................................................................................................... 63
Assumptions ........................................................................................................................ 63
Appendix A - SharePoint Description ........................................................................................... 65
Appendix B - References............................................................................................................... 71
Appendix C – Technological Reliability ....................................................................................... 80
CTT presents this proposal for providing comprehensive abstract and speaker processing for the
American Astronomical Society (AAS). Having supported professional associations with these
services for over fourteen years, we are confident that we can bring our expertise to transitioning AAS
to the OASIS online solution. We will make the entire process flow smoothly for all parties involved.
OASIS offers an entirely Web-based solution to process the abstract submissions for the American
Astronomical Society’s meetings each year, and any other events collecting and/or evaluating content
for speaker/presenters. The OASIS system also allows for entry of manual submissions by either CTT
or AAS staff, since some of the potential presenters will come in through a selection process, not by
submitting in a contributed fashion. CTT can support AAS through the entire process:
Collection and maintenance of abstracts and speaker information with a streamlined process
Providing flexible and real-time reporting capabilities for all of your needs.
Distributing abstracts and affiliated information to reviewers and committee members either
online or via hard copy.
Receiving reviewer scores online (or hard copy).
Generating online notification of accept/reject status via the OASIS integrated notification
Setting up the entire program (sessions and abstracts) via the online administrative system, or
allowing committee members to use the OASIS committee-based scheduling tools.
Slotting abstracts into the appropriate sessions and providing support to the Program
Committee if necessary.
Reviewing session assignments and fine-tuning the program.
Producing a formatted final program and abstract supplement.
Facilitating the process of your publishing needs.
Creating an online Program Planner/Itinerary Builder.
Individuals submitting abstracts to AAS will receive outstanding customer service and technical
support. The OASIS advanced system tools support scientific and special characters, graphs, charts
and pictures. It is simple to operate and uses the latest in Internet data transfer technology.
Moreover, OASIS provides AAS staff and any association specified volunteers and vendors with
instant access to the data involved in the abstract process through an advanced, web-based
administrative area. AAS staff members will receive the utmost in client service from the abstract
“team” assigned to your organization, including a Project Manager, Client Services Manager and
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 2
This proposal will describe the components of the OASIS product in detail, beginning with the online
submission area. Following the system description, we will identify the many services CTT has to
offer AAS. The last section contains the cost estimates for handling the AAS abstract and speaker
Based on the demonstration CTT conducted with AAS staff last week, below are a few important
highlights about OASIS versus the other providers in the marketplace:
1. The best handling available for invited faculty/speakers. AAS can decide on one of the many
ways to gather suggestions for speakers, or can use the admin tools to enter the speakers
chosen by the committee, and then follow-up with an interactive notification to get their
disclosures, biographies, learning objectives, presentation summaries, etc.
2. Most extensive notification tools available. Allows AAS to put together interactive
communications and to track responses, ensuring that all speakers/presenters are able to
confirm their intent to present and provide any additional information completely online.
3. Ability to integrate membership database inputs to the OASIS account table to decrease
amount of data entry required by submitters.
4. OASIS does not hold your data hostage! It is easy to extract information using the robust
reporting tools in the system and allows reports to be generated in Word files (text) or in a
tabular (Excel) type format.
5. Excellent resources for getting your publications completed – OASIS can 1) take a hands-off
approach, 2) build special export reports, or 3) act as an extension of your staff by completing
all desktop publishing. AAS can choose whatever suits its needs and budget.
6. Archiving of data – OASIS can provide its basic archive tool to AAS as part of the standard
license. Once AAS has completed a few meetings with CTT, it may choose to put an archive
link up on the website so users can search and read abstracts/presentation summaries across
several meetings at once.
7. Admin access to data – AAS staff users can easily access last year’s meeting information to
look up specific items, run reports, or revisit trends. CTT commits to keeping 3 years of
meeting information readily available in the admin site. However, currently, no meeting data
has been archived off the admin site, so many customers have access to 5 or more years of
8. Continuous product innovation – with over 150 meetings/year using OASIS, customers
provide many of the product innovation ideas eventually implemented. Additionally, CTT has
a full-time staff of developers who work exclusively on enhancements to OASIS, and product
releases occur several times each month. As new features are released, all current licensees
have access to use these new tools. Many times there are no additional fees to activate a new
configuration option or use a new tool in the database. Only when it is a product upgrade
item, is it offered to customers with an associated fee. AAS can be confident that CTT makes
sure OASIS continues to be the best of class software available by these continuous
9. OASIS gives AAS the ability to easily expand this engagement to include more than abstracts
and invited faculty. OASIS can help AAS with speaker and meeting evaluations, outcomes
measurement, and awards and grants. Additionally, OASIS could assist in the management of
the continuing education process, if desired by AAS.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 3
A special note about scientific character handling:
During the demonstration, staff of the American Astronomical Society mentioned that ease of use and
the ability for submitters to have a quick and accurate way to submit abstract text that included
scientific characters and symbols were critical factors in their abstract vendor decision. CTT
highlights this summary of our character handling below:
CTT has been working with scientific meetings for over fourteen years, and was one of the
first vendors to recognize the importance of being able to handle scientific and special
characters accurately. The method used by OASIS is easiest and the most flexible handling
process in use. Submitters simply paste or upload their abstract as they have composed it, and
OASIS searches through the text to identify and translate the special and scientific characters
to implement character “keyboards,” OASIS is able to support the widest possible internet
While no system can accurately anticipate every possible symbol used from all the extended
character sets available on the many versions of Word and WordPerfect, as well as wide range
of web browsers in use across the world, OASIS strives to have the highest possible success
rate. When a character does occasionally fail to display correctly, OASIS communicates to
the submitter cases in which a submitted symbol may be problematic. OASIS compares all
characters to a known set of symbols. Any symbol not recognized is replaced with a warning
to the end user ([[unsupportedcharacter:&11343;]]). Moreover, when the system displays an
abstract (to the submitter, a reviewer, a program planner user), OASIS chooses the optimal
version of a symbol for the user’s particular browser and operating system combination.
No other system provides this level of combined accuracy and ease of use.
CTT understands that our teams still need to conduct some due diligence on the handling of submitters
who compose their abstracts in LaTex. Although a move of most submitters to word processing
programs is preferred for ease of submission and highest browser compatibility, it is understood that
some portion of the AAS population will continue to use LaTex. CTT would suggest exploring some
of the LaTex to Word converters to see if those are an option for offering on the submission site as
helper tool for these submitters. Cost-sharing an ownership of this kind of program should be
discussed as well in upcoming conversations about moving forward.
CTT would like to propose a long-term partnership with the American Astronomical Society to help it
achieve success in all areas of abstract and speaker management.
This proposal is considered confidential information and may only be used within the society (and its
committee) for purposes of making a decision to accept this proposal. It may not be shared with other
vendors or partner organizations without explicit written permission from an authorized CTT
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 4
Is this you? Your submitters? Your reviewers?
Not with OASIS, the Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™.
Coe-Truman Technologies, Inc. (CTT) built OASIS to take the pain out of the
abstract submission process.
CTT has been a leader in online abstract processing since pioneering the
process over nine years ago. Incorporated in 1983, CTT has always worked in
the association industry and began its first manual abstract management
project in 1991 for the American Society of Neuroradiology. In 1997, CTT
began using the Internet to receive abstract submissions. So successful was the
response that now nearly all submissions for every client are received,
processed, reviewed, and published online.
Today, CTT still leads the field with the latest technical innovations and unsurpassed customer
service. Distinguished clients of CTT’s OASIS system include the Optical Society of America, the
American Heart Association, Society for Neuroscience, American College of Cardiology, the
American Society for Microbiology, the American College of Rheumatology, the Association for
Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, the
American Industrial Hygiene Association, the European Congress of Radiology, the Air & Waste
Management Association and many more. OASIS is used by over 100 professional societies
worldwide. What can OASIS do for you?
OASIS represents relief.
It relieves you of the burden of managing the process and systems in-house, providing instead a
powerful back-end to the system that gives you up-to-the-minute reporting tools.
It provides your submitters with an easy and quick step-based interface to submit the abstract literally
at the last minute (as most submitters do).
It streamlines the review process by giving graders a choice of offline or online review and a simple
system to enter scores and comments online.
It gives your members an online program planner to use in browsing meeting data and saving a
More relief comes with CTT’s dedicated customer service. Not only do we provide each client with
the level of individual service it expects, but we also host periodic OASIS user groups, send periodic
e-mail operating tips, communicate regular product updates, and provide a detailed user-guide. We are
committed to fostering an “abstract” community within the association industry that will raise the level
of relief for everyone – submitters, members, and association managers.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 5
Come to the OASIS
It’s not a fight.
With OASIS, you don’t have to fight the installation, support, maintenance,
and upgrade headaches of “shrink-wrapped” software. Instead, CTT offers
OASIS as an applications services provider. No proprietary software or code is
required for the association and the end user. All CTT systems reside on
CTT’s servers and are accessed by the association and the end user with
current Web browsers.
CTT licenses the OASIS system on an annual basis. Total volume of
submissions and the level of the contracted services determine license fees.
With this model, you can reduce fees by arranging multiple meetings in the system and by selecting
only the services each meeting wishes to use.
CTT hosts the system in a state-of-the-art Collocation Facility in Chicago. Sited in a former printing
plant near McCormick Place, the facility is conveniently located near CTT’s Chicago office. To
support mission-critical Internet services and applications, such as OASIS, the facility offers the
Eight global Internet backbone providers support the facility. Intelligent routing among these sources
ensures the best possible bandwidth. The service sets industry standards in reliable, redundant
Power and Environment:
The electrical system features built-in redundancy to ensure continuous operation. Backup procedures
are supported with redundant UPS systems and diesel engine generators. The facility has contracts
with multiple fuel providers. The operations environment uses a computer-controlled HVAC system to
ensure proper temperature, airflow, and humidity.
The state-of-the-art facility is
• Located in a secure, windowless building with bullet-resistant exterior walls and concrete bollards
• Staffed with security personnel 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
• Monitored by closed-circuit video security and motion detectors
• Armed with silent alarms and automatic notification of law enforcement
All visitors are screened according to financial-grade standards. The shipping and receiving areas are
completely walled off from the operations center. Access to our servers within the building is
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 6
controlled by biometric hand geometry readers so that only authorized CTT personnel can reach the
equipment. The welcome area is divided from the operations area by a secure “man trap.”
The facility is also equipped with advanced fire, flood, and earthquake protection.
CTT has arrangements to support the OASIS servers remotely and onsite in Chicago. The facility
provides onsite technicians and engineers 24/365 to supplement OASIS staff by providing routine and
emergency maintenance and installation.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 7
It’s no mirage!
The OASIS submission system acts as a central island to collect transmittal and
presentation information from submitters of proffered (contributed)
abstracts/papers, invited speakers, and other meeting participants.
