Call for Doctoral Consortium Papers

The ISWC 2020 doctoral consortium will be held at the 19th International Semantic Web Conference virtually. This is an opportunity for PhD students to:

  • communicate and discuss their research in a critical, yet supportive environment;
  • receive feedback from their (senior) peers;
  • build an understanding of possible career pathways past their PhD degree; as well as
  • network and build collaborations in the community.

The event is intended for students who are midway in their PhD – this means at a stage where they have articulated a reasonably detailed research proposal and can point to some initial results. The aim is to help the students refine this proposal and suggest how their research could be altered to achieve results with greater impact. While doctoral degrees vary in format and timeline, the candidates we are looking for will most likely be in their second, or perhaps early in their third year and will already have specific topics they need help with.

Students will be required to submit a paper to the doctoral consortium, structured like a research proposal. The submissions will be reviewed by the programme committee. A subset will be selected for presentation at the event in Athens. If accepted, students will be eligible to apply to travel fellowships to offset some of the travel costs. They will have to register and attend the event, which will include a range of interactive activities.


Students should submit a proposal up to eight pages, covering the following questions:

  1. Problem statement: what is the problem that you are trying to solve?
  2. Importance: Why is this problem important and for whom? Why would anyone care? How will the world look like if and when the problem is solved. We’re looking for specifics here.
  3. Related work: If it’s so important, how come others haven’t attempted to solve it? If it’s a new problem, most likely other people have tried or have solved similar problems, how did they do that, what can you learn? If it’s an existing problem, what’s wrong with the current solutions? Is there really room for more research? Why?
  4. Research question(s): What are the questions you need to answer to solve the problem? What assumptions do you make? What problems don’t you solve?
  5. Preliminary results: For the questions you have approached so far, how did you do it, what research methods did you follow and what are the results?
  6. Evaluation: How do you know you’ve answered your question(s)? What are the methods you apply to assess your work?
  7. Discussion and future work: What limitations are there in your work? What do you plan to do next to complete the work? What other interesting research came out of your work so far that you or others could look at?

All questions should be answered as specifically as possible. We’re not looking for crisp accounts of the work, not high-level introductions to research fields. Give as much detail as possible to allow an informed reviewer, from the Semantic Web community, but possibly not an expert in your topic, to understand the value of what you do.

Submissions should include references. These will be counted towards the page limit. Submissions must not exceed eight pages – they will be desk rejected otherwise – being able to present your work under such constraints is part of the training to become a researcher.

Submissions should be authored by the student only. The supervisor(s) should be acknowledged at the end of the paper, alongside e.g. a funding agency or any other party supportive or contributing to the research.

Submissions must use the Springer Publications format for Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS). For details on the LNCS style, see Springer’s Author Instructions. They must be submitted online on Easychair, in PDF or HTML.

We aim to publish proceedings with

Topics of Interest

We are the doctoral consortium of the ISWC. As such submissions should broadly fit the topics of interest of the ISWC research track.

Important Dates

Submissions due May 18, 2020 June 1, 2020
Notifications due June 19, 2020, July 6, 2020
Camera-ready papers due July 3, 2020, August 3, 2020

All deadlines are midnight AoE (Anywhere of Earth).


Elena Simperl
King’s College London

Harith Alani
Open University

Queries should be sent to

Call For Papers!

Click on the button to view the joint ISWC "Call for papers