ADHO Conference Protocol

Preamble: This document describes the Conference Protocol for the annual international conference of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO). The Conference Protocol guides the work of the ADHO Conference Coordinating Committee (CCC). As stipulated in the ADHO Governance Protocol, the chair of the CCC serves at the pleasure of voting members of the ADHO Steering Committee. A Vice-Chair is also proposed by the CCC and elected by the SC. The Vice-Chair will assist the Chair and will take over the Chair's duties in the event that the Chair is unable to fulfill them. The Vice-Chair is a voting member of the CCC. Other members of the CCC are appointed by member organizations, with one representative from each organization. The CCC email list also includes the ADHO Chair, the ADHO Secretary and Vice-Secretary, and the past CCC Chair.

  1. Conference Venue
    1. The ADHO Conference Coordinating Committee (CCC) will solicit bids for the conference venue, according to a procedure documented in the annex to this protocol. They will advise bidders in formulating bids. The ADHO steering committee will make all final decisions concerning bids.
  2. The Program Committee and the Reviewing Process
    1. The academic program of the conference will be determined by an appointed Program Committee (PC). The PC shall be appointed no later than two years in advance of the conference.
    2. Constituent organizations of ADHO may designate members of the PC according to guidelines specified in the annex to this protocol, following the principle of equal membership from all affiliates. PC appointees should indicate whether they are willing to serve on the PC for more than one year, and whether they are willing to serve as Vice-Chair of the PC.
    3. The PC Chair will be a member of a constituent organization, and is appointed by the ADHO steering committee from a list of names put forward by the Executive Council of the constituent organization hosting the conference. The PC Chair serves in addition to the designated representatives of the constituent organizations. The Program Chair is a voting member of the program committee and has the deciding vote in case of a tie.
    4. The program committee will have as Vice-Chair, who will serves as the PC Chair of the next meeting. The Vice-Chair will assist the Chair and will take over the Chair's duties in the event that the Chair is unable to fulfill them. The Vice-Chair is a voting member of the Program Committee.
    5. There will be a Local Organizer (LO) who acts as the point of contact between the host institution and the PC. The LO(s) is a non-voting member of the PC. If two institutions are co-LOs of a DH meeting, the two co-LOs are non-voting members of the PC.
    6. The roles of Program Chair and Local Organizer shall not be filled by the same person.
    7. The CCC shall ensure that an email list is established for each year's PC and that PC members are promptly subscribed to it. In addition to the PC members, each email list should include the chair of ADHO steering committee, the chair of the CCC and the vice-chair of the CCC, the chair of the MLCM, the ADHO secretary and vice-secretary, the outgoing PC Chair, as well as the future LO(s) and the future PC chair once these have been designated.
    8. The PC approves the structure and content of the entire academic program. The academic program will normally include a mix of papers, panels, posters, and plenary sessions, including keynote addresses and pre-conference workshops. (Workshop fees should be discussed with the LO(s) in the framework of the general budget.) The PC may designate any paper or session as a plenary if in their view it is of sufficient interest to the community. The conference theme (if any) is decided by the PC in consultation with the LO(s). Keynote speakers are decided by the PC in consultation with the LO(s), and should ideally represent a range of complementary disciplines, interests, and geography, with consideration given to issues of gender equality, and economic, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity. The PC Chair should invite nominations for keynotes from both the PC and the LO(s). Nominations are normally approved by consensus. In the event of a dispute, either a super majority of the entire committee (2/3) or a simple majority of both the PC and LO(s) are required; should no resolution prove possible, the nomination is referred to the SC for a final decision.
    9. Special sessions, including those proposed by the constituent organizations, need to be reviewed on the same schedule as other papers, and according to the same standards.
    10. The review process is as follows:
      1. The CCC maintains and updates a list of reviewers. Members of the PC and the LO(s) may serve as reviewers. The reviewers should be selected to represent a range of disciplines, interests, and geography.
      2. The Program Chair initiates and oversees the review process for all proposals received by the deadline.
      3. Proposals that are received after the deadline for submissions or that fail to conform to the guidelines announced in the call for papers will not normally be accepted for review, though the chair of the PC may exercise discretion in this matter.
      4. The PC will take reviewers' comments and other relevant factors into account in determining acceptance and rejection of proposals.
      5. The Program Chair for a conference may not submit a proposal for presentation there. Members of the PC and reviewers may submit proposals, but every effort must be made to avoid conflict of interest.
      6. Panels should not constitute more than 20% of the program, and panel proposals should make a clear case for the value that they add, over individual papers. The Call for Papers should make it clear that panel proposals face more stringent reviewing than individual papers. Separate paper submissions that also request to be considered as a panel should note which other submissions they are related to. In this case papers would be reviewed separately, but if enough of the cluster were accepted they could be presented as a panel.
  3. Conference Organization and Financing
