CfP Process

For CALC2020 and CALC2021 we have consulted on the process we will use for our Call for Papers (CfP). The process we use for our CfP is one of the more distinctive approaches we have adopted for CALC and so is really important to us.

Proposed CfP Process (click to expand)

Our CfP runs as a two-stage process. The first stage of the CfP will seek to focus on receiving papers from groups that have been historically and currently underrepresented and/or marginalised in academia, librarianship and mainstream conference programs.

For the purposes of CALC 2021 the first CfP will invite papers from POC/BAME/non-white lead presenters, presenters for whom English is an additional language, LGBTIQ+ presenters and presenters who consider themselves to have a disability (including both physical and mental-health related disabilities), Deaf presenters, Neurodiverse presenters and presenters from Working Class backgrounds.

People submitting abstracts will be asked to indicate which community/ies they consider themselves to be a member of. This is to allow CALC to perform internal equality-auditing and will not have a bearing on a proposal’s outcome. We will operate the first stage CfP on trust and would never ask or expect a potential presenter to ‘prove’ their eligibility.

An initial sift will be made from the first stage CfP with proposals sorted into Accepted (with our without suggested edits), Not Accepted (with reasons given) or Outside the Scope of the Conference. Single-blind peer review will be used for this sift. The reveiwers will be the CALC 2020 organisers Darren Flynn and Michelle Bond. Additional peer-reviewers may be sought, if so their details will be published on the CALC website to ensure transparency. Authors of proposals that are not accepted will receive personalised feedback outlining the reasons given for its non-acceptance.

The second stage CfP will then be launched and will be open to any interested presenters. A single-blinded peer review will sort proposals into the three categories above. The final conference program will be drawn from accepted abstracts in both sifts. Any papers submitted that are not in the final program but are within the scope of the conference will be invited to submit their paper as a poster and/or video presentation which will both be made available via an extended conference program on the CALC website.

Flowchart of proposed CfP process

Why are we proposing this process? (click to expand)

A key aim of CALC is to provide a venue to share the voices, experiences and perspectives of library workers, researchers and users who are underrepresented and/or marginalized by traditional academic conferences. In many library conferences where a single CfP is used, programs have tended to be filled by a small number of presenters with greater experience and confidence in writing abstracts; this is problematic where this prevents speakers from underrepresented or marginalized backgrounds appearing in conference programs. Michelle and I believe that past initiatives to increase the diversity of conference programs have not gone far enough and that urgent action is necessary to address this gap.  We hope that by trialing a two-stage CfP we can create a more even playing field. We believe that positive action in this way is warranted and preferable in this context to alternatives actions such as positive discrimination through quotas.

Papers Requested (click to expand)

We are looking for presentations based on four categories;

– Short Papers; 30min

Short papers should outline an individual project, piece of research or activity. Short papers may also be used to share your perspective on a specific issue or debate related to critical practice in libraries.

– Long Papers; 60min

Long papers provide the opportunity for more in-depth discussion and debate. Long papers should not be regarded as simply an extended short paper but cover a range of projects or multiple pieces of research or activities in greater depth.

– Panel Discussions (60 minute)

Panel discussions provide an opportunity to discuss a topic from multiple perspectives; the aim in panel discussions is to represent the diversity of opinion, practice or experience on a given topic and encourage audience participation and interaction.

– Workshops (60 mins)

The focus on workshops is on practical work or demonstrations. Workshops should focus on attendees taking part in activities or producing outputs to take away with them. In workshops the presenter should act as facilitator.

Proposed Policies for Sessions (click to expand)

– As a non-profit, minimum-cost conference we cannot pay presenters for their contribution to the conference.

– Our aim is for lead presenters will receive a complimentary ticket for CALC and [if conference is in person] be paid travel expenses through delegate booking fees and sponsorship. Presenters who have a disability and have a personal assistant will be given an additional free place and travel expenses; please contact us on to discuss arrangements for personal assistants.  

– Additional speakers are welcome but due to budgetary constraints CALC cannot offer additional complimentary tickets or travel expenses and so will need to register as a delegate. Additional speakers may apply for bursary places. All additional speakers will be included on conference literature whether or not present at the conference. In the case of panel discussions the panel chair will receive a free place and travel expenses but may opt to offer these to another panel member instead.

– Unfortunately CALC cannot reimburse costs for presenters with caring responsibilities who would require cover. We would encourage delegates to include care costs alongside other reasonable expenses (e.g. per diem, travel) in claims to employers. If caring responsibilities would preclude your presenting at the conference please contact us at to discuss potential options.

– Panel discussions must include at least one BAME panel member in order to increase the diversity of experience on the panel. If the theme of the panel discussion is based around a lived experience (e.g. LGBTQIA+ issues, disability and/or accessibility, class issues) at least one panel member must be from that lived experience as part of “not about me without me” ethos. The CALC organisers may put out a call to the mailing list in order to help recruit suitable panel members (contact

– International speakers are welcome however due to budgetary constraints we cannot offer travel expenses. We can explore the potential of remote presenting or speakers may submit a poster presentation.

– Proposers of short or long papers who feel unable to present in person may request a surrogate to deliver the presentation on their behalf. CALC organisers will work with the proposer to match them with a potential surrogate speaker. The original presenter would be included in the conference program with an additional note in the abstract naming the surrogate presenter.  

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