Organizer Guide

A PDF version of the Organizer guide can be downloaded here. The appendices to the guide need to be downloaded separately.

Organizer's guideExpand All


In organizing an IFAC sponsored or IFAC co-sponsored conference (Congress, Symposium, Conference or Workshop) there are quite a few processes and details to attend to. It may all seem a little overwhelming. However, here is some help.

This document has been written for two purposes:

  1. To enable you to benefit from the experience of others who have gone through this process; and
  2. To ensure that the conferences sponsored by IFAC deliver maximum value to the international scientific community it supports.

First you will need to obtain the formal backing of IFAC.

This backing, in the form of official IFAC sponsorship, ensures that your conference has a good fit with the technical areas covered by IFAC and does not pose any conflict for other IFAC conferences. Once you have obtained the sponsorship or co-sponsorship IFAC puts at your disposal the assistance of the relevant technical committees, its publicity channels, subject-oriented mailing lists, its publication system and world-wide reputation to enable you to make your chosen conference a great success.

Please take note that IFAC never underwrites conferences financially. For IFAC sponsored conferences this is the task of the National Member Organization (NMO), and for co-sponsored conferences it is left to the organisers to ensure that they have obtained sufficient financial support. The financial underwriting guarantee/information is to be shared with IFAC when applying for sponsorship.

IFAC requires no payment from conference organizers, in fact, IFAC indirectly provides financial support to the IFAC sponsored conferences by paying the fees of publishing the proceedings on the IFAC PapersOnLine Conference paper archives. These fees are approximately 21 US dollars per published paper (figures from 2021), and the conference archives are published by Elsevier with free access through the ScienceDirect platform.


When IFAC is the main sponsor, as opposed to co-sponsor, quality control through the participation of the Technical Committee(s) in the Program Committee and the review process is mandatory.

For any conference publishing proceedings with the only exception of the World Congresses, a liaison from the IFAC Conference Board will be designated for that conference by the IFAC Vice-President for Conferences. The “IFAC CB liaison” shall be appointed to the Program Committee of the conference to be involved in the assurance of the review process.

Organizers will be notified about the assigned IFAC CB liaison and procedural aspects after conference approval.

The NMO submits the application for the organization of the conference and the NMO must guarantee to IFAC that the finance side of the conference is properly taken care of, in accordance with the local legislation.

At the proposal submission stage, conference organizers have to submit their budget and can ask IFAC for a financial support package and a loan for covering initial expenses. A standardized budget form will be provided for convenience. Exact conditions (amount of the loan, percentage of loss coverage, etc.) will be specified in a contract with IFAC to be signed by the NMO. For the financial support package and the loan to be granted:

  • the budget submitted by the conference organizers at the proposal stage has to be formally approved by the Conference Board
  • any deviation from the approved budget that has an impact on the registration fees needs to be timely communicated and re-approved by the Conference Board.

To help out in the process, an IFAC liaison from the Conference Board will be assigned to the conference to provide guidance and advice in budget planning to the organizers. Organizers will be notified about the assigned IFAC CB liaison and procedural aspects at the conference approval stage.

The guidelines on how to use the IFAC logo, and the IFAC branding more generally, as well as the rules on how to name the conference itself are to be adhered to in full.

Moreover, all IFAC sponsored conferences that want to publish proceedings (please notice that proceedings are optional only for IFAC workshops and are mandatory for Symposia, Conferences and World Congresses), will do so through IFAC-PapersOnLine and will follow the review process, and the publication process as per IFAC-PapersOnLine’s guidelines. For IFAC conferences that have co-sponsors from other organizations/societies, it is the full responsibility of the conference organizer to obtain approval for co-sponsorship. The IFAC Secretariat does not secure nor confirm additional sponsorships outside of IFAC.

IFAC Symposia

These are organized once per triennium. The number of participants is of the order of a few 100. All Symposia form part of the Masterplan (see Appendix 1). Symposia must publish the proceedings using PapersOnLine. Typically, these are organised with a significant lead time, often two or more years.


These do not form part of the IFAC Masterplan, but otherwise have roughly the same requirements as Symposia. Typically, a conference series is an evolutionary step towards becoming an IFAC Symposium. Conference proceedings are published through IFAC-PapersOnLine.


These are smaller in size, often focused on new topics and much less formal. Technical Committees like to try new ideas, and new topics in this manner, in order to seed a conference and perhaps develop a new symposium idea. Such conferences may have relatively short lead times, even less than a year.

IFAC does not mandate that these workshops have published proceedings. However, as indicated above, if published proceedings is the desired outcome, then, a liaison from the IFAC Conference Board has to be appointed to the Program Committee as “IFAC CB liaison” and involved in the assurance of the review process quality, the publication outlet will be PapersOnLine, and the appropriate publication process for publishing via PapersOnLine is to be adopted.

IFAC World Congress

The IFAC World Congress is held every three years. Usually, no other IFAC conferences are held in the Congress year, with the exception of a limited number of workshops. All conferences planned in a World Congress year are to seek approval from the IFAC President (through the IFAC Secretariat).

The idea behind the World Congress is that all IFAC conferences are in fact brought together in the many parallel tracks that form part of the World Congress. All Technical Committees work towards developing the most exciting comprehensive technical program possible for the World Congress.

IFAC Co-sponsored Conferences

Conference organisers may want to apply for IFAC co-sponsorship in order to benefit from IFAC’s brand name, without necessarily being subject to all the guidelines that are the domain of an IFAC sponsored conference.

Also observe that IFAC will not co-sponsor events in the years the IFAC World Congress is being held without explicit permission from the President of IFAC.

All invitations for co-sponsorship must be made via the IFAC Secretariat. IFAC, through its Technical Board, will evaluate the invitation on the following basis:

a. IFAC has no financial liability with respect to the conference.

b. IFAC is convinced of the technical quality of the conference.

c. The conference is well aligned with IFAC’s mission.

In principle, conditions b. and c. can be met through the active participation by members of the sponsoring IFAC Technical Committee in the International Program Committee of the conferences (e.g. at least two members of any sponsoring Technical Committee are active IPC members). In return for co-sponsorship, IFAC will insist that its co-branding guidelines will be adhered to, and that the IFAC brand will be prominently displayed on all the event’s publicity outlets.

