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submission_guide

Submission Guide

This explains how to submit the deliverables for your final year project. All deliverables must be submitted via PATS, except for physical artefacts (details below). For details of what needs to be included for the various deliverables, please see the guidelines specific to your final year project module. All submissions must contain at least one PDF file in the document section or they will not be accepted by PATS and so submission cannot be completed.

Online Submission

PATS enables you to submit nearly all parts of your project online. Each submission consists of a collection of files under the following sections:

  • Document files: These must be PDF files and each submission must have at least one of these files - this section is for the written report.
  • Appendix files: These are additional PDF files, not part of the document files, that form an extended appendix of your report. Including files here is optional and you can instead add a normal appendix to the document files. What is most suitable mainly depends on the nature of the files and your specific project.
  • Archive files: These are file archives to provide the sources or any other content collections such as a set of images, test cases, survey data for your project, that are relevant to your report. The archives can contain any file type and can have any arbitrary hierarchy. You can upload zip, tar.gz, tar.bz2 or tar.xz archives only. But for compatibility any non-zip file will be converted to a zip file. Providing files here is optional, but at least final report submissions are likely to require at least one archive, e.g. for the sources of your software.
  • Other files: Here you can upload any other files to support your report. This is provided to enable you to submit any special files for your project in special formats, etc. as an alternative to submitting these in an archive. Typically these would be files standing on their own in a special file format.

Note that, of course, not all file types need to be included with each submission. What is suitable depends on your project and your report and please discuss with your supervisor what you should be submitting if you are unsure.

To add files to these sections, press the related [Upload] link which opens a separate upload dialog. You can select more than one file at once to upload into a section in that dialog before you press the “Upload” button. Once you have uploaded a file you can view its type, file size, MD5 and SHA1 checksum via the provided link. You can use the MD5 or SHA1 checksum to verify the integrity of the file (also see checksums). You can further rename, delete and move the file up or down in the list in each section. You cannot move files between sections.

After you have uploaded at least one file to the document section you can complete the submission. This will generate a zip file containing all the files you have uploaded in all sections, sorted by these sections and in order they are displayed in the submission area. Your files count as submitted only after you have completed the submission. While files in the content area are visible to your supervisor and moderator, they cannot actually mark them.

You can resubmit at any time before the deadline (all deadlines are by 23:00 on the day shown). A resubmission will completely replace the previously submitted files and not extend the previous submission, so always upload all files into the submission area and then submit them all at once by completing the submission.

The system will keep the current and the previous submission archive. You can delete these archives at any time before the deadline and also download the archives to verify their contents. If you wish to check the archive before completing the submission, select the “Preview Submission” button.

Make sure you check the contents of any files you upload in the file submission area and especially the contents of the final submission archive. Files uploaded via the network may sometimes be corrupted and downloading them again to verify their content avoids any problems. To verify they files you may also use the MD5 or SHA1 checksums.

Your supervisor and moderator will be able to see any of the files you have in the submission area and your current and previous submission archive (unless you delete them).

See the PDF Guide for information on how to create a PDF file.

Physical Artefacts

Some projects may also produce physical artefacts without any digital versions of them. Hardware or similar physical objects do not need to be submitted, but should be available for demonstration at the oral examination and your report should contain sufficient information to rebuild these. Any manually created documentation necessary for your project should, however, be included in the archive in a digitised format.

Anything that fits on an A4 page or smaller can be scanned and directly included in the report as a figure. For documents larger than A4 we recommend taking photos of these and submit the image files via PATS. If a single photo is insufficient due to resolution limitations you can take multiple overlapping photos of the document and combine these into a single image. This applies in particular to large soft system models drawn manually.

In addition to the digitised version, the documents larger than A4 should also be handed in by the submission deadline to the COMSC office in a suitable envelope. On the envelope clearly write your name, the title of your project and the names of your supervisor and moderator. The document will not be archived, but used by your supervisor and moderator to decide your mark and will be available at the oral examination. It will be returned to you after the oral examination.

Assistance is available to create digital versions of such large documents from the project coordinators and the computer support officers. If you cannot take any suitable images of the document, contact them for assistance (to take one or multiple photos and merge them, etc.).

Submission Problems and Peace of Mind

After you submitted your files on PATS as an archive (not just uploaded them into the submission area) your project report or plan counts as submitted and you do not have to do anything else. We do not expect any problems with the network connection, the server or the integrity of your submitted file. However, to avoid any problems with the integrity of your submission and to deal with any problems arising from the server, the Internet connection or anything else that prevents you from submitting the project in time (i.e. on the day of the submission deadline), please follow these instructions:

  • Put all the files you wish to submit into some archive file (similar to the submission archive generated by PATS).
  • Compute an MD5 checksum of this archive file and store the checksum in a separate file.
  • Carefully preserve the archive you have submitted or intend to submit in its original form and the MD5 checksum file. For this you may for instance burn it on a CD or DVD.
  • Send the MD5 checksum by e-mail to the project coordinator with the title “Final Year Project MD5 Checksum” from your university e-mail account. The e-mail must be sent before the submission deadline and all e-mails will be acknowledged. If you do not have e-mail access, print out the MD5 checksum and hand it in at the COMSC office with your name and project title (again latest by deadline, but note that the closing times of the office on the day).

While the procedure is optional it avoids any problems arising from the online submission. If you provide an MD5 checksum, then the following applies:

  • If you have submitted your project online, we will contact you by e-mail in case the MD5 checksum you have submitted does not match the checksum of the submission archive. In this case the submitted archive may be replaced by the archive with that checksum. This is to ensure the integrity of the archive.
  • If for whatever reason you did not manage to submit the project online by the deadline, the MD5 checksum (submitted before deadline) can be used to verify that the archive has been generated before the submission deadline. In this case you can hand-in the archive (e.g. on a CD or DVD) or upload the archive later. Obviously the late submitted archive must produce the same MD5 checksum. You will automatically be contacted if you have send an MD5 checksum and no archive has been submitted. This is to avoid problems that may arise from server problems, network connection problems, etc.

For details on how to generate MD5 checksums, etc. please see checksums

Recommended File Types

You are free to use any file types as long as they are suitable for the submission section. However, in general we recommend the following file formats, unless there is a good reason for your project to use a different format:

  • Documents: Whenever possible use PDF. You may include the original document files used to generate the PDF in the “Other” section. Note, the main report and the appendices must be in PDF format.
  • Sources: Sources, interpreted files, HTML files, etc. should usually be plain text files encoded in ASCII, UTF-8 or ISO 8859-1 (latin1). Other standard text encodings may be used, if necessary.
  • Images: The JPEG or PNG formats are preferred, for compatibility. An image quality of 90% is usually sufficient for JPEG.
  • Video: Use QuickTime, MPEG or DivX formats. The H.264 and MJPEG codecs are preferred, for compatibility and quality. Usually the resolution does not have to be greater than 720p (1280×720 pixels).
  • Audio: Use OGG or MP3 for lossy compression or FLAC for lossless compression. For MP3 a sampling rate of 32kbps is sufficient for voice and analog tape recordings, 128 to 192kbps should be used for CD quality and 192 to 320kbps should be used for complex audio sources (containing a broad spectrum of frequencies). For OGG a quality 0 is sufficient for voice, quality 6 should give you roughly good CD quality and higher qualities (up to 10) should be used for complex audio sources only.
submission_guide.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/13 20:55 by scmfcl