ACI2021 Call for Contributions

For ACI2021, the conference's eighth edition, we invite a wide range of contributions that have the potential to promote a constructive dialogue around animal-centred research and design of interactive technology, and to foster the development of ACI as a discipline.

Submissions will be peer-reviewed and accepted submissions will be included in the ACI2021 Conference Proceedings, including accepted full and short papers, poster and demo extended abstracts, workshop extended abstracts and doctoral consortium submissions.

This year's conference theme is Finding Normalcy. The theme acknowledges the extraordinary times the world has been living since the beginning of 2020 and all the challenges of the difficult circumstances we have experienced but also the things we have learnt. Submissions might address topics such as: how to conduct ACI research during a pandemic; the role of animals as companions and emotional support during social isolation; caring for animals in animal facilities under restrictions; relocating and rehabilitating animals during a crisis; or developing more respectful and empathetic relations with animals for a healthier and more sustainable multispecies cohabitation. Submissions that relate to this year's conference theme are especially welcome, but high-quality submissions are also welcome.

Submission Tracks 
Contributions can be submitted to any of the following tracks: 
Research papers (abstracts 3 June 2021, complete papers 10 June 2021)
Workshop proposals (10 June 2021)
Videoposters, late-breaking and demos (12 August 2021)
Doctoral consortium tracks (19 August 2021)

Contribution Areas
Relevant contribution angles might include: 

  • Design: for example, interaction modalities that may need to be developed in order to make technology accessible to other animals; novel designs for users with different sensory apparatuses, cognitive capabilities, and ergonomic characteristics; multisensory interfaces and alternative interactional paradigms appropriate for ACI; design solutions developed within ACI applications that could inform design within other disciplines 

  • Methodology: for example, methodological frameworks enabling animals to actively participate in the design process as legitimate stakeholders, contributors and users; multidisciplinary methodologies that can be called upon when designing with animals or investigating how technology affects them and their interactions with humans; methodologies that can be derived from other disciplines; more-than-human approaches developed within ACI that could contribute to other disciplines 

  • Theory: for example, main challenges that ACI researchers may encounter in conceptualizing the interaction between humans, animals and technology; ways of interpreting the outcomes of applied studies, concrete designs and research practices to articulate such interactions; existing theoretical frameworks from other disciplines, that ACI theories can draw from or contribute to 

  • Ethics: for example, legitimate technological applications for ACI; implications of ACI’s animal-centered perspective for conducting research that involves animal participants; ethical frameworks that may or may not be suitable to support the development of ACI; relation between ethics and methodology in ACI; potential influence of ACI ethics on research and practice in other disciplines  

  • Applications: for example, ACI applications relating to animal studies or husbandry, or practices involving animals in a range of contexts; applications that mediate the interaction between humans and other animals, or interactions among other animals; animal technologies that do or do not constitute good examples of or models for ACI.

Assessment Criteria 
Regardless of whether they relate to this year's conference theme, all submissions will be assessed based on the following criteria: 

  • Contribution to the field. Submissions should make novel and significant contributions to the field of ACI, proportionate to the category of submission (e.g. full papers should make a more substantial contribution compared to extended abstracts associated with video-posters or late-breaking work). 

  • Quality of the submission. Submission should be of high quality, both with regards to their content (e.g., the work presented should be well motivated in relation to existing issues and related work; approaches and methodologies should be appropriately chosen and rigorously implemented; the significance of research findings should be properly discussed; arguments should be carefully constructed and claims adequately supported) and with regards to its presentation (e.g., the structure should be appropriate to the type of contribution; the work should be described clearly; the use of language should be correct; terminology should be accessible to non-specialists or any specialist terminology should be explained). 

  • Transparency of the approach. The submission should clearly express how the process of thinking about and conducting the presented work relates to ACI’s animal-centred perspective. This includes design, methodological and ethical considerations. In particular, each submission should include an explanation of how animals have been involved or represented, or how their role and perspective have been accounted for, in the work and, if applicable, what ethical perspective or frameworks have been applied. 

  • No harm principle. The whole point about ACI is to make life for and with animals better. ACI derives from its interaction design roots the fundamental ethical principle “do no harm”. Therefore, research that intentionally or knowingly harms animals ('harm by design') will not be considered for presentation or publication at this conference. However, research that aims to minimise or eliminate harm to which animals are already subjected will be considered.