Call for Papers

OpenSym 2020

The 16th International Symposium on Open Collaboration

26-27 August 2020


Statement regarding COVID-19 outbreak

Given the global developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OpenSym 2020 Organisers have, in consultation with the OpenSym Steering Committee, decided to cancel the physical event in Madrid, and proceed as a virtual, online event, at the original planned date, from 26 – 27 August 2020. While a physical gathering would obviously be preferred, the current situation requires us to adapt. So, nothing should stop you from submitting to OpenSym 2020!

About the Conference

The 16th International Symposium on Open Collaboration (OpenSym 2020) is the premier conference on open collaboration research and practice, including open source, open data, open science, open education, wikis and related social media, Wikipedia, and IT-driven open innovation research.

OpenSym is the first conference series to bring together the different strands of open collaboration research and practice, seeking to create synergies and inspire new collaborations between people from computer science, information science, social science, humanities, and everyone interested in understanding open collaboration and how it is changing the world.

This year’s conference was to be held in Madrid, Spain. However, given the global developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OpenSym 2020 will be held as a virtual, online event, at the original planned date, from 26 – 27 August 2020.


Call for Submissions

OpenSym 2020 invites submissions for a range of tracks, including completed research papers, New Ideas and Emerging Research Papers, and Doctoral Consortium research proposals. New this year are the New Ideas and Emerging Research (NIER) track, and a Journal-First track. Also new this year is a Journal Article Collection in the Journal of Internet Services and Applications, to which the best papers in the conference are invited. Papers accepted in the full research paper and NIER tracks will be included in the conference proceedings published by the ACM. Submissions to the other tracks will be included in a non-archival companion proceedings.

All submissions are accepted via the EasyChair platform:

Completed Research papers

The completed research paper submission deadline is 15 June 2020. Submitted papers should present integrative reviews or original reports of substantive new work: theoretical, empirical, and/or in the design, development and/or deployment of novel concepts, systems, and mechanisms. Research papers will be reviewed to meet rigorous academic standards of publication. Papers will be reviewed for relevance, conceptual quality, innovation, and clarity of presentation.

There is no strict minimum or maximum length for completed research papers. Instead, reviewers will be instructed to weigh the contribution of a paper relative to its length. Papers should report research thoroughly but succinctly: brevity is a virtue. The typical length of a “long research paper” is 10 pages (formerly the maximum length limit and the limit on OpenSym tracks). While we will review papers longer than 10 pages, the contribution must warrant the extra length. Reviewers will be instructed to reject papers whose length is incommensurate with the size of their contribution. Papers should be formatted in ACM sigconf paper format. The review process is double-blind, so manuscripts must be anonymized.

Authors whose submitted papers have been accepted for presentation at the conference have a choice of:

  • Having their paper become part of the official conference proceedings, archived in the ACM Digital Library;
  • Having no publication record at all but only the presentation at the conference.

New Ideas and Emerging Research Papers

The New Ideas and Emerging Research (NIER) papers submission deadline is 15 June 2020. The NIER track at OpenSym promotes innovative research and current work in progress. New ideas should present new directions well supported with a solid research plan, that can provide benefit for the community. Emerging Research papers should present initial and preliminary results with a non complete evaluation in order to collect early feedback from the community. Submissions to this track are limited to 4 pages. Papers should be formatted in ACM sigconf paper format. The review process is double-blind, so manuscripts must be anonymized.

Journal First

Authors of any journal papers within scope of the conference that were accepted for publication and made available during 2019 or 2020 are invited to submit a Journal-First presentation proposal. The Journal-First submission deadline is 15 June 2020. Submissions should include a copy of the accepted manuscript, and have a cover page of no more than 1 page that must contain: the journal paper’s title, the journal paper’s authors, an extended abstract that clarifies how the paper fits within the scope of the conference, and a pointer to the original journal paper at the journal’s Web site. Journal-First submissions will be reviewed for relevance and scope. In selecting submissions for inclusion in the program, priority is given to Open Access papers. Submissions should not have been presented or submitted in any other Journal-First track. 

Doctoral Consortium

The deadline for submission to the Doctoral Consortium is 15 June 2020. The OpenSym 2020 Doctoral Consortium provides a unique opportunity for doctoral students to present and develop their research in an interdisciplinary and interactive workshop. The Consortium will be action-focused: contributions around the conceptualisation, analysis, and visualisation skills and techniques of the PhD research are particularly welcome. We invite students conducting research on topics within the scope of the conference to apply for this unique opportunity, and to share and develop their work with students and staff during the event. Submissions should not exceed 4 pages (ACM sigconf paper format) and should contain (1) the stage of Ph.D (proposal phase, year {1,2, .. N}, write-up) (2) a statement of research problem/objective, and why that is an important problem (3) a summary of closely related prior research, (4) the research method used or planned, with a timeline for completion, and (5) the expected contribution of the work.

Conference Proceedings

OpenSym is held in-cooperation with ACM SIGWEB and ACM SIGSOFT and the conference proceedings will be archived in the ACM Digital Library like all prior editions. OpenSym seeks to accommodate the needs of the different research disciplines it draws on, including disciplines with archival conference proceedings and disciplines where authors usually present at conferences and publish later.


