Shepherding is a key element of PLoP. It sets the stage for the improvement process and also makes helps get the paper in shape for the workshop session so that the authors get the full benefit of that session. To ensure that all the authors get the same beneifts out of the shepherding process, it is important that the shepherds and the authors have a general understanding of what the goals of the shepherding process is all about. That is the purpose of this document.

Paper Selection

Papers will be on the PLoP 98 web site. Shepherds will select papers that look interesting, and after hearing from the Program Chair which paper they will shepherd, they will make initial contact with the author. Shepherds should feel free to complain to their PC member if the paper submitted for shepherding is very incomplete, or has other problems which may make shepherding difficult.

General Goals of Shepherding

Shepherds have 3 responsibilities:
  1. Improving the authors submission, including making sure that the authors ideas are communicated clearly, as well as validating the ideas as much as possible.
  2. When shepherding is complete, getting the final copy of the paper to the program chair.
  3. Voting on whether a submission meets the criteria for workshopping at the conference. The paper will also be reviewed by a member of the program committee and the program chair.

Make sure that the author's ideas are communicated clearly

Patterns are about sharing common practices. If the patterns cannot be understood, then the practices cannot be shared. The shepherd can help with this by helping the author:

The goal of shepherding is to make sure that the author's ideas are conveyed.

Validating the Patterns

Help determine if the "pattern" a pattern, or just a nifty idea? This can be hard if the shepherd is not a domain expert, but the shepherd can ask the author to provide some "known uses" for the pattern. Shepherds should seek outside advice on the "validity" of the pattern, perhaps with the help of their Program Committee member.

Final paper to the PC

After the shepherding is done the shepherd is responsible for getting the workshop-ready version of the paper to the Program Chair so that the paper can be evaluated for acceptance to the workshop, and if accepted, be prepared for inclusion in the proceedings.

Program Committee Member

The program committee member is overseeing the shepherding process to make sure that every author is getting an adequate level of shepherding. The PC member is not responsible for co-shepherding the papers. It is up to the author and shepherd to determine how often they need to exhange messages.

The supervising PC member's responsibilities include:

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