OASIS features a streamlined interface in order to complement the look and
feel of your web site and market image. The AAS meeting art can be included
at the top of each screen, along with standard icons for messages, submitter
profile page, abstract “home” page, and help.
To aid the user, the top of each screen will display the submission type, control number, date, time and
abstract title. On the left of each page will be a checklist so the user knows exactly where he or she is
in the submission process. The site is designed with muted colors so to better integrate the “look and
feel” of the site with your identity.
Field and step names can be renamed by AAS staff and each step has an area for association-specific
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 8
The login page provides recommended browser requirements and runs a script to inform users whether
New users click on the “New Account” link to create a profile with basic transmittal and demographic
information. During this process, users create a password and provide a password hint. After the
process is complete, OASIS generates a login name for the user (their email address) and a link to
enter the site directly. OASIS also e-mails the account information to the user immediately upon
registration. In case the user loses the e-mail, OASIS provides a hint system to aid in remembering the
password. In case the user does not remember the login, he or she can request both the login and
password information be e-mailed to them at any time.
Users cannot create two accounts using the same email address. This should help keep duplicate
accounts to a minimum, thus providing the staff with an accurate history of each person’s submissions.
Abstract Home Page
After logging in, the user views a customized “Abstract Home Page,” which lists the submission(s) the
user has entered under the current account. OASIS organizes submissions by type (e.g., abstract
submission, late-breaking, manuscript submission, etc.). There is also an “Information” link where we
can link to instructions for the AAS submission of potential speakers or to other information the
association wishes to publish.
For the submission, OASIS lists the title, control number, date/time stamp, and a status indicator. The
status link shows the completion status (complete, incomplete, deleted).
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 9
Data Entry Screens
The OASIS submission module is divided into a series of steps. There are five standard steps, plus
three association-defined steps that can contain up to nine separate areas. Additionally, OASIS offers
five optional steps that some groups choose to utilize: Presentation Preference, Payment, Biography,
Sponsor and File Attachment. AAS staff can rename, re-order, or eliminate any of the steps. The
standard order is presented below. If a standard step does not meet the needs of the meeting, an
“association-defined” step area may be used instead.
The top of this screen allows a space for “affirmations.” Affirmations are statements, which must be
answered “true” in order for the submission to be considered for review. These statements typically
cover copyright, ethical, and attendance issues. The user must check each one in order to continue the
process. Many groups, such as the American College of Cardiology, have streamlined their process by
collecting affirmations online, versus collecting the hard copy signatures.
After completing any affirmations, the user then enters the title on this screen. With Internet Explorer
5.5 and above, a series of formatting buttons appears above the title box. The user can click on a
button to apply the formatting to the title text, much as he or she would in a word processor. The
choices are bold, italic, underline, subscript, and superscript. There are also cut, copy, and paste
buttons. The title step also supports “smart copy/paste” so if a user pastes in a formatted title from a
word processor, the formatting will be supported in the OASIS title box.
The standard topic screen contains up to three dropdown menus populated with topics. Any, all, or
none can be required fields. The standard topic screen allows the user to select “other” as a choice, but
does not allow the user to define “other.”
Additionally, the topic screen can be configured to collect multi-tiered topic choices. In this
configuration, the submitter first chooses a high-level topic, and then selects a sub-topic from a list
that is based on the initial selection.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 10
The user can enter up to five keywords on this screen. Any, all, or none can be made required fields.
Keyword collection is useful for associations that wish to publish a keyword index in the abstract
book, or to streamline the search process on the Program Planner/Itinerary builder. Keywords may be
entered by the submitter or selected from a pre-determined drop-down list (or both).
4. Author Block
This control allows the user to build an author paragraph with great flexibility. Some configuration
options include pre-filling the first author screen with the submitter information, forcing the
submitting author to be the presenting author, and limiting the number of authors per abstract. Authors
can be affiliated with more than one institution, and “working groups” or “research consortiums” can
be defined as distinct entities.
AAS may collect as much data per author as it desires, but CTT recommends balancing data collection
needs with ease of submission requirements. Typical fields include first name, middle initial, last
name, institution, city, state, and country. CTT has standard ISO lists to populate the state/province
and country fields.
The submitter can use several tools to edit the data: each author can be deleted or edited; the order can
be rearranged; and the designation of presenting author can be changed.
As the submitter is editing the data, the system displays and updates a “published” version of the
author block at the top of the page, customized to the format specifications provided by AAS staff.
This tool makes it easier for the submitter to judge the final result of the author data, and easier for the
society to pull this information for meeting publications.
Example of a possible “published” author block, using superscripts in this configuration:
Danielle H. Zocks1,2, Judie Spalding1.
CTT, Chicago, IL, USA, 2University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.
OASIS supports collecting expanded data for the presenting author. If the user changes the presenting
author, OASIS will ask the user for this data, so AAS staff can send correspondence to the new
presenting author. However, OASIS can support a decision by AAS staff to collect contact
information for all authors, regardless of participation in the presentation.
Author Extra Fields
The OASIS submission module also allows for the configuration of author extra fields, which can hold
information specific to each author/speaker.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 11
The standard system offers two ways to submit the abstract (or presentation summary). The first is a
simple box in which the user can type or paste the abstract text. Text pasted in from a word processor
will retain the formatting. Users of Internet Explorer 5.5 or above will also see a set of formatting
buttons to apply type styles to the abstract in the box.
The second method is a file upload tool that allows the user to transfer a word processing file to the
Both the file upload and the cut and paste option will convert special characters and symbols into a
special OASIS html format that will allow the system to control the proper appearance of the font on
The conversion process also runs a word or character count. If the count exceeds the published limit
determined by AAS staff, the system will note that the abstract is incomplete.
The system can also present other tools at this point. The graphic button allows the user to upload
multiple graphic files, which will cause the system to redisplay the abstract with the graphic at the end.
The table tool allows the user to build a table, which will be inserted at the end of the abstract.
The system can be set to recalculate the word count to account for graphics and tables. Graphics must
be uploaded as separate files. Tables can be included in the submitted word processing file or added
with the table builder. The system provides instructions for moving the graphic and table to specific
points in the abstract.
The user can continue editing the abstract, either by uploading another file or by editing the text
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 12
6. Additional Information Steps
These pages allow the society to collect other necessary data that is not covered by the standard steps.
This type of data usually includes additional content information, audiovisual requirements,
presentation preference, and so forth. The additional information steps can be re-titled (Presentation
Information, Travel Grant, etc.) and appear on the navigation bar. Up to nine separate areas on each
page, containing multiple fields in each section, can be configured on the additional information
The last step in the process is the summary or “review my work” page. This page displays the
submitted abstract and typically includes the control number, submission type, date/time stamp, title,
author/institution block, title, abstract text (with any table or graphic), topics, and keywords.
This section provides a “delete” button in case the user needs to remove the abstract on the spot (for
test submissions, mistakes, etc.). Deleted abstracts are maintained in the administrative system.
The page begins with association-specific text, and is followed by text to indicate the completion
status of the abstract. “Incomplete” messages tell the user that one or more steps need attention, and
refer the user to the step list to look for “incomplete” steps -- steps that do not have a check in the box.
“Complete” messages inform the user that no further action is required to complete the abstract.
This page acts as the user’s confirmation. The user can print this page or return to it live on the site.
The submitter has the option to preview the summary page at any time during the submission process.
The submitter can also opt to email the confirmation to anyone involved with the abstract, such as co-
This optional step allows the meetings staff to group submissions into one activity, while still
distinguishing the presentation preference of the submitter. Many customers allow abstract submitters
to supply their preference by including this submission step and having users select from options such
as: Main Platform, Special Session, Focus Session, Top of the Table. Use of this optional step can be
helpful for reporting preferences to the review committee or for the staff scheduling the abstracts into
This optional step allows an association to charge submitters a fee for submitting an abstract. CTT has
set-up a link with VeriSign, who communicates with the association’s merchant account to facilitate
payment. Most often the association mandates that payment may be made only via credit card –
MasterCard and Visa. The payment step can be configured to display different payment options, so it
can also be used to collect fees for A/V supplies, if applicable. Submitters who do not complete this
step will have “Incomplete” abstracts that will not be considered for the meeting.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 13
Less than half of CTT’s associations utilize this feature, yet those that do charge for abstracts have
found it easily facilitates the process.
Some associations add this step to the submission process in order to collect a short biographical
sketch of the primary/presenting author. The step works identically to the abstract step, except that
tables and graphics are not permitted. Authors may type-in, paste or upload text to satisfy this
requirement in the process. Word or character count limits can be enforced on this step, as in the
abstract step. Many associations find this helpful for their “invited speaker” participants or
keynote/plenary speakers, who might not be required to upload an abstract, but the association would
like them to provide information for the meeting program.
The file attachment step is used when a larger file or manuscript is needed from the submitter. The
association can allow submitters to upload one or more files. These files can be given to the
association in a mass group or provided to the reviewers as part of the review process online. Some
groups have also used this step to collect presentation files, such as PowerPoint slides. Others have
used this step to upload a fully-formatted C/V or resume instead of using the biography step above. It
may also be used to collect manuscripts, although more information about manuscripts is found in
later sections of the proposal.
The sponsor step allows AAS to apply any relevant business rules regarding the sponsorship of non-
member submitters. The tool allows AAS to provide OASIS will a list of members to be loaded into
the Sponsor step. When a non-member attempts to submit an abstract, they can look up the member
who is their sponsor and select their information. Once that member is chosen, an email goes out to
the member letting them know that this submitter has listed them as their sponsor. The Sponsor step
also allows AAS to determine a maximum number of non-members that one member can sponsor, if
Submission – additional features
Data Validation Tools
Many OASIS customers take special care in the production of their meeting publications by either 1)
submitting it to a copy editor for editing and redaction or 2) spending time and internal resources on
data clean-up and consistency tasks. CTT has historically provided reporting tools to assist in this
purpose. However, CTT has implemented some data validation tools into OASIS that will result in
“cleaner” more consistent entry of data at its source.
Although data can be standardized during the production of the publication, providing this service at
the submission end allows submitters themselves to verify the format, and provides cleaner, more
accurate copy to reviewers and program chairs, reducing the amount of editing required for the final
abstract output, and affording consistency of presentation in the Program Planner/Itinerary Builder.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 14
OASIS includes the ability for AAS to configure a specific format for abstract titles during the
submission process. This tool allows AAS to specify the desired title formatting (e.g. Title Case &
Bolded, All Caps not bolded, etc.) and OASIS will inform the submitter if they have violated this rule,
and automatically correct the title to the configured format. The title is then presented to the submitter
again to allow for minor tweaking to accurately reflect special words of acronyms that need to violate
the standard. CTT staff will provide guidance in the configuration process for using this tool.
