PhD Symposium Call

The ESWC 2015 PhD Symposium is a chance for PhD students working in all areas of Semantic Web research to present their work, meet with peers and experienced researchers, obtain feedback and learn from each other’s experiences. It aims at helping future researchers in building up the skills and confidence required to conduct and promote their research, as well as providing them with an opportunity to attend one of the most important research conferences on the Semantic Web.

The ESWC PhD Symposium will give students the opportunity to:

  1. Learn from a mentor: Established researchers and PhD student advisors will provide direct feedback. Each selected student will be assigned a member of the programme committee with whom they will interact on the revision of the paper and the preparation of the presentation.
  2. Learn about research in general: Doing good research goes beyond writing a good paper; it includes perspectives on research as an endeavour and a career. Besides the presentations, coffee breaks and the PhD Symposium lunch will be used to exchange ideas and ask questions about all aspects of conducting a PhD and a research career in general.
  3. Learn by constructive criticism: Thinking and writing about strengths and weaknesses of other research contributions shapes your own research capabilities.  As a participant to the PhD symposium, you will be expected to also review submissions from others, allowing you to juxtapose and learn from convergence and divergence of opinions.
  4. Learn by presenting: Accepted contributions will be presented in the PhD symposium. All accepted contributions will also appear at the general poster session of ESWC. Students’ posters will be presented alongside posters and demonstrations of the main conference.
  5. Learn from a testimonial: an experienced researcher will give a testimonial as part of the PhD Symposium, describing his/her experience both in industry and academia. Ample time will be allocated for a Q&A.

Submissions will be considered from two different categories depending on the advancement into the PhD:

  • Early Stage PhD: For students who may have identified the main research problem they want to address, the relevant literature, and are building their research methodology, but might not yet have obtained significant results, or only preliminary ones.
  • Late Stage PhD: For students who have already defined their approach (even if incompletely) and obtained significant results (e.g., that might already have been published).

These categories do not affect the chances of being selected. They will however be taken into account by reviewers in their feedback, and in the length and format of the presentation. The organisers might decide to move a submission from one category to the other, if they think it is justified.

Submission Information

PhD students in all areas of Semantic Web research are invited to submit papers having 5 to 10 pages describing their PhD research, in the PDF format following the LNCS template. A list of topics is given below; further topics relevant to the symposium but not included in the list will also be considered. Submissions should be sent using the PhD Symposium submission system, through which participants will be also asked to decide on the category of their submission and to write a paragraph regarding their motivation for participating in the ESWC PhD Symposium.

  • Vocabularies, Schemas, Ontologies
  • Reasoning
  • Linked Open Data
  • Social Web and Web Science
  • Semantic Data Management, Big Data, Scalability
  • Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval using the Semantic Web
  • Machine Learning
  • Mobile Web, Sensors and Semantic Streams
  • Services, APIs, Processes, and Cloud Computing
  • Cognition and Semantic Web
  • Human Computation and Crowdsourcing

Submissions should follow the following template of sections:

1. Introduction/Motivation

Give a general introduction to the domain/area/topic and indication of its importance/impact in Semantic Web research or other domains.

2. State of the Art

Describe existing work in the area, work focusing on the same/similar problems or that might be useful to realising your PhD. 

3. Problem Statement and Contributions

Based on motivation and state of the art, formulate the problem you intend to solve, and how you intend to contribute to Semantic Web research. This section should include a clear formulation of one (or very few) research hypothesis (what you will validate through your methodology, approach and evaluation) and the research questions that need to be answered. Late Stage PhD submissions should focus on contributions to such a hypothesis.

4. Research Methodology and Approach

Describe the research methodology you will apply in your research, including the different steps from the formulation of your research questions to answering them. Also describe the approach you are taking (or you intend to take for Early Stage PhD submissions) to instantiate the research methodology, hence contributing to solve the problem described in Section 3 and confirm or reject your hypothesis. Discuss how this approach is innovative and novel, and how it is (might be) implemented.

5. Preliminary or Intermediate Results

In a full conference paper, the approach would be fully described (in section 4) and fully evaluated (in section 6). Being at an intermediate stage, you should report here about the results achieved up to now in applying your approach that might not yet be sufficient for a full evaluation. 

6. Evaluation Plan

Describe your evaluation plan, which is the way you intend to validate your hypothesis, your results, and the value of your approach. For Early Stage PhD submissions, this might be only partially defined, and details might be omited. For Late Stage PhD submissions, you might have partial evaluation results.

7. Conclusions 

Describe how your results will or might impact research or the world at large.

Important dates

Submission deadline: 12/01/2015
Notification: 09/02/2015
Revised version of submission to mentor: 26/02/2015
Final version: 13/03/2015
Draft presentation to mentor: 12/05/2015   

PhD Symposium Chairs:

- Claudia d’Amato (University of Bari, Italy)

- Philippe Cudré-Mauroux (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)

Program Committee:

- Abraham Bernstein (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

- Eva Blomqvist (STLab, ISTC-CNR & Linköping University, Sweden)

- Olivier Curé (Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, France)

- Mathieu D’aquin (The Open University, UK)

- John Domingue (The Open University, UK)

- Nicola Fanizzi (University of Bari, Italy)

- Aldo Gangemi (Université Paris 13 & CNR-ISTC, France - Italy)

- Chiara Ghidini (Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy)

- Siegfried Handschuh (University of Passau, Germany)

- Krzysztof Janowicz (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)

- Freddy Lecue (IBM, Ireland)

- Enrico Motta (The Open University, UK)

- Natasha Noy (Google, USA)

- Bijan Parsia (University of Manchester, UK)

- Valentina Presutti (STLab, ISTC-CNR, Italy)

- Sebastian Rudolph (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)

- Ulrike Sattler (University of Manchester, UK)

- Stefan Schlobach (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands)

- Luciano Serafini (Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy)

- Gerardo Simari (Universidad Nacional del Sur in Bahia Blanca and CONICET, Argentina)

- Elena Simperl (University of Southampton, UK)

- Steffen Staab (University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany)

- Heiner Stuckenschmidt (University of Mannheim, Germany)

- Vojtech Svátek (University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic)

- Valentina Tamma (University of Liverpool, UK)

- Matthias Thimm (University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany)

- Tania Tudorache (Stanford University, USA)

- Juergen Umbrich (Vienna University of Economics & Business, Austria)