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Victoria Bellotti <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 17 Jan 2003 11:07:06 PST
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Human-Computer Interaction
Special Issue on Revisiting and Reinventing Email

Special Issue Editors:
    Victoria Bellotti, Palo Alto Research Center
    Paul Moody, IBM Research
    Steve Whittaker, ATT Labs - Research

In the first 15 years after its invention in 1971, email evolved from a
simple electronic message and file passing system to "something greater than
just a communication system". At 30 years, it earned the description of a
"habitat"; a place where computer users spend much of their day, watching
for new messages constantly. While it has grown and evolved in use, it has
not aged gracefully. Even as it has gained increasing importance in work,
communication and collaboration, email has become more and more difficult to
deal with as the number of users and the quantity of messages grows rapidly.
In spite of this increasing pain, email has received little attention in
terms of research directed at the nature of work it supports, or at
overhauling the way email systems are designed. Email has mainly been
studied as a genre of communication, a substitute for 'richer' forms of
communication such as the telephone or face-to-face.

Recently, however, there has been an increase in research focusing on the
nature of email-based work and new kinds of email systems. In this special
issue we aim to bring together a collection of papers representing this new
research that take a fresh look at email. We focus on how it has been
appropriated as a major platform for personal information management and
collaboration, on new designs that support novel ways of working with email
or new ways to integrate email with other aspects of the online workspace,
and new techniques to address the huge problems that users currently
experience with email.

We are thus interested in reports on observation, design, new techniques and
algorithms and evaluation research. Submissions are of particular interest
if they touch upon one or, preferably, more of the following themes:

*    Information and Task Management. This theme includes filing, archiving,
managing junk mail and coordinating events. It also includes thinking of
email as a workspace for to-do, task, and project management and examination
of the needs of the email author from this perspective. Compelling evidence
of the limitations of current tools with respect to how they are used and
design efforts to overcome them will be welcomed.

*    Managing Relationships with People. This theme includes both contact
management, and the management of contact (or how do I control access to
myself). For example, building new relationships, keeping track of multiple
correspondences, coordinating with groups, and so on, are relevant.

*    Awareness and Identity. We also are interested in issues such as
finding people, knowing how to reach and respond them, and when and how to
present oneself in the evolving medium of email.

*    Users and Uses. This theme includes research on and design for the
different ways in which email is used by diverse individuals and
organizations in particular contexts. For example, email may be sent on
behalf of an organization rather than an individual, it may be the mechanism
underpinning a systematic reporting or workflow infrastructure as in
bug-reporting or sales-force automation, and email may also be the means of
holding a community together or progressing a distributed group's work. We
welcome research that characterizes these diverse types of usage, and
presents solutions to the particular demands they bring up.

*    Enabling Tools and Technologies. Some of the problems that users
experience with task management, filing and communication management are
potentially addressable using text processing or machine learning
techniques. We welcome research that explores how these types of techniques
can be applied to users' problems in processing email.

*    Research Methodology. While this is not strictly a theme in its own
right, we strongly encourage serious examination of the special problems of
observation, measurement and evaluation in email. Since email is a critical
and sensitive medium containing important and confidential material, many of
the issues we are concerned about are difficult to study and prototype
systems are also difficult to evaluate. New techniques and case studies that
confront these issues will be welcomed.

While we are especially interested in the above themes, we welcome other
perspectives that might lead to new insights.

Important Dates:

    February 14, 2003 -- Deadline for paper proposals
    March 3, 2003 -- Feedback to proposal authors
    June 2, 2003 -- Deadline for full paper submission
    September 5, 2003 -- Review results returned to authors
    October 31, 2003 -- Deadline for revised papers
    December 1, 2003 -- Review results returned to authors
    January 9, 2004 -- Deadline for final submission


By February 14, 2003, please submit a 300-500 word proposal for your paper
via email to the special issue editors:

    Victoria Bellotti <[log in to unmask]>
    Paul Moody <[log in to unmask]>
    Steve Whittaker <[log in to unmask]>

Note that proposals are not an absolute prerequisite for submitting a paper,
but are strongly preferred as they will help us in shaping the special
issue. If you miss the proposal submission deadline, please contact us to
let us know you intend to submit a paper.

Paper Submission:

By June 2, 2003, authors should submit an electronic submission (preferably
in MS Word, RTF, or PDF format) by email attachment to the HCI
Administrative Editor:

    Patricia Sheehan <[log in to unmask]>

Information about submissions to HCI can be found at the journal's web site:

Note that HCI has, for your convenience, an MS Word template that conforms
to the journal's style guidelines

Victoria Bellotti
Senior Member of Research Staff
3333 Coyote Hill Road, CA 94304, USA
Tel: 650 812 4666 Fax: 650 812 4471
Email: [log in to unmask]
CHI 2003 Papers Co-Chair - 5-10 April 2003 in Fort Lauderdale: