|MAIN SYMPOSIUM SUBMISSIONS||August 1st, 2018 (23.59 Hawaii Standard Time)||Deadline for abstract submission|
|September 8th, 2018||Notification of acceptance for main symposium submissions|
|WORKSHOP AND TUTORIAL PROPOSALS||August 1st, 2018 (23.59 Hawaii Standard Time)||Deadline for workshop and tutorial proposals submission|
|August 8th, 2018||Workshops and tutorials acceptance notification|
|DATASET CHALLENGE SUBMISSIONS||September 1, 2018 (23.59 Hawaii Standard Time)||Dataset challenge submission|
|September 15, 2018||Dataset challenge notifications|
|DOCTORAL CONSORTIUM SUBMISSIONS||September 1, 2018 (23.59 Hawaii Standard Time)||Doctoral consortium submission|
|September 15, 2018||Doctoral consortium notification|
|TRAVEL GRANT APPLICATIONS||September 1st, 2018 (23.59 Hawaii Standard Time)||Deadline for travel grant applications (for all submission types)|
|September 8th, 2018||Travel grant notifications (main symposium and workshop/tutorials)|
|September 15th, 2018||Travel grant notifications (dataset challenge and doctoral consortium)|
|SYMPOSIUM DATES||December 5th, 2018||Pre-symposium day (workshops/tutorials/doctoral consortium/dataset challenge)|
|December 6th-7th, 2018||Main symposium|
This is the second in a series of three symposia that discuss societal challenges in computational social sciences. This year, the focus will be on “Bias and Discrimination” (Cologne, 2018) – an extension of the first symposium. The focus of last year was “Inequality and Imbalance” (London, 2017) and the last symposium of this series will focus on “Polarization and Radicalization” (Zurich, 2019).
With these three events we provide a platform to address one of the most pressing challenges in today’s digital society: understanding the role that digital technologies, the Web, and the algorithms used therein play in the mediation and creation of inequalities, discrimination and polarization.
By addressing inequality as the topical issue for the symposium series we intend to explore how CSS can contribute to opening up new ways of thinking about, of measuring, detecting and coping with social inequality, discrimination, and polarization. We will discuss how divides and inequalities are proliferated in digital society, how social cleavages can be observed via web data, how the organizational structure of the web itself generates biases and inequality, and how, in contrast, algorithms and computational tools might help to reduce discrimination and inequality. We will also investigate how bias and unequal social structures foster political tension and polarization, including issues of radicalization and hate.
The Symposium series is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.
The Euro CSS 2018 will be a three-day event consisting of:
Paper/poster submission is not a requirement for attendance. More information on registration will be available in autumn 2018.
The registration fee is €50. It covers the participation fee for the workshop and tutorial day (December 5th, 2018) and the two main conference days (December 6th-7th, 2018). Coffee breaks and lunch on the two main conferences days will be covered, but not on the workshop and tutorial day. To secure a place for the workshop and tutorial day, don’t forget to register early. A number of free registrations for the workshop and tutorial day are available and will be given on a first come, first served basis.
We welcome submissions in the intersection of the social sciences and the computer sciences, including (a) new approaches for understanding social phenomena and addressing societal challenges, (b) improving methods for computational social science, (c) and understanding the influence of the Web and digital technologies on society.
For the 2nd Symposium we are especially interested in:
Other related topics are explicitly welcome.
Extended abstracts should be submitted in English in pdf format to the EasyChair submission system:
Submissions should be abstracts of approx. 2-3 pages (up to 1000 words plus references and figures) summarizing the work to be presented. We encourage researchers to also submit abstracts of work that has already been published and/or submit work in progress. Please give a sufficiently detailed description of your work and your methods so we can adequately assess its relevance. Please consider that reviewers will be from an interdisciplinary community.
Each extended abstract will be reviewed by a Program Committee composed of experts in computational social science. Accepted submissions will be non-archival, i.e. there are no proceedings. Submissions will mostly be evaluated based on relevance and the potential to stimulate interesting discussions.
Submissions may be accepted as talks or posters.
For the first Dataset Challenge as part of our European Symposium on Societal Challenges in CSS, we invite researchers and practitioners from the spectrum of Social and Computational Sciences to approach a common dataset. The aim of this challenge is to encourage creative engagement with data from pluralistic perspectives in order to foster dialogue across disciplines. We envision that this challenge will lead to fruitful, in-depth discussions during the symposium, as participants will have a shared basis through interaction with the dataset(s), but varying ideas of where to go with it.
The research questions and methods applied to the dataset(s) can be drawn from the broad spectrum of computational social science. They should ideally be related to this year’s symposium topic “bias and discrimination” and approach new ways of learning about bias, be it by putting forward new research designs and questions, or by applying state-of-the-art methods to identify data patterns that can inform theory building. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:
We ask participants of the dataset challenge to be creative in their approach to the data.