IFAC can offer its publication services to event organizers, but making use of PapersOnLine as the main publication outlet is not a pre-condition for obtaining co-sponsorship. Also observe that using PapersOnLine must form part of a long-term commitment on behalf of the event organisers in order for it to become meaningful. As a matter of principle, IFAC will not offer the use of PapersOnLine for single events instances in a recurring events series. If use of PapersOnLine is granted, then a liaison from the IFAC Conference Board will be designated by the IFAC Vice-President for Conferences. The “IFAC CB liaison” has to be appointed to the Program Committee to be involved in the assurance of the review process quality.

Organizers will be notified about the assigned IFAC CB liaison and procedural aspects right after co-sponsorship approval.

Sustainability and Online Participation

IFAC conference organizers are advised to take sustainability aspects into account when preparing their events and to explicitly mention their effort for realizing a sustainable conference in the proposal. Besides taking into consideration aspects such as preference for Congress Centers with "green" certificates, sustainable bags and goodies, use of the IFAC App instead of printing the conference material, organizers are also invited to facilitate online participation. This is strongly recommended for all major IFAC conferences. As for the IFAC App, you can find more at:

Online participation includes live attendance of the conference program, as well as access to the conference material (i.e., preprints, slides, and recorded presentations) for a limited time period during and after the conference. The first aspect (online live attendance) may be practically limited by global time zone differences. It is up to conference organizers to decide on the structure of the program schedule, that is, whether the program is scheduled only part of the day to facilitate online live participation from different time zones, and whether social and networking activities are strengthened for people attending onsite.

Allowing online participation has the potential of a stronger outreach of IFAC conferences, attracting a wider audience, including younger generations, enhancing industrial participation in IFAC, and adhering to goals of a sustainable operation, while still safeguarding the viability of IFAC conferences and meetings as such.

Diversity and Inclusion

IFAC conference organizers are advised to take diversity and inclusion aspects into account when preparing their events and to explicitly mention their effort for realizing a diverse and inclusive conference in the proposal.

The National Organizing Committee and the International Program Committee should include a diverse set of members. Organizers are invited to outline how the conference promotes the inclusion of a diverse set of speakers. They should specifically indicate how accessibility is being facilitated and prioritized. For example, they could treat accessibility as the norm and ask people their requirements as part of the conference registration form. This can include special dietary requirements, childcare needs, building/facility accessibility requirements for participants with wheelchair/limited mobility.

Finally, conference organizers are requested to refer to IFAC Inclusion and Diversity Statement on their conference website and materials.

IFAC Inclusion and Diversity Statement

IFAC, as an international federation serving and representing all those concerned with the theory and application of automatic control and systems engineering wherever situated, is devoted to creating and fostering an inclusive environment that is open to diverse thoughts, ideas, and communications, without fear of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation against any member of this community. It is committed to providing equal opportunities and a safe environment for every person who chooses to participate in its work. Additionally, IFAC strives for these same principles for all IFAC activities, including technical events, journals, and its various committees and governing boards.

  • IFAC actively promotes the inclusion of a diverse set of speakers, which will lead to more representative discussions across IFAC.
  • IFAC actively promotes the inclusion of a diverse set of members of its boards and committees at all levels, which will lead to more representative decisions, policies and activities across IFAC.”

Organizers can contact the IFAC D&I Committee for further information:

APPLICATION FOR AN IFAC or IFAC Co-sponsored Conference

Application for an IFAC sponsored or co-sponsored conference must be made by the National Member Organization in whose country the conference is to be held, together with the main Technical Committees, that will take scientific responsibility for the conference.

The application form can be obtained directly from the IFAC website. The application process is a typical e-process, but we need a signed version too (pdf print-out of the application signed and sent to the IFAC Secretariat via e-mail).

The information given on the application form is binding and can only be changed with the consent of the organizing NMO and IFAC. The IFAC Secretariat must be informed of any change, and approval for the change must be granted from IFAC.

The IFAC Secretariat can be reached in the following ways

Mailing address:
IFAC Secretariat
Schlossplatz 12
2361 Laxenburg
Phone: +43/2236/71447

RESPONSIBILITIES for IFAC sponsored conferences

The financial responsibility for IFAC conference lies with the National Member Organization of IFAC. Therefore the NMO must sign the application form for every IFAC conference.

The scientific responsibility lies with the Technical Committee(s) organizing the conference.

For this reason also, every event has to have two governing bodies, i.e. the

  • National Organizing Committee, and the
  • International Program Committee

In addition, the nomination of a

  • Symposium/Conference/Workshop Editoris required.

The Chairs for each of these bodies and for the editorship must be stated on the application form.

IFAC Sponsored Conference Website rules and Conference Naming

For regular IFAC sponsored conferences the procedure on the IFAC www-site is to be followed. In addition, IFAC will insist that the naming of the conference, and www-sites conform to a number of stylistic guidelines. Below are some suggestions to start the conversation around “branding” and “naming of conferences”, from a www-site point of view as well as proceedings and general correspondence points of view.

IFAC Logo and Conference naming of IFAC sponsored-conferences

Only the official IFAC Logo will be used as provided by the Secretariat.

The logo will be prominently displayed, in unaltered format, at the home page of a conference, on the letterhead used in all correspondence, and in the preamble of the proceedings. All IFAC conference banners must look the same:

IFAC logo – full name of the workshop/conference/symposium – Year

Specific requirements on the use and placement of the IFAC logo on the conference www-site are provided in the detailed IFAC branding guidelines.
It is recommended that IFAC events follow the following convention in naming events

  • Full name = Event serial number (1st , 2nd , 3rd , etc…) + IFAC + Event Type + Event Name in Full
  • Short name = Abbreviated name + Year (yyyy-format); The event name in full will always refer to the event type as one of “World Congress”, “Symposium”, “Conference” or “Workshop”.