Title and Author Information Validation for Abstract Body
OASIS has an optional warning/clean-up tool for submitters who accidentally include their title or
author information within the abstract body. Typically, this mistake happens when the submitter
uploads a prepared file containing both the abstract text, and the corresponding title and author
information. In the past, CTT and association staff members spent significant time removing this data.
Usage of this configuration option can decrease the time significantly. It is especially important to
include this quality assurance step in the instances where the association conducts a blinded review of
The tool works by looking through the abstract body when it is posted to the database. If it finds an
exact match to the text that was entered in the Title step, OASIS will delete the title and alert the user
to the deletion. For author information, the system checks the abstract for text that resembles an
author’s name or proper names in general. If it finds a match, it warns the user that the author
information may have been improperly included. .
Title Validation and Removal
Example of a Pop-up Warning
that OASIS has deleted the
Title from the Abstract
The warning text that appears for title removal and author data is configurable.
Example of an Abstract body
where OASIS has detected
possible author data.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 15
Structured Sessions (Full Proposal/Session Submissions)
CTT understands the important differences in handling differences between a regular call for proposals
and a more structured single or multi-speaker session proposal. The standard submission module is
just not appropriate in some cases, which is why OASIS includes another module for submission. In
the past few years, the addition of more diverse users of OASIS has driven the tools to grow to
incorporate very specialized submission components to allow clients to efficiently manage these types
Depending on the specific needs of the AAS, it may opt into using the OASIS Structured Sessions
tools for collection of some of its submissions for its meetings. The structured sessions site can be
configured to include all of the basic session information, as well as the specific information needed
about each participant in the session (if there is more than 1 -- speakers, moderators, discussants, etc. –
as applicable) so that AAS can properly put together the entire program. AAS could then utilize the
OASIS notification tools to get in contact with each participant in the session to collect additional
information as necessary, relieving the organizer/coordinator/submitter from providing everything up-
front. Data collection requirements could include (for example):
A more detailed talk title for that speaker Audio-Visual requirements
A technical speaker abstract Handouts or a PowerPoint Presentation
A biography or CV/resume Any other additional questions
AAS may decide to also use the structured sessions tool to collect information about other special
sessions or use it for conducting a speaker nomination process. Alternatively, the OASIS
administrative tools provide back-end methods for putting together any sessions that are created
entirely by AAS staff or committee members, and then notification is still used to collect information
specifically from the speaker.
Below are some example screen shots of the Structured Sessions module, which is highly configurable
like all the modules of OASIS.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 16
Welcome Page with list of submission types allowed: (AAS can include personalized instruction text)
Session Information screen
This is where AAS could include the high-level session description, and any other information
relevant to the overall session, such as subject classification, session abstract, target audience,
educational level, etc. Again, all the instructions are configurable.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 17
Chair Information Screen:
AAS can have as many roles as necessary configured for the session proposal. In the case below,
there are screens for Chair, Co-Chair and Speakers. The session roles are configurable and will match
the session personnel needs of AAS. Instructions at the top of each screen are configurable as well.
Additionally, AAS may take advantage of a “People Lookup” tool (circled below). CTT can be
contracted to load in a list of AAS members or past participants based on a data file prepared by AAS.
This list is not limited to members, but is specifically used as a look-up. Once loaded into OASIS, the
submitter can look up his/her desired session personnel and select them for the particular role in the
session, requiring less data entry by the user.
Once entered, each participant type has a summary page, so the submitter can add more participants of
that type, or so they can rearrange, edit or delete.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 18
The speaker section also includes configurable instruction text, the “People Lookup” tool, and can
include demographic information as well as information about that person’s talk (such as presentation
title, a non-technical abstract, minutes proposed for this participant to speak, funding requests, etc. ).
Some groups will collect the speaker abstract here, but most will use notification to collect the speaker
abstracts after the session has been accepted.
The “People Lookup” tool can be configured to contain the same information as the membership
upload into OASIS from the AAS membership system or can be a completely different list of potential
speakers. AAS only need provide a list and the People Lookup table can be populated. CTT and AAS
can discuss this further to determine the best option.
Once a speaker is entered, the submitter views a summary screen where he/she can add another
speaker, rearrange the order of the speakers, or delete a speaker record and replace it with someone
else. Once the maximum number of speakers allowed is reached, the “Add a Speaker” button is
replaced with a “Continue” button.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 19
After the submitter has entered all the relevant information for the session, they will be brought to the
Summary page, which provides a complete listing of all the information included in the session
proposal. Here, the submitter can decide whether or not to submit the proposal as final, or to leave it
open in case they would like to make further changes to the session at a later date.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 20
Overall, the Structured Sessions module was designed to simplify the process of handling information
for more diverse types of sessions in a meeting. AAS may have the opportunity to take advantage of
these tools, which have a great deal of flexibility, and streamline the process of creating sessions and
populating them with speakers, because the Structured Sessions submission site handles this task
In addition, the Session Builder tools described later in this proposal, include functionality for the
AAS scientific program committee to easily evaluate the submissions, and determine which sessions
will be accepted as is, which ones need tweaking, and which ones may ultimately not be a part of the
program (as applicable). The Session Builder is also flexible enough for the committee to work with
the session personnel from several sessions, and design a new session from several submitted
proposals, if necessary. It can be used by the committee members individually, and is also a great
collaborative tool to use during an in-person meeting. The Session Grid (described in more detail later)
gives the committee a place to organize all of the sessions into appropriate dates and locations for
presentation. Its “drag and drop” functionality makes slotting the sessions into rooms and times a
CTT recognizes that many times the committee goes through a number of iterations on the program
before finalizing the number and personnel in each session. The OASIS tools make this easy on all
parties: submitters, AAS committee members, and AAS staff.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 21
Don’t die in the details!
In OASIS, it’s easy to find and organize the mass of information needed to
build your annual meeting. The OASIS administration system allows AAS staff
to accomplish five main tasks: looking up abstract and user records, running
detailed real-time reports, managing the online review system, managing
notifications and bulk emails, and organizing presentations into sessions. Other
tools exist to handle miscellaneous jobs.
Access to the administration system is controlled by a pass-gate that protects the live data. One or
more members of the AAS staff will have administrative access. OASIS staff can add new admin
users for AAS at anytime.
Most reports and lookups are “wizard” based, allowing the user to step through a sequence of screens
to build a custom report or lookup. This interface provides a great deal of flexibility and obviates the
need to sift through a long list of custom, static reports.
Report output can be copied and pasted into Microsoft Excel or Word for further manipulation,
thereby making practically any reporting or output requirements easy to meet. Additionally, searches
of data work on partial matches. If a user searches for “John,” for instance, the system will return
“Johns” and “Johnson.”
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 22
Sets of tools allow quick access to the record of individual abstracts and system users.
Search – Simple and Advanced
The simple search box is located near the top of the page, to the right of the meeting selection
dropdown. This box supports simple (non Boolean and non-phrase) searching no matter where you are
in the system. Just type in a term and click the “Search” button. The results will appear in the main
The results are divided by activities and by sessions. You can use the “Jump to” links to go back and
forth between the sets of results.
The activities results show the control number and title (hyperlinked to the control view for the
record), along with the author/presenter information formatted as per the author block used in the
activity. If the presentation is already in a session, you will also see a “Slotted in” line giving the
session title, which is hyperlinked to the Session Information screen.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 23
The session results show the session number and title, hyperlinked to the Session Information screen.
If a location has been defined for the session, that information will appear in the listing as well.
The simple search looks in the following fields for activities:
Author First Name (all authors)
Author Last Name (all authors)
Institution Name (all authors)
Author Member ID
Poster Board Number
…and in the following fields for session records:
Advanced Search Instructions
To access the Advanced Search form, click on the Advanced Search link at the top of the main
Administration system menu, or click on “Switch to Advanced Search” from the simple search results.
The Advanced Search provides a form where you can enter control or session data.
The form supports the Boolean “And” function so the more terms you enter, the more precise (and
fewer) the results.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 24
Start by enter search terms in the appropriate field boxes. You can also choose to limit the search in
the following ways:
Activity: Select an activity from the dropdown at the top
Complete Status: Check one or more: Finalized, Complete, Incomplete, and Deleted.
Program Status: Check one or more: Accepted, Undefined, Withdrawn, Rejected, Removed by
Session Role Status: Check one ore more: Invited, Confirmed, Primary, Undefined, Alternate,
Declined, Unable to Attend
If searching for specific sessions, use those fields and filters at the bottom of the form.
Start by entering a search term in either the Session Title or the Session Number box (or both). Then,
you can limit the search further in the following ways:
Session Type: Select a type from the dropdown at the top of the Session form.
Location: Select a specific room from the Location dropdown.
Session Status: Check one or more: Active, Inactive, Undefined.
Session Rule Status: Check one or more: Locked, Complete, Incomplete, Deleted.
Click any of the Search buttons (top and bottom of the screen) to execute the search. The search results
work in the same manner as for the simple search.
The “Find Account” tool searches on the submitter last name, first name, city, country, and e-mail
address. The search is Boolean so the more fields used in the search, the narrower the search results.
The results list includes last name, institution, city, country, and e-mail address and can be sorted by
name, city, country/city, and e-mail address.
The user can choose to view the record with or without editing privileges. The OASIS system also
provides a compare tool that allows the user to check potential duplicate user records and consolidate
them into one user profile.
The user record contains all of the data entered when the submitter created the user profile. It also
contains a list of abstracts submitted by the user; the entries in the list are hyperlinked to the full
corresponding abstract record.
Finally, the record contains a tool that allows the administrative user to create a new submission (of
any of the valid submission types) for the user record without having to use the online submission
Create User Account
This section of the administration system also allows the association to enter new abstracts and invited
speakers without having to use the submission system. AAS staff can first run a search on a person’s
name to see if the individual is already in the contact database. If a proper contact record is found, it
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 25
can be used as described above for the new submission, and prevent a duplicate user record from being
created. If the name is not in the database, the administrative user can enter the contact information
directly on the screen.
After identifying a name and supplying a title, the association can then access an abbreviated form to
provide all of the details of the abstract or invited speaker data.
The OASIS administration system makes reporting easy by providing “wizards” to return detailed lists
of information on the entire data set. For specialized reporting requirements, OASIS provides some
“push button” reports as well. The reports will be described below. First, however, an overview of the
field, filter, and sort options may prove useful:
Fields are the pieces of information stored in the OASIS database. Fields are the information
included on the report, such as name, address, session name, abstract control number, topic
categories, disclosures, etc.
Filters restrict the output based on certain criteria. The criteria are usually a status (such as
complete vs. incomplete or accept vs. reject) or a type (such as a submission type or a session
Sort options arrange the output in a specific order, such as by control number, author name,
zip code, etc.
The “Report Wizard” is one of the most powerful tools in OASIS. It has full field, filter, and sort
options and covers most of the database. It also allows Boolean filters to be added to the report design,
which affords extensive control of the report output. Uses could include creating a report to see all
abstracts submitted under each topical area for assistance in determining the reviewer assignments.
