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Conferences are usually organized either by a scientific society or by a group of researchers with a common interest. Larger meetings may be handled on behalf of the scientific society by a Professional Conference Organizer or PCO.
The meeting is announced by way of a "Call For Papers" or a Call For Abstracts, which lists the meeting's topics and tells prospective presenters how to submit their abstracts or papers. Increasingly, submissions take place online using a managed service such as Community of Science or Oxford Abstracts.