Call for PhD Symposium

Invitation and dates

We invite contributions to the PhD Symposium session of The Web Conference 2019. PhD students are encouraged to submit their ongoing research related to the broad topic of the World Wide Web. The 2019 edition of the conference will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Web and in this reflection point we especially welcome submissions related to studies that improve our understanding of the Web, introduce socio-technical advances that enhance Web platforms and technologies, and increase the possibilities of the Web for democratizing access to knowledge.

The goal of the PhD Symposium is to provide a platform for PhD students to present and receive feedback on their ongoing research. Students at different stages of their research will have the opportunity to present and discuss their research questions, goals, methods and results. The symposium aims to provide students guidance on various aspects of their research from established researchers and other PhD students working in research areas related to the World Wide Web. Finally, the symposium aims to enable PhD students to interact with other participants of The Web Conference and potential collaborators by stimulating the exchange of ideas and experiences.

At the conference, the PhD Symposium will include a dedicated session where the selected PhD students meet with fellow PhD students and experienced researchers and have a chance to present their PhD projects, provide, and receive feedback.

Two-page abstracts of the accepted submissions will be published in the Companion Proceedings of The Web Conference 2019 and will be made available through the ACM Digital Library.


The PhD Symposium is open to all PhD students. PhD students at the beginning stages of their doctoral work are particularly welcome when they have a well-defined problem statement and some ideas about the solution that they would like to discuss. PhD students in a more advanced stage of their work should still have sufficient time before completing their dissertation to be able to benefit from the symposium experience.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be written based on the following structure, which focuses on the key methodological components required for a sound research synthesis:

  • Abstract
    A self-sustained short description of the paper
  • Problem – Describe the core problem of the PhD and motivate its relevance
  • State of the art
    Describe relevant related work
  • Proposed approach
    Present the approach taken and motivate how this is novel with respect to existing works
  • Methodology
    Sketch the methodology that is (or will be) adopted and, in particular, the approach to be taken for evaluating the results of the work
  • Results
    Describe the current status of the work and any results that have been reached so far
  • Conclusions and future work
    Conclude and specify the major items of future work

Useful tips for writing research papers can be found here. In addition, a one-page appendix describing the benefits that would be obtained from attending the PhD Symposium is required. The one-page appendix should include:

  • A brief statement by student describing the purpose for attending the PhD Symposium, and providing a list of questions (or topics) the student wishes to discuss with the mentors or obtain feedback on
  • A brief statement by student’s advisor(s) supporting the student’s participation in the PhD Symposium, describing the current status of the research, and providing an anticipated date for thesis completion

Submissions must be no longer than 5 pages (excluding the appendix) and must be formatted in the style of the TheWebConf2019 submissions (which is based on the ACM SIG Proceedings style). Papers must be in PDF (Adobe’s Portable Document Format) format. Submissions that do not comply with the formatting guidelines will be rejected without review.

Submissions must be single-author, on the topic of the doctoral work. The name of the supervisor must be clearly marked (« supervised by … ») on the paper, under the author’s name.

Please submit proposals via EasyChair in the PhD Symposium track at:

Review Process

All submissions will be reviewed by the PhD Symposium Chairs and ad-hoc reviewers who are experienced researchers, and can provide feedback and suggest future research directions. The goal of the review is to identify participants who are most likely to benefit from the Symposium and invite as many as possible to participate.

Register Now!


PHD symposium full papers submission deadline
Jan 28 2019
PHD symposium papers acceptance notification
Feb 4 2019
PHD symposium papers final version due
Feb 20 2019

All submission deadlines are end-of-day in the Anywhere on Earth (AoE) time zone.

Track Chairs

  • Geert-Jan Houben TU Delft, Netherlands
  • Kristina Lerman USC, USA



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