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Call for Contributions  [PDF download]

1. General Information 

The International Conference on Digital Preservation (https://ipres-conference.org/), or iPRES Conference, is the premier conference series on digital preservation. Since 2004 there have been annual iPRES conferences around the globe, bringing together researchers, archivists, librarians, content providers, technology providers, and other experts and practitioners, to share their recent research, development projects, implementations, practical experiences, and to enhance collaborations within the field and across the related domains.
The most recent 5 iPres conferences were held at Chapel Hill, USA (12th, 2015), Bern, Switzerland (13th, 2016), Kyoto, Japan (14th, 2017), Boston, USA (15th, 2018), Amsterdam, The Netherlands (16th, 2019). 
The 17th International Conference on Digital Preservation, iPRES2021, (http://ipres2021.ac.cn/), will be held October 19-22, 2021, in Beijing, China. iPRES 2021 will be co-hosted by the National Science and Technology Library (NSTL) and the National Science Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NSL).
iPRES2021 will support hybrid participation, allowing in-person as well as online attendance. Presenters and participants, when registering for the conference, will be required to state their preferred mode of participation. Online presentation and participation will be enabled using Zoom. All conference material will be recorded and made available for playback beyond the conference for a fixed period of time. We intend to make the conference material available under the Creative Commons license. Contributors should get in touch with the conference organizer in case this is not feasible.
Contributors and authors, once their contributions have been reviewed and accepted, will also be required to submit a pre-recorded copy of their presentations in advance, which will be used or incorporated during the conference. Respective copyrights of the contributors and authors will be protected in internationally accepted norms. More detailed instructions will be issued when time is nearer.

2. Themes of iPRES 2021

The main theme of iPRES2021: Empowering Digital Preservation for the Enriched Digital Ecosystem
We invite original contributions that describe theory-and-practice-informed approaches to scientific models, daily practice, collaborative efforts, creative solutions, and the progress your organization has made in digital preservation. Submissions should relate to the overall conference theme, Empowering Digital Preservation for the Enriched Digital Ecosystem, describing the cutting edge of our domain and crossing into others. We encourage submissions which describe collaborations across and beyond cultural heritage domains, and we welcome proposals that describe research and practice in agencies of all sizes and in all sectors.

2.1 Sub-theme 1: Exploring the New Horizons

New digital lifecycles, workflows, applications, etc., in all info-rich or info-supported areas.
New content, formats, technologies and techniques, organizing and application methods, supporting infrastructure.
New business models, issues of ownership, IP or privacy or security protection schemes, organizational mechanisms, and cross-domain relationships, etc.
Specific future challenges for knowledge-heavy or heritage industries or institutions, and for society at large, communities, and private citizens.
Potential use and impact, for digital preservation, of AI, cloud computing and fog/edge computing, big data, block-chain, smart workflows, etc.
Society or institutional failures in preserving digital information.

2.2 Sub-theme 2: Scanning the New Development

Latest developments in digital preservation tools, storage solutions, or infrastructural facilities in general.
Latest developments in tools, strategies, and practices, in preservation of research data, software, social media, web content, rich or interactive or smart media, VR/AR, etc.
Latest developments in file format management, identification and authenticity, secure custody, and migration, for digital preservation.
Latest development for digital preservation embedding in digital lifecycles or digital workflow.
Latest developments coming from unexpected stakeholders or non-traditional knowledge heritage institutions?

2.3 Sub-theme 3: Enhancing the Collaboration

Collaborate with who/where digital info is created, owned, or used.
Design, cultivate, enhance, and ensure collaboration in line with changing digital workflows and changing roles and responsibilities for digital info.
Design, stimulate, enhance, and ensure collaboration with changing definitions of knowledge heritage institutions.
Successful experiences and lessons learned in digital preservation.
Policies, mechanisms, infrastructure, workflows, and technique, etc., that would support or enhance collaborations.
Measure and demonstrate the impact and efficiency of collaboration.
Specific experiences in digital preservation collaboration with new content types, new digital-intensive areas, or new application scenarios.