Some examples to illustrate the naming convention are
– Long name = 9th IFAC Symposium on Nonlinear Control Systems; Short name = NOLCOS 2013;
– Long name = 16th IFAC Symposium on System Identification; Short name = SYSID 2012;
– Long name = 19th IFAC World Congress; Short name = IFAC 2014;
– Long name = 3rd IFAC Workshop on Distributed Estimation and Control in Networked Systems; Short name = NECSYS 2012;
– Long name = 2nd IFAC Conference on the Advances in PID Control; Short name = PID 2012;

When reference is made to the Proceedings, it will be through “Proceedings of” followed by the “full name” followed by “a comma and the year in yyyy-format” e.g.
- Proceedings of the 9th IFAC Symposium on Nonlinear Control Systems, 2013;
- Proceedings of the 16th IFAC Symposium on System Identification, 2012;
- Proceedings of the 19th IFAC World Congress, 2014.
The same convention will be used when citing material from the Proceedings, even when citing from the IFAC-PapersOnLine version.

IFAC Young Author Award for all major IFAC conferences
(symposia and congresses)

This is a new (required) conference award that is intended to support the younger generation. Event organizers have the option to choose among the following two criteria for "young" (candidate must be the first and presenting author): under the age of 30; or alternatively, student status. Further details can be found in the guidelines:

 IFAC Young Author Conference Award Guidelines.

Concerning “other conference” awards IFAC worked on general guidelines for IFAC Awards, related to IFAC conferences and proposed to introduce some minimal set of guidelines for such awards. Please have a look at these guidelines as well.


For every conference, the following bodies should be nominated and established. All nominations are to be made in agreement between the NMO and the main sponsoring TC.

National Organizing Committee (NOC)


  • NOC chair (normally from the host country)
  • NOC Vice-Chair, should be from industry, if possible
  • 3 – 5 members, usually from the host country
  • it is recommended to have a D&I chair
  • IPC Chair and Editor must also be members of the organizing team


  • liaison with the Editor-in-Chief of IFAC-PapersOnLine to arrange the provision of author kits and other information
  • administration of the paper submission process and collection of license agreement forms from the authors
  • close cooperation with International Program Committee (IPC – see below)
  • making the local arrangements
  • taking care of financial matters (budget, fundraising, etc.)
  • liaison with the Electronic Media Editor of IFAC Video Channel to arrange the possible uploading of the plenary lectures video on the IFAC YouTube channel. In the case of videotaped lectures for a conference, accepts responsibility that the videographer focuses on the speaker and slides, and minimizes any filming of third-party individuals (see IFAC release form for speakers).

International Program Committee (IPC)


  • IPC Chair (preferably not from the host country)
  • IPC Vice-Chair (preferably from different country than IPC Chair; in any case must be from different institution than IPC Chair)
  • IPC Chair / IPC Vice-Chair(s) and Editor must be different persons
  • If the IPC Chair is not formally linked to industry, a Vice-Chair drawn from industry or a governmental agency is highly recommended.
  • When constructing the IPC member list, the IPC chair, and/or the organizers must adhere to the following principles:
  1. all people on the IPC list have been formally requested to serve, and have agreed to serve (it is best to retain e-mail written evidence or to handle the invitations directly via the IFAC PaperCept system)
  2. the IPC list has a diverse international composition (with no more than 1/3 of the list living and working in the host nation)
  3. the IPC list should reflect diversity in general (geographical distribution, gender, industry/academy, etc). In particular, it should include a significant number of women (aim for at least 30%)
  4. the IPC list will attract broad peer approval, and its members are recognized for their scientific/industrial/ contribution
  5. the IPC members will adhere to the ethics guidelines for scientific peer review and publication of proceedings (if appropriate) as published on the IFAC www-site, but see also COPE www-site
  6. the IPC list will contain a sufficient number of members of the TCs of IFAC that sponsor the conference (normally two or three per TC)
  7. the Editor must be a member of the IPC

Note that a potential IPC list should be part of the application process, and observe that most people indicated on the potential IPC list will prefer that they have been contacted BEFORE the application for sponsorship arrives at the IFAC secretariat.

A list of potential IPC members should be given on the application form. TCs sponsoring or cosponsoring the conference are entitled to nominate up to two IPC members from their technical field. A complete list of IPC members must be published in all announcements, preprints and proceedings of the conference.

Responsibilities of IPC Chair and IPC Vice Chair(s):

  • organizing and managing the Call for Papers (CfP) process
  • organizing and chairing the paper selection process
  • enforcement of restricted visibility to paper reviews for authors, independent of their role (to be configured in PaperCept)
  • enforcement of a confidential and visibility restricted review process and paper selection for papers authored or co-authored by IPC Chairs and IPC Co-Chairs(s) for avoiding self-conflict of interest
  • chairing the setup of conference program and technical sessions

IPC Tasks:

The IPC task is to present an exciting technical program. To this end the IPC shall

  • review all papers in an appropriate manner
  • PaperCept: Please make sure that you select the full-scale review form (which you need for the final conference report), which grades each paper on a scale of A, B+, B, B-, C, C-, D, U. The meaning of each grade is explained in IFAC-PaperCept.
  • when the conference will publish proceedings, the PaperCept process for full paper review will be followed for all those papers that will be part of the proceedings; this means a review completed by at least 2 independent reviewers based on the full paper; papers that will not be part of the proceedings but may be presented at the conference will be reviewed based on an extended abstract, and will be checked for alignment and timeliness
  • Paper length and file size: Organizers should limit the length of regular papers to a minimum of 4 pages and a maximum of 6 pages in the final version. The limit for plenary and keynote papers is 18 pages. Flexibility can only be applied at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief of IFAC PapersOnLine.
  • construct the program time line following PaperCept
  • upon receipt of the final papers, the IPC will construct the program using the PaperCept tools, and include tutorials, invited sessions and plenary speakers as appropriate
  • make sure plenary speakers include women and people from diverse backgrounds
  • as necessary the IPC can recommend excellent papers for any awards/prizes that may form part of the conference processes (e.g. best student paper, best application paper, best industry paper etc.)
  • exceptional papers may be flagged for potential publication in a substantially modified form in IFAC journals

In order to avoid a self-conflict of interest it is highly recommended that the papers of the IPC chair are handled, and the decisions made, by another person, preferably by an IPC Vice-Chair.

Please also note that in PaperCept, the conference administrator has access to ALL papers.

