The aim of COSIT is to bring together researchers from different disciplines for an intensive scientific exchange. This aim is facilitated by the presentation and discussion of a restricted number of papers and posters — the most innovative and significant recent contributions — rather than papers covering all advances in the field. The conference is designed as a single track meeting to ensure that all conference participants can get involved in the discussions of the selected papers. As a consequence, many participants will not present their own research in an oral presentation but instead will play an active role in the discussions of the selected papers and posters.

COSIT conferences are traditionally held at somewhat remote but easily accessible sites. The participants stay together for the full period of the meeting to promote intensive interactions without distractions. COSIT is not backed by any particular scientific society but is organized as an independent enterprise.

COSIT typically has had about 100-130 participants, 1/3 university professors, 1/3 researchers from universities and industry, and 1/3 advanced students (including Ph.D. candidates).