Alternatively, another report might be run to obtain the e-mail addresses of all incomplete abstracts in
a specific category sorted by control number, etc.
The design of the wizard emphasizes flexibility. For example, instead of forcing the user to choose
from predetermined sort options, the system allows the user to sort on each field to be included in the
report (up to three). Instead of filtering the data on prewritten queries, the system allows the user to
build his or her own filters based on the fields to be included in the report.
The first step in running a report is to give it a name and a brief description. Each report is saved and
the main reports menu lists all saved reports. A saved report allows the report to be re-run without
specifying the setup again.
For a new report, the setup consists of three steps: defining the fields, building the filters, and
establishing the sort orders.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 26
The system presents a list of all the collected fields from the database. The user simply
highlights the field and then clicks the “Add” button to select a field to include in the report.
Available fields include:
Contact/person information (name, address, phone, fax, e-mail, membership
Session information (type, category, name, start/stop time, date, location, etc.)
Presentation information (final presentation number, start/stop time, etc.)
Presenter information (name, institution, e-mail address, etc.)
Abstract information (control number, title, authors, topics, keywords, status, etc.)
The system allows Boolean controls on each field specified to be included on the report. If the
field is based on a list in the database (such as topic/category) the list is provided in a
dropdown. For other fields, text can be typed directly in a box. A dropdown box of operators
allows the user to define the relationship. Operators include:
• IS NOT NULL
• IS NULL
• IS NOT EQUAL TO
• DOES NOT CONTAIN
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 27
Thus, to find cases where abstracts did not supply a membership number, the user could
choose the membership number field and define a rule to find cases where the field is NULL
(or empty). To find cases in which the submitter applied for an award, the user could choose
the award field and define a rule to find cases where the field EQUALS “true.” To find
abstracts where the title contains a particular word, the user could choose the title field and
define a rule to find cases where the title CONTAINS that word or series of words.
Each field may be filtered, so the resulting report can be very precise.
The wizard allows up to three sorts on the fields specified. For each sort level, a field can be
selected from a dropdown menu and the direction of the sort (ascending or descending) can
also be selected.
Each report will have a header that displays the title of the report and documents the parameters under
which it was run. Parameters include the date and time the report was run, the title of the report, and
the number of records included on the report.
This push button report displays summary statistics in two tables. The first table includes, for each
submission type, the number of complete, incomplete, and deleted abstracts. The second table
includes, for each submission type, the number of abstracts based on acceptance type (undefined,
accepted, rejected, removed by staff, and withdrawn). Both tables have running totals.
This push button report displays the total number of abstracts (by submission type) for each country,
and within the United States, by each state. Totals are provided by submission type and country and
This mini-wizard provides several useful reports. The complete status, acceptance status, and
submission type are specified first. Then, the grouping is defined, which determines the output.
Grouping options include:
This is a condensed wizard report focusing solely on author data. It reports on all authors, not just the
presenting and contact authors. The first screen wizard allows the association to specify the fields
(such as control number, author name, order in author block, presenter status, and other demographic
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 28
data depending on the submission site configuration). The user then specifies filters for
activity/submission type, completeness, and acceptance. Finally, the user specifies the output option
and runs the report. There is no sorting option, but the user can limit the results to the presenting
Session Proof Report
This is another condensed wizard, but it focuses on session information. The user specifies which
session types to filter by, and then specifies which fields to include on the report. A dropdown menu
allows the user to sort by session type, category, number, title, start time, and location. The user then
specifies the output option and runs the report.
This report scans the database and returns all cases in which a submitter is scheduled to be in more
than one place at the same time. Information on the report includes author name, role in session,
session number and title, start/stop time, location, and control number of presentation. AAS staff can
use this report to identify real conflicts and then use other administration tools to correct the
assignment and notify presenters if necessary.
Abstract Proof Report
This special report allows AAS staff to print out the abstracts after they have been assigned to
sessions. The user first specifies which transmittal information to include with the body of the abstract
(control number, submission type, status, title, author block, topics/categories, keywords, submission
and completion dates) and then specifies which session information (session name and number,
presentation number) to include with each abstract. The user then sets the filter options (completeness,
acceptance, submission types).
A second screen allows the user to limit the data further. Options include a range of control numbers,
specific control numbers, and specific topic/categories. The user can run the report wizard to obtain a
list of control numbers that meet a certain criterion and then paste these numbers in the window for
specific control numbers.
Finally, the user runs the report, and can then transfer the data to a word processor or page layout
program. In some cases, the abstract proof report and the session proof report provide an
economical option for creating programs and abstract books as they provide a way for AAS staff
to extract the data without paying for any special extract reports created by CTT’s team.
This push button report allows the user to generate an index file to import into a final program or
abstract book. The report lists a variety of indexing formats and the results can be pasted into a word
processor or page layout program. Author names are keyed to presentation numbers and some formats
allow bolding of the presenting author’s name.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 29
This push button report allows the user to generate a keyword index file to import into a final program
or abstract book. There is currently one standard report that lists the keywords and the respective
Control Log Report
As staffs of CTT and AAS manipulate the abstracts in the database, OASIS tracks and logs various
activities. These logs are available to view individually within each abstract record. For a complete
summary of the log, this report can be used.
The wizard allows the user to enter a date range for the report, and then from two select boxes, choose
the staff member and activity types to include. Finally, a dropdown menu allows the user to sort by
date/time, control number, and staff person/control number.
The resulting onscreen report includes the date/time stamp, log entry action, description of action, and
staff person responsible for the action. Some societies use this report as an errata sheet, running it just
before the meeting, and copying it to inform attendees of last minute changes.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 30
The notification system was designed to provide a more robust method of communicating with
abstract submitters, invited speakers, moderators and other participants in a society’s meeting.
Initially available only for OASIS staff, the tools have been being expanded to allow usage by society
The notification system has already been used by many customers to notify submitters of their
disposition, as well as provide an interactive tool whereby the recipient can confirm their intent to
participate in the meeting (in the role described in the letter) and provide additional information to the
society such as A/V requirements, disclosures, confirmation of abstract data, and uploading of any
supporting documentation, such as biographies, C/Vs, etc. The notification tool can also be used for
societies that collect a full-length manuscript from accepted presenters.
CTT has expanded the notification tools discussed above to include further configuration options.
Portions of the tool are actually available for AAS to manage notifications to members and complete
their own configurations. Notification is found in the Administration System under the Notifications
Summary page in the
notification section, detailing
the current notification types in
use for this meeting
CTT staff can set up a “template” for each type of notification, such as warning incomplete submitters
that the deadline is approaching, or notifying accepted presenters of their status. The template lets the
user control the scope of the notification from a basic message to a set of actions in which the
presenter can accept the assignment and even provide additional data.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 31
Summary page within a
CTT staff can be contracted to configure the emails and templates that will deliver the notifications,
also, AAS can use this tool to configure the email text and notification actions, once trained on the ins-
and-outs of the tool. CTT staff often configures the templates in the beginning, with society staff
taking on more of the responsibility later when skills have increased or budget dictates it. This tool
allows the user to populate each template with control numbers and even to reset them without relying
on CTT staff to do this.
This tool offers two ways to assign controls (people) to the notification. Control numbers can be
entered directly into a box.
Example of the screen
providing for direct entry of
control numbers for a
Or, the user can access a mini-wizard to filter by status, session type, and activity type.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 32
Wizard tool for selection of
recipients via filtering
This tool will continue to evolve to give the customer more control over the notification process. Its
tracking ability also will help AAS stay on top of who has received and responded to an email
notification, versus who may not have received it, or who is simply not responding to AAS requests
for further information. Reminders are easy to send on an active notification template, and ensure
better compliance from presenters.
The “Sessions” section of the administration system allows the user to create, fill, and view meeting
sessions. Once this information is in the system, CTT can use it to produce the online Program
Planner/Itinerary Builder to aid those who plan on attending the annual meeting.
A tool to create data that will later be used when making a session is the “Location Wizard.” This is a
simple screen that allows the association to define room names and capacities.
One screen serves to create the room definitions and list them. The entries in the list can be re-sorted
by room name and capacity.
This section allows AAS staff to create the individual sessions, describe them, and add presentations
A dropdown menu contains the session types defined during the configuration process. The user
simply selects one from the menu. The user can then enter a session title and assign a primary and
secondary topic category to the session. The topic categories are populated from those defined for the
submission system. Using them to describe sessions is optional.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 33
AAS staff can assign a room to the session by selecting a room from the “Meeting Location”
dropdown menu. The association will have defined these rooms earlier by using the “Location
Two text area boxes are provided for other descriptions. One is intended for descriptions that will be
published; the other is for internal use. A field is also offered for the association to enter the
continuing education credit hours available for attending the session.
The session start and stop times can be entered by hand or built using a special calendar pop-up
After describing the session, the user can click a button to create the session. The user can then create
another session, edit the existing session, or, if ready, slot presentations into the session.
To add presentations, the user opens a screen that allows for direct entry of control numbers. After the
user saves the numbers, the system will perform error checking to warn the user if a number does not
exist for the meeting, has been withdrawn or rejected, or has been assigned to another session.
To edit sessions, the user can open a screen to modify the session descriptions, and can also open a
screen to change or reorder the assigned presentations.
After slotting presentations into the session, the association can view the session again as a complete
session block. The screen includes the session number, title, type, categories, continuing education
hours, start/stop times, session description, and internal comments. Below the session information is a
grid with the presentations in order. For each presentation, the screen displays the order, control
number, presentation number, poster board number, start/end times, title, and author block. This page
can be printed for a hard copy session proof.
Search for Session
After sessions have been added to the system, the association may use the session finder to locate
them. Upon first launching the session finder, the user will see all sessions listed, arranged by session
number. Using controls at the top of the screen the user can redisplay the list with only specific
sessions. The system allows searching by session type, session title (partial matches are listed), session
number, and session date. Another search option allows the user to enter a particular control number of
a presentation and return the session or sessions containing the presentation.
The session lists can be resorted on the screen by number, title, time, and location. This screen also
allows the user to delete, view, or edit a session.
Another area of the administration system is used to manage the online review and scoring process.
This tool will be discussed in context with the online review system on the following pages.
Session Import/Export Tool
A new tool in OASIS allows society or CTT staff to more quickly complete the detailed session
information. Once sessions are created in the system (only requiring session type and session title), a
data sheet can be exported to the user’s desktop in Excel. The user can then complete detailed
information on the session in a much quicker, less error prone way. For instance, sessions can be
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 34
organized into the correct order in the spreadsheet, and then quickly numbered in much less time than
clicking into each session within the OASIS Admin interface. The same is true for entering individual
presenter times and presentation numbers. Once the data is entered into the spreadsheet, the user can
upload it back into OASIS, and the tool will automatically apply the data to each appropriate session
and presenter role.
