The Computers in Chemistry Division
Guidelines for Symposium Organizers

Organizers have great latitude in determining the overall organization of their sessions, includins speakers, content, flow, time of papers, breaks etc. However, there are certain guidelines that result from ACS and Division policies.


The specific day/time for speakers or even the entire symposium cannot be guaranteed at the outset. It may become necessary to move a session due to conflicts with other division's programming, room availability and so on. However, every effort will be made to satisfy the requests of symposium organizers.

ACS programming policy states that if a session has less than 3 hours of programming, no new session should be scheduled until additional papers are slotted in the first session.

Papers should be scheduled for 30 minute slots. A plenary speaker may be scheduled for a longer presentation (up to one hour). Breaks should be kept to a minimum, as this can lead to loss of audience. Still, a short break can be welcome. Panel or group discussion time can also be scheduled after a set of papers where this seems appropriate.

Daily sessions have the following constraints:

Morning session can begin no earlier than 8:30 am, and end no later than 12:30 pm.

Afternoon sessions begin no earlier than 1:30 pm, end no later than 5:30 pm.

Session Chairs

The session chair's job is to ensure a timely start and stop of each paper, handle introductions of speakers, moderate the question period and ensure that someone controls the projector. The chair is also responsible for filling out an attendance sheet. This is very important as it ensures the division receives a share of the meeting registration revenues. The organizer may serve as session chair, or may delegate this responsibility to a colleague who is NOT speaking in that session.

It is *CRITICAL* that the session chair does not permit a paper to begin before the scheduled time!!! If there is a cancellation or no-show, a break may be announced, but the session *MAY NOT* advance the next paper for any reason!

The Program Chair must be informed as to who the symposium officials will be: who the organizers(s) are and who will chair each individual session. This information must be included with the program schedule.


COMP will support your symposium financially as much as possible. At this time the division can provide up to one meeting registration waiver (at ACS member, early registration rate) per half day session of symposium, if necessary. The organizer is primarily responsible for soliciting funding from outside sources to permit supporting additional expenses. All such efforts must be coordinated through the Assistant Program Chair and the division Treasurer.

Upon obtaining funding, the donor should be directed to make a check payable to the Computers in Chemistry Division and forward it to the division Treasurer, and the Program Chair should be informed of the specifics of funds obtained.

When the program is complete, submit a request for expenses (with receipts) to the Treasurer and the Program Chair. The Program Chair will instruct the Treasurer to release the funds upon approval of the expense request.

It is intended that funds raised by a session chair be available for unrestricted use to support that session, however final approval of the Program Chair is required.

Possible Funding Sources for travel to meetings include NIH and the ACS-PRF. Possible funding sources for the symposia themselves include:

American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund grants

The Petroleum Research Fund
American Chemical Society
1155 Sixteenth St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202)872-4481

Dr. Ronald E. Siatkowski
Acting Director
Committees 6, 7 and 9

Dr. Dean A. Dunn
Program Manager
Committees 2 and 8

Dr. Burtrand I. Lee
Program Manager
Committees 5 and 10

Dr. Jeffrey Smiley
Program Manager
Committees 1, 3, and 4

Ms. Gayle Peterman
Senior Grants Administrator 202-872-6092

Corporate Associates Grants for Industrial Programming - This was new in October 1996. Up to $2,000 per symposium is available if the following criteria are met:
  • The organizer is from industry.
  • The symposium is at least a full day.
  • Sixty percent or more of the speakers are from industry.
  • Monies will be used for enhancing the programming, speaker travel expenses, or training. An example might be to fund the use of additional A/V hardware such as video projection equipment.

There is limited funding for this, but it is currently underutilized. A letter of application is required that details how the criteria will be satisfied and how the funds will be used, and should be sent to:
American Chemical Society
Office of Corporation Associates
1155 Sixteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
FAX: 202-872-6101

See the ACS web site for more information and forms.
Corporate sponsors - Personal contacts are normally approached for this, but discuss with either the Treasurer, Program Chair or Assistant Program Chair, to avoid unnecessary duplication or issues.


Expenses can be incurred in meeting registration waivers, travel, and on-site use of special A/V devices. Normally only standard slide projection equipment is provided. The Program Chair must approve additional equipment such as an LCD panel, a video projector or a VHS player and screen. If only one speaker is requesting this it will generally not be approved without additional funding.

Speakers are normally required to pay all their own expenses.

Receptions around a specific symposium can be appropriate and successful but require industrial support.

Submissions and Abstracts

At least one author of each paper must be an ACS member, and every speaker *MUST* register for the meeting.

Do not promise a specific day/time to a speaker. Every effort will be made to adhere to the schedule you assemble. Occasionally a conflict arises that requires adjustment. You will be consulted first prior to any needed changes. These difficulties can be minimised by adequate communication with speakers.

Please ensure your speakers submit electronic abstracts as far as possible in advance through the OASys on-line Abstract submittal system.

The organizer should examine the abstracts for general correctness. If there are problems with any abstracts, contact the speakers right away, point out the difficulties and request a correction.

Encourage speakers to provide an email or telephone number where they can be reached on weekends or holiday times. This is especially important in preparation for the spring meeting, where deadlines can fall on vacation time. Inability to contact a speaker by a deadline could result in not being able to schedule the paper.

The ACS requires that titles must conform to specific guidelines: The titles are conversational in style, with *ONLY* the first word and proper nouns capitalized. This is contrary to the style most people use in writing a title and requires the greatest attention.

Only one single abstract form or electronic abstract is required.

When the symposium is complete forward the following to the Program Chair:

  • A schedule for the entire symposium based on the desired or agreed upon days. The schedule should include:
    Day/Time and Activity (break, intro, discussion) or Title
    Session organizer's names, and
    Session chair's names

  • Abtract forms sorted by order of presentation where no electronic abstract is available.

  • A paragraph describing the highlights of your symposium.

  • Specific papers you consider possibly newsworthy for mention in C&E News.

  • A list of email addresses for all primary authors and presenters.

The above is due electronically (email) *AND* harcopy to the Program Chair.


It is frequently desirable to cosponsor a symposium with another ACS division. Please look over the division list on the ACS web page and consider the appropriateness and contact the Program Chair.

AV Requests

Last minute requests for A/V equipment *MUST* be directed to the Program Chair or the Division Chair.


It is possible to publish your symposium as an ACS volume or as a special issue of an appropriate journal. Contact the Program Chair for details and suggested venues. In order to ensure timely publication, arrangements can be made in advance, and speakers can bring completed written contributions to the meeting.

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the Division of Computers in Chemistry. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the American Chemical Society. Please address all comments and other feedback to the the COMP Division.