Call for Papers for Doctoral Consortium

Doctoral consortium papers must be submitted by February 25, 2005. They must be submitted electronically via the submission web page.

LaTeX and Word templates for SIGIR submissions are available from the ACM Website.

The Doctoral Consortium provides doctoral students with a unique opportunity to discuss their proposed PhD research with experienced IR researchers and other doctoral students. The objectives of the Doctoral Consortium are:

  • To provide a forum where doctoral students can discuss their proposed research with experienced IR researchers (members of Doctoral Consortium Program Committee) and other students
  • To give students an opportunity to interact one-on-one with experienced IR researchers.
  • To give students an opportunity to establish a supportive community of other students at the same stage as themselves.

The Consortium will take place on the same day as the Tutorials Day, with the format: student presentations with plenary discussions, lunch, individual meetings with experienced researchers, and dinner.

Prospective student attendees should have written, or be close to completing, a thesis proposal. Please discuss this with your PhD advisor/supervisor to ensure you meet this criterion.

Attendance at the Doctoral Consortium will be based on a written paper, singly authored by the student wishing to attend the Consortium. Abstracts of the papers will be published in the SIGIR Conference Proceedings.

Papers must be submitted electronically, via the submission web page. We can accept papers in either PDF or Postscript. It is the responsibility of authors to ensure that their papers use no unusual format features and are printable on a standard Postscript printer. PDF or Postscript submissions must arrive by February 25, 2005.

You are permitted, and indeed encouraged, to submit a full SIGIR paper or poster on your research. However, attendance at the Consortium will be based solely on the paper you submit for the Consortium.

SIGIR will provide travel grants for students attending the Consortium, which will cover registration for the Consortium and part of the travel costs.

Content guidelines

Your paper will be the basis for detailed discussions at the Consortium, and to get the most out of the discussion, your paper should include the following: motivation for the proposed research, background and related work (with key references), description of proposed research including main research questions, research methodology and proposed experiments (where appropriate), and particular issues which you want to highlight for discussion.

In addition, a one page Appendix to the paper should include the following: a detailed statement by the student saying why he/she wants to attend the Consortium, and a statement by your advisor/supervisor saying how you would benefit by attending the Consortium. Advisors should also state that the student has written, or is close to completing, a thesis proposal (or equivalent). These statements should be placed in an Appendix after the references.

All papers will be reviewed with respect to overall quality of presentation, the potential for future impact of the proposed PhD research on the field of Information Retrieval, and the likely benefit to the student of attending the Consortium. Given that the abstract will be published, the abstract will be critically reviewed.


Effectively, the same format is used for Consortium papers as for full SIGIR papers. LaTeX and Word templates for SIGIR submissions are available from the ACM Website. The first page must contain the title of the paper, full author name, affiliation and contact details, and an abstract of up to 250 words, and up to 3 topic areas. The papers will be reviewed by the members of the Doctoral Consortium Program Committee. Papers should contain up to 2,600 words (with a minimum of 1300 words), should have wide margins, and font sizes must be 9 point or greater. The final version of the paper will have to fit within 2-5 double-column pages in the standard SIGIR format, including all figures and bibliography, so plan accordingly. The Appendix containing the statements by the student and advisor will not be included in the final paper. All correspondence with the author will be through email.

All Consortium paper submissions must include a set of ACM Computing Reviews categories and keywords that describe the contents of the paper. These categories and keywords must appear after the Abstract and before the Introduction. Information about selecting and formatting categories and keywords can be found in ACM Web pages on how to use the computing classification system and in the LaTeX and Word templates.

Essentially, the format for Consortium papers follows almost exactly that for full papers, and provides useful experience in preparing papers for the SIGIR Conference. Note, the accepted papers will not be published in the SIGIR Conference Proceedings; only the abstracts will be published.

Program Committee

The members of the Doctoral Consortium Program Committee will attend the Consortium, and will include: Nick Belkin (Rutgers University, USA), Jamie Callan (Carnegie-Mellon U., USA), Susan Dumais (Microsoft Research, Redmond, USA), Elizabeth Liddy (U. Syracuse, USA), Yoelle Maarek (IBM Research, Israel), Alistair Moffat (U. Melbourne, Australia), Doug Oard (U. Maryland, USA), Fabrizio Sebastiani (Universita' di Padova, Italy) and John Tait (U. Sunderland, UK)

The Consortium Chair is David Harper (The Robert Gordon University, UK) who can be emailed at

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