Symposium/Conference/Workshop Editor

The nomination of the Editor is made by the NOC in agreement with the sponsoring TC. The editor must be a member of the IPC and of the NOC.

IPC Chair / IPC Vice-Chair(s) and Editor must be different persons.

NOTE: Some Conferences (if they are co-sponsored by IFAC) do not have their proceedings published on IFAC-PapersOnLine (see PUBLICATIONS below). Therefore, reference to the Editor-in-Chief of IFAC-PapersOnLine in the following tasks applies to whoever is responsible for publications, whether IFAC, or some other publisher.


  • In general, the Editor is responsible for all logistics for paper submission up to publishing
  • Signing the publication agreement
  • Returning publication agreement to IFAC-PapersOnLine Editor-in-Chief and IFAC Secretariat
  • Checking that the copyright conditions statement is included in all announcements
  • Checking that a mention of the proceedings being published in IFAC-PapersOnLine is included in all announcements
  • Editing of the preprints (optional for Workshops)
  • Ensuring that original authors’ electronic files are sent to the Editor-in-Chief of IFAC-PapersOnLine directly after the meeting
  • Sending the license agreement forms to IFAC Secretariat (normally done by PaperCept directly)
  • Helping the IPC recommend papers suitable for publication in the IFAC Journals
  • Ensuring that the following actions are taken:
    • Obtain up-to-date instructions for authors from the IFAC website, and discard all instructions that may have been supplied for previous meetings.
    • Set up PaperCept with the Editor-in-Chief of IFAC-PapersOnLine.
    • Agree with the IFAC-PapersOnLine Editor-in-Chief on the method of transfer of authors’ manuscripts following the meeting.
    • Include a statement in all advertisements for the meeting and in the preprints that the copyright of papers presented at the meeting belongs to the author, but IFAC has the exclusive publishing rights.
    • Check that only papers having gone through the regular IFAC review process and complying with all publication requirements are included in the Proceedings.

The Editor shall be fully aware of the ethics guidelines of IFAC, and will be the first point of call in case of conflicts of interest and potential breaches of these guidelines.

These steps are essential to safeguard the rights of IFAC and to ensure that the preprints and proceedings of IFAC technical meetings meet the required standard for IFAC publications.

The use of PaperCept for handling the paper submission and review process, as well as the preparation of proceedings is compulsory for all IFAC conferences 

Organizers of IFAC sponsored conferences must sign a contract with PaperCept and pay the fees required for manuscript management and pdf processing. These fees are paid directly to PaperCept, an independent private company. The sole role of IFAC in this process is to have negotiated a global contract resulting in about 10% reduced PaperCept fees for IFAC published papers.

Please be aware that the proceedings of your conference can only be published via IFAC PapersOnLine when all papers in the proceedings have their license agreement forms on the PaperCept database; even the omission of one copyright form for a single paper will prevent IFAC from publishing the proceedings.

Editors of IFAC-PapersOnLine and Journals

Close cooperation is required with the following persons:

the Editor-in-Chief of IFAC-PapersOnLine:
Prof. José-Luis Díez

Sytems Engineering and Control Department
Universitat Politècnica de València
46022 Valencia


+34 96 387 70 07 ext. 75794
+34 913 367 333

the Editor-in-Chief of Automatica:
Prof. Andrew Teel

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

University of California Santa Barbara, CA, USA 93106-9560


+1 (805) 8933616

the Editor-in-Chief of Control Engineering Practice:
Prof. Biao Huang

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2V4


+1 (780) 492-9016
+1 (780) 492-2881

the Editor-in-Chief of Annual Reviews in Control:
Prof. Francoise Lamnabhi-Lagarrigue

Laboratoire des Signaux et Systemes

National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)

CentraleSupelec, University Paris-Saclay

3 rue Joliot-Curie

99192, Gif-Sur-Yvette Cedex



+33 1 69851727
+33 1 69851780

the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Process Control:
Prof. Martin Guay

Dept. Chemical Engineering Queen’s University


+1/613/533 6637

the Editor-in-Chief of Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence:
Prof. Patrick Siarry

University Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne

61 Av. du General de Gaulle, 94010, Créteil, France



+33 1 43 36 70 17

the Editor in Chief of Mechatronics:
Prof. Tsu-Chin “T-C.” Tsao

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department University of California Los Angeles, 37-130 Engineering IV Building, 420 Westwood Plaza

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1597, USA


+1 (310) 206-2819

the Editor in Chief of Nonlinear Analysis: Hybrid Systems:
Prof. Maurice Heemels

Eindhoven University of Technology

P.O. Box 513
5600 MB Eindhoven


+31 40-247 3361

the Editor in Chief of the IFAC Journal of Systems and Control:
Prof. Geoff Chase

Mechanical Engineering Department
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140, New Zealand


+ 64 3 3692182



Preprints are the collection of accepted papers produced prior to a meeting for distribution at the meeting, either in printed or electronic form. Preprints provide easy access for participants to papers before or during a meeting. Preprints are provided solely for meeting participants, included as part of the registration fee. They may be available for sale, they must not carry an ISBN, Bar Code, cataloguing details or the words "published by..." Preprints are not a publication and should not have any mark that enables them to be cited as such.

Alternate documents rather than preprints may be approved. For example, collections of brief paper summaries may be an acceptable alternate document, but collections of paper abstracts are not suitable alternates for preprints.

Preprints may include discussion and dissemination contributions.

Discussion and dissemination category proposal

Conferences serve many purposes, among which: “discuss technical issues” and “publish research results” in the form of technical papers.

To achieve these two goals, conferences may consider accepting submissions in the discussion and dissemination categories (see below for a description). Both discussion and dissemination contributions should be clearly marked in the conference program. Separate sessions (poster, interactive, …) could be foreseen for discussion papers, whereas dissemination papers shall rather be included together with regular submissions in standard sessions.

Discussion contributions are submitted with the goal of being only presented at the conference, in order to get feedback and generate discussion with participants, without generating a publication (that means, they are not going to published at IFAC-PapersOnLine). For a (fast) reviewing process, a document with 1 to 4 pages must be submitted, which gives a short overview of the concepts/ideas to be presented and indicates why the proposed topics are interesting to be discussed at the conference.

