Abstract Frenzy

The deadline to submit abstracts for the 18th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (18WCEE), the quadrennial venue to share earthquake engineering ideas and research, is right around the corner.

Noting that 93% of statistics are made up, WCEE abstracts have an 80% acceptance rate; however, some of the ensuing papers are impactful. And in many cases, the conference papers are trial runs at more highly coveted journal articles.

For example, a paper (Fenves et al (2004)) from 13WCEE, held in Vancouver, Canada in 2004, was the OpenSees marker paper until we published the 2010 journal article (McKenna et al (2010)). Yes, the OpenSees website and the user manual were around in 2004 and people were already citing those works; however, there was no conference paper or journal article about the software architecture of OpenSees at that time.

So, how has the 13WCEE paper fared, in terms of citations, against the 2010 journal article? According to Google Scholar, we see the journal article took off while the 13WCEE paper now gets the occasional citation from researchers who continue to work on hybrid simulation.

As is typical in the internet era, the abstract for that 13WCEE OpenSees paper was ideated, written, and uploaded on the due date. While the 13WCEE abstract due date is extremely difficult to figure out 20 years later, my best guess puts the deadline at May 31, 2003. I remember writing the abstract with co-authors in the hotel lobby at the 2003 ASCE Structures Congress in Seattle, WA, which was held May 29-31, 2003.

Speaking of the 2003 ASCE Structures Congress, this was also the venue where we presented the implementation and applications of the Krylov-Newton algorithm in OpenSees (Scott and Fenves (2003)). Not until 2010 was the journal article published (Scott and Fenves (2010)), with errata in 2020.

How has the Structures Congress paper fared against the journal article in terms of citations on Google Scholar? As expected, the journal article has won out over the conference paper.

Get those abstracts in–they are easy to write. Present the work. Get some feedback. Write the journal articles–even if it takes a few years.

6 thoughts on “Abstract Frenzy

  1. Dear Prof Scott,
    I highly appreciate your well wishes and resultant advice to the fellow researchers in the OpenSees community.
    Thanks a lot for the reminder.
    We hope to submit ours soon.

    Best regards


  2. I appreciate this post a lot, as it served as a reminder to send those abstracts! Luckily the deadline was pushed back. Will we meet in Milan?


    Liked by 2 people

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