Administration Module – additional features
Copy Reports from Report Wizard
OASIS Administrative tools have the capability for all saved reports from the Report Wizard to be
copied from one meeting to the next. This feature will save administrative users time in creating
reports that are used consistently from one meeting to the next. As part of the configuration process,
CTT can copy all saved reports to the new meeting. AAS can then delete unneeded reports from the
new meeting, or change their parameters to fit the requirements of the new meeting. Full report
wizard creation (as described herein) will of course be available for the creation of new reports as
Configurable Formats for Session and Abstract Proof Reports
OASIS has the ability to configure the styles of the Session and Abstract proof reports. To illustrate
the power of the style sheets, below is an example of the previous layout (below left) and a modified
report (below right) which allows the user to provide a better visual definition of each session and it
The styles can be applied to the font family, size, style, color, weight, spacing, and indents. The styles
do not affect the order or arrangement of data.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 35
Don’t let your VIPs look like this!
Send them to the OASIS! The OASIS review system allows you to set up the
process efficiently and the reviewers to do their jobs easily.
This section of the administration system contains the tools to manage the
online review process. You can set up the reviewer database, assign abstracts
to reviewers, monitor reviewer progress, and report on reviewer scores.
This section allows AAS staff to enter the contact information for each reviewer. In addition to the
standard address fields (first name, last name, institution, department, address, city, state, zip/postal
code, country, phone, fax, and e-mail); there are fields for assigning a login and password for the
reviewer to use in accessing the site.
For each reviewer, AAS staff can also specify various levels of permissions to use features of the
review system. OASIS allows reviewers not only to read and score the abstracts, but at the discretion
of AAS staff, search other abstracts, slot abstracts in sessions, and other activities desired by the
The permissions can be assigned in groups or at the individual level, so it would be possible to give a
program chair “special” permissions not available to others.
AAS admin staff can monitor the reviewers via a special report. This report lists each reviewer, and
provides basic contact information (including hotlinked e-mail address) as well as the number of
abstracts assigned to the reviewer and the number of abstracts the reviewer has actually scored. More
detailed information on each reviewer can also be accessed, and includes a listing of each abstract
assigned as well as the reviewers’ scores and comments.
This option allows AAS staff to view a preformatted score report on screen. The score report allows
Specify the sort order based on average score and standard deviation
Specify the precision of the averaging down to three decimal points
Toggle on or off the category grouping and reviewer information
The report itself lists for each abstract the average score, standard deviation, individual raw scores, and
all reviewer comments and flags (such as newsworthy). The report allows the user to drill down on
each abstract (to the control record) as well as each reviewer. If the reviewer option was chosen, the
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 36
report also shows the number of abstracts assigned and scored by reviewer, and the reviewer’s average
score and standard deviation.
Reviewers will be able to access their assigned abstracts online. CTT can arrange to make
downloadable files available for the reviewers to print hard copies of the abstracts. CTT can also mail
hard copies of abstracts to reviewers for an additional charge.
CTT can send an e-mail message to each reviewer with a login, password, some general instructions,
and a link to the online review site. Once logged in, reviewers can choose to read offline, but score
online (dubbed “Quick Scoring” on the site) or to both read and score online (dubbed “Standard
Scoring” on the site).
In the quick scoring method, reviewers evaluate the hard copies of the abstracts. Their scores can be
noted on the abstract, or AAS staff can use the administration system to provide hard copy score
sheets for the reviewers. These sheets list each control number and provide a space for a score and
comments. After finishing the abstracts, the reviewer accesses the site and transfers the scores online.
The reviewer can download a prepared reviewer packet, which may be set up for each reviewer in a
PDF file. Selecting this option opens a screen with brief instructions and a link to a file created by
CTT. This file will be in a format agreed upon by CTT and AAS staff. The reviewer will click on the
link, and will then be able to print their assigned abstracts. CTT or AAS staff can also mail the hard
copy packets to the individual reviewers upon request.
The last step for the reviewer is to score the abstracts. Selecting this link opens a new window with
each abstract listed. The list will include the control number, title, submission type, primary author,
and subsection category. The reviewer can enter a score by selecting a value from the dropdown list
and enter comments about the abstract. The reviewer can also select from a set of pre-established
comments and/or enter a free-text comment. CTT can also configure the site to indicate certain flags,
such as “newsworthy”. CTT and AAS staff will determine the reviewer scoring system as specified
by the admin staff of the meeting.
Selection drop-down boxes at the bottom of the page allow the reviewer to control the number of
abstracts listed per page (10 or 25), re-sort the abstracts (control number, title, submission type, and
topic), and limit the display to unscored abstracts, scored abstracts, or all abstracts. At the bottom of
each page is a “Save Data and Continue” button that must be used to commit the scores to the
OASIS has the capability for the reviewer who wishes to read abstracts offline to also enter their
scores off line as well. In order to use this method, the reviewer downloads (Exports) a pre-formatted
excel spreadsheet which includes all of the scoring criteria and a list of all the control records assigned
to them. The score sheet will include a place for comments and other flags, as well as the numeric
score. Reviewer can read abstracts and enter scores into this spreadsheet. After completion, rather
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 37
than going back to OASIS and entering each score for the abstracts evaluated, the reviewer can upload
(Import) their score sheet into OASIS in one quick step. Review teams that have utilized this tool have
found it to be a significant time-saver for those members who like to read the abstracts offline.
In the standard scoring process, the reviewer can read each abstract online and score it before moving
to the next abstract.
The reviewer starts by clicking “Review Abstracts”. The first unscored abstract will appear. The
screen lists each abstract and includes the control number, title, submission type, topic, and abstract.
After the abstract, a dropdown menu appears with values for the reviewer to select for the score. The
reviewer can also choose among pre-established comments, as well as a free-text comment. The
reviewer must save the scores and comments after each abstract.
The reviewer continues in this fashion until all of the abstracts have been scored.
Advanced Session Slotting Capabilities
The OASIS Session Builder tool allows the AAS committee to slot abstracts and chairpersons into the
sessions assigned to their area. It provides the capability to spread the work of slotting abstracts into
sessions among several people, who can later compare and make necessary changes to finalize the
The description begins with an overview of the typical left-hand menu items the user will see upon
logging into the session builder.
Session Summary will display the list of sessions assigned to be slotted.
These are customized assignments for each person.
Score Report will let the user report on the abstracts that are available
for assignment. It will also allow the slotter to move abstracts that cannot
be used in their sessions, but should be programmed, into a “Swap
Space” where other committee members can access the abstracts.
Swap Space lists any abstracts the assigned committee member could
not program, but wish to make available for the rest of the committee to
consider. Each committee member can select presentations from here and
place them into one of their sessions.
Extra Menu Area provides a space for the staff to link other helpful
tools within the menu bar, such as a list of the committee members with
links to their email addresses. CTT can also provide a set of instructions
here which includes text and screen shots of the session builder, so that
members may refer to this document throughout the process.
Additionally, the extra menu area can be used to put a specific message
to the committee -- usually something that the society wants to make sure
is displayed throughout all pages in the session builder.
Search All will allow the committee member to search through the
abstracts that are not assigned to their area. Abstracts cannot be selected directly from the results;
however, the results allow users to view all presentations and use a process to request one of the
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 38
Feedback is a way for users to provide comments about the system to the OASIS development and
product management team.
Logout lets the user leave this tool. The resulting page warns users to close all their browser sessions
for maximum security.
Clicking on this first menu item will display the list of sessions that the user has access to, or has
already begun to fill in. It operates as a “home-page” for the user, and lists the status of each session
(number of abstracts slotted, chairpersons recommended, minimum and maximum roles, etc.)
The Session Summary displays the sessions available grouped by the session types – for instance, it
will list all of the oral sessions together and any poster sessions together. The builder can display as
many different session types as should be filled by the user.
The session summary also displays the current status of the session:
In this example, the current status of the above session is that it contains 2 abstracts, out of a minimum
of 0 and a maximum of 20, as well as 1 invited abstract out of minimum of 0 and a maximum of 20, as
well as no moderators, with 2 required.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 39
By clicking on the name of any session, the user is brought into the session detail and workspace for
that session, beginning with the session header (described below).
Before clicking on a particular session, users may want to get a list of the abstracts available to them
by clicking on the Score Report button in the menu. The resulting filter page allows users to search by
a score cutoff, or, if no scoring occurs, users can simply run the report based on all abstracts in their
queue, or only the ones which they still need to assign.
Assigning Items to Sessions
This tool can be used before accessing a session or the tool can be used from within a session.
Outside a Session
For those who wish to assign from a list of presentations, users can click on the Score Report link,
enter a cut-off value—1 (low) to 10 (high), decimals allowed—in the box, and choose “Only
After clicking “Run Report” a list of abstracts will appear, grouped by category, and listed in
descending score order. Clicking on a title will open the abstract detail in a separate window. The
committee member can check off a set of related abstracts, select a session, and then click “Transfer”
to move the presentations to the session. The system will then open the session for the user to fine-
tune placement and timing. In the same fashion, the user can select “Swap” from the session list and
transfer the checked items into the Swap Space instead of a session.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 40
Within a Session
For those who already have a list of presentations for their sessions, they can click on an individual
session name and view the session detail. The detail is organized in a tabbed interface that allows the
user to move among the session header data, slotting screens by presentation type, a tool to enter
control number directly, and a final page to re-arrange all session types in relation to one another.
The system allows for configuration of read-only fields, as well as editable fields. In the example
above, the Session Type and Session Number cannot be edited, but the Session Title, Specialty, and
Comments can be edited.
This screen is configurable to allow the meeting staff to determine which session fields should display
to the committee members, and which ones can be edited.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 41
Moderators Tab (or any non-abstract role)
The Moderators page below initially gives two controls for each possible moderator. As illustrated in
the screen below, an ADD button allows the user to search for or create a moderator. Available names
will include anyone who has an OASIS account. The order button allows rearrangement of the
moderators once they have been placed in the session. This page is configurable to display whatever
number of available slots society staff would like added to the session.
When the user clicks on the add button, OASIS presents a search filter which allows the user to search
by last name, first name, email address, institution, city, and country. At least one field must be used to
define the search. The more fields used, the fewer results returned.
A control after the search fields allows the user to specify how many records to include per page (10,
25, 50, 100). If the user has a fast Internet connection, a larger number will be listed quickly. For
those users on a dial-up connection, 10 can be selected to provide the best performance possible.
If the moderator desired doesn’t come up after using the search, clicking on the “Back to Search”
button on the results page (illustrated below) will return to this form. At that point, the user can click
on the “Create a New Account” link to enter a new moderator. At least the first name, last name, and
e-mail address are needed to create a new moderator record.
After running a search, a screen like the one below appears.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 42
Each name appears with the institution, city, country, and e-mail data. To move from page to page of
results, use the page range links after the list of names (e.g., 1-10, 11-20). When the user finds the
name wanted, they will click on it.
