Doctoral Consortium Call for Participation

The Doctoral Consortium forms part of the program of the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, and takes place immediately preceding the technical program.

What is the Doctoral Consortium?

The Doctoral Consortium is a workshop for Ph.D. students from all over the world who are in the early phases of their dissertation work (i.e., the consortium is not intended for those who are finished or nearly finished with their dissertation).

The goal of the Doctoral Consortium is to help students with their thesis and research plans by providing feedback and general advice in a constructive atmosphere. Students will present and discuss their research in the context of a well-known and established international conference, in a supportive atmosphere with other doctoral students and an international panel of established researchers. The workshop will take place on a single full day (June 3, 2018).

A panel of prominent professors and experienced practitioners in the field of digital library research will conduct the workshop. They will review all the submissions and comment on the content of the thesis as well as on the presentation. Students will have 20 minutes to present their research, focusing on the main theme of their thesis, what they have achieved so far and how they plan to continue their work. Another 10 to 20 minutes is reserved for discussion and feedback from both the panel and other participants. In the course of the workshop, students will also get the opportunity for one-on-one advice on students’ current research and guidance on future research directions as well as more general questions, e.g., on the differences in Ph.D. studies in different countries.

There is no registration fee for the doctoral consortium workshop for students who are accepted into the workshop and the applicants who are selected  will receive complimentary conference registration. The conference organizers are seeking financial support for the Doctoral Consortium. Such funding, should it transpire, would help accepted participants offset a portion of their costs associated with attending JCDL 2018. We cannot guarantee that all costs of participation will be covered. More information will be posted when available.

In addition, student authors of accepted JCDL 2018 Doctoral Consortium papers are eligible for a SIGIR-sponsored Student Travel Award to help cover some of the costs associated with travel, lodging, and registration fees.  For details on how to apply, see    

Call for Papers and Topics

Students interested in participating in the Doctoral Consortium should submit an extended abstract describing their Digital Library related research. Submissions relating to any aspect of Digital Library research, development, and evaluation are welcomed, including: technical advances, usage and impact studies, policy analyses, social and institutional implications, theoretical contributions, interaction and design advances, and innovative applications in the sciences, humanities, and education.

To apply for participation

To apply for participation in the Doctoral Consortium, please provide an extended abstract of your doctoral work. The extended abstract is restricted to 6-8 pages. Submissions should use the ACM Proceedings template and are to be submitted in electronic format via the conference's EasyChair submission page. Past JCDL Doctoral Consortium submissions are available in special issues of the TCDL Bulletin, the publication of the Bulletin of IEEE Technical Committee on Digital Libraries

All submissions should be made electronically in PDF format. The proposal must have the following four components, submitted as a single PDF file.

1.    Extended Abstract. A 6-8 pages (including references) research description covering central aspect of your PhD work. Key points include:

-       Identify one or more significant problems in the field of research,

-       Clearly formulate the research question(s),

-       Summarize the current knowledge of the problem domain, as well as the state of the art for solutions,

-       Describe the research methodology that is to be applied,

-       Clearly present any preliminary research results achieved so far if applicable,

-       Describe the expected contributions of the applicant to the research area, and

-       (For technical research) Describe how the research is innovative, novel or extends existing approaches to a problem.

You, with the help of your advisor, will also need to complete three appendices:

2.    Appendix 1: Statement of Expected Benefits

Attach a 1 page appendix that includes a short (one-paragraph) statement of expected benefits of participation for both yourself and the other consortium participants. Be clear about what you will contribute as well as gain.

3.    Appendix 2: Supervisor’s Letter of Support

Attach a 1 page appendix that contains a signed letter from your supervisor that supports your attendance at the Consortium. To ensure that this letter is helpful in the selection process, please pass on these requests to your supervisor:

To supervisors of Doctoral Consortium applicants: Your letter should not summarize in detail your student’s Ph.D. project or past achievements – that is the job of the abstract and CV. Instead please provide the following information:

-       How long you have supervised the student and in what capacity

-       The status of this student with respect to your institution’s Ph.D. requirements

-       When you expect the student to complete his/her dissertation

-       Why attendance at this year’s Doctoral Consortium would be particularly beneficial to the student

-       What contributions the student is likely to make to the JCDL 2018 Doctoral Consortium event if invited to attend.

4.    Appendix 3: Your CV

A concise version of your current Curriculum Vitae. The maximum length is 2 pages; please edit longer CVs to fit within the 2 page limit.

Submissions will be judged on originality, significance, correctness, clarity and completeness. Also, we will take into consideration expected benefits, supervisor’s support, and students’ past and current work. Doctoral colloquium participation is limited to 10 Ph.D. students.

For further details please contact the Doctoral Consortium co-chairs:

-       J. Stephen Downie, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (

-       Oksana Zavalina, University of North Texas (

-       Sampath Jayarathna, California State Polytechnic University (


Accepted abstracts will be distributed to participants as the workshop proceedings. Participants will be invited to publish a revised version of their papers in a special issue of the TCDL Bulletin, the publication of the IEEE-CS Technical Committee on Digital Libraries.

Important Dates

-       March 28, 2018: Deadline for submission of abstracts

-       April 5, 2018: Notification of acceptance

-       June 3, 2018: Doctoral Consortium

-       June 4-6, 2018: JCDL 2018 Main conference