Call for PhD Symposium

The ESWC 2018 PhD Symposium is a forum 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 developing 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 by constructive criticism:
    Established researchers and PhD student advisors will provide constructive feedback to the submitted papers by means of an open and non-adversarial review process.
  2. Learn from a mentor:
    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.
  3. Learn about research:
    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 mentoring lunch will be used to exchange ideas and ask questions about all aspects of pursuing a PhD and a research career in general.
  4. Learn by presenting:
    Accepted contributions will be presented at 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.


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

  • Early Stage PhD: Students who may have identified the main research problem they want to address as well as the relevant literature, and who are building their research methodology, but who might not yet have obtained significant results, or only preliminary ones.
  • Late Stage PhD: 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 the 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 PDF format, following the LNCS template (see ). Submissions must be uploaded to EasyChair selecting the ESWC 2018 PhD Symposium Track at through which participants will also be asked to indicate the category of their submission. We solicit submissions on topics related to the Semantic Web including the following:

  • 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
  • Database, Information Retrieval, Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence technologies for the Semantic Web
  • Machine Learning for the Semantic Web
  • Mobile Web, Sensors and Semantic Streams
  • Services, APIs, Processes, and Cloud Computing
  • Cognition and Semantic Web
  • Human Computation and Crowdsourcing
  • Search, Query, Integration, and Analysis
  • Visualization
  • Multimedia for the Semantic Web


Submissions should clearly indicate the category of the submission (Early Stage PhD or Late Stage PhD) and should adopt 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 statement you want to 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 omitted. 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.


Additional submission requirements

  • All submissions must be single-author submissions. The PhD advisor(s) and other contributors should be included only in the acknowledgements section.
  • Authors of the accepted papers must register and present their work at the PhD Symposium, and must also present a poster at the regular ESWC poster session.
  • Authors will have neither achieved their Ph.D. degree nor officially submitted their thesis at the time of submission to the PhD Symposium.
  • PhD Symposium submissions are not regular research papers; the suggested proposal outline should be closely followed.

Accepted papers will be distributed to conference attendees and also appear in supplementary post-conference proceedings to be published by Springer in the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS).


Important dates

  • Submission Deadline: March 13, 2018
  • Notification of Acceptance: April 10, 2018
  • Revised version to mentor: April 17, 2018
  • Mentor’s feedback on paper: April 24, 2018
  • Camera-Ready Paper: May 2, 2018
  • Draft presentation to mentor: May 15, 2018
  • Mentor’s feedback on presentation: May 22, 2018
  • Conference: June 3-7, 2018

All deadlines are 23:59 Hawaii time.


PhD Symposium Chairs

  • Sebastian Rudolph - TU Dresden, Germany
  • Maria Maleshkova - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

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