If accepted, authors can decide whether they want either the document with 1 to 4 pages or only an abstract to appear in the conference preprints, in order to make participants aware of the topics to be discussed. These documents will not be included in the official conference proceedings published in IFAC-PapersOnLine.

Dissemination contributions are in conjunction to papers that are recently accepted by some IFAC Journal, whose contents can be discussed at IFAC conferences. As discussed by the Technical Board and Publication Board, the selection of dissemination papers shall be implemented with either one of the following procedures:

  • editors of IFAC Journals with topics related to a specific conference provide a list of provisionally accepted papers to the IPC Chair of the conference, who invites authors to present their work at the conference (the conferences organizers create this specific submission category in PaperCept);
  • authors of accepted papers in an IFAC journal submit in PaperCept the PDF file of their manuscript and the proof that it was accepted by an IFAC journal (the conferences organizers create this specific submission category).

The IPC Chair decides whether the contribution is included in the program for presentation. In that case, the title and abstract of the (journal) paper is listed in the conference preprints, so that participants can identify them and attend the presentations. Similar to the case of discussion papers, dissemination papers will not be included in the official conference proceedings published in IFAC-PapersOnLine. They will not be subject to any review process.

Electronic Publications

Proceedings published following an IFAC event will be exclusively electronic, and will be posted on the IFAC-PapersOnLine website.


Proceedings are the final collection of papers from an IFAC meeting. Proceedings are typically produced after the meeting. Proceedings are the only way in which papers from IFAC meetings are published.

Proceedings from all IFAC conferences are published by IFAC, in cooperation with the IFAC publisher, on the IFAC-PapersOnLine site and will be citable via an ISSN and a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), a unique industry-standard identifier assigned to every paper.

Proceedings must be published for Symposia, Conferences, and World Congresses but they are not mandatory for Workshops. If the organizers of a Workshop choose to publish Proceedings, the same procedures as for Symposia, including peer review of full draft papers, must be followed. If the Organizers decide not to publish proceedings, they must not produce any other publication of the Workshop.

The use of PaperCept for handling the paper submission and review process, as well as the preparation of proceedings is compulsory for all IFAC conferences .

Copyright Conditions

The authors hold the copyright of the material presented at meetings where
IFAC is the main sponsor. Authors of papers accepted for presentation
are required to grant exclusive publishing rights to IFAC under a Creative 
Commons license. Full information about copyright conditions will be
provided by the IFAC Publications office.

The paragraph below in italics must be included in all announcements pertaining to an IFAC sponsored event (including web pages) as well as in the Preprints and Proceedings:

For IFAC SPONSORED Conferences

(not valid for discussion or dissemination contributions)

“All publication material submitted for presentation at an IFAC-sponsored meeting (Congress, Symposium, Conference, Workshop) must be original and hence cannot be already published, nor can it be under review elsewhere. The authors take responsibility for the material that has been submitted. IFAC-sponsored conferences will abide by the highest standard of ethical behavior in the review process as explained on the Elsevier webpage (, and the authors will abide by the IFAC publication ethics guidelines (

Accepted papers that have been presented at an IFAC meeting will be published in the proceedings of the event using the open-access IFAC-PapersOnLine series hosted on ScienceDirect ( To this end, the author(s) must grant exclusive publishing rights to IFAC under a Creative Commons license when they submit the final version of the paper. The copyright belongs to the authors, who have the right to share the paper in the same terms allowed by the end user license, and retain all patent, trademark and other intellectual property rights (including research data).”

Subsequent derivative publication may be based on the already published IFAC conference article, but must in itself satisfy all the requirements of an original contribution to the literature, as prescribed by the journal to which the paper is submitted. A submission which simply constitutes only in minor modifications of the IFAC conference article is a form of self-plagiarism, which is not acceptable. At a minimum, the journal paper must explain the contribution of the conference paper, and describe the distinguishing additional contribution made in the journal paper. All submitted papers will undergo the normal review process of the corresponding journal.

Whenever a derivative journal publication does eventuate then this journal paper must contain an appropriate reference to the already published IFAC-PapersOnLine publication, preferably using the DOI attribute.


All material submitted for presentation at an IFAC co-sponsored meeting (Congress, Symposium, Conference, Workshop) must be original and hence cannot be already published, nor can it be under review elsewhere. The authors take jointly the responsibility for the material that has been submitted. All papers submitted to an IFAC co-sponsored event will be duly reviewed through a process that is compatible with international guidelines such as It is expected that the authors equally abide by such ethical standards,

The conference may or may not have an associated publication for the submitted papers. IFAC recommends that only papers that were reviewed and presented at the event can be published in the conference proceedings. IFAC recommends that any proceedings from the conference will be made available under an open-access protocol.

In the event that there is no official publication associated with the conference, the authors are at liberty to publish the material elsewhere.

In the event that there is an official proceedings publication following the conference, and the authors decide to a subsequent derivative publication based on the already published article, then this new article must in itself satisfy all the requirements of an original contribution to the literature. A submission which is a minor modification of the IFAC co-sponsored conference article is a form of self-plagiarism, which is not acceptable. Any derivative publication must refer to the event where the original material was presented, and/or to the version of the paper in the proceedings of the event. At a minimum, the derivative journal paper must explain the contribution of the conference paper, and describe the distinguishing additional contribution made in the journal paper.

First Announcement/Call for Papers

Once a conference has been officially approved by IFAC, this approval will be communicated by the IFAC Secretariat to all persons involved.

This is then the point in time for the NOC, the IPC and the Editor to take immediate action for preparatory activities, i.e.