Next, a screen with a summary of the moderator data will open.
The system can allow the user to edit this information if needed. When satisfied with the data, clicking
“Save Control.” will return to the session screen with the moderator added to the next available slot.
The system can be configured to warn the user that the selected participant is already assigned to other
session roles. For each role, the session and participation information is displayed.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 43
In the case above, the user selected a moderator who has already been assigned to one session. OASIS
presents two recourses. One is to return to the search and find another moderator. The other is to go
ahead and assign the moderator to the session. Such multiple use rules vary by association, and CTT
can configure the system to meet the AAS rules.
The screen below illustrates a completed “monitor” (moderator) tab.
To edit a slot, the user can click either the “Clear” or the “Replace” button. The “Clear” button
removes all data from the slot. The “Replace” button opens search interface again and the user can
find another person to replace the one already in the slot.
The Abstracts tab works in the much the same fashion as that for moderators, except that the abstract
search tool works with existing presentations. If the session has no assignments it will appear as below
with unassigned slots.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 44
If the slotter has already worked offline and knows the control numbers of the abstracts to add to the
session, the system can be configured for direct entry of control numbers for each slot in addition to a
search for control number for each slot. (Refer to the “Add Controls” tab below for another direct
entry method.) If the user needs to search for controls, he or she can click the “Add” button next to the
slot. The following the search interface will open.
Populating all three fields on this screen produces a very narrow search, or leaving all fields blank will
bring up the list of all abstracts assigned to the user. Additionally, other data, such as a score cutoff,
can be used for specific results.
After clicking on “Begin Search,” the following screen will open.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 45
The user can put a number indicating the order for each abstract to be added to the session. When
finished, clicking on “Assign to Session” will bring those abstracts into the session.
If only one abstract is chosen, it will be placed into the next available slot, regardless of which add
button is used.
If more than one abstract is chosen, all choices will be place in the session starting in the next
available slot and ordered by descending score.
If more abstracts are chosen than the maximum for the session, the system will prompt the user to run
another search, as the system does not allow the slotter to exceed the maximum.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 46
The “Clear” or the “Replace” or “Move” buttons are provided for each control. The “Clear” button
removes all data from the slot, and places that abstract back into the user’s queue of unsessioned
abstracts. The “Replace” button opens search interface again and the user can find another abstract to
replace the one already in the slot. The “Move” button allows the user to select another session from
their session assignments and move that abstract directly into another session. Also, the “Move”
button can be used to place the abstract into the “Swap Space.”
Add Controls Tab
The other way to add abstracts to the session is to use the “Add Controls” tab. This tool is not limited
to a specific activity type and therefore allows the user to add moderators and presentations in one
step. The user can choose this method if they already know the control numbers of the abstracts to
assign to the session.
If there are already abstracts in the session, their control numbers will appear in the box.
New numbers can be typed into the box. The items will be added to the session in the order they
appear in the box. At any time the user can click the “Click to Save Data button” The choices will
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 47
remain on this page so the user can add more numbers. The user can exit this tab by selecting another
This screen displays all activities (abstracts and moderators) on one page and allows the user to
perform final sorting and cleanup. In the example below, the moderator is being moved to the top of
the list by having a low number placed in its order.
The Swap Space is an area for users to place abstracts which could they could not use, but think
should be included in the program (usually because of a high score). Alternatively, it is also a place
where the user can find abstracts to complete a session.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 48
An example of the Swap Space appears below.
Clicking in the checkbox of any abstracts will allow the user to take that abstract. The user can either
move the choices directly into one of the user’s sessions, or simply place the choices into the user’s
assignment pool. If a session is chosen, the abstract will go into the first available slot in the session
and the system will take the user to the “Arrange All” tab of the session chosen.
Clicking on feedback opens a form to allow the user to provide comments about their experience using
the system. Comments and suggestions for improving it are very important to the product development
team, and considered in regular product development meetings. Comments can be shared with AAS.
Session Grid Tool
Once all of the sessions have been slotted with abstracts, the committee can use the OASIS Session
Grid to arrange the sessions into the designated days, times, and rooms to complete the scheduling
The sessions can first be color-coded to conform to some business logic necessary for scheduling such
as the type of session (oral, plenary, poster) or topical category (by subject area). The grid can be
configured to allow for only certain type of session in certain slots (by color) or remain flexible with
the only constraint being the length of the session.
To navigate inside the grid, the user simply selects a session to be scheduled by clicking on it and
“drags” it over to the time/room desired and then “drops” it into the appropriate spot. This action
automatically fills in the dates, time and location of the session in the OASIS admin module.
After slotting several sessions, the committee or AAS staff can use the “Conflict Report” to identify
any potential speaker conflicts that might have been created when applying dates and times. Since this
is a push-button report, the committee can use this report several times throughout the slotting process
to look for conflicts, make adjustments, continue scheduling, and look for conflicts again, until the
entire program is scheduled.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 49
Below is a screen shot of the Session Grid: (Note: gray areas can be used to block out times where
sessions may not be scheduled)
After scheduling the sessions, it is easy to use the “zoom out” tool to see a day at a glance and
determine if there are too many similar sessions scheduled in the same timeslot (same type, same
category). This high-level view is meant to provide a “day at a glance” to more easily identify
CTT recommends providing AAS committee members with a PDF instruction document that outlines
the review process and functionality. Additionally, CTT can be contracted to provide training to
committee members who will work on scheduling the abstracts. CTT believes that the users of this
tool are the VIPs of AAS. CTT will make every effort to ensure a positive experience for the
Review Site – additional features
Category Filter Tool
The category filter allows reviewers to better manage their own review process. Many reviewers
across CTT’s customer base are responsible for grading more than one category/topical area of the
overall abstract submissions. This filtering tool allows them to choose to view their assignments in the
“Review Abstracts” or “View Score Sheet” screens by either all categories assigned or by one
category at a time. Customers who have used this feature have found that it is very helpful in allowing
the reviewers to focus on all similar abstracts at once, and move from category to category in a more
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 50
Score sheet view with the
Category Filter set to “ALL” –
displaying full assignment list.
Score sheet view with the
Category Filter set to display
only 1 category.
In addition to displaying the score sheet with only the current category chosen, the system also
displays an additional “work in progress” message, which lets the reviewer know how many abstracts
have been scored in that particular category, versus how many are assigned. The category filter list
only includes categories assigned to that reviewer. Therefore, if the meeting includes 25 categories,
but a particular reviewer is assigned abstracts from 3 categories, that reviewer’s category filter drop-
down will only include the 3 choices available to them.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 51
The category filter can be turned on as part of the regular review site configuration at no additional
cost to AAS.
Histogram of Reviewer Scores
OASIS includes a configurable feature that allows each reviewer to see his or her own distribution of
scores. Over the years, CTT has received feedback from reviewers that it would be helpful if they had
a clear understanding of what percentage of high scores versus low scores they were giving to their
assigned abstracts. The histogram tool is part of the configuration process, and should AAS want to
utilize this as part of the review, it can be configured to display at no additional cost.
Example of a review site with
the Reviewer Histogram tool
Filter and Sort Options in Bulk View
OASIS has the same filter and sort options used in QuickScore in the Bulk View print option. This
feature allows reviewers to prepare their bulk print to match their quick score layout. Previously, bulk
view defaulted to a control number sort and could potentially not match the order of abstracts in
QuickScore. This way, a reviewer can more easily match up abstracts which have been read offline in
the order that they would like to enter the scores using QuickScore. This option is available to all
reviewers, and can be configured during the regular review site configuration process. The OASIS
operations coordinator can also include a set of configurable instructions at the top of the Bulk View
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 52
Bulk View Preferences in the
OASIS Review site
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 53
The OASIS system is backed by CTT’s outstanding customer service.
Every aspect of CTT’s product and services is geared towards what we’ve
learned about customer needs.
Some of the basic services offered are described below. Services are, however,
tailored to the specific needs of the association.
We pride ourselves on the outstanding customer service we provide to each
client. The satisfaction of our customers determines our success in this
business. We are dedicated to providing the AAS staff with the individual
attention they deserve throughout all points in the process.
Our first step is to introduce the association staff to the OASIS staff at the kick off meeting. At this
meeting, you meet members of your specific “team,” including the account executive, client services
manager and project coordinator. The account executive will oversee the initial process, from the time
of contract negotiations until after the kickoff meeting. The client services manager will oversee the
process from the kickoff to the end of the meeting, and will serve as a joint point of contact to AAS
staff. The project coordinator (PC) will see you through the entire logistics process, beginning at the
kick-off meeting. The project coordinator prepares a detailed time-line with all of your deadline dates.
To ensure that the deadlines are being met, the PC may hold periodic conference calls or in-person
meetings with the AAS staff members. These discussions keep both parties up to date regarding any
issues that might have occurred or may occur in the future.
We have created various outlets to ensure that our clients are fully trained on the OASIS system and
kept in the loop about various situations, such as a version upgrade. To handle this, we have
incorporated periodic User Group sessions in the Washington, DC area, in Chicago, IL or via
teleconference. The purpose of these meetings is to invite all of our existing clients and train the
group on various aspects of the system, such as reporting. We feel that this also allows our clients to
meet with one another and glean various ideas from each other’s associations. Our clients also receive
periodic OASIS tips over email. This medium of communications allows interaction between clients
and our staff, and keeps everyone updated regarding CTT activities.
Kick Off Meeting and Training
CTT proposes that the kick off meeting take place at the AAS office in Washington, DC. The goal of
this meeting is twofold: configuration of the activities for the first meeting using OASIS, and training
of the AAS staff on the OASIS administrative tools. The first part of the meeting will consist of
collecting the data needed to configure the AAS submission site with the appropriate information or
going over a draft site already configured prior to the meeting. Since the AAS team will be new to the
OASIS product, we would also want to spend an hour or two training staff on the basic features of the
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 54
administration module. CTT will also conduct training via teleconference or in-person for the AAS
staff throughout the year.
CTT and the association usually establish three abstract deadlines. One is the published deadline. CTT
also stores an “actual” deadline it its system. The actual deadline can be the same as the published
deadline or a few days after it. Up to either deadline, users can create new abstracts. The third deadline
is the “editing” deadline. Between the actual and editing deadlines, users can edit existing abstracts but
cannot create new ones. After the editing deadline, no edits can be made directly by the user, although
AAS staff and CTT can edit abstracts through the administration system.
CTT or AAS can use notification to send bulk e-mail to all submitters who have not completed their
abstracts by the deadline. This e-mail informs submitters that they have until the editing deadline to
complete the submissions. Submissions not completed by the editing deadline are not processed.
CTT generally recommends that the association be responsible for using the administrative system to
remove or merge duplicate abstracts (if applicable).
