“Kilo-author” isn’t an official term used in Mira Smart Conferencing’s abstract management software. Yet. But from the way things are going in some academic disciplines, “kilo-author” may be added.
“We are vigilant about keeping up with trends in abstract management,” John Berglund, CEO of Mira Smart Conferencing, said. “But even some trends like ‘kilo-author’ are too far out in front of us.”
On the August 12 edition of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Robert Siegal interviewed Zen Faulkes, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, about the proliferation of authors on academic papers. The number of authors sometimes reach above one thousand, leading Faulker to use the term “kilo-author.”
“Technically, our software allows for an unlimited number of authors, co-authors, presenters, and so on,” John Beglund added, “but we’ve never seen anything above a dozen or so, certainly nothing even approaching one hundred.”
Rest assured, though, the Mira Smart Conferencing’s abstract management software and its servers can handle that amount, if required. Mira had concurrent site closings where in a few days’ times uploads of twenty thousand submitted abstracts tested the servers, as well as the consequent author records attached to those abstracts.
“When we work with a client, be it IEEE, FASEB, or any of our other technical, academic, or scientific conferences, we appreciate that the abstracts moving through our software are integral to someone’s research, and we feel humbled and honored to be entrusted with the care of that content,” John said. “We take it very seriously. Cutting edge research moves through our submit and review modules, then through our scheduler, and that research is ultimately published in the proceedings and agenda.”
Abstracts aren’t “precious cargo” as typically defined, but they are precious intellectual cargo that many, sometimes one-thousand plus, researchers helped to create.
Faulkes noted in the NPR interview that given current technology, researchers more easily communicate, and hence collaborate, on research than in the past. Though it seems bloated, the kilo-author may accurately reflect all the individuals who helped make any one academic paper happen.
On the other hand, Faulkes added, some researchers list their pets as authors, be it as a joke or to poke fun at how easy it is to add an illegitimate author.
“We can make collection and editing author information as easy as possible,” John Berglund said, “but without hiring someone to visually edit each and every author attached to an abstract, we can’t guarantee against dogs and cats listed among the authors. This is especially true for kilo-author lists.”
Should the kilo-author become de rigueur of academic research, Mira Smart Conferencing’s abstract management software will be flexible and robust enough to address these changes.