useR! abstract review: what the program committee look for

Heather Turner

July 3, 2017

What’s special about useR!?

  • Meeting of academic and non-academic useR!s

  • Three contributed presentation formats
    • regular talk
    • lightning talk
    • posters
  • Selective review process for all formats

What do the program committee look for?

The contribution of the abstract

Contribution: something new, related to R, originating from the presenters, using sound scientific practices, that the participants can take away from the conference and apply to their own work.


  • Examples
    • A new package
    • A substantial development of a package
    • A case study
    • A new community initiative
    • New resources for community
  • The contribution should be new since last useR!

  • Preference may be given to topics not yet presented at other R conferences

  • Novelty will be judged relative to other contributions

Originating from the presenters

Presenters should present their own work.

Presentations about other people’s packages should contain a new contribution.

Using sound scientific practices

  • Evidence of reliable methodology

    • peer reviewed publication
    • evidence of testing/evaluation
    • track record of authors
  • Evidence of good programming practice

    • CRAN/Bioconductor publication
    • examples, vignette, tests

Maturity of project

  • Package/methods should be available for use, or at least beta-testing.

  • Packages

    • On CRAN/Bioconductor
    • On Github/R-Forge/similar, with evidence of active development
  • Methods

    • Documentation (paper/blog/vignette) enabling replication

Different Formats

  • Regular talks

    • novel, mature, substantial contributions
  • Lightning talk

    • fun/short topics, case studies
  • Posters

    • case studies, works-in-progress, projects for discussion/feedback

Rejection/reallocation rates


  • When preparing your abstract

    • Be explicit about contribution to R community
    • Link to supporting materials, give references
    • Be active prior to and during review period
  • Feel free to ask me further questions about review process/useR! program