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Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2020 17:40:26 +0000
From: Flavio Figueiredo <[log in to unmask]>
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Call for Doctoral Symposium Submissions

Due to concerns about COVID-19, RecSys 2020 will cancel its physical component and go fully virtual. To support authors through these stressful times, deadlines are extended.

The ACM RecSys 2020 Doctoral Symposium provides an opportunity for doctoral students to explore and develop their research interests under the guidance of a panel of distinguished researchers from both academia and industry. We invite students who feel that they would benefit from this kind of feedback on their work to apply for this unique opportunity, which will allow them to share their work with their peers as well as with senior researchers in the field. The strongest candidates will be those who have made some research progress, but who are not so far along that they can no longer make changes in their research plans. Typically, this means that they have defined their topic and have completed some research, but still have at least a year of research remaining before completing a dissertation (in many universities this corresponds to the dissertation proposal stage). The feedback from attendees in previous years has been very positive and the Doctoral Symposium has been considered very useful in providing research guidance.

The symposium has the following objectives:
   1. Provide a supportive setting for feedback on students’ current research and guidance on future research directions.
   2. Offer each student comments and fresh perspectives on their work from faculty and students outside their own institution.
   3. Promote the development of a supportive community of scholars and a spirit of collaborative research.
   4. Contribute to the conference goals through interaction with other researchers and conference events.

Student participants will have their extended abstracts published in the conference proceedings. They will also present a poster of their work at the conference.


Participants are expected to attend the entire symposium, including the dinner, and are also expected to attend the ACM RecSys 2020 conference. Accepted participants will be considered for travel support for the RecSys 2020 conference directly from the ACM.

The format of the symposium will be primarily student presentations supplemented by one or two panel sessions to provide advice and Q&A opportunities with senior researchers in the field. Student presentations will be structured to provide maximum feedback. In particular:
   * Presentations will be limited to 15 minutes, followed by 20-25 minutes for feedback and discussion.
   * Two of the symposium faculty will be assigned to provide "primary" feedback for each presenter; following this primary feedback there will be a period of open feedback from all participants.
   * Students will be expected to take notes for another participant so that each of you can focus on interacting during the discussion surrounding your presentation.
   * During the main conference, students will also present their dissertation work and plans in the form of a poster presentation.

Being accepted into the symposium is an honor, and involves a commitment to giving and receiving thoughtful commentary with an eye towards shaping the field and upcoming participants in the research area.


Applications are invited from graduate students pursuing a PhD project who would benefit from detailed workshop discussions of their doctoral research by a panel of established researchers. All submissions and reviews will be handled electronically.

Application. Applications should include the following:
   1. An extended abstract (see below).
   2. A curriculum vitae.
   3. A one-paragraph statement of expected benefits of participation, including questions regarding your dissertation that you would like to ask your symposium mentors.
   4. A brief letter of recommendation from your doctoral advisor, focused on how your participation in the doctoral symposium will benefit your dissertation research.

Submit these four items in a single PDF file to PCS by 23:59, AoE (Anywhere on Earth) on June 15th, 2020. There will be no extensions to the submission deadline.

Extended Abstract. Your extended abstract will be evaluated with regard to:
   1. Originality of the work with respect to current concepts and techniques (provide relevant citations).
   2. Importance of the work with respect to fundamental issues in recommender systems (clearly identify the problems you are trying to solve).
   3. Rigor and validity of claims, argumentation, methodology, results, and interpretations.
   4. Clarity and persuasiveness of expression.

Please write your extended abstract to the same quality standards as a regular RecSys submission.

Formatting. ACM is changing the archive format of its publications to separate content from presentation in the new Digital Library, enhance accessibility, and improve the flexibility and resiliency of our publications. Following the new ACM publication workflow, all authors should submit manuscripts for review in a single-column format. The maximum length for extended abstracts is 7 pages (excluding references) in the new single-column format. Instructions for Word and LaTeX authors are given below:
   * Microsoft Word: Write your submission using the Submission Template (Review Submission Format). Follow the embedded instructions to apply the paragraph styles to your various text elements. The text is in single-column format at this stage and no additional formatting is required at this point.
   * LaTeX: Please use the latest version of the Master Article Template - LaTeX to create your submission. You must use the "manuscript" option with the \documentclass[manuscript]{acmart} command to generate the output in a single-column format which is required for review. Please see the LaTeX documentation and ACM's LaTeX best practices guide for further instructions. To ensure 100% compatibility with The ACM Publishing System (TAPS), please restrict the use of packages to the whitelist of approved LaTeX packages.

Authors are strongly encouraged to provide "alt text" (alternative text) for floats (images, tables, etc.) in their content so that readers with disabilities can be given descriptive information for these floats that are important to the work. The descriptive text will be displayed in place of a float if the float cannot be loaded. This benefits the author as well as it broadens the reader base for the author's work. Moreover, the alt text provides in-depth float descriptions to search engine crawlers, which helps to properly index these floats.

Should you have any questions or issues going through the instructions above, please contact support at [log in to unmask] for both LaTeX and Microsoft Word inquiries.

Accepted extended abstracts will be later submitted to ACM's new production platform where authors will be able to review PDF and HTML output formats before publication.

Confidentiality. Confidentiality of submissions is maintained during the review process. All rejected submissions will be kept confidential in perpetuity. All submitted materials for accepted submissions will be kept confidential until two weeks prior to the start of the conference. Submissions should contain no information or materials that are proprietary at publication time.


To provide maximum feedback to each student, participation in the doctoral symposium is limited. Selection is based on two broad criteria:
   * Value of the symposium to the student:
   * The degree to which the applicant is positioned to benefit from participation, including the student’s position in the doctoral process (the greatest benefit is for students with a developed research idea but much of the work yet undone).
   * The degree to which the student may otherwise lack access to a diverse set of feedback and input on his or her research plans (e.g., availability of local experts and advisors).
   * Value of the student’s participation to other students.
   * The quality of the extended abstract (as identified above), both as a model of excellent research and as an indication of the student’s potential in the field.
   * Diversity of participation, including diversity by institution, country, research topic and approach, and demographics. In general we will limit participation to one or two students per institution, depending on the number of applicants.
   * Evidence that the student will be an effective and active participant, providing feedback to others and helping to build a research network.


Well in advance of the deadline:
   1. Write an extended abstract according to the formatting instructions above. The maximum length for extended abstracts is 7 pages (excluding references) in the new single-column format. Note that the student is the sole author of the abstract. Advisor(s) can be thanked in the acknowledgments.
   2. Write a curriculum vitae.
   3. Write a one-paragraph statement of expected benefits of participation.
   4. Obtain a letter of recommendation from your advisor.

By the deadline (June 15th, 2020, 23:59 AoE):
   1. Submit items 1-4 above in a single PDF file to PCS.


Accepted students will receive free registration to RecSys 2020. Students receiving support will be requested to be part of the student volunteer cohort.


   * Doctoral symposium submission deadline: June 15th, 2020
   * Doctoral symposium submission notification: July 13th, 2020
   * Camera-ready abstract deadline: July 27th, 2020

Deadlines refer to 23:59 (11:59pm) in the AoE (Anywhere on Earth) time zone.


   * Michael Ekstrand, Boise State University, USA
   * Marcelo Manzato, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

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