Parallel FAQ

Deadlines & Upcoming Dates for Parallel Session Speakers

Deadline Activity
April 26 Deadline to correct/edit title, abstract, and author list
April 26 Deadline to alert organizers of time/date restrictions in scheduling talk
May 10 Initial scheduling assignments sent
May 17 Presenter response to scheduling assignment deadline
May 24 Talk schedule announced
June 1 Deadline to register for conference to hold speaking slot
June 14 Whova conference platform will open to all registered participants. Look for an invitation email to the address you used for registration.
June 28 Pitch Talk Award Submissions (see below) must be uploaded by 9 am EDT on this date for consideration
July 4-9 Prerecorded talks (if the speaker wishes to deliver this way) should be submitted to the portal no later than 24 hours in advance. See below for details. Upload forms open June 21.
Q: How and why would I need to update my abstract, title, or author list?

A: You may update your entry here. You will need your OpenConf ID number and the password set by your corresponding author.

Many authors submitted abstracts as pdfs only, with figures and special formatting. In order to have an abstract associated with your talk in the conference platform, you will need to have a brief, text only abstract.

Your abstract may be as much as 500 words long, but we encourage you to be more succinct (200-300) and write in the form you might use in a journal article in your field. You will have an opportunity to upload a file to the Whova platform at a later date (slides, a pdf, or an image).

Please take a moment to review your author order, presenter designation, and your title for accuracy. Please recall that a presenter is limited to two talks in the main conference: one oral contribution OR lightning talk and one poster presentation. If you have a presenter who is accepted for two or more oral contributions, please designate another speaker to the conference or withdraw the additional submissions.

Q: What if I have a formula or an image I would like people to see in my abstract?

A: The abstract field for the Whova platform is text-only. We recommend you do not include complex formulas and images are not allowed. You will have an opportunity later to upload an additional file in the Whova platform.

Q: How will you schedule talks, given the diversity of time zones represented by speakers?

A: Good question! Our best guess is that there are at least 18 time zone represented in our presenters, and there are no times that will work for everyone. However, we have committed to working with authors in all time zones to find a speaking slot that is within waking hours for their time zone AND to keep as many organized sessions intact as possible. As you may imagine this will be a challenge.

Please let us know by April 26 about the dates and times you will be unavailable on this form.

The running hours for the main conference will be between 08:00 EDT and 22:00 (New York). Listed below are the time blocks we will be using throughout the six-day main conference.

First block: 08:00-11:00 New York/14:00-17:00 Rome/20:00-23:00 Shanghai
Second block: 11:00-14:00 New York/17:00-20:00 Rome/23:00-02:00 Shanghai (next day) Third block: 19:00-22:00 New York/01:00-04:00 Rome (next day)/07:00-10:00 Shanghai (next day)

If you would like to compare time zones, please visit this website.

Q: I submitted to a special organized session for this conference, but I have not heard whether my paper will be scheduled within that session. When will I know?

A: You will find out what session your paper has been assigned to in mid-May, when we send out initial scheduling decisions. This is because organizing special sessions requires coordinating the schedules of 4-6 speakers and a chair.

Special session organizers were given an opportunity to accept submissions to their sessions, though that did not affect whether a talk was accepted into the conference or not. In some cases, organizers received over 50 talks to their call (which could end up being 9-13 sessions), and felt the need to winnow down the selection to a more manageable numbers.

All papers accepted to the conference but not in an organized session will be grouped into sessions thematically on topics or approaches, with a mind to mixing participants from NetSci or INSNA backgrounds wherever possible AND accomodating scheduling needs.

Q: How will parallel sessions work for this conference?

A: Parallel sessions will be organized in a webinar format and will have 4-6 talks each. Each will be 15 minutes each. Time restrictions will be strictly enforced so that participants can move from sessions as they wish. At the beginning of each session, we will admit all speakers, chair, conference staff, and possible discussants to be "panelists" and be visible on screen. If a speaker is not present, the session will go into hiatus or open discussion for participants if they wish.

When Q&A time comes, chairs and conference staff will work to admit all those who have hads raised to share audio and video to speak to the presenter. We will be using the Q&A function in Whova during and after the talk to give the presenter a chance to respond. If a presenter has chosen to prerecord their talk, they may answer questions using this function while their talk is broadcasting.

Q: Why are you "strongly recommending" I prerecord my talk?

A: While they do take some preparation time, prerecorded talks have a number of distinct advantages. First, because a conference staffer on a high speed wired internet connection will be broadcasting your talk, there will be a smaller chance of technical disruption. Second, you can assure that your talk is exactly the length you wish it to be. You will have a total of 15 minutes for both talk and Q&A, and we recommend no more than 12 minutes per talk and at least 3 minutes for Q&A. Third, prerecorded talks may less speaker burden if your talk slot is late at night or early morning in your time zone.

