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Call for Extended Abstracts for Workshop on Biases in Social Computing Data and Technology

Co-located with 2nd European Symposium on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science (EuroCSS): Bias and Discrimination, Cologne, Germany

Workshop: Dec 5, 2018, 2.30pm – 6pm (workshop website: http://jdiesnerlab.ischool.illinois.edu/calls/biasescss2018.html)

Conference: Dec 5-7, 2018  (conference website: http://symposium.computationalsocialscience.eu/2018/)

Workshop description: Collecting, preparing, and analyzing digital traces and other human-centered data involves or even requires researchers to make a plethora of choices that can impact and bias research outcomes and conclusions. These choices refer to sampling, representation, and provenance of data, experimental design, and the selection and configuration of algorithms, methods, and tools. While these decisions are increasingly embedded in datasets and technologies, there is an insufficient understanding of their impact on research outcomes, and a lack of best practices and norms for documenting and communicating these choices. Additionally, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data mining systems might unintentionally pick up on and further disseminate or reinforce biases in society and data. These possible sources of bias highlight the importance of validation, transparency, and replicability/reproducibility. This workshop aims to bring together researchers from different fields to present and discuss current work, problems, needs, and solutions related to computational approaches, social implications and ethical concerns, and policy and regulations related to biases. We solicit empirical work as well as vision and position papers (500 to 1000 words) from the broad range of fields that contribute knowledge to this area, including but not limited to computing, informatics, law, the social sciences, and the humanities. 

Topics of interest – as they relate to biases:

·       Quality and Reliability of Big and/or Social Data

·       Data Provenance

·       Data Governance

·       Education and Information (at all levels, including K-12, higher education, educating/informing the public)

·       Social Implications

·       Validation (including possible biases in validation outcomes)

·       FATE (Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, Equity/Ethics)

Workshop format

The workshop will consist of three one-hour panels/discussion rounds on current issues related to biases: 1) technical/computational challenges and solutions, 2) social implications and ethical concerns, and 3) policy and regulations. Speakers/discussants will be selected based on their abstracts (submission details below). In each panel, speakers will briefly introduce their work or point of view (about 3 speakers per panel and 10 minutes per speaker), and we will then discuss the topic of each panel in detail, including taking questions from the audience.

Call for Extended Abstracts

Submission deadline: Sunday, November 18, 2018, 11.59pm (Anywhere on Earth)

Notification: Sunday, November 25, 2018, 11.59pm (Anywhere on Earth)

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2nd-european-symposium-on-societal-challenges-in-computational-social-science-eurocss-tickets-48695663039

Researchers are welcome to submit abstracts of work in progress or work that has already been published. We will use a single blind review process.

Submit your abstract (in English) through EasyChair: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=biasescss2018. Submissions will mainly be evaluated based on their relevance for the workshop and their potential to stimulate interesting discussions. Submissions should be abstracts of 500 to 1000 words, plus references and figures (if applicable, not counting towards word limit) summarizing the work (for empirical work) or point of view (for vision and position papers) to be presented and discussed. Each abstract will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary Program Committee.

Accepted submissions will be non-archival, i.e., there are no proceedings. We will publish the names of authors and titles on the workshop website.

For any other question, feel free to contact the workshop organizers at [log in to unmask]


·       Jana Diesner, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

·       Wouter van Atteveldt, VU University Amsterdam



·       Nigel Bosch, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

·       Chieh-Li (Julian) Chin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

·       Jinseok Kim, University of Michigan

·       Katrin Weller, GESIS – Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften


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