The work presented at the symposium can be early stage, but should be methodically sound and provide either preliminary insights into an interesting research question or first inductively-reached conclusions of systematic patterns of bias in the dataset. These can also be on a meta-level or may be designated to positioning the work in broader theoretical contexts, e.g., about biases in the data collection. We especially invite inventive combinations with other datasets (e.g., digital trace data, survey data, multimedia data, multilingual data, data from other case studies).
Submissions selected by our review committee will be presented in a special dataset challenge session at the pre-symposium day (December 5, 2018). After the presentations, participants (and audience members) are invited to engage in discourse about the presented approaches and possible future work and collaborations.
A jury will select the best presentation (including any created resources, such as secondary datasets or analysis code) to be awarded the very first Euro CSS Dataset Challenge Award.
Extended abstracts of work in progress or completed projects based on the suggested dataset(s) should be submitted in English in PDF format via the EasyChair submission system: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=csssymposium18
Submissions should be abstracts of approx. 2-3 pages (maximum up to 1000 words plus references and figures).
The abstract submissions will be evaluated based on originality and the potential to stimulate interesting discussions, but should also consider the feasibility of the proposed idea. Please consider that reviewers will be from an interdisciplinary community, therefore describe your ideas, approaches and potential complementary datasets in sufficient detail.
Deadline for submissions to the dataset challenge is September 1, 2018. The final work will be presented at the symposium.
Please see the additional information for how to apply to travel grants here.
The following datasets all relate to the topic of political communication in Germany, particularly around the German federal election which took place in September 2017. Participants of the challenge should make use of one or more of the main datasets listed below and are encouraged to combine them or compare them among each other. Additional datasets listed further below may also be used, as well as any other datasets of the participants’ choice (qualitative, quantitative, textual, multimedia, etc.).
(participants must choose at least one of these – or combine them with other datasets)
1. Algorithmwatch’s donated search results dataset for the German Federal Elections 2017
How similar are the results of Google searches for the names of political parties and candidates for different users? What role does personalisation play in these differences?
The Datenspende: BTW17 is a crowdsourced project which is a cooperation of AlgorithmWatch with media regulatory authorities of the German state and other partners.
Through a browser plugin, users donate their search result data to the project. The plugin conducts searches (on Google Web search and Google News search) for a fixed set of search terms (described below) through the browser of each participant and returns the first page of search results back to AlgorithmWatch’s servers. In addition to the search results, the approximate location of the user (city-level), the time of the query and whether the user is logged into their Google account or not (but no personally identifiable information) is also logged.
More than 4000 participants have donated more than 5 million search results in the period around the German federal elections of 2017. Anonymized search results data has been made publicly available.
The search terms comprise of candidate names or party names / abbreviations. The exact list of search terms (two types):
‘Angela Merkel’, ‘Martin Schulz’, ‘Christian Lindner’, ‘Katrin Goering-Eckardt’, ‘Cem Özdemir’, ‘Sahra Wagenknecht’, ‘Dietmar Bartsch’, ‘Alice Weidel’, ‘Alexander Gauland’
‘CDU’, ‘CSU’, ‘SPD’, ‘FDP’, ‘Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen’, ‘Die Linke, ‘AFD’
Data and its format
The search data for each day can be downloaded as a 7z-packed file from https://datenspende.algorithmwatch.org/data.html.
It is formatted as json objects consisting of two parts:
(i) Search queries made at day X: Each query includes information about the type of search (web or news), location, login status, language, search term, timestamp and the result hash.
(ii) List of search results: Multiple queries could lead to the same list of search results being shown to the users. Therefore the result hash in the query (described above) identifies the exact list of search results shown to the users.
More information about the data formats can be found at: https://datenspende.algorithmwatch.org/data.html
First publications on the data are listed here: https://datenspende.algorithmwatch.org/en/index.html#ergebnisse
2. Abgeordnetenwatch.de – All members of German parliaments and their votes + more
An API is provided to query several aspects of politicians’ and parties’ metadata in the German Bundestag (BT) and the German state parliaments. While the time range varies, BT votes are available from 2005 and for most state parliaments at least for the last couple of years. Information is available about all elected officials in these parliaments, their metadata and their voting behavior in all the polls.
The general description of the possible API calls can be found at:
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&sl=de&tl=destination_language&u=https://www.abgeordnetenwatch.de/api (EN w/ Gtranslate).
Below we outline some of the important details and options for the different API calls (some of which are not explained exhaustively on the website):
https://www.abgeordnetenwatch.de/api/parliaments.json (.xml also possible) provides a good entry point as it gets information about all parliaments – per legislature – and allows to get all that parliament’s deputies, candidates, constituencies, polls and committees in separate calls either by name or uuid (See individual “parliaments” and then “datasets” entries under the json root node). Importantly, note that all calls for these lists have also subset methods (defined in the “meta” header”) that lets you dive deeper into the data.
https://www.abgeordnetenwatch.de/api/parliament/bundestag/polls.json for instance retrieves all polls in the BT with metadata (such as a “topics” field, which comes from a fixed category vocabulary) and votes per party, which can be expanded to votes per individal member via the …polls.json?subsets=votes call.
