Save-Changes Changes

ScreenshotWe’re rolling out a few improvements to the way call settings are saved.

  • Instead of requiring you to scroll all the way down the page to get to the "Save Changes" button, we’re displaying it as a sticky element at the bottom of the screen (right). That way, no matter where you are on the page, you’ll have direct access to it.
  • The save-changes button will only appear on the screen if you have changes that need to be saved.
  • Changes are saved in the background, avoiding the need (and time it takes) to reload the page.
  • You’ll now have an option to discard any unsaved changes and revert back to the previous settings.
  • The system will warn you if there are unsaved changes and you attempt to leave the page (either by clicking a link or reloading the page).

For now, we’ve only applied these changes to two settings pages: Dates and the Publishing Module. Once we’re comfortable everything works OK, we’ll start to apply the changes across all of the settings pages. (We’ve got some other big improvements in store for the call-management side of things, but I’ll save those juicy details for another time.)

Session Materials

Our Publishing Module now includes an option to include/exclude session materials.

Session materials have always been part of the Publishing Module, but there was no way to control their display.

Session Materials OptionsNow, call admins can enable/disable the display of session materials in both the brief and full listings by checking the boxes in the first row of the Session Materials section of the Publishing settings page (left). If the box is checked, all of the default details for each item (label, type, name, and size) will be displayed, and the option to also include the Item Description is enabled. Leaving the box unchecked will prevent session materials from being displayed at all.

As always, we welcome your feedback on this or any other feature!

Reviewer Conflicts of Interest

We’ve made a few changes to make it easier for reviewers, review chairs, and call admins to identify conflicts of interest.

Although conflicts are not very common (accounting for about 0.1% of reviews in ProposalSpace), we understand that it’s critical for reviewers to be able to flag them clearly as conflicts and for call admins and review chairs to be able to identify them easily.

Previously, the only way for a reviewer to report a conflict was to leave the review unscored and to provide an explanation in the Comments field. This would mark the review as complete, but it wasn’t clear to call admins and review chairs that a conflict had been reported unless they pulled up the review’s details.

Conflict of Interest QuestionTo make it easier for reviewers to clearly report conflicts, we’re adding a checkbox to the review form for every new call (left). Reviewers can still provide details in the Comments field, but if the checkbox is checked, the system disables the scoring option and flags the review as a conflict.

Progress IndicatorFor call admins and review chairs, we changed the way conflicts are displayed throughout the Tracker to make them easier to identify. One way we did this was by adding a progress bar to the In Review page (left) that shows at a glance how many reviewers have scored the submission (green), how many have reported a conflict (yellow), and how many have not yet reviewed it (grey). Hovering over the progress bar displays a summary of the scores, while clicking on it gives access to individual reviews.

Note: The conflict question will only be added automatically to review forms going forward. We can add it manually to any existing review form, however, so feel free to let us know if you would like to use it and we’ll be happy to include it for you!

Review-Module Improvements

We’ve just released a software update that includes some really exciting improvements to the Review Module (which comes standard with every call). Here are just some of the new features:

  • You can now add reviewers and review chairs to a review group even if they don’t have a ProposalSpace account.
  • The search function for reviewers and review chairs is built into the review-group page, making it more efficient.
  • To improve privacy, reviewers and review chairs need to confirm their addition to a review group before they are actually added to it.
  • The layout of the review-group admin page has been updated, making it easier to manage for both call admins and review chairs.

As always, let us know how the new features are working out, and if you have any ideas for additional improvements!

Open-Ended Calls

We’re happy to announce that ProposalSpace now fully supports open-ended calls!

Previously, every call had to have a submission deadline, which was OK for most calls. However, for open-ended calls, that date had to be set way in the future or updated periodically to keep it in the future. So to make things easier, we’ve made the Submission End setting optional, which means any call can now be open-ended just by leaving that setting blank!

To get this to work, we had to make a few other notable changes:

  • All Dates settings, other than Submission Start, have been made optional. We encourage everyone to provide dates for informational purposes, but now you can activate a call with just a Submission Start.
  • Previously, calls had to be archived manually and could not be unarchived. Calls may continue to be archived manually, but if not done within a year of activation, the system will do it automatically. After a call is archived, admins still have full access to its settings and data, but may not change any settings other than those for the Advanced Scheduling Module and Publishing Module, if activated. If you have a call that needs to be active for more than a year, it can be reactivated for as long as you like with additional one-year extensions.
  • The Late Submissions setting has been moved from the General Submission settings page to the Dates settings page. (This wasn’t really necessary; We just thought it made more sense there.)

We really hope these changes make it easier for admins to manage open-ended calls using ProposalSpace. As always, feedback is welcomed.

More exciting changes are in the pipeline, so stay tuned!

New Feature: Strict/Loose Text Limits

text limit screenshotFor a while now, the ProposalSpace form builder has allowed call admins to place limits on text fields. For example, you could set a 200-word limit for a bio field or a 75-character limit for a title field. Any limit, however, was purely informational, which meant an author could exceed it and still submit the proposal. (The system would highlight the answer for call admins and reviewers, though, so they could easily tell if the author went over the limit.)

Now, if you set a limit on a text field, you can tell the system what to do if the answer exceeds the limit:

  • Allow the proposal to be submitted and highlight the answer for call admins and reviewers.
  • Consider the proposal incomplete and do not allow it to be submitted.

Thanks to the call admins who suggested this improvement… Keep the great ideas coming!

New Feature: Public Description

ScreenshotIf you’re a call admin, the next time you go into the general-settings area for your call you’ll see a new field (labeled “Public Description”) that you can use to customize the text that gets displayed on the public call-details page (aka the call landing page).

Previously, there was only one field (Call Description) that was used for both the public call-details page and at the top of the new-proposal page. Some of our users pointed out that displaying the same content on the two pages could be confusing, so we added the second field. Now, the public call-details page will display the text from the Public Description field instead of the Call Description field. (The text in the Call Description field will continue to be displayed on the new-proposal page.)

We’ve made sure the change is backwards compatible, so if there is no text in the Public Description field, the text from the Call Description field will continue to be used on both pages.

New Feature: Text Limits  

We’re really excited to announce a new feature in ProposalSpace: text limits.

Text limit screenshot
Text limit screenshot

Call admins can now assign a word or character limit to any text field in a proposal submission form or role form. Just select “Word Limit” or “Character Limit” from the pull-down menu in the question settings (right, top), then enter the number of words or characters you want for the limit (right, bottom).

We designed the feature to follow Twitter-like rules, so responses are allowed to exceed the limit. Text limit screenshotExtra text is displayed with ellipses, which can be clicked on to reveal the full response (right).

Check it out and let us know what you think!

New Feature: Test Mode

Call administrators now have the option of testing a call in ProposalSpace before making it live.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Once your call is complete (has all the information required for activation), you simply click a button to place it in “test mode”.
  2. The system automatically generates a special URL, which you and your testers use to create and submit test proposals.
  3. Administrators, review chairs and reviewers have full access to the call—as if it were active—for three days.
  4. After three days, the call is automatically taken out of test mode. If you need more time, just let us know. We’ll be glad to extend the test period.
  5. Any data entered during the testing period is automatically deleted when you activate the call.