Those of you who regularly attend the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) will have noted that we have been slowly evolving many facets of what long-time conference attendees have fondly referred to as the "yellow peril," i.e., the traditional yellow, three-volume conference abstracts. As the abstract submission process has technologically evolved to successful implementation of electronic abstract submission, we are subsequently evolving in terms of production of the abstract volume, with the use of CD-ROMs as the principal long-lasting product of the conference.

In general, this evolution has been greeted favorably, but there have been complaints about some of the changes. Many of these complaints have been accompanied by useful suggestions (which makes them the only kind of complaint worth listening to). As a consequence of this useful feedback, we are implementing changes to both the abstract submission form and the conference products (program booklet and abstract volume) for the 30th LPSC in 1999. We strongly urge that you note in particular the new required field on the abstract submission form.

Conference Products

The biggest change for next year, and one that will certainly meet with the most favorable response, is the new format of the program booklet. Beginning in 1999, the program will be in 8.5" × 11" format. This will allow us to provide additional information, as well as allowing space for marginal annotation as needed. The listing for each session will now provide, along with the titles and authors, the abstract number AND a summary of each presentation. This summary must be provided by the author(s) at the time of abstract submission. There will be a new field on the abstract submission form for this summary, and this summary for the program booklet will be required for all abstracts. The computer will limit entries in this field to 250 characters (including spaces). Comments we received have suggested that having such a brief summary would be beneficial to those who are trying to decide what a presentation is really about, because titles aren't always informative. As authors are writing their abstracts, they should be thinking about what they want the summary to say, remembering that what they input in that box on the abstract submission form will be printed in the program booklet distributed at the conference, and will be included in the online program and abstracts available on the Web prior to the meeting. Also in response to suggestions from participants, the program booklet will contain a list of those abstracts accepted for print only.

As in previous years, the abstract submission form will once again request keywords, lunar sample numbers, and meteorite names. The CD-ROM for the 30th LPSC will contain these indexes as well as a full author index. Also, to make it easier for those who want to print out all the abstracts, or perhaps all abstracts for certain sessions, we will add full session files that contain the listing for a session AND all the abstracts included in that session. (Participants who want to print out all the abstracts will therefore have only 40 or so print jobs instead of 940.) These files will be included in addition to the current format, where each title in a session is linked directly to the appropriate abstract.

Online Program and Abstracts

While many attendees are delighted at the Web version of the abstracts and preliminary program, there have been a number of useful suggestions for improvement, particularly from those with slow remote access. Some of the improvements that are being made to the CD are being incorporated in the online version of the abstracts: The online program will include the brief summaries mentioned above, and we will provide downloadable files for each session. These files will contain the program listing and all the abstracts for each session. We will still provide the traditional program and abstracts, where each title in a session is linked directly to the abstract.

These changes should address most of the concerns that were expressed following the last LPSC. In the end, we are always striving to make the LPSC experience as enjoyable, beneficial, and informative as we possibly can. We encourage and welcome any constructive suggestions from those of you who participate in this annual celebration of planetary science.

Carl B. Agee
Co-Chair, LPSC

David C. Black
Co-Chair, LPSC

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