Frequently Asked Questions

These are the questions that have come up the most so far, but we will add more as time goes on. If you have a question that isn’t answered here or elsewhere on this site, feel free to email infosocial@u.northwestern.edu.

Can I submit a paper based on research that is still a work-in-progress?

In short, yes. That being said, your paper should report at least a preliminary conclusion (whether theoretical or empirical) based on your research to date that, if tentative, is nonetheless a “finding” that is significant enough on its own to contribute to our knowledge about the interaction of humans with and through technology.

I’m not a graduate student – can I still submit a paper?

This is a conference focused on giving great feedback, because that’s what we think graduate students will get the most out of at this stage of their careers. People working in industry who might consider doing academic research can use that feedback too when they’re just starting out. As such, we are limiting submissions to individuals who have not yet earned a PhD: master’s students, PhD students, PhD candidates, industry or independent researchers without PhDs, advanced undergraduates, etc. All abstracts from participants without PhDs, regardless of the author’s level of education, will be part of the same pool and be considered with the same standards.

Is it okay to submit a paper that I’m going to present at a big conference later in the year, like ICA or CHI?

Yes, this is a great place to get a solid practice talk in and get lots of feedback on it.

I want to submit a poster, but I only see one submission site that’s all about papers. What do I do?

We are asking that all work be submitted in the form of 1,000-word extended abstracts regardless of the status of the work and your individual preference for how to present it. The program committee will then assign accepted abstracts to appropriate sessions, including a poster session for interesting work in earlier stages of the research process.

How will the review process work?

After the submission period closes, the review process begins. The process is directed by the co-chairs of the program committee, who will assign each abstract to an appropriate member of the program committee acting as an associate chair. Here “appropriate” means an individual with relevant topic or methods experience to your submission (or both). The AC will write a short review of your submission, and then recruit an external member of the Northwestern MTS or TSB programs to write a second review. We will then hold a program committee meeting where each AC will use their own review and the external review to make a case either for or against your abstract. Abstracts that make it through the PC meeting will then be put into appropriate sessions, including a poster session for early-stage work, by the program co-chairs.

Will I get feedback on my work if I submit?

Yes, a huge part of InfoSocial is great feedback, the heart of the graduate student conference experience. If you submit an abstract, you will receive two short reviews from other PhD students or candidates with relevant experience at Northwestern. If you are accepted, you can expect verbal feedback from your session’s discussant as well as the audience.

My abstract got rejected without reviews. What does that mean?

In rare cases, the program committee co-chairs might mutually agree that a submission should be desk rejected, without a review cycle. This is mostly for procedural violations, such as not anonymizing your abstract or not actually being a grad student, or for cases where the work submitted is clearly outside of the scope of the conference.

Who can attend InfoSocial?

In short, anyone. If you’re interested in hearing about cool research in the HCI/Info Sci/Comm space, you’re welcome to join us.

What is the time range of the conference itself, is it during usual 8:00 AM- 6:00 PM hours?

While the conference schedule has not been finalized, all sessions will be held during regular business hours (or 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.). Optional events may be held after these hours, including a conference-sponsored dinner or informal meet-ups. At the moment, we are planning to kick off our Friday events at 2 p.m., allowing attendees to travel in the morning, and our Saturday events at 9 a.m. (8:30 for breakfast).