2.4 Sub-theme 4: Building the Capacity & Capability

Business & economic models to facilitate digital preservation.
Development of digital preservation strategies, approaches, implementation mechanisms, cost plans, physical infrastructure, trustworthiness, and measurement of impact.
Developments of policies, standards, guidelines, best practices, workflows, use cases, etc., to improve implementation & management of digital preservation.
Using of existing or emerging capacity in up-stream, down-stream, or related areas of digital ecology for digital preservation capacity building.
Engage and involve content creators, users, and decision-makers in digital preservation.
Develop digital preservation workforce for current and future needs, in formal curricula or as on-job training or as continuing education.
Ensure that our growing body of digital preservation knowledge, explicit and tacit, is easily accessible to current and future practitioners.
Using open source technologies and open standards for digital preservation.

2.5 Sub-theme 5: COVID-19 and Digital Preservation

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in massive disruption to normal life, including dramatic reduction of in-person interaction and strong reliance on technology. This has led to paradigmatic changes in how people work, interact, and organize themselves digitally, which has a significant and long-lasting impact on digital preservation. iPRES2021 invite contributions that document the practice of dealing with the challenges of the pandemic and address the impact of COVID-19 on digital preservation:
● Developments and efforts in collecting and curating COVID-19 pandemic related information for long-term digital preservation, including any scoping, data privacy and security considerations.
● Developments of new services, techniques, systems, and infrastructure that help meet challenges posed by the pandemic to digital preservation, including any opportunities that emerged in the wake of recent disruptions.
● Identification and analysis of emerging or future trends in digital behaviors that will fundamentally change the digital preservation practice or require new approaches.

3. How will iPRES2021 be organized – general hybrid mode

iPRES2021 is to be organized in a hybrid mode to (1) preserve the rich interaction of the traditional on-site iPRES conferences, (2) enable the intensive exchanges between international and local/regional digital preservation communities, and (3) take the full advantages of large scale virtual conference capabilities to accommodate those remote participants due to various constrains.
Generally, domestic participants will participate on-site at Beijing, and international participates will be strongly encouraged to attend on-site at Beijing. Some activities will be available only on-site, including those need local access and those with high and un-moderated interaction.
At the same time, international participants who are unable to come to Beijing come participate online via internationally accepted platforms.
Mindful of the uncertainty of the pandemic, the organizers, with the consent of iPRES Steering Committee, will not rule out the possibility that iPRES2021 be switched to online only mode in the situation then demands.

4. How will iPRES2021 be organized – timing of iPRES2021 activities

A tentative time schedule is planned as follows:


Basic Activity Types







N/S Americas






Professional visits

On-site experiments or workshops






Professional sessions




Playbacks for  presentational  sessions

Professional sessions




Keynote sessions

Professional sessions




To ensure an orderly and focused organization of the conference activities, and to accommodate participants coming from all over the world on-site and online, there will be a single set of timing of conference activities throughout iPRES2021 while arrangements will be made for playbacks for many of the conference content.
Notes: “Presentational sessions” can be keynote sessions, paper sessions, and lightening talks, some of panel discussions, some of tutorial sessions. All playbacks will be in streaming mode to protect the copyrights of the presenters. Other sessions may include panel discussions, demo presentations, hackathons, poster demonstrations, and other activities requiring high interaction. The details can be seen from up-dating of the conference programs.

5. Types of Contributions

Type of Contribution


Available for playback






yes (some may not be available)

Posters and demos



Workshops and tutorials


yes (some may not be available especially tutorials)

Lightning talks









It is expected that all accepted submissions are from individuals who are registered as conference attendees and are able to present the submission at the conference on-site or online. There will be an indication if the type of contribution is requested to be made into a video recording by the presenter, or a video presentation by the organizers, or a presentational file (preferably a PPT or PDF file) that can be “playback” through the conference site or an iPRES2021 designated site. 

5.1 Papers 

We invite two kinds of papers: long (8-10 pages) and short (3-5 pages) papers. All papers must be novel, reporting on previously unpublished work. Long papers will be given more time to present at the conference than short papers. Short papers are more appropriate for work in progress, novel ideas that do not yet have results, or small projects. Detailed instructions can be found under the Submission instructions section.

5.2 Panels 

We invite proposals for thematic panels to be held during the main conference program. Panel sessions bring together researchers and/or practitioners with complementary or conflicting perspectives on a topic of importance to digital preservation. Panels should be designed to promote discussion among the panelists and with the audience. The topic should have broad appeal to the conference participants and clearly relate to the conference themes. An extended abstract of up to 2 pages describing the proposed content and agenda of the panel is required. Detailed instructions can be found under the Submission instructions section. 