  • Drafting the program structure, scope and topics of the meeting
  • Fixing local arrangements (venue, budget assessment, etc.)
  • Issuing the First Announcement and Call for Papers (at least 11 months before a Symposium and 8 months before a Workshop) confirming the IPC list, and ensuring all IPC have accepted their roles

The Call for Papers should contain the following information:

  • IFAC Logo (the official IFAC logo can be obtained directly from the IFAC webpage or from the IFAC Secretariat)
  • Full Name of the conference, date, location of conference
  • URL of conference website
  • Members of NOC, IPC and Editor
  • Sponsors, supporters, etc.
  • Brief narrative description of technical subject matter (scope), giving sufficient details (topics) to attract interested participants and competent speakers
  • Lengths of desired contribution
  • Detailed mailing instructions and deadline for draft papers
  • Preliminary calendar of deadlines, etc.
  • Contact address, phone, fax and e-mail numbers of the event Secretariat
  • Return coupon indicating if a paper will be submitted and/or if planning to attend
  • Information if partial or complete pre-payment of the registration fee by one of the authors is required
  • The official IFAC copyright stipulation for papers as stated above

Conference Homepage/URL of the Conference Homepage

A website, displaying all the information provided in the Call for Papers (including the copyright conditions) as well as other relevant information should be established.

The URL of this homepage is to be given to the IFAC Secretariat to be published on the IFAC forthcoming conference website, and in all other IFAC publications (i.e. IFAC Newsletter).

Distribution of the First Announcement/Call for Papers

Hard copies of the First Announcement/Call for Papers or an e-mail message on the availability of it on the web should go to the following groups of persons:

  • IFAC National Member Organizations
  • Sponsoring Technical Committee(s) Chairs and Vice-Chairs
  • Addresses of interested persons provided by the IFAC Secretariat
  • Editor-in-Chief of IFAC-PapersOnLine, and the Editor-in-Chiefs of the IFAC Journals (see above)
  • IFAC Secretariat
  • Other national or international organizations which might be interested in the meeting.

NOTE 1: The IFAC Secretariat can forward your Call for Papers (or other announcements) via a separate IFAC event e-mail address to interested IFAC Affiliates.

NOTE 2: It is usually possible to include a full-page announcement of an IFAC meeting in one or more of the IFAC Journals, subject to suitable deadlines and to the availability of space in the journals. The IFAC Publisher (at present Elsevier BV) is willing to enter into trade agreements with meeting organizers, for display space at the meeting for advertising in IFAC Journals. Contact the IFAC Publications Office (Kay Tancock,

Second Announcement/Advance Program

Six months before the conference, an e-mail message containing the Second Announcement of the conference also repeating the call for papers should be sent to all potential authors, session chairs and people who have previously indicated an interest in the conference. The www-site should be updated to include any additional information, and to highlight the proximity of the conference.

If the organizers want to act in this manner, we advise that the e-mail announcement be short and to the point, and be used to direct the reader to the more complete and comprehensive information on the www-site.

By this time, the www-site should at least contain all of the following:

  • IFAC Logo
  • Full name, date, location of conference
  • URL of the conference website
  • A list of the main plenary speakers and their topics
  • A short statement about the purpose of the conference
  • Sponsors, supporters, etc.
  • Members of IPC and NOC, Editor(s)
  • Detailed meeting dates
  • Session titles and times
  • Hotel reservation information
  • Registration fee (regular and special rates)

The second announcement on the www-site could start listing accepted papers and provide an overview of the participating countries, and some preliminary statistics about the program.

  • Pre-registration requirements for authors, if applicable
  • Payment procedure and methods
  • General information (address of meeting venue, access to venue, transportation facilities, visas, weather, currency, electricity, insurance)
  • Accompanying persons program, if applicable
  • Cancellation conditions
  • Pre- and post-meeting technical/cultural activities, if organized
  • Social programs
  • City map
  • The official IFAC copyright stipulation

Distribution of Second Announcement/Advance Program

The mailing list of the Second Announcement and Advance Program should include the following groups:

  • Chairs and Vice-Chairs of sponsoring Technical Committee(s)
  • Editor-in-Chief of IFAC-PapersOnLine and Editors-in-Chief of the IFAC Journals (see above)
  • Authors
  • Session chairs
  • IFAC Secretariat (5 copies)
  • and all people who indicated an interest in the conference.

IFAC Article Sharing Policy

Prior to submission to an IFAC conference
Authors may share their article in the following ways:

  • On the author’s personal website or their institution website
  • On institutional or funder websites if required
  • On
  • In the author’s own classroom use

This does not count as a prior publication.

Upon submission to an IFAC conference
Authors may share or post their submitted version of the article (also known as the pre-print) in the following ways:

  • On the author’s personal website or their institution’s website
  • On institutional or funder websites if required
  • On
  • For the author’s own classroom use

The following text should be included on the first page of the posted article: “This work has been submitted to IFAC for possible publication”.

Upon acceptance to an IFAC conference
If an author previously posted their submitted version of the article in any of the following locations, they can replace the submitted version with the accepted version.

  • Authors personal website or their institution website
  • Institutional or funder websites

The following text should be included on the first page of the posted article: “© 20XX the authors. This work has been accepted to IFAC for publication under a Creative Commons Licence CC-BY-NC-ND”.

When the article is published, the posted version should be updated with a full citation to the original IFAC-PapersOnline publication, including DOI.

Final published article
The authors may share the final published article on public non-commercial sites in the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license (

Additionally, the authors may use the article in a subsequent compilation of their work, or extend it to book length form, or include it in a thesis or dissertation, or otherwise to use or re-use portions or excerpts in other works, for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

All copies of the article should link to the original publication in IFAC PapersOnline via its DOI and have a copyright statement and a reference to the CC-BY-NC-ND license.

Except for such uses, IFAC has the exclusive right to make or sub-license commercial use.

IFAC affiliates reduction and Complimentary Registration

Reduction on registration fees for IFAC Affiliates: The decision was made to ask all IFAC Conferences to offer a EUR 10 (or equivalent) discount on registration fees to all IFAC Affiliates.

Members of the IFAC Council and IFAC Secretary, Editor-in-Chiefs of the IFAC Journals, Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Technical Committees sponsoring or co-sponsoring the conference may be exempted from registration fees by the NOC (but this is not mandated).

The IFAC President or her/his designated representative is to be exempted from any registration fee. The name of the representative will be communicated to you by the Secretariat.

Financial Reporting

The sponsoring NMO will require a fully acquitted approved budget report in due course. Financial reporting to IFAC is mandatory for all conferences, and subject to approval for those conferences that were granted the financial support package and loan.

