The call for papers for DH2014 closed at midnight on the the 1st November, last Friday. As Program Chair I was on the end of most of the emails generated by that process, and the submission phase was quite something to behold. 24 hours before the deadline, we had had 207 submissions for the conference, but in the last few hours, proposals for papers, posters, and panels poured in, resulting in a record 589 submissions in total, comprising of 250 long papers, 198 short papers, 30 panels, and 111 posters. This is more than 200 more submissions than we had for DH2013, last year, and so our review phase is now cut out for us to ensure that all the submissions get detailed comments. We’re also working hard behind the scenes to scope out the conference schedule: at present, it looks like the acceptance rate is going to be around 30%, but we are trying to book a few more rooms, and change sessions around, to allow some more presentations to happen.
This year, we asked for your help in using DHWriter to prepare submissions. In the past, its taken the local hosts months to turn the many varied formats submitted to DH into lovely TEI compliant XML, for the website and for the conference book of abstracts. The local hosts here in Lausanne built DHWriter to try and encourage people to use a set format, and we are pleased to say that a lot of those submitting to the conference tried: DHWriter garnered 410 registrated users, and resulted in 508 documents being created with 195 Review PDFs submitted to Conftool (1/3 of the total papers in this common format). It’s a start – and we will be working on this, too, to encourage those who are accepted to the conference to format their abstracts in a way which creates less work for us.
It was a real privilege, but also incredibly hard work – to keep on top of the volume of admissions this year, especially in the last minute rush. Bethany Nowviskie, last year’s PC chair, tweeted “It was like that last year, too! I was imagining a Star Trek Scotty in the bowels of ConfTool: “Captain, she cannae take it!” – but Conftool held up to the strain. People often dont realise that when they send that email, or make that remark on Conftool that a real human will read it somewhere, which was the cause of some amusement. My favourite comment left on the system with a paper? “Well, today is my birthday – please forgive errors in style and orthography. I had some Champagne with friends before submitting this :-)”
We’re now congratulating ourselves over at DH2014 towers at the end of a successful submissions phase. Please forgive errors in style and orthography… we’re taking a brief pause to celebrate before beginning the mammoth task ahead, to peer review all those submissions fairly. The review process proper kicks off next week, and results of acceptance will be posted out to authors around the 7th February (there will be a period of rebuttals to reviewers comments from the 18th December). Thanks to those of you who submitted to DH2014, and we’ll keep you posted with progress!