If you don't see your question answered here, contact us at help@sciencegateways.org

Also check out our Quick Start Guide for using QiqoChat.

Having tech trouble? Check our list of solutions.


  • Why does it cost money? Aren't Zoom meetings pretty much free?

  • The registration fee has been substantially reduced to $50 for students and $100 for non-students. Registration provides each participant with access to the platform where sessions will be hosted, including the ability to interact with presenters, participate in Learning Labs, talk with sponsors, and connect with other participants.

    Your registration fee supports the infrastructure needed to host and support the virtual conference, including the licensing cost of the several technologies that we use to run this conference, not just Zoom. In addition, your registration fee and the generous support of our sponsors allows us to provided discounted registration for students.

Participating in the Conference

  • How is this online conference going to work? What technology will I need to use or install? 

  • Everyone will need to have registered first in order to gain access to the online conference venue. Registered attendees will receive the an invitation to create an account and profile. You will use the email address associated with your conference registration to enter.

    The entire conference will be operated through a web-based event system called QiqoChat (pronounced “KEE-koh-chat”). Inside QiqoChat are the meeting spaces, which include features like document and media sharing, chat, and the ability to move from “room” to “room.” Each “room” has an associated, password-protected Zoom meeting, so you should have the Zoom app installed if you don’t already. If your organization does not allow you to use Zoom, please notify us ASAP so that we can make arrangements for streaming access.

    The online schedule is managed at https://gateways2020.sched.com. Creating a Sched account is optional and for your convenience. You can mark your session choices in Sched, and it will email you each day with your choices. Note that selecting a tutorial in Sched does not guarantee a spot. Some tutorials have a capacity limit, so they must be selected when you register for the conference.

  • Do I have to make a QiqoChat account? 

  • Yes, because your account is like a name badge. We encourage you to make your Username the same as your real name as well as fill out your profile so that other participants can learn about you. Another bonus is that you can list what you have to offer and how you’d like help, which will help others find you.

  • Where can I hang out with other people during the breaks? What is the "Networking Lounge"? 

  • You have two options for places to relax and meet people during the breaks: The Networking Lounge and the "Meet me at the..." rooms.

    The Networking Lounge uses a service called Wonder (formerly Yotribe). Visit the Networking Lounge to meet people in the same way that you would if you were wandering around a conference lobby. After creating your avatar with a quick photo, you enter a space where you can drag your avatar to move around. When you get close to another person's avatar, you'll pop into a live video chat with each other. Up to 15 people can chat together this way in one circle, though frankly, that's rather a lot of people for one conversation. We recommend hiding your sidebar (the double-arrow button at the top of the sidebar) to give yourself more space to move around. Note that Wonder does not work on tablets and minimally works on phones.

    Also, there are QiqoChat “rooms” called "Meet me at the..." rooms available for whatever informal meetup you’d like to arrange with others at the conference, whether casual or work-related. The rooms have button labels like "Coffee Shop" and "Sunny Patio." Whoever else is in that room can join you in the same Zoom meeting to talk. We offer these "Social Spaces" in their own area of each daily event during the 2nd week of the conference; just scroll down the sidebar past the sponsor booths.

  • Will sessions be recorded? 

  • Plenary sessions and Concurrent Sessions will be recorded. Tutorials, Workshops, and Learning Labs will not. 


  • Why is this conference 2 weeks long? 

  • We are mindful of the fatigue that sets in after long days of online meetings and presentations. We sent a survey to previous conference attendees and this year’s authors to ask how many hours they would be willing to attend, and this schedule reflects the majority consensus, which was 3-4 hours of content per day, which requires two weeks of days. We also wanted to make sure that we could offer convenient times in US time zones, recognizing too that some may have child care or other home responsibilities. We hope this schedule proves convenient for your real life, too!

  • Why are the breaks 30 minutes long? 

  • We all know that the best part of a conference are the breaks! That’s when you get a chance to talk more with people about their presentations or catch up with an old colleague. Plus, there are other things to do at the conference besides listen to talks! This conference is set up with social spaces so that you can have an impromptu video call with someone; we’ll tell you more about that in October. You can also visit our sponsors to chat about their services or technologies and browse the posters. And of course, you’re welcome to simply take a bio break, stretch, and grab a snack!

  • How does the Poster Showcase work?

  • Posters will be set up in dedicated QiqoChat spaces, where you can view the PDF and optionally a short video talking you through the poster. During the “official” Poster Showcase time, which is Monday, October 19, at 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific, poster presenters will be at their posters to tell you more about them. We will be encouraging you to circulate from poster to poster for blocks of time during the Poster Showcase, kind of like lightning talks with some conversation added. If there are posters that you miss seeing at that time, you can always message the presenter and arrange to meet at the poster at another time.

  • What are Learning Labs?

  • Think of Learning Labs as an opportunity to strike up a conversation with other people who are interested in the same topic or question. The idea is that they allow us to have part of the conference program emerge from whatever comes up during the sessions. You don’t have to be an expert to propose a topic, just willing to “host” the session with others. Last year, these were so popular that people asked if they could also propose ideas ahead of time. Also, some sponsors and tutorial providers may offer “mini hacks” where you can stop by and learn more about the technology. Visit the Learning Labs page to learn more and propose a Learning Lab topic.