Final Program

For distribution at the conference, a final program should be prepared. Its primary function is to provide final, accurate information for the attendees. It should include the following:

  • IFAC Logo
  • Name, date, location of conference
  • Sponsors, co-sponsors, supporters, etc.
  • Members of NOC and IPC, and the Editor
  • Session titles, times and chairs
  • Paper titles, authors, times, room allocations
  • Special features such as round tables, names of their participants
  • Plenary lectures, lectures, tutorials, case studies, times, room allocation, map of the site
  • The official IFAC copyright stipulation

Distribution of Preprints

When preprints are prepared, one copy should be made available to each of the following:

  • IFAC Secretariat
  • Editor-in-Chief of IFAC-PapersOnLine
  • Editor-in-Chief of the IFAC Journals
  • Chair of (each) responsible IFAC Technical Committee
  • Chair of the IFAC Technical Board
  • Each co-sponsoring organization through its Secretary
  • Symposium/Conference/Workshop Editor

Preprints are given to participants as part of the registration fee and may be offered for sale. They must not carry an ISBN, Bar Code, cataloguing details of the words "published by...".

Organizers are at liberty to make local arrangements for the production of their preprints, subject to the above conditions.

Final Reports

Within two months after the conference, the final report should be written jointly by the Chairs of the NOC and IPC, and the Chair of the responsible main-sponsoring Technical Committee, with a copy to the IFAC Secretariat. A standard form is available for this report (see Appendix 8).

This report should contain details about the conference, such as:

  • Breakdown of attendance by country
  • List of no-show authors by country
  • Method and statistics of the review process and the paper selection
  • Brief summary of program and discussion
  • Comments on new features tested

In addition to the final report, a report should be prepared, suitable for publication in the IFAC Newsletter (please Word doc Format). It should point out the highlights of the conference with respect to technical and scientific contributions, new information or developments, trends and conclusions to be drawn which might be of interest to the automatic control community in general. This report should be accompanied by photographs suitable for Newsletter publication and the names of the persons and their countries clearly labeled. In addition to the mandated final reports, IFAC recommends that all other conference sponsors receive a copy of the final reports, together with a proper thank you letter. As a matter of courtesy, it is appropriate to keep the sponsoring NMO also apprised of this correspondence.

Timetable; Scenario for Organization

Scenario for Organization of IFAC Symposia/Conferences (and Workshops if Preprints are prepared*):

  • NMO/TC makes formal application to IFAC Secretariat
- 15
  • Technical and Conference Board approval
- 13
  • Invite IPC members
- 13
  • Establish sub-committees (e.g. tutorials, social program, etc)
- 13
  • First Announcement/Call for papers distribution
- 11
  • Deadline for receipt of draft papers
- 8
  • Distribute papers for review
- 8
  • IPC reviews – meeting of IPC for paper selection and setting program
- 7
  • Second Announcement/Advance Program distributed
- 6
  • Notification of authors
- 6
  • Author’s kit sent out
- 6
  • Final papers and copyright transfer forms returned in camera-ready form or electronically
- 4
  • Paper selection complete
- 3
  • Final Program drawn up
- 3
  • Preprint production started
- 3
  • CONFERENCE opens
  • Original electronic files of all papers sent to the Editor-in-Chief of IFAC-PapersOnLine
  • NOC and IPC Final Reports and report suitable for publication in the IFAC Newsletter to Newsletter Editor, c/o IFAC Secretariat
+ 2

The above items of the timetable, especially those related to the publication schedule should be observed.

NOTE: The time scales are the minimum required!

* If the Workshop NOC decides to prepare Prepints, the same rules apply as for Symposia/Conferences in that case.

Scenario for Organization of Workshops without Preprints

  • NMO/TC makes formal application to IFAC Secretariat
- 12
  • IFAC approval
- 10
  • Invite IPC members and include the IFAC CB liaison
- 10
  • Establish sub-committees (e.g. tutorials, social program, etc)
- 10
  • First Announcement/Call for papers distribution
- 8
  • Deadline for receipt of abstracts
- 6
  • Abstract selection and setting program
- 5
  • Second Announcement/Advance Program distributed
- 4
  • Notification of authors
- 4
  • Final Program drawn up
- 2
WORKSHOP opens 0
  • NOC and IPC Final Reports and report suitable for publication in the IFAC Newsletter to Newsletter Editor, c/o IFAC Secretariat
+ 1

The above tasks on the timetable should be carried out.

NOTE: The time scales are the minimum required!

Notice about Scam E-mails

In  recent  years,  there  were  a  high  number  of  scam  e-mails  sent  to members  of the  IFAC community in the name of, for example, the IFAC President. These scam emails can contain very sophisticated, customized messages addressed to the IFAC volunteers like you as the recipient  and  include  the  name,  home  country  or  town,  and  information  about  the  IFAC structure. These scam emails usually ask for a call or a direct money transfer. These are not sent from an account affiliated with the IFAC president, IFAC volunteers or IFAC. Therefore, please be particularly cautious and do not react to such e-mails.

Important last words

Organizing an IFAC conference is not a simple task. There are many details to be taken care of, and the NOC, IPC and Editor carry important responsibilities. Nevertheless, the work is normally enormously rewarding, in particular when the technical content is of a high standard, the meeting place was enjoyed by one and all, and colleagues had a great time discussing, debating, presenting and arguing their latest results.

IFAC is here to help you make your conference a great success. Please read this material, consult the Technical Committees, ask the IFAC publisher, the editor of IFAC-PapersOnLine or the IFAC secretariat for help if you need it.

A successful conference is remembered for many years…

IFAC wishes you and your colleagues a great success!

