Blue Sky Papers


UPDATE: Review decisions have been announced. Users can log into their ConfTool account to view decisions and feedback. iConference registration is now open.

New for 2019, the Blue Sky track seeks papers that present ideas and visions that stimulate the iSchool research community to pursue new directions. We are particularly interested in papers that identify what sets iSchools apart from others. Submissions will be judged on expanding the field and/or challenging existing assumptions.

The chairs are particularly looking for “Blue Sky Ideas” that are open-ended, possibly even “outrageous” or “wacky,” and present new problems, new application domains, or new methodologies that are likely to stimulate significant new research.

The authors of the three best Blue Sky papers will receive travel grants in the amount of $1000, $750 and $500, respectively, to help offset the cost of attending the iConference. These grants are provided through the generosity of the Computer Research Association (CRA), and will be distributed after the conference.

Blue Sky papers will undergo a single-blind review, and accepted papers will be deposited in the open access Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship repository (IDEALS).

Submission Details

  • Length: Up to 4 pages (excluding references)
  • Submission deadline: October 1, 2018
  • Notification date: mid-November, 2018
  • Final versions due: December 14, 2018

Blue Sky submissions will be made using the ConfTool submission system. All papers must be in English. Blue Sky papers will receive single-blind review, so author-identifying information should be included with your submission.

First versions will be submitted using .pdf. Final versions must be submitted in .doc, .docx or La Tex.

To facilitate consistency and ease of review, Blue Sky papers should use Springer’s LNCS template. Nevertheless, please note that these papers will be deposited into the IDEALS open repository and will not be published by Springer. (Authors will retain copyright; no copyright forms will be collected for this track.)

Submitters agree that if their work is accepted, at least one author will register during the Early registration period, and present the accepted work at iConference 2019. We reserve the right to withhold publication if none of the authors register.

Submitters agree not to make duplicate submissions to different tracks (i.e. submitting the exact same work to the Research Paper and Blue Sky tracks).

Blue Sky Co-Chairs

Blue Sky Program Committee

  • Diane Bailey, University of Texas at Austin
  • Christine Borgman, University of California Los Angeles
  • Jonathan Grudin, Microsoft Corp.
  • Jens-Erik Mai, University of Copenhagen
  • Leysia Palen, University of Colorado


Questions about papers submissions should be directed papers co-chairs listed above.

For general questions about the iConference, please contact iConference Coordinator Clark Heideger.