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RSD12 Presentation & Production Process

by | Aug 2023 | For Contributors, SDA blog

The RSD production process has been a work in progress over the past four years, evolving to meet the increased volume of submissions while remaining true to the principles of co-design and cocreation. Each year, production deadlines are established to meet the cadence of RSD symposia and also allow the greatest degree of latitude for authors.

RSD12 Deadlines

  1. Pre-production: September 04, 2023
  2. Production versions: October 6 to 20, 2023
  3. Editorial period: post-conference to March 31, 2024
  4. Publication: June 30, 2024
RSD12 Production Editor: Cheryl May

Author expectations and responsibilities

The RSD symposium is a scholarly event, and articles are published as formal proceedings (e.g., see RSD11). Authors are expected to register for the event and encouraged to participate in sessions beyond their own to gather new insights into their work and find encouragement and colleagues. There is a great deal of emphasis on sharing work and receiving input from peers.

Paper sessions are generally organised to allow 30 minutes per presentation, and the default format is a 10-15 minute presentation with the remaining time for questions. Authors and moderators can decide the best way to present within their paper grouping. For example, sometimes, it makes sense to pair presentations and discuss them as a dyad; sometimes, there is a series of presentations and a discussion period about the topics and their relationship.

The use of a slide deck is optional, although most authors choose to present something visual. This can also be an infographic, map, or short video clip to accompany their comments. These assets can be included in the proceedings article at the author’s discretion.

Production Schedule


All papers are finalised and camera-ready for PDF and embedding with RSD posts.

During this time, papers are exported as PDFs from Google Drive and embedded with the post, constituting the full and final article for the proceedings. Author commitments are completed at this point, and the collaborative editing period closes.

It is best practice for authors to review the final presentation of their work in the proceedings, including checking links in the HTML or PDF version of their document. Authors are encouraged to contact the RSD editor to note corrections or request changes. Authors with multiple entries in RSD proceedings might want to review the search result for their name (use “first last” for best results). The RSD proceedings have developed over many years, and the presentation of the authors’ RSD back catalogue can likely be improved, for example, author name(s) in the excerpt, shortened links, embedding papers, and links to related work).

The editorial period is the revision timeframe based on reviewer comments, input from RSD attendees and others, and author reviews.

The RSD editorial period employs a collaborative editing approach. The production editor makes direct, non-substantive changes to the paper in line with the RSD style guide without consultation with the authors. However, authors are contacted if there are concerns about specific segments of their work or if considerable changes are needed to align the paper with the Guidelines. Authors can review changes at any time by:

  • Requesting editorial access to their manuscript
  • Viewing changes by going to file>version history

Once editorial access is granted, the author can directly edit their work up to March 31, 2024. At this time, the entire manuscript is considered to be camera-ready, and the abstract and author list directly conform with the HTML version on

During the collaborative editing period, authors are invited to contact the production editor to discuss changes to their manuscript or the post on

RSD articles are optimised for indexing on Google, including Google Scholar; however, RSD doesn’t have the capacity to develop the keyword/keyphrase for every paper. Authors who want to improve the search results for their paper, may also propose an SEO keyword or keyphrase via a comment on the Google Doc version of their paper.

The papers are publicly available, and the collaborative editing period is initiated.

The author’s pre-production Word version of their manuscript constitutes the production version. It is exported to an RSD Google Drive folder, and a link to the folder is included at the bottom of each post. Anyone with the link can read this version, but it cannot be downloaded, printed or copied. PDF versions generated by authors are no longer used in the RSD production process.

Authors are encouraged to review the production version to ensure the correct document is uploaded. From this point forward, no new Word versions will be accepted by RSD. However, we enter the collaborative editing process, and authors can access and make direct revisions to their manuscripts by requesting editorial access.

Remember that the abstract and author list is locked, i.e., camera-ready, on From this point forward, authors must communicate changes to the abstract or author list with the RSD editor.

The abstract and author list are directly imported from EasyChair to WordPress; therefore, they must align with the paper.

During this period, authors return to EasyChair to:

  • finalise abstracts and keywords
  • ensure the authors are placed in the correct order
  • upload the pre-production Word version of their paper

As of the deadline, the author list and abstract portion of the manuscript, up to and including the keywords, comprise the post on, i.e., they are considered camera-ready. Unlike the paper, this portion is set in HTML, so later changes to the abstract will not be reflected in the post unless reset. RSD does not have the capacity to proofread every post for alignment, so keeping the author list and abstract in the post exactly the same as the abstract in the paper is the responsibility of the authors, and the RSD editorial will make changes on request.

This period also allows authors to revise their submissions based on reviewer feedback. For most accepted papers, revisions from the abstract and author list can be done in the months following RSD. In some cases, reviewers or editors have noted critical revisions to correct errors, and the author is requested to make these before the pre-production deadline.

About the RSD production process operates within the creative constraint of an entirely community-funded model, a high degree of responsiveness to authors and RSD programme committees, and overarching dedication to creating a collaborative, author-centric process. This is most succinctly expressed by the Scholars Spiral, the Systemic Design Association’s cyclic, non-hierarchical approach to advancing scholarship, adopted to:
  • Reduce the competitive implications of the hierarchical structure of the ladder, with the achievement of the peer-reviewed article at the top of the ladder
  • Encourage the development of new authors in the field by promoting a realistic yet high-standard process for authors at different levels of quality and readiness to start publishing
  • Adapting our knowledge of systems thinking to the publishing process
RSD proceedings, represented by as a searchable systemic design repository, jumped from 115 for RSD10 to 227 for RSD11, a productivity gain that is the direct result of collaboration and has wide-ranging benefits. While RSD’s capacity for proceedings has grown through the involvement of RSD Chairs and programme committee members and constant process improvements by RSD editors, authors play a significant part by referring to the RSD Guidelines in the preparation of their manuscript and their active engagement in the collaborative editing process. These aspects of the RSD production process are what makes managing the volume of RSD articles by a single production editor possible. Over the last few years, RSD has attempted to develop a an RSD production process that supports the community of scholars and practitioners in the field of systemic design. For example, the RSD production process has maintained adherence to using applications that are the most common in each sphere of the work involved: EasyChair for submissions, WordPress for the RSD repository, and Google Docs for editing. This means that authors can submit work in the environment most likely familiar to them and editing can take place without constant uploads or the perils of email exchanges. Search engine optimisation for web indexing and Google Scholar has also been addressed so that authors can expect their articles to show up in a general or Scholar web search. Significant initiatives such as the launch of the repository with RSD9, the introduction of the interactive session format at RSD10, and clearer guidelines for authors and editors at RSD11 have contributed to increasing accessibility to systemic design work. In 2022, SDA also shifted the organisational model to the Spiral, identifiying points for collective contribution and cocreation such as peer feedback, publication, and communications, evident in the invitation to all submitting authors to peer-review a paper for RSD12.


Final submissions are due on
April 30

Open call for Reviewers
April 1–30

Feedback to authors
June 30

sessions OCTOBER 16–18

RSD13-OSLO & Nordmarka Forest October 22–26

Lidar-derived image of the Danube River and floodplain near Tulln, Austria. Daniel Coe. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED