Posted on April 22, 2020

UCL Qatar, a Qatar Foundation Partner University, concluded the 24th International Conference on Electronic Publishing, which took place online from the 20th – 21st of April 2020. The conference, titled “Charting the Future(s) of Digital Publishing”, was set to take place in Doha but had to be moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference combined pre-recorded keynote speeches and paper presentations delivered on Twitter through @ELPUB_Conf. Participants were requested to prepare eight to twelve tweets on the main points of their presented papers. The tweets were then posted as per the conference’s schedule and participants engaged with users by commenting and replying to tweets. In addition, the four keynote papers (from Australia, the Netherlands, Qatar and the USA) were shared on video and will also remain accessible after the event.

The conference welcomed over 120 registered participants from over 40 countries, including Brazil, Australia and the United Kingdom. Twenty papers selected after a peer review of over 60 submissions were presented and covered key research topics within the publishing sector such as open access, open science and the digital divide.  

Dr. Milena Dobreva-McPherson, Associate Professor in Library and Information Studies and the General Chair of the conference, stated: “We are living in unprecedented times that call for creativity and innovation in everything that we do. Although we were looking forward to hosting colleagues and friends from some 25 countries all over the world here in Doha, I am incredibly pleased that we were able to go ahead with the conference virtually and met online with even more colleagues. Even though this happened in times when most academic and practitioner events had been cancelled, the fact that we had stimulating discussions online was very positive; especially during these times of social distancing. In fact, it is a great fit that we conducted a conference about digital publishing online, as it also has a positive environmental effect. It gives us an insight about the future of knowledge exchange and presents an incredible number of opportunities that we can take advantage of even after the pandemic is over.”

Dr. Andreiwid Correa, Professor of Informatics/Computing at Federal Institute of Sao Paolo, Brazil, who presented a paper titled: “Open science-based framework to reveal open data publishing: an experience from using Common Crawl ”, tweeted: “I am proud to attend and present my paper at @ELPUB_conf virtually. In this time of #COVID-19 they designed an innovative way with the use of Twitter. I am ready to go!”

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