5.3 Posters

Posters are ideal for reporting on emerging issues, conceptual research, preliminary developments or experiments, innovative solutions, customized systems, and other interested works in progress. Posters      require an extended abstract of up to 2 pages that clearly describes the topic to be presented and states its unique contribution to the field. Detailed instructions can be found under the Submission instructions section. 

5.4 Workshops and Tutorials 

Workshops are intended to be hands-on and/or participatory. Proposers are free to decide how to structure and design them. Workshops might be focused on the development of a skill, or discussion and collaboration on the topic covered in the workshop. Workshops prioritize hands-on work and/or participation, with less time dedicated to presentation. 
Tutorials should focus on a single topic. They are opportunities to explicate a method or procedure, or gain experience with tools. They preferably include some hands-on learning. Proposers are free to decide how to structure tutorials. They can include time for group discussion of the content covered. 

5.5 Lightning Talks

Lightning talks are short presentations (no more than 5 minutes), on emerging strategies, new technologies, conceptual design, preliminary experiment, innovative solutions, and other interesting works in related fields. A simple abstract will be required, but there will be no formal peer review and will not be managed through EasyChair. Lightning talks will not be included in the conference proceedings. These contributions will have a rolling deadline/acceptance cycle: 1 June -31 July. These can also be from accepted posters so the authors can reach a wider audience.

5.6 Demonstrations

Demonstration presentations are specifically provided for commercial or non-commercial system or service providers to show-case their products. The opportunity is usually given to accepted formal sponsors of the conference. There will be formal demo sessions each lasting 10 minutes. Demo presentations can also be given at special launch times at designated places during the conference days. A separate Call for Sponsorship will describe the requirements and arrangements. These will not be peer-reviewed but will be evaluated by the PC or PC designated experts for their fitness with the conference.

5.7 Hackathons

Hackathons are hands-on and interactive sessions focusing on delivering practical results with wider benefits for the preservation community. Hackathons should aim to bring together community members with different skill sets and professional background, allowing them to work together and providing dedicated time for in-depth analysis, reflection and experiments for a technical or conceptual problem. An extended abstract of up to 2 pages is required that describes the content of the proposed hackathon. Detailed instructions can be found under the Submission Instructions section.     

6. Important Dates

6 Jun. 2021: All peer-reviewed paper submissions due
6 Jun. 2021: Proposals for other peer-reviewed due
01 Jun. 2021: Registration open for early birds  
Aug. 2021: All peer-reviewed contributions notified
31 Jul. 2021: Submission for Lightning Talks due
01 Sep. 2021: Registration closed for early birds and open for regular registration.  

04 Sep. 2021: Revisions due

15 Sep. 2021: Acceptance decisions notified

15 Sep. 2021: First full program
10 Oct. 2021: Final full program
19-22 Oct. 2021: Conference

7. Proceedings and Awards 

Submissions that are accepted for inclusion in the conference will appear in the iPRES 2021 digital-only proceedings. The proceedings will include:
• Full text of the accepted long papers and short papers
• Abstracts of the accepted panels, posters, workshops, and tutorials
After the review notifications, authors of the accepted papers will have an opportunity to edit their submissions for the final version to be published after the conference. All authors will be given the opportunity to update their contributions based on the discussions during the conference. Final revisions are due 4 November. Conference proceedings will be published digitally by the end of November 2021.
iPRES 2021 will recognize outstanding contributions during a ceremony on 22 October. Formal awards will be given for peer-reviewed contributions: Best Paper, long or short; Best Posters.
FAIR Principles for iPRES 
In order to make the conference proceedings FAIR, authors are asked to add their ORCID-ID to their contribution. In case you do not have an ORCID-ID yet, you can register yourself for free at https://orcid.org/. The conference proceedings will be archived in a long term preservation repository and every contribution will receive a persistent identifier. 

8. Contact for Questions 

For questions with regards to submission and review of the contributions please contact:ipres2021-submit@mail.las.ac.cn.
For questions with regards to the registration, accommodation, and other conference matters, please contact: ipres2021@mail.las.ac.cn .