CTT configures the online review system with a dropdown list of possible score choices (accept/reject
or a numeric scale) and checkboxes for standard reviewer comments.
CTT can send bulk e-mail to all reviewers providing them with a login and password for the online
review system and a link to the association site. AAS will include on its web site any necessary
reviewer instructions and a link to the OASIS review system.
Session Building and Notification
AAS staff can use the administration system to create sessions and assign them to abstracts, or the
distributed session builder can be used, as described in the previous Reviewer section. After the
abstracts are assigned and approved, there are a few options for submitter notification of abstract
status. One is for the association to use the report wizard to generate acceptance information. This can
be exported to Microsoft Word and used in a mail merge operation to generate letters or e-mails. The
second option is for CTT to send the notification information via e-mail text. The third option is for
CTT to send an e-mail directing the recipient to a site that will contain a HTML letter with the
notification information, which is can be tracked and interactive to collect further information from the
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 55
Quality Assurance/Quality Control
CTT can be contracted to provide QA/QC to the abstracts both before the review phase, and at the
time of pre-publication. Alternatively, AAS staff can use the tools in OASIS to complete this highly
recommended QA/QC process. The steps involved in the standard QA/QC service involve:
After abstract submissions deadline and prior to the start of the review process, several quality
assurance reports will be generated. This quality assurance is performed to ensure that a reviewer has
the complete text and legible graphic or table to give a fair evaluation of the abstract. It does not
address formatting issues such as bolding or underlining that does not impair the grading of the
Standard schedule for this process is five business days following the submission editing deadline.
CTT will create a list of potential issues (e.g. graphics, tables, abstract body issues) with control
number. Where CTT can unambiguously determine the author’s true intent and can resolve the issue,
we will do so and note this on the list. If the issue requires follow up with the submitter, it is the
responsibility of the customer. CTT can be contracted to perform this additional level of service.
Graphic Issues Comments Status
425 Converted to GIF, but quality is
567 Unknown file type
Table Issues Comments Status
393 Empty table was removed Resolved
428 Excess blank rows were removed Resolved
563 Table is too wide, but unresolved
Abstract Body Issues Comments Status
391 Unsupported character – was just a Resolved
short hyphen and removed
425 Unrecognized character was Resolved
determined to be less-than-equal
545 Author block in abstract was Resolved
767 Strange ASCII characters – do not
understand author’s intent
Each report identifies a specific quality assurance check requirement.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 56
CTT will run a report to verify that all submitted graphics render in a browser (i.e. the graphic can
be seen as opposed to a symbol). If the graphic does not appear, CTT will attempt to convert
the graphic file and note the status in the list. CTT will not edit for quality purposes (e.g.
resolution, readability, cropping).
CTT will generate a report to identify all abstracts submitted to OASIS with a table. Each table is
reviewed and resolved as follows:
o Unnecessary empty rows or columns are removed
o Empty tables are deleted
o Abstract body text within a table is moved outside of the table, and the empty remaining
table is removed. If character count limitations are now violated, the abstract will change
to incomplete and be noted as such on the list.
CTT will attempt to fix the table and note the status in the list. CTT will not edit for quality
purposes (e.g. alignment, text and header formatting).
CTT will create a report listing abstracts containing unsupported special characters identified by
the text “[[”. CTT will attempt to identify the author’s intended symbol and change appropriately,
if possible. Issue and resolution, if taken, will be noted on the list.
CTT will run a report to identify any completed abstract having the author last name and first
name OR AUTHOR BLOCK in the body of the abstract. Author information would then be
deleted from the abstract body text and noted on the list. If there is additional author information
in this removed text that does not exist in the actual author list, this data will also be noted on the
list (copy/paste as necessary). CTT will not enter this missing author data as part of this standard
CTT will identify any completed abstracts having “Table of Contents” or “TOC” in the abstract
body. If this exists, CTT will remove the Table of Contents or TOC.
CTT will identify any completed abstracts having the title in the body of the abstract. The title
would then be deleted from the abstract body text.
CTT will identify any completed abstracts having bullet points or # signs in the body of the
abstract. The extraneous information would then be deleted from the abstract body text.
Should AAS require any other QA/QC processes, CTT will determine feasibility and whether the task
involves an additional fee for staff time. If requested, CTT can also build into the proposal the time
involved in managing the follow-up with submitters for items such as unrecognized symbols.
CTT can be contracted to desktop publish abstract books, proceedings, and the programs for AAS.
CTT will create the book in one of several desktop publishing programs currently utilized, and it will
be completed and ready to go to any printer of your choice. Final output presented to the printer can be
in the native file or as a PDF, depending of the printer’s preference. AAS staff members are
responsible for providing CTT with all collateral material (upfront letters, listings, and other
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 57
information) in an electronic format, so that CTT staff can import it into the design document for
combination with the abstracts and session information to create the full books.
CTT will also prepare any author and keyword indices, as requested. The indices will reference each
entry by final presentation number (page number reference is an additional charge due to the manual
Program Planner / Itinerary Builder
The OASIS Program Planner not only allows for searching the abstract and session data, but also
enables the user to mark sessions and abstracts of interest, storing them in a personalized itinerary.
Anyone who visits the AAS website can request an account to use the Program Planner. All potential
conference attendees will have access to this feature. CTT can also configure the site to embargo the
abstract data until the specified date.
Example initial view of Program
Planner with Simple Search
Box, Advanced Search button,
Browse button, and Itinerary
The search engine allows the user to enter any search term of his or her choice and run the search on
one of the following data fields:
Specific keywords entered by the submitter
Presenter last name
Presenter affiliation or institution
Before running the search, the user can specify how many records to return per page in increments of
10, 25, 50, and all. After the user executes the search, the system will return a list of matches. For each
match the list will present the session name, presentation title, presenter name and affiliation,
presentation time, and session start and end time.
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 58
Example of configurable
Advanced Search tools in
When search results are listed, both the session name and presentation title are hot linked. Clicking on
the session name will return in a separate window the complete session information, including the
meeting name, session number, session title, session type, session start and end times, and session
location. Then, each presentation in the session is listed by author and title, in presentation order.
Clicking on the presentation name (in either the results window or the session display) will result in a
separate window displaying the abstract or summary of the presentation (including title, authors,
affiliations, presentation number, and presentation text). If the session contains other personnel (e.g.,
moderators, arrangers, monitors, discussants, etc), they will be listed above the presentations with their
role in place of the presentation title.
Example of a Session Listing
with individual presenters
linked to their abstract data
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 59
The online viewer and itinerary builder also allows users to look up information by generating lists of
presentations ordered by session type or by meeting day. The session type listing allows the user to
sort presentations by modality while the date option allows the user to sort by chronology. The user
chooses from a dropdown menu which date or session type to display and can also limit the number of
returns per page. After executing the search, the user will see a list of sessions in chronological order.
For each session, the session name, start, and end times will be shown.
In any case in which a user views a list of sessions or presentations, each item in the list will have a
control for the user to add that item to a personalized itinerary. Adding a session shows only the
session information on the itinerary. However, the user can also add individual presentations that will
be added to a session if it is already in the itinerary. If the session is not in the itinerary, the system
will provide the basic session information with the selected presentation.
The system allows conflicting selections, making it possible to select two events that occur at the same
time on the same day. This feature allows the user to add more than one session of interest at a time,
making his or her final decision onsite.
If the user has already started an itinerary and runs other searches, the system will highlight in the
results area any sessions that the user had previously added to the itinerary.
The itinerary page lists the user’s selection in chronological order. Information includes session name,
start time, end time, location, and lists of individual presentations, if selected. Session and presentation
names are hot linked to more detailed information.
The itinerary page also includes two controls. The first allows the user to open a session from the
itinerary and add or remove each individual presentation from the itinerary. The second is a delete
button that will remove a session and all of its presentations from the itinerary. Users may print any of
the pages they desire, but a "Printable Itinerary" link will provide a page showing the complete
itinerary formatted for printing. Users can also transfer a copy of their itinerary to their Palm or
Windows CE device, or a Web-enabled phone.
The itinerary builder includes a login pass-gate that allows users to create the itinerary and return to
previous itinerary building sessions. Users do not require this login information unless they wish to
create and maintain an itinerary.
AAS staff will use the administrative system to incorporate any additional data beyond that which
CTT has already accumulated for abstracts. The system will include the association logo and the
association may also include one banner ad or logo on the site.
The site can be made available as soon as AAS staff has given final approval to all session
assignments. AAS staff will be responsible for creating a link on its site for users to access the
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and above
Netscape 4.0 and above
OASIS, Online Abstract Submission and Invitation System™ Proposal 60
Program Planner – additional highlights
New Desktop Planner Application!
The OASIS team is finishing up the development of an exciting new installed application which
mirrors the program planner / itinerary builder tool. This will allow a meeting attendee to go online,
download the full application, and then work with it offline to browse the sessions, read abstracts, and
create a personal itinerary. Many attendees wanted a way to use the itinerary builder while not online
– for instance while traveling to the meeting via airplane. This tool has many advantages over
distribution of a regular “abstracts on CD” product or hard copy publication. Since the program
planner contains, live, real time data, the downloadable application can be updated to include the most
recent information, long after the deadline for printed materials. When a user signs back into the
internet, their installed version can be updated for any changes since their last online session.
If AAS is interested in exploring this option, CTT has included an estimated cost in this proposal. The
fees listed reflect an “early-bird” discount, since this is the newest OASIS product.
The Program Planner supports a special Boolean search page, which can be turned on as part of the
standard site configuration. While the simple search casts a wide net, and the advanced search
provides more precision, the Boolean search allows for exacting precision in the search results. Users
can enter a keyword, select a specific field, and then toggle between an AND or OR option in
conjunction with the next keyword. The Boolean search page can be turned on as part of the Program
Planner site configuration at no additional cost to AAS.
Example of Boolean Search
tools in Program Planner
Separate the Session Leaders from the Presenters
AAS can decide to have CTT configure the program planner to show session personnel separately
from session presenters. The configuration option allows AAS to group them with a separate label. It
also removes the hyperlink because session leaders rarely have presentation information other than
their name and affiliation.
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Example Session Leaders
separated from Presentations
within Session View
Program Planner Statistics
CTT identified the need to provide Program Planner statistics to customer users, and has made the
following initial statistics available to customers through the new OASIS Share Point tool. Share
Point is described in more detail in the Appendix; however, the list below outlines current statistics
Current Program Planner statistics include:
Number of Program Planner accounts
Number of accounts with itineraries
Number of searches for simple, advanced, and Boolean by presentation or by session
Top search terms
Number of searches by field for advanced and Boolean
Other Program Planner features include:
User can add Personal Notes from the Itinerary to their PDA output
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CTT proposes a discounted multi-year contract for AAS. The costs herein are based on the estimate of
3,850 total control records, including abstracts, speakers, session chairs and any other moderator-type
roles, which can be tracked and notified within OASIS (as exact numbers change, licensing fee is
adjusted to reflect accurate numbers, outside of a 7.5% boundary). The total cost is based on the
amount of services required. The cost summary is based on the assumptions below. Detailed pricing is
found on the next page, prior to the Appendices.