Q: May I list more than one presenting author?

A: Yes! Especially if you have prerecorded, authors sharing presenting duties is not a problem. However, each presenting author must be registered to the conference in order to be listed s a speaker. And keep in mind, at least one presenting author MUST be registered by June 1 in order for the work to remain in the program.

Q: What are guidelines for a prerecorded talk?

First, do not go over your alloted time. We recommend about 12 minutes, leaving 3 minutes for Q&A. Under no circumstances should a prerecorded talk be over 14 minutes. If your prerecorded talk exceeds your alloted time your time will be cut off to allow the next speaker to start on time (just like a live speaker).

Second, make sure you review your recorded talk for audio and video issues before submitting. Our staff will be doing a quick check on each file, but we may not catch an issue before your talk. Third, all Zoom videos will be live-captioned for the audience, so there is no need to provide this on your video. Fourth, you must submit your prerecorded talks at the links below no later than 24 hours before your talk. So, if you present at noon on Monday, you must submit your prerecording by noon on Sunday.
Q: How will I submit our prerecorded talk?

A: Starting June 21, you may use the forms below for the specific day of your talk.

If you have difficulty with the forms below, you may email us a URL link to download your file with all the information below to DO NOT email us your presentation file.
Monday Uploads
Tuesday Uploads
Wednesday Uploads
Thursday Uploads
Friday Uploads
Saturday Uploads
Q: Can I upload my prerecorded talk into Whova directly?

No. Only lightning and poster speakers will upload into Whova directly. You may upload pdf or images, but if you upload a prerecorded talk in Whova, we will quickly hit data caps in Whova. We will delete any prerecorded video that is posted for oral contribitions. You MAY, however, add a link to your description with a URL with a third party viewer - like Vimeo or YouTube.

Q: I think I may have missed an email from you. What have I missed?

A: We have heard from a few authors that they may have missed an email originating from the OpenConf system (which was a simple notice of decision, sent between April 5 and April 16) and a more detailed letter on April 11 with next-step instructions. It appears some university spam/junk filters are blocking emails from the OpenConf system and others from accounts. Most of the information in that more detailed email is in this FAQ, but in the interest of making sure all have access, we haved posted all author instructions and correspondence as an archive on this site and we will make sure any future emails are also archived. Please feel free to reach out to us using this form for fastest response.

Q: I am interested in the Pitch Talk Award. Who is eligible and how do I participate?

A: The Networks 2021 Pitch Talk Award is based on the Network Science Society Young Initiative, which is meant to award the quality of the research contributed by a early researchers while recognizing the ability to explain and present the results. The selection will be based on the submission of a 1-minute video presenting the research of a contributed abstract selected for an oral presentation to the upcoming Networks 2021 conference.

Eligible candidates: PhD students individuals who earned their PhD after July 1, 2018 who are presenting an oral contribution (15 minute talk) to the main conference.

Awardees will be recognized at the conference, and will have their pitch talk published on the Network Science Society web page. To be considered, eligible candidates will have an accepted oral contribution at the conference, and will upload a 1-minute video and a one-page CV (one single PDF file: abstract+CV) to this form by Monday, June 28, 2021 at 9 p.m. Lightning talks and posters have separate award tracks. Selection will be made by the Networks 2021 Award Committee based on the quality of the research and of its presentation.

To see examples of how previous winners organized and presented their one minute pitches, please see the six previous winners.

Q: What if I need help?

A: You can always email us at

You may talk to someone directly through posted conference office hours. Once the conference starts, we will have posted staffed info desk hours, where you can chat live with a conference staffer or jump online to a Zoom help desk and speak to a staffer directly.

Q: I have never prerecorded a talk. Do you have some suggestions?

A: There are no hard and fast rules, except that you must keep it to 14 minutes or less and videos running past 15 minutes will be cut off.

Tips for a a good talk

  1. It is not required that you appear on the screen - you may choose to use audio-only. However, consider appearing on screen at least in the beginning and the end of your presentation.
  2. It is tempting to speak quickly to fit more in. However, please recall this is an international conference with many different dialects and accents, and many non-native English speakers. Enunciate as carefully as you can.
  3. Use engaging graphics whenever possible, and limit the amount of text on each slide.
  4. Plan to do at least one trial run of your recording. You will learn a lot through the experience.

Check your video recording setup

  1. Please do not turn on closed captioning in the video you submit to us. We will be running live autocaptioning, and dueling captions will be very distracting. If for some reason you prefer your captioning or subtitles, please contact us.
  2. If you can, place your camera in a room with natural light. Consider having light sources in front of your camera, not directly in front of you but to your left and right. Windows are often better than lamps.
  3. Do a test recording to check your voice. Make sure you’re speaking in a consistent tone.
  4. Review your recording after it is finished.
  5. We highly recommend a mp4 format. There can be some issues with playback and embedding with mov files.