Short Task List for organizers of IFAC Sponsored Conferences

  • Read carefully the Organizers Guide (this document) for IFAC Sponsored Conferences.
  • Ask for approval through the IFAC Secretariat for any changes in the already approved application (dates, registration fees, chairs, etc.).
  • Include the IFAC CB liaison, and representative(s) from TCs, as well as co-sponsoring organizations in the International Program Committee (IPC).
  • Inform the IFAC Secretariat about the homepage and e-mail address of the conference when it is available on the web.
  • Follow the deadlines
  • Follow the instructions of the Editor-in-Chief of IFAC-PapersOnLine
  • Monitor the work of the editor
  • Distribute the hard copy of the Call for Papers and/or e-mail information about its availability on the web
  • Distribute the hard copy of the Advance Program and/or e-mail information about its availability on the web
  • Include the copyright stipulation in all announcements, in the preprints & proceedings and on the website.
  • Do not hesitate to contact the IFAC Secretariat if you have problems or questions:

Appendix 1 - Master Plan of IFAC Symposia

updated in Baltimore, MD, USA; July 1, 2010 updated November, 2013, slightly revised Sept. 2016

  • Advanced Control in Chemical Processes (ADCHEM)
  • Advances in Automotive Control  (AAC)
  • Automatic Control in Aerospace (ACA)
  • Advances in Control Education (ACE)
  • Biological and Medical Systems (BMS)
  • Dynamics and control of process systems, including biosystems (DYCOPS)
  • Fault Detection, Supervision and Safety for Technical Processes (SAFEPROCESS)
  • Human-Machine Systems (HMS)
  • Information Control in Manufacturing (INCOM)
  • Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles (IAV)
  • Large Scale Systems (LSS)
  • Mechatronic Systems (MECHATRONICS)
  • Control, Optimization and Automation in Mining, Mineral and Metal Processing (MMM)
  • Non-Linear Control Systems (NOLCOS)
  • Control of Power and Energy Systems (CPES)
  • Robot Control (SYROCO)
  • Robust Control Design (ROCOND)
  • System Identification (SYSID)
  • System Structure and Control (SSSC)
  • Telematics Applications (TA)
  • Transportation Systems (CTS)

Appendix 2 - Standard Application Form

Proceed to the APPLICATION FORM.

Appendix 3 - Review Form/Full scale rating in PaperCept

Make sure that you use the full scale rating in PaperCept. The review form is online available on IFAC PaperCept.


A/5.0 Definitely accept
B+/4.5 Accept
B/4.0 High Borderline
B-/3.5 Borderline
C/3.0 Low Borderline
C-/2.5 Reject
D/2.0 Definitely Reject
U/1.0 Inappropriate

Appendix 4: Checklist for Organizers

The following list of items will be helpful:

  • Assistance at transportation terminals
  • Meeting rooms, also for informal discussions
  • Projection equipment
  • Name tags
  • Place tags at speakers' tables
  • Social/cultural events
  • Simultaneous translation (if applicable)
  • City maps for participants
  • List of restaurants
  • Sightseeing attractions
  • Technical visits to local institutes and industries
  • Suitable arrangements made for mailing the preprints from the meeting location
  • Visa arrangements and other government formalities
  • Briefcases
  • Large signs for room sessions
  • Message board, telephone, mail service
  • Special arrangements for students and young scientists (reduced fees)
  • Information on local transportation
  • Secretarial services for participants
  • Program for accompanying persons
  • Office facilities for Symposium/Conference officials, session Chairs, authors
  • Copying facilities
  • Exhibition of books, papers, etc.
  • Presentation of films
  • Boards for poster sessions (if any)

Appendix 5: Suggested Letter for Acceptance of Paper


The International Program Committee is pleased to inform you that your paper identified below has been accepted for presentation at the IFAC Symposium/Conference on


at the time and in the session indicated. To appear in the preprints of the Symposium/Conference we must have the final version of your full paper specially typed (camera-ready copy) and in our hands

by.......... ...................................

You will be receiving detailed instructions for this shortly from .......................................................... .

Please note the following IFAC policies relating to your paper:

IFAC Publication and Copyright Policy:

The material submitted for presentation at an IFAC meeting (Congress, Symposium, Conference) must be original, not published or being considered elsewhere. All papers accepted for presentation will appear in the Preprints of the meeting and will be distributed to the participants. Papers duly presented at the IFAC Congress, Symposia and Conference (workshops only if they have proceedings) will be hosted on-line on the website. All papers presented will be recorded as IFAC Publications.

Copyright of material presented at an IFAC meeting is held by IFAC. Authors will be required to transfer copyrights electronically. Subsequent derivative publication may be based on the already published IFAC event article, but must in itself satisfy all the requirements of an original contribution to the literature, as prescribed by the journal to which the paper is submitted. A submission which simply constitutes only minor modifications of the IFAC event article is a form of self-plagiarism, which is not acceptable.

Congratulations on the acceptance of your paper. We look forward to your successful participation in the Symposium/Conference/Workshop.

Yours truly


Paper Title:
Session Title:
Date and Time of Presentation:

Appendix 6: Suggested Letter for Rejection of Paper


The International Program Committee regrets to inform you that your paper identified below will not be included in the program of the IFAC Symposium/Conference/Workshop on

(Reason for rejection)

Although your paper was considered the editorial property of IFAC following its submission, the copyright is hereby returned to you.

We regret that we have not been able to include your paper in this event, but hope that other contributions from you will appear in other IFAC technical meetings. We hope that you will still be able to participate in our meeting and share your experiences with other attendees.

Yours truly,


Paper Title:

Appendix 7: Proposal Draft Call for Papers

Following information should be included:

  • Name, date, location of event
  • IFAC Symbol
  • Organizer
  • Sponsor
  • IFAC - International Federation of Automatic Control
  • Technical Committee on ……….
  • Co-sponsors:
  • IFAC Technical Committees on ……..
  • Recognized International Organizations (c.f. page …)
  • Co-operation: upon special agreement.
  • Scope: describes the general goals and the field of event
  • Topics: describes the specific subjects details of scope,
  • Mailing Instructions
  • Deadline for submission of papers
  • IPC (chair and members, identifying TC's and liaison officers, if applicable)
  • NOC (chair and members)
  • Contact Address with telephone, fax, and e-mail number homepage
  • Return Address, if different from above
  • Official Copyright Stipulation

Appendix 8 – Combined NOC and IPC Report

Please click here to download the IPC-NOC report form.

Appendix 9 – Publication Requirements

Please click here to download the IFAC PapersOnLine publication requirements.

Appendix 10 – Publication Ethics Guidelines

Please click here to download the ethical guidelines regarding publications.

Appendix 11 – IFAC License Agreement v1.3

Please click here to download the copyright conditions statement.

Appendix 12 – IFAC Logo

      Please click here to download the IFAC logo.