Abstract license fees listed here are based on estimated records. This number includes all
abstract submissions, speaker submissions, and chair/co-chair/moderator records as applicable.
AAS may choose to go with the low-service option, or any combination of services found
within the mid-service and high-service options. There is complete flexibility in which
services AAS may choose.
OASIS standard license fees may be discounted for the execution of a multi-year
arrangement. This proposal includes a 1-year, 3-year and a 5-year option.
OASIS standard license fee includes: submission, review, session builder, administration, and
program planner / itinerary builder modules.
OASIS license for the notification module will be listed separately, but is highly
recommended as a best practice over having each email notification handled outside of OASIS
using an external bulk email tool. CTT can be contracted to assist in the template creation,
however, the tools within OASIS allow for AAS staff to complete this work as well.
License fees indicated do include hosting and internet access fees.
CTT can be contracted answer technical support questions from submitters from 9am-5pm
CST, Monday through Friday and 9am-5pm CET, Monday through Friday.
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Appendix A - SharePoint Description
At no additional cost to AAS, CTT will provision a Microsoft SharePoint site that will support
communication, training, and project management activities. SharePoint has proved such a valuable
communication tool that CTT has made extensive internal use of it and has provisioned it for key
clients to share the benefits.
These benefits include, among others:
Support for multiple meetings
Detailed management of project tasks and deliverables
Executive view of key OASIS data
Quick links to all OASIS modules
Shared document library for specifications, files, etc.
Updated training and documentation library
Comprehensive contact list for all AAS, OASIS, and third-party vendor staff
Product suggestion link for AAS to provide feedback
The Main Page
The main page of the SharePoint site will contain key information that is not specific to a meeting.
This page will keep AAS abreast of OASIS Training Document Library; new features, server
maintenance, and general announcements, and a master task and deliverables list (DMS).
SharePoint OASIS Main Page
for a specific society
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From the main page, AAS will be able to drill down to meeting-specific pages.
Example of a document library
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Document libraries are invaluable for sharing files and eliminate the confusion inherent in sharing files
by email or via ftp. AAS, CTT, and third-party vendors will always know where to find the correct
version of an approved file. In the example above, links are provided for specifications, templates, and
shared files. To give an example of the flexibility of these libraries, the “Session PDF Files” illustrates
a repository of files that are loaded by CTT staff, checked out by the client, and then approved by the
Deliverable Management System
A key component of the meetings page is the DMS (deliverable management system) which is the
comprehensive tasks and deliverables list for the meeting. CTT will load this data into SharePoint and
AAS and CTT can use the system to manage each task in the process much more efficiently. The
SharePoint-based DMS will also ensure that information about tasks and deliverables is communicated
to all appropriate parties.
screen in SharePoint
The interface allows for viewing all tasks or tasks in a certain date range and AAS staff can drill down
into the task to view more data or take an action (such as approving a deliverable).
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CTT values client-feedback in its ongoing product development and this SharePoint page includes a
link for AAS to provide product enhancement suggestions.
Feedback form – OASIS
The quick links provide one-stop instant access to the OASIS modules. AAS can eliminate the need
for all staff members to bookmark the sites. One link to SharePoint is all staff will need.
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Dashboards are top-level views of OASIS data. For some clients, the dashboards provide a way for an
executive to view statistics or reports without having to log in to the OASIS Administration system
and run the report there.
CTT currently has two “dashboards” and is in the process of implementing more. One dashboard
depicts a graphic summary of the DMS status; the other presents a statistical breakdown of program
Dashboard example of the
Dashboard example of
Program Planner usage
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Current Program Planner statistics include:
Number of Program Planner accounts
Number of accounts with itineraries
Number of searches for simple, advanced, and Boolean by presentation or by session
Top search terms
Number of searches by field for advanced and Boolean
CTT has also planned and designed the following dashboards
Submission deadline talleys
Top keywords and topics selected per meeting
Demographic analysis of completed submissions
Summary of acceptance status
Reviewer task completion status
Reviewers status by topic
Submission deadline talleys
Graph of active/inactive sessions
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Appendix B - References
REFERENCE #1 (uses SSO – type of pass gate)
Beth Croll, Manager, Scientific Sessions Program
American Heart Association (AHA)
7200 Greenville Avenue
Sandra Tijerina, Director of Conference Services
Optical Society of America (OSA)
2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
REFERENCE #3 (used pass gate)
Ellyn Terry, Director of Meetings and Education
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
12300 Twinbrook Parkway
Peter Baum, Program Development Manager, General Meeting
American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
1752 N Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
David Driggers, IT Director
American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)
8120 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 750
Bethesda, MD 20814
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Appendix C – Technological Reliability
An application service provider that cannot operate its service due to load performance problems or
poor implementation of security, back-up or disaster recovery procedures has failed. CTT takes the
responsibility of providing a successful application service very seriously and devotes large portions
of its resources to provide high-quality, continuous service. The company’s commitment can be
demonstrated throughout the life-cycle of the service, from implementation through monitoring and on
to disaster recovery. Each is addressed below:
Load and Performance Testing
As the provider of an ASP service with a commitment to offering a product including the
comprehensive feature set of a market leader, load and performance testing at CTT is a process rather
than an event. Whether it is changes in the SQL Server database technology (currently investigating
migration from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2005), changes in web-server or database server
hardware, changes in bandwidth (CTT currently has 2 100 Mb lines serving its equipment) or
integration of new features and/or business objects, load testing has become a methodology within the
product development team.
The architecture currently used by OASIS is represented in the following diagram. Periodic upgrades
are made to server technology, so newer technology may be in place before AAS would be scheduled
to utilize the OASIS product. Specific details of the architecture include:
SQL Server – dual Xenon 3Ghz, 2G RAM, RAID 5, Windows 2003 Server
Clustered Web Servers – Xenon 2.3 Ghz, 1G RAM, Windows 2003 Server
Conversion Servers – Xenon 2.3 Ghz, 1G RAM, Windows 2003 Server
Load and stress testing is accomplished by using stress testing tools (such as Microsoft Web Analysis
Stress Tool (WAST)) to run scenario tests against the architecture. Scenarios are created to simulate
peak load environments, with special attention paid to potential bottlenecks, such as IIS page serving,
database throughput, or abstract conversion. For example, the OASIS testing architecture for the IIS
application interface to the database is shown in the Figure below:
CTT’s load test methodology calls for three levels of load testing, Performance, Capacity and
Stability. Performance testing is executed to measure the maximum requests per second that the web
server can handle. This is a quantitative measurement. Capacity testing is used to determine which
resource prevents the requests per second from going higher, such as CPU, memory, or backend
dependencies. Stability testing is used to insure that the site has no threading or memory issues. Many
of the short-term stability issues can be discovered during the performance tests, such as memory leaks
and thread safety among Server Side Objects (SSOs).
As the load testing script is run, specific parameters are measured to calculate the saturation point of
the particular application for a given hardware structure. Within CTT’s load test methodology these
Processor Shows the amount of time spent processing threads by all
(% Processor time) CPU’s.
Memory (Page Faults/sec) Shows the number of times a virtual page was not found
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If this number is consistently above 0 it indicates that too
much memory has been allocated to an application, and
not enough to Windows NT.
Memory (Pages/sec) Shows how many pages are being moved to and from the
disk to satisfy virtual memory requirements.
If the server does not have enough memory to handle its
workload, this number will be consistently high.
Memory (Committed Bytes) Shows the size of virtual memory that has been
committed to the running applications.
Memory (Available Bytes) Shows the total bytes of real memory that is available to
the computer, less the bytes being used by running
Web Service Shows the sum of bytes sent and received by the Web
(Bytes Total/sec) server.
If this number is low it means that IIS is transferring data
at a low rate.
Active Server Pages The number of ASP page requests executed per second.
Used to provide an indication of how heavy the stress on
the Web server is.
Active Server Pages The total number of requests not executed because the
(Requests Rejected) queue was full or there were insufficient resources to
meet the number of hits that the web server is getting.
If this number is consistently above 0, the stress test is
too heavy for test environment.
Using these measures CTT can determine the number of abstracts/hour that it would take to saturate a
particular hardware structure. By running the saturation tests prior to a major deadline, CTT can
provide a quantitative measure of the number of abstracts/hour it can handle. If the testing indicated a
capacity below the expected peak volume, additional resources can be brought online prior to the
Monitoring is the next phase of the production environment. CTT performs automated equipment,
application and database monitoring via two geographically separated monitoring machines.
Equipment monitoring is accomplished by pinging each piece of hardware (machines as well as
network components) while application and database monitoring is performed by running specially
created .asp pages looking for known database results. The automated monitoring tool looks for
problems every 3-5 minutes, depending on the test.
Should the monitoring software detect a problem, alerts are sent to the technical staff as well as to an
external call center. The call center contacts the technical support staff, and if contact cannot be made,
starts a call process up through CTT management.
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Within the category of backup, CTT includes not only backing physical back-up of hardware, but also
testing of critical disaster recovery systems such as the UPS system, the back-up generator. Data
back-up strategies are “layered” to meet threat scenarios. Since CTT maintains production code in
Visual Source Safe (VSS) within the development environment, loss of one of the clustered web
servers is not as critical as loss of a production SQL server. Thus production SQL servers are RAIDed
(the first layer of back-up) and the level of protection is augmented from there.
Data back-up strategies vary by type of server:
Web hosting servers – nightly back-up of critical directories
Production SQL servers – 60 second interval transactional back-ups to a warm standby SQL
Disaster recovery planning spans from low-level disasters such as power outages or single ISP
outages, through mid-level disasters such as loss of the all ISP capacity within the region, localized
fire, or loss of a critical machine, up through major disasters such as loss of a facility. While insurance
policies discourage full disclosure of all details of CTT’s disaster recovery plan, a summary follows:
CTT maintains documented processes within the company’s intranet, in print form and on
management’s PDA to contend with low-level problems. These documents include office and
pager contact numbers for CTT technical support staff, NOC support staff, etc. Documented
processes include power outage, generator problems, server re-start processes and the like.
Within the realm of the OASIS operation, a mid-level disaster includes loss of a critical
machine or loss of all ISP connectivity to our data center. CTT maintains spare production
machines (SQL server and web servers) as “rolling readies” should we experience the loss of
any machine. Transactional backups are continually applied to the warm spare SQL server
every 60 seconds and source code could be promoted from VSS to a production web server.
Within the realm of the OASIS operation, a major disaster includes the complete loss of the
hosting facility. Recovery plans include using the Savoy office (150 miles away) as an
alternative facility should this happen. Off-Site transactional backups and back-up media
would be used to recreate the environment.
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