Towards A Diverse, Inclusive, Accessible and Equitable AAAI International Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM)

Jason RC Nurse, Francielle Vargas, Naeemul Hassan, Dakuo Wang, Panagiotis Andriotis, Amira Ghenai, Kokil Jaidka, Eni Mustafaraj, Kenneth Joseph, Brooke Foucault Welles
Kent Academic Repository
June 1, 2021


The AAAI International Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM) is the premier interdisciplinary conference for computational and social scientific research about social media and the interactive Internet. Each year, the conference brings together hundreds of scholars from across the globe to share papers, posters, demonstrations, workshops, and tutorials that advance state-of-the-art theories and methods for understanding human behavior online. ICWSM, like all academic conferences, is a fundamentally human experience, rich with opportunity and also vulnerable to the oversights and biases that prevent some from feeling fully included in our community. This report is part of a broader effort to identify our oversights and biases and make them explicit so that, together as an intellectual community, we can work to eliminate them. ICWSM has always been committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, but this year, we took the opportunity to pause and critically reflect on our efforts thus far. In this report, we present a summary of these reflections. Specifically, we discuss aggregated information on paper authors over the last 14 years, we reflect on conference attendees (e.g., location and other demographics), we detail the DEI actions implemented in ICWSM 2021. These include scholarships for underrepresented groups, registration subsidies for underrepresented regions, international special panels to discuss key DEI topics, the appointment of DEI chairs to the Organizing Committee, and the creation of a new award for distinguished young researchers. Finally, we present a plan for the future with high-priority projects for ICWSM 2022 and beyond.

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