    1. ADHO will financially underwrite the annual conference. Conference expenses and registration fees should be planned to break even with a minimum number of registrants (approximately 250), with surpluses and deficits for additional registrants being distributed at a ratio to ADHO and to the local organizer according to this formula: 75% ADHO | 25% LO(s). At least 20% of ADHO’s share will be earmarked specifically for conference travel bursaries. These bursaries may be available for the conference at hand if there are enough early registrations to project the surplus. Some funds may be available in advance to pay for reservation fees, publicity, and so forth; the LO(s) should seek approval from the CCC before requesting any advance funds from ADHO. A line-item budget proposed by the LO(s) must be initially approved by ADHO (SC), and any deviation from the budget that, in sum, totals an increase greater than 10% of the approved total should only happen with ADHO’s approval (SC). While the venue from year to year may require quite different financial obligations (because of regional economics, involvement of local universities, and so forth), certain standards should be followed to keep infrastructure, venue, food, and swag costs within reason, with the goal of lowering registration fees in line with the principles in the previous paragraph. The LO(s), the CCC, and the ADHO treasurer should begin budgetary conversations 18 months before the planned conference dates. ADHO will provide (as a conference expense) event insurance (and loss protection) and will provide a monthly allowance (1000 euro/month) for a “conference officer.” Ideally, this conference officer will be coordinated from the ADHO side and persist from conference to conference, to provide continuity among different LO(s), venues, etc. The conference officer will generally focus on ADHO’s interest in the conference and will work closely with the LO(s) budget, but he or she may be available for certain tasks (research, budgetary analysis, help with conference management software, etc.) for conferences more than one year away.
    2. The name of the conference is Digital Humanities [Year].
    3. The CCC is responsible for providing a draft of the call for papers, following a standard model supplied in the Annex. The draft may be modified each year by the PC, taking into account the chosen theme of the conference.
    4. At the start of the conference the LO(s) will provide an online book of abstracts of the papers accepted for presentation. At the end of the conference, the LO(s) will provide full access to the complete material of the ebook and abstracts to ADHO. The LO(s) should consult with the PC for the final version of abstracts and figures, and the LO(s) has discretion in deciding whether to include authors who have incomplete materials. It is highly desirable to have the abstracts marked up in TEI, so that they can easily be added to the archive of past years' abstracts. The use of the ConValidator (maintained by ISC and described in the ConValidator report available on request from either the ISC or CCC) is highly recommended. LO(s) should liaise with ISC about this tool, and ensure they are up to date with its current state, as described in the ConValidator report. Issues with the tool that cannot be resolved between the LO(s) and ISC should be raised with the CCC in the first instance.
    5. Publication of Selected Conference Papers: A selection of conference papers will be published in ADHO journals (DSH and other journals sponsored by ADHO). The LO(s) and PC Chair will normally act as co-editors for the DSH publication, and may act as co-editors for others publications in journals sponsored by ADHO as well. 
If the LO(s) and PC Chair, for any significant reason, are unable to assume the editorial task, they should provide the names of two scholars that will replace them, in agreement with the CCC, the PC, the SC, and the editor. The Communication Committee will provide links to the other papers published from DH conferences on the ADHO website.
    6. The MOU between ADHO and the LO(s) must be signed in the two months following the designation of the LO(s) by the ADHO SC at the annual meeting.
    7. This protocol and its annex will be provided by the CCC Chair to all members of conference-related committees, and are online on the ADHO website.
    8. The LO(s) and PC will recognize ADHO as the primary organizer of the Digital Humanities conference in the conference’s publicity and programming materials, following requirements described in the Annex. They will also provide certificates for participation and registration, with the name of the paper and the authors.
    9. Sponsorship: ADHO recommends that sponsors who provide significant funds towards a conference  be offered Gold, Silver or Bronze categories for conference support depending upon the amount of funds offered; sponsorship for bursaries (€750 each) may be included as part of one of these categories. Alternative arrangements can be considered, but they should be submitted by the LO(s) to the CCC Chair and/or whoever is overseeing sponsorship for ADHO (still under consideration) for approval.  It is important to be clear about the role of sponsors, and to remain aware of the value an ADHO conference presents. As detailed in the Annex, conference proposals should include a ‘Sponsorship Strategy’ section for consideration by CCC and, if appropriate, SC. Sponsors should not be offered time in the academic program and it should be made absolutely clear in all conference material that their input is commercial in nature. Any deviation from this principle must involve strong consultation with the PC and CCC, with adequate time for discussion.


Revised: February 10, 2016, by approval of the ADHO Steering Committee.

Revised: May 24, 2013, by approval of the ADHO Steering Committee.

Approved by the ADHO Steering Committee June 18, 2011.

Revised: May 2010 for discussion at the July 2010 ADHO Steering Committee meeting.

Approved July 4 2006 by the ADHO Steering Committee for final approval by the ACH and ALLC executives

Approved by the ACH and ALLC executives July 5, 2006.