söndag 22 april 2018

Our NordiCHI paper on activists (paper)

I wrote a blog post back in January about a paper we submitted to the CHI conference's alt.chi track. It seems weirdly appropriate to return to this topic right now since the CHI conferences is being held in Montreal right now (this is in fact the last day of the conference). Our paper was however rejected despite being very close to being accepted; one reviewer gave it a 4 ("Probably accept: I would argue for accepting this paper" and the other reviewer gave it a 3 ("Borderline: Overall I would not argue for accepting this paper").

One thing we failed at was to think through and specify how we would explore "novel methods through which to present HCI research – both in the submission and through the conference presentation":

"The submission form will ask you to provide a description and justification of the method by which your alt.chi work will be presented at the conference. Submissions that thoughtfully link the content of the submission to a specified presentation format will be highly valued by the review process. Because alt.chi is intended as an alternative space at the conference, we strongly encourage authors to propose something other than standing and talking to a deck of Powerpoint slides."

We didn't specify alternative presentation formats (think various kinds of non-traditional presentations or even "performances") and that was our bad. We have now however rewritten and expanded the paper in major ways and we recently submitted the paper to the upcoming NordiCHI conference.

The new paper has almost 50% more text (and the number of references has ballooned from 37 to no less than 102)! There has also been a relatively substantial change of perspective - we have worked with the paper's structure and its message - some things have been taken away and the basic perspective of the text has been "massaged" (subtly altered). While the title of the paper we submitted to CHI was "Adopt an activist", that particular "paternalistic" point of view has been thrown overboard. The paper has now become more conventional, but it is still an unconventional paper and I have no idea of what the reviewers will think about it and whether it will be accepted to the conference or not.

Another huge change is that the CHI paper co-author Bran Knowles have had a baby since so she decided to opt out, but we instead recruited her sometimes-colleague Oliver Bates and the NordiCHI paper's authors are now Daniel Pargman (KTH Royal Institute of Technology), Bonnie Nardi (University of California Irvine), Oliver Bates (Lancaster University) and Pella Thiel (Transition Network Sweden).

As the paper is currently part of a double-blind reviewing process so I prefer not to write that much about the actual contents of the paper, but I will of course return to the paper should it be accepted for presentation at the NordiCHI conference (in Oslo in October).

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