Detailed information about individual politicans can also be retrieved, for instance via https://www.abgeordnetenwatch.de/api/parliament/bundestag/profile/jens-spahn/profile.json
Apart from official parliamentary process data there is also additional data on questions asked by users to politicians on the platform abgeordnetenwatch.de itself, which in many cases have been answered by the politicians themselves.
3. Social media content generated by German politicians during the German federal election 2017 (BTW17)
This dataset contains results from the social media monitoring for the German federal election campaign 2017. The project collected the tweets of political candidates, organizations and other gatekeepers, as well as the engagement of users with these contents in the form of retweets and @-mentions. In addition, all messages on Twitter containing at least one keyword denoting central political topics were also collected. All data was publicly available at the time of data collection. The dataset covers the time period between July and October 2017.
This dataset contains 22,123,230 tweet IDs linked to 2517 politician and 444 organization profiles. Full texts and metadata for these tweet IDs can be retrieved via the Twitter API. This can for example be done with this tool, requiring only moderate technical expertise: https://github.com/DocNow/hydrator. Additionally, we can provide the full (mostly German) text and metadata for a random subset of 50,000 tweets upon request. While there are also 434 Facebook profile links in the dataset, text content of posts are unfortunately not available from us at this time.
A detailed description of the collection process can be found here: https://dbk.gesis.org/dbksearch/download.asp?db=E&id=63766
And the dataset can be found here: https://dbk.gesis.org/dbksearch/sdesc2.asp?no=6926
For German politicians in the Bundestag, http://everypolitician.org/germany/bundestag/download.html offers CSV lists per legislature period plus metadata, including
– biographical data
– social media profile links (Twitter, FB, Youtube,…)
– external identifiers (Wikidata/Wikipedia, gnd, viaf, …) Wikidata for instance has more structured information about these politicians, including links to their respective Wikipedia pages.
This initiative collects all talk topics and corresponding minutes from the Bundestag sessions 2013-2017 in easily accessible formats and even offers an API for easy access.
Description: http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&sl=de&tl=destination_language&u=https://offenesparlament.de/daten/ (EN w/ Gtranslate)
has all the discussion points for different days in the Bundestag, with predefined categories for most points and these can be linked to the actual utterances of individual politicians via https://github.com/Datenschule/offenesparlament-data/tree/master/sessions. Politicians are also explicitly linked to Abgeordnetenwatch.de profiles. An API for most up-to-date data is also available and a Jupyter Notebook explaining the access can be found at: https://github.com/Datenschule/offenesparlament-data/blob/master/load_data.ipynb
Other potentially relevant datasets:
You are encouraged to use other datasets that you can combine with the main datasets provided. Additional datasets should optimally be available under an open license at the time of presenting at the event – or they should at least be recreatable with reasonable effort.
How to join these datasets
Linking the provided datasets can be most easily done via
Furthermore, other fields like “constituency” etc. offer rather straightforward linking opportunities as well.
For any questions related to technical aspects, data structure and especially German language that might come up with these datasets, please do not hesitate to contact us! We chose to put the focus on German political data because we think it is underexplored with CSS methods, at the same time holding very interesting potential insights into biases in political processes and communication. We are aware of the language barrier but are confident that most of the structured and even textual data can still be useful even to non-German-speakers.
Please feel free to use our Google Group / mailing list “CSSnet” for discussions about the dataset challenge, for looking for potential collaborations, or to ask questions to the community: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/cssnet
Specific questions can also be sent to us directly at email@example.com.
The organizing committee of the Second European Symposium on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science welcomes submissions for workshops and tutorials proposals on any emerging topic at the intersection of the social sciences and the computer sciences. The workshop and tutorial day will be held at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologne, Germany, on December 5th, 2018.
Workshops will give the opportunity to meet and discuss issues with a selected focus, providing an excellent forum for exploring emerging approaches and task areas and bridging the gaps between the social science and technology fields.
Tutorials will be an opportunity for cross-disciplinary engagement and a deeper understanding of new tools, techniques, and research methodologies. Tutorials should provide either an in-depth look at an emerging technique or software package or a broad summary of an important direction in the field.
Members of all segments of the social media research community are encouraged to submit proposals. To foster interaction and exchange of ideas, the workshops will be kept small, with 30 participants maximum. Attendance is limited to active participants only.
