Call for Doctoral Consortium Papers for SIGIR 2020, Xi’an, China

Important dates for short papers:

Time zone: Anywhere On Earth (AOE)
Doctoral consortium papers due (extended): April 1, 2020
Doctoral consortium papers notification(extended) : May 1, 2020
ACM SIGIR 2020 Doctoral Consortium: Sun, Jul 26, 2020

Important travel information:

As per the SIGIR executive committee’s statement at Statement from the SIGIR Executive Committee on COVID-19, “SIGIR 2020 is currently planned to remain in Xi’an, July 25–30.” “Experts believe that the virus will be well under control by July.” “SIGIR 2020 has received a record number of submissions, with by far the largest number coming from China, which contributes to our position that it is best to keep the conference in China if at all possible.” However, the committee is also preparing for two contingencies: 1) possible move to Toronto (to be confirmed during April) and 2) availability for remote presentations.

In line with the above, the Doctoral Consortium organization is willing to be flexible regarding travel restrictions that may apply at the moment of attending the conference due to health recommendations or visa problems in case SIGIR ends up changing location. We still expect to provide mentoring opportunities that will benefit students' future work. We are looking into options for having remote one-on-one mentoring sessions and presentations if needed.

SIGIR is the major international forum for the presentation of new research results and for the demonstration of new systems and techniques in the broad field of information retrieval (IR). The ACM SIGIR 2020 Doctoral Consortium will provide doctoral students with a unique opportunity to have substantive interaction with other researchers regarding their proposed dissertation research.

The objectives of the Doctoral Consortium are:

  • To provide a forum where doctoral students can present and discuss their research with experienced IR researchers: the members of the Doctoral Consortium Program Committee.
  • To provide students with an opportunity to establish a supportive community, including other doctoral students at a similar stage of their dissertation research.

The Consortium will take place the day before the main conference (on Sunday, July 26th, 2020), with the format including: student presentations with plenary discussions, individual 1:1 meetings with experienced researchers, interactive networking sessions over lunch, and panel sessions with a special emphasis on gaining insights regarding career paths after the PhD.
Update: Note that the final format is subject to change due to possible need to accommodate remote presentations and 1:1 mentoring meetings.

Prospective attendees should have written, or be close to completing, a thesis proposal (or equivalent). It is desirable that students not be so close to completing their PhD that the event would have little impact on their work, or so early that a topic has not been chosen. Before submitting, students should discuss this criterion with their advisor or supervisor.

To apply for a place at the Doctoral Consortium, candidates should submit a paper up to 5+1 pages in length, solely authored by the student - see submission guidelines below. Candidates will be selected based on the potential of their research for future impact on the field of information retrieval, as well as for the likely benefit to the student from participating in the Consortium. We note that SIGIR 2020 DC is deeply committed to improving the field of IR by making it more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We highly encourage women and students from other underrepresented groups to apply.

For each selected student, a one page extended abstract will be published in the SIGIR 2020 Conference Proceedings. Extended abstracts will be invited after selection, and should not be submitted with the proposal.
Update: The deadline for the one page abstracts is set by the publisher, but it will likely be on or around May 14. Accepted DC authors will be contacted by the publisher with further instructions.

Doctoral students who submit to the Consortium are allowed to have previously published their research, and are encouraged to submit full, short, or demo papers of their work to the SIGIR 2020 conference and associated workshops.

Priority is given to students chosen to attend the Consortium when travel grants are determined for the conference, and generally grants will be awarded to chosen students. Application details for travel grants will be available on the SIGIR 2020 website (You must apply for the grant to be considered).

Submission Guidelines

Papers should be submitted through easychair in the following link:

The submitted paper, solely authored by the student, will be the basis for detailed discussions at the Consortium. To get the most out of the discussion, it should include:

  • Motivation for the proposed research.
  • Background and related work (including key references).
  • Description of proposed research, including main research questions.
  • Research methodology and proposed experiments (where appropriate).
  • Specific research issues for discussion at the Doctoral Consortium.

In addition, a one page appendix to the paper (placed after the references) must include the following:

  • A detailed statement by the student explaining why they want to participate in the SIGIR 2020 Doctoral Consortium at this point in their doctoral studies, and how they hope it will contribute to the development of their work and potential future career.
  • A statement by the student’s advisor/supervisor saying how the student would benefit by attending the Consortium. Advisors should also specifically state whether the student has written, or is close to completing, a thesis proposal (or equivalent), and when they expect the student would defend their dissertation if they progress at a typical rate.

Format Requirements

Submissions must be written in English and submitted in the 2017 ACM Master Article Template (for LaTeX, use the “sigconf” option).

The paper should be no more than 5 pages in length including all figures and references, but excluding the one page appendix. The first page must contain the title of the paper, full author name, affiliation and contact details, an abstract of up to 250 words, ACM Computing Classification System (CCS) categories, and up to 3 keywords describing the topic areas. Information about categories and keywords can be found in ACM Web pages on the computing classification system and in the LaTeX and Word templates.

Doctoral Consortium papers will not be published in the SIGIR Conference Proceedings; only one-page extended abstracts, invited from accepted students will be published.

Doctoral Consortium submissions must be in PDF format and submitted via Easychair SIGIR 2020 doctoral consortium site. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that their submissions use no unusual format features and are printable on a standard printer. Submissions will be reviewed by the members of the Doctoral Consortium Program Committee.

Doctoral Consortium Chairs

  • Gabriella Kazai, Microsoft, UK
  • Barbara Poblete, University of Chile, Chile
  • Jerry Shen, Queen's University Belfast, UK

Contact information: