Special Interest Groups

What is a Special Interest Group?

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) enable conference attendees sharing a common interest to meet informally for 75 minutes of facilitated discussion during a scheduled session at the conference. SIGs offer excellent opportunities for dialog and deliberation on a specific topic. The conference provides each SIG with meeting space and advertises SIG meetings to the rest of the conference in the Extended Abstracts and Conference Program.

Quick Facts

Important Dates

Submission Details

Selection process: Curated

Chairs: Rob Comber, Mike Hazas (sigs@chi2020.acm.org)

At the conference: Accepted SIGs will have a scheduled session at the conference.

After the conference: Extended Abstracts will be published in the ACM Digital Library.

Message from the Special Interest Groups Chairs

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) provide an opportunity to attract a group of conference attendees who share a common interest and engage them in face-to-face discussions. Organizing a SIG is a great way to start or extend your involvement in the CHI conference program. Several SIGs have evolved into other successful contribution types at subsequent conferences. In addition to interesting, timely and novel SIG topics, we also encourage creative approaches to conducting the SIG itself. While the SIG should provide a structure for discussion, successful SIGs have used exciting approaches to promote lively debate. For instance, last year formats for the SIG session included a designathon, a reflection exercise, and sketching group.

If you have any doubts regarding SIGs, we welcome you to contact us before submitting your proposal to discuss your ideas for innovative and attractive SIGs!

Rob Comber, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Mike Hazas, Lancaster University, UK

Email: sigs@chi2020.acm.org

Preparing and Submitting your Special Interest Groups Proposal

SIG submissions must be submitted via the PCS Submission System. The proposal must have the following components (submitted as a single PDF file):

  • Extended Abstract: A 4-page description of the SIG, suitable for publication in the Extended Abstracts Format
  • Supplementary Material (also mandatory).
    • A brief description of the community (or communities) to which this SIG would be of interest and why it is of interest.
    • Assumed attendee background.
    • The approach you will use for organizing and presenting the SIG.
    • An informal schedule of discussion topics.
    • Your plan to attract a reasonable number of attendees.
    • Which organizer should serve as the primary contact.

While not strictly required, we prefer that proposals be authored by a minimum of two individuals representing at least two different organizations. We also encourage prospective SIG organizers to examine examples of accepted SIG abstracts from recent CHI conferences, available for download from the ACM Digital Library.

Special for Hawaii: The Hawaii Convention Center has an amazing rooftop patio (see images here). Feel free to propose creative uses of that space in your submission.

Special Interest Group Selection Process

Submissions are Curated; although the process is highly selective, it does not necessarily follow a reviewing process by a committee, and authors should not expect to receive formal feedback on their submission other than the selection decision.

We consider the following criteria, in descending order of priority:

Appeal to the community:  Is the topic both timely and of wide enough appeal to attract an significant audience?  At the same time, is the topic sufficiently focused to allow for productive discussion during the SIG meeting?  Too narrow, and the SIG might attract too few people; too broad, and it is difficult for progress to be made in the relatively short duration of a SIG.

Format: Is the proposed format conducive to discussion and shared insight? Will it be possible to achieve its aims?  SIGs are not workshops, nor project showcases, nor tutorials.

Diversity of perspective:  It helps to be able to show that the SIG will be able to encompass a wide perspective, and that the organisers can accommodate and facilitate discussion across this breadth.  Places to show this are in the description of the intended community, the assumed attendee background, and the home institutions and disciplines of the organisers.

Continuity: Does the SIG support the development of a longer term interest group, for example follow-on SIGs at CHI and other conferences, or a SIGCHI Community?  If the topic is a very recent or new one, then arguments will need to be made, to demonstrate that it is a topic that will persist, rather than simply being this year’s fashion.

Submissions should not contain sensitive, private, or proprietary information that cannot be disclosed at publication time. Submissions should NOT be anonymous. However, confidentiality of submissions will be 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 the start of the conference, with the exception of title and author information which will be published on the website prior to the conference.

Upon Acceptance of your Special Interest Group Submission

Authors of accepted submissions will receive instructions on how to submit their publication-ready copy (which will consist of your extended abstract only).

At the Conference

Accepted SIGs will have a scheduled, 75 minutes long session at the conference. After your SIG is accepted, we will notify you what technical support will be available. Rooms will be set up to facilitate discussion.

After the Conference

After the conference, the organizers are encouraged to continue their SIG by organizing a workshop at a future conference or creating and maintaining a website. Accepted SIG abstracts will be distributed in the CHI Conference Extended Abstracts, available in the ACM Digital Library.