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                   Call for Papers: ACM RecSys 2018
                                to be held in 
                  Vancouver, Canada, 2nd-7th October 2018
Call for Doctoral Symposium Submissions

The ACM Recommender Systems 2018 Doctoral Symposium provides an opportunity for doctoral students to explore and develop their research interests under the guidance of a panel of distinguished researchers from both academia and industry. We invite students who feel they would benefit from this kind of feedback on their work to apply for this unique opportunity to share their work with students in a similar situation as well as senior researchers in the field. The strongest candidates will be those have made some progress, but who are not so far along their research that they can no longer make changes. Typically this means that they have defined their topic and have completed some research, but still have at least a year of research remaining before completing a dissertation (in many universities this corresponds to the dissertation proposal stage). The feedback from attendees in previous years has been very positive and the Doctoral Symposium has been considered very useful in providing research guidance.

The symposium has the following objectives:

Provide a supportive setting for feedback on students’ current research and guidance on future research directions.
Offer each student comments and fresh perspectives on their work from faculty and students outside their own institution.
Promote the development of a supportive community of scholars and a spirit of collaborative research.
Contribute to the conference goals through interaction with other researchers and conference events.
Student participants will have their extended abstracts (4 pages excluding references) published in the conference proceedings. They will also have the opportunity to present a poster of their work.

Participants are expected to attend the entire symposium, including the dinner, and are also expected to attend the ACM RecSys 2018 conference. Accepted participants will receive travel support for the RecSys 2018 conference directly from the ACM.

The format of the symposium will be primarily student presentations supplemented by one or two panel sessions to provide advice and Q&A opportunities with senior researchers in the field. Student presentations will be structured to provide maximum feedback. In particular:

Presentations will be limited to 20 minutes, followed by 20-25 minutes for feedback and discussion;
Two of the symposium faculty will be assigned to provide “primary” feedback for each presenter; following this primary feedback there will be a period of open feedback from all participants;
Students will be expected to take notes for another participant so that each of you can focus on interacting during the discussion surrounding your presentation;
During the main conference, you will also present your dissertation work and plans in the form of a poster presentation.
Being accepted into the symposium is an honor, and involves a commitment to giving and receiving thoughtful commentary with an eye towards shaping the field and upcoming participants in the research area.

Applications are invited from graduate students pursuing a PhD project who would benefit from detailed workshop discussions of their doctoral research by a panel of established researchers.

Applications should include the following:

An extended abstract (see below).
A curriculum vitae.
A one-paragraph statement of expected benefits of participation, including questions regarding your dissertation that you would like to ask your symposium mentors.
Submit these three items in a single PDF file to [log in to unmask]. Your contribution should be named lastname_ds.pdf, where lastname is your family name. The file must be no larger than 5 Mbytes.

A brief letter of recommendation from your doctoral advisor or mentor focused on how your participation in the doctoral symposium will benefit your dissertation research.
Your doctoral advisor should send this letter directly to us at [log in to unmask].

Extended Abstract
Prepare a four-page (excluding references) extended abstract of your thesis work in the two-column ACM SIG Proceedings Format. The extended abstract will be evaluated with regard to:

Originality of the work with respect to current concepts and techniques (provide relevant citations).
Importance of the work with respect to fundamental issues in recommender systems (clearly identify the problems you are trying to solve).
Rigor and validity of claims, argumentation, methodology, results, and interpretations.
Clarity and persuasiveness of expression.
Please write your extended abstract to the same quality standards as a regular RecSys submission. The accepted extended abstracts will be published in the conference proceedings and available in the ACM Digital library, where they will remain accessible to thousands of researchers and practitioners worldwide.

Confidentiality of submissions is maintained during the review process. All rejected submissions will be kept confidential in perpetuity. All submitted materials for accepted submissions will be kept confidential until two weeks prior to the start of the conference. Submissions should contain no information or materials that are proprietary at publication time.

Selection Criteria
To provide maximum feedback to each student, participation in the doctoral symposium is limited to no more than 8 doctoral students. Selection is based on two broad criteria:

Value of the symposium to the student:
The degree to which the applicant is positioned to benefit from participation, including the student’s position in the doctoral process (the greatest benefit is for students with a developed research idea but much of the work yet undone).
The degree to which the student may otherwise lack access to a diverse set of feedback and input on his or her research plans (e.g., availability of local experts and advisors).
Value of the student’s participation to other students.
The quality of the extended abstract (as identified above), both as a model of excellent research and as an indication of the student’s potential in the field.
Diversity of participation, including diversity by institution, country, research topic and approach, and demographics. In general we will limit participation to one or two students per institution, depending on the number of applicants.
Evidence that the student will be an effective and active participant, providing feedback to others and helping to build a research network.
Well in advance of the deadline:

Create your submission materials:
Write an extended abstract according to the ACM SIG Proceedings Format. The abstract must print to no more than 4 pages (excluding references).
Write a curriculum vitae.
Write a one-paragraph statement of expected benefits of participation.
Package all materials into a single PDF file. Name it according to the following convention: lastname_ds.pdf. Submit it to [log in to unmask].
Test that your PDF prints correctly and that is it no larger than 5 Mbytes.
Confirm that your advisor has sent a letter of recommendation.
Doctoral symposium submission deadline: June 1st, 2018
Doctoral symposium submission notification: July 8th, 2018
Camera-ready abstract deadline: August 26th, 2018
Deadlines refer to 23:59 (11:59pm) in the AoE (Anywhere on Earth) time zone.

The Doctoral Symposium may offer registration waiver and some stipend to accepted students. The students who received the support would be requested to be part of the student volunteer cohort.

Bamshad Mobasher, DePaul University, USA
Bracha Shapira, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
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