Workshops and tutorials proposal submission deadline: August 1, 2018
Workshops and tutorials acceptance notification: August 8, 2018
Workshops and tutorials day: December 5th, 2018
Please submit your workshop or tutorial proposal by sending a PDF file via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposals for workshops and tutorials should be no more than three (3) pages in length (10pt, single column, with reasonable margins), written in English, and should contain the following:
Workshops and tutorials will be selected based on the following criteria:
The symposium will take place in Cologne, Germany.
The pre-symposium day (December 5th, 2018) will be held at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and the main symposium (December 6th-7th, 2018) will be held at Maternushaus.
GESIS is an infrastructure institution for the social sciences whose purpose is to promote social science research. As the largest European infrastructure institute for the social sciences GESIS offers advice, expertise and services at all stages of scientists’ research projects.
Unter Sachsenhausen 6-8
GESIS Cologne is located in the center of Cologne near Cologne Cathedral.
Leave the Cologne central station (“Köln Hauptbahnhof”) by taking the exit of Cologne Cathedral. Go to the right towards the street “An den Dominikanern” and keep straight on. You’ll cross the streets “Marzellenstraße”, “Postprivatstraße” and “Stolkgasse”. The street “An den Dominikanern” changes now over in the street “Unter Sachsenhausen”. Keep straight on and you’ll see righthanded at the corner “Tunisstraße/Unter Sachsenhausen” the GESIS building.
The building is approximately 500 m (5-7 minutes walk) away from the central train station.
Maternushaus is a conference hotel located in the center of Cologne with two lecture halls, several bright and friendly seminar rooms, comprehensive technical infrastructure, plenty of exhibition space for posters, access for disabled visitors and inviting inner courtyards, which offers a singular atmosphere for hosting the symposium.
Maternushaus is a 10-minute walk from Cologne Central Station (“Köln Hauptbahnhof”). Take the exit at the Cathedral side and go right to the taxi stand. Walk down the street “Dompropst-Ketzer-Straße” and keep going. Turn right after the fourth crossing into “Börsenplatz”, and then follow the street signs directing you to “Maternushaus Kongress”.
Stations nearby: Appellhofplatz and Cologne Central Station (“Hbf Köln / Köln Hauptbahnhof”)
How to get there from the airports
Cologne/Bonn Airport (CGN): Approximately 15 minutes to Cologne Central Station by train
Frankfurt am Main Airport (FRA): Approximately 60 minutes to Cologne Central Station by Intercity-Express (ICE)
Düsseldorf Airport (DUS): Approximately 40 min. to Cologne Central Station by train
Getting Around in Cologne
Cologne has a well developed public transport network. For updated timetable information, please click here to check.
Bus, metro and tram tickets are sold on a regional zonal tariff basis. The city of Cologne, Cologne/Bonn Airport, Cologne Central Station, and Maternushaus are all located in zone 1b. A single ticket in zone 1b costs €2.80. However, if your journey is less than four stops you can buy a cheaper “KurzstreckenTicket” (Short Trip Ticket) for €1.90.
Tickets are available for one person or for groups of up to five, and for one or four journey(s), or as a day ticket. Other tickets (weekly/monthly pass) are available, but only valid from Monday to Sunday or from the first to the last day of the month – not when you first use the ticket. With the KölnCard, tourists can use public transport for 24 or 48 hours.
Ticket vending machines are available on buses, metro and trams, and at most stations. However, some machines only accept coins or EC cards. Tickets bought here are automatically validated. If you purchase your ticket at a sales outlet, please validate it as soon as you enter the vehicle by using the red validating machine.
For more on visiting Cologne. check the website of Cologne Tourism.
Due to the generous funding by Volkswagen Foundation we are able to offer a limited number of travel grants to researchers whose submissions are accepted for the symposium (presenters of talks or posters at the main symposium, workshop or tutorial organizers, participants of doctoral consortium and dataset challenge).
Travel grant recipients will be selected based on academic excellence, financial needs and diversity (e.g. gender, geographical and disciplinary diversity).
To apply for a travel grant please send an email with the subject “Travel Grant” to email@example.com including the following information: a) your submission number in EasyChair or the title of your submitted workshop/tutorial, b) your contact details, c) your motivation for the grant application and d) whether you will still attend the symposium without a travel grant.
Travel grants will be awarded as lump sums, the amount to be awarded will be based on the country of the awardee’s affiliation.
Grants will be paid out after the conference.
The grants aim to especially support attendees with limited travel resources and attendees from countries where Computational Social Science is not yet well established. We acknowledge that there may be more meritorious applications than we will be able to award and support.
Deadline for travel grant applications is September 1, 2018 (for all submission types). Late applications cannot be considered.
Letters of support can be requested by accepted European Symposium Series on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science authors or registrants with a completed registration with payment. If you are attending the European Symposium and require a letter of support, please send the following information in an email with the subject “Visa Support” to firstname.lastname@example.org:
GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Unter Sachsenhausen 6-8