As part of the review process, papers may be conditionally accepted, at which point authors are given an opportunity to write a response to their reviews before final decisions are made by the Program Chairs. This should be treated as an opportunity to correct any mistakes or misconceptions in the reviews as well as to propose minor changes that the authors can make during the short period between final notification and the camera-ready deadline.

Journal Article Collection 

The Editors of the Journal of Internet Services and Applications have agreed to publish an “Article Collection” of the best papers submitted to OpenSym 2020. (JISA does not have distinct journal issues; an “article collection” is the equivalent of a special issue). The goal of the Article Collection is to publish extended and revised papers published in OpenSym 2020. More information on the Article Collection will be published during the conference.

Important Dates

Research papers

  • Submission deadline: 24 April 2020 15 June 2020
  • Reviews sent to authors: 29 May 2020 25 July 2020
  • Response to reviews from authors due: 6 June 2020 31 July 2020
  • Decision notification: 14 June 2020 3 August 2020
  • Camera-ready papers due: 10 July 2020 14 August 2020

NIER papers

  • Submission deadline: 18 May 2020 15 June 2020
  • Decision notification: 26 June 2020 3 August 2020

Journal-First papers

  • Submission deadline: 18 May 2020 15 June 2020
  • Decision notification: 25 June 2020 3 August 2020

Doctoral Consortium

  • Submission deadline: 8 May 2020 15 June 2020
  • Decision notification: 12 June 2020 3 August 2020


We are looking for submissions on, but not limited to, the following topics:

Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS)

  • FLOSS development communities, including both software engineering aspects and human factors
  • FLOSS development processes, such as code reviews, joining process, etc.
  • Best practices and case studies of open collaboration with FLOSS
  • FLOSS collaboration beyond software (e.g. FLOSS collaboration for open data/content, open standards, open hardware, etc.)

Wikipedia and Wikimedia Research

  • Participation in Wikimedia communities
  • Group Dynamics and Organization in Wikipedia and related projects
  • Readership/Engagement on Wikipedia and related projects
  • Technical Infrastructure and Design in Wikimedia projects
  • Evaluating Content of Wikimedia projects
  • Knowledge Diffusion, Outreach, and Generalization

Open Collaboration Research, esp. Wikis and Social Media

  • Novel open collaboration technologies ranging from entirely new socio-technical systems to MediaWiki extensions
  • Wikis in corporations, academia, non-profits, and other organizations
  • Online collaboration using social media technologies (e.g., Wikis, Blogs, Twitter)
  • Theoretical work on open collaboration
  • Digital divides and open collaboration technologies

Open Data and Open Science

  • Open data quality, standards, measures and metrics
  • Open data and open science methods, applications and prototypes
  • Best practices and case studies for Open Data and Open Science
  • Repositories, networks and working platforms for open scientific communication, collaboration, exchange and access to open knowledge

Open Education

  • Tools and methods for managing, storing and sharing of Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Open online learning environments such as MOOCs
  • Enabling individual learning paths
  • Connecting formal and informal learning
  • Supporting self-paced learning and co-construction of knowledge
  • Development of new knowledge or products (e.g. Maker Spaces), collecting data (e.g. Citizen Science) or discussing political topics (e.g. e-participation).

Open Innovation

  • Architecture and design of open innovation systems
  • The role of IT-artefacts in open and collaborative innovation activities
  • Implementation of open innovation platforms in corporate IT landscapes
  • IT security, intellectual property and personal anonymity in open innovation
  • Best practices and case studies of open data, open standards, open source for open innovation
  • Open innovation and GLAM

Open Policy/Open Government

  • Open policy formulation and design
  • Implications of open policies for governments
  • Implementation of open policies
  • Measuring the success and impact of open policies
  • Best practices and cases studies of open policy/government
  • Openness in various public initiatives (e.g. Smart Cities, Internet of Things)

Open Standards

  • Communities for development, maintenance, use, and implementation of open standards
  • Implications of open standards for governments and other organizations
  • Open standards development processes
  • Open standards and licensing aspects

The OpenSym Conference Experience

OpenSym 2020 will be held as a virtual, online event on 25-27 August 2020. Research and community presentations and performances will be accompanied by keynotes, invited speakers, and a social program. The capital of Spain, Madrid is a vibrant city with a rich history with plenty of things to see and do. Madrid is easy to reach with all major airlines.

A Doctoral Consortium will also be held on 24 August 2020, the day before the conference begins.

This conference provides a platform for researchers and practitioners from a variety of domains to share insights and ideas relevant to understanding open collaboration in its many forms. The open space track is a key ingredient of the event that distinguishes OpenSym from other conferences. It is an integral part of the program that makes it easy to talk to other researchers and practitioners and to stretch your imagination and conversations beyond the limits of your own discipline, exposing you to the full breadth of open collaboration research. The open space track is entirely participant-organized, is open for everyone, and requires no submission or review.