Congress programme > Call for proposals and papers

Call for papers is now closed

Theme: Empowering knowledge societies

The archival, records and data landscape in the 21st century is changing public expectations, how we do our work, what constitutes credible evidence and how we protect our holdings. It is time for our profession to discuss, reflect and challenge existing practices to explore and expand the critical role played by archives and information professionals in the 21st century knowledge societies. The ICA Congress 2020, Empowering Knowledge Societies, will be an opportunity for the profession from all over the world to share innovative ideas and research and for colleagues from allied and other professions to join us at this important event. We encourage the community to submit its proposals, but we would also encourage you to reach out to librarians, museum professionals, data managers, journalists and people working in civil society to be part of this conversation. The 21st century information challenges do not simply belong to archives and records professionals, they belong to everyone, so let’s share ideas, build networks to empower our knowledge societies!

Key Dates

October 2019 – Call for Proposals and Papers opens
29 February 2021 (Closed!) – Call for Proposals and Papers closes​
End of April 2021 – Notification accepted proposals
13 – 15 November 2021 – ICA Meetings
16 – 19 November 2021 – Conference (4 days) and ICA General Assembly (16 November)
20 November 2021 – Expo 2021 and cultural visits

The ICA congress Programme committee hereby invites proposals for different types of sessions (read below) related to the following three sub-themes. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

Artificial Intelligence, Digital Preservation and Emerging Technologies

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Open source technology and software for archives and recordkeeping
  • Digital curation
  • Big data, data preservation, and the public interest

Sustainable knowledge

  • Sustainability of archival standards and open source tools
  • Automated appraisal
  • Technology and technological change management
  • Control and management vs Access: building tools that serve everyone
  • Software sustainability
  • Digital preservation
  • Digital humanities and other frontiers
  • SDGs and developmental initiatives
  • Managing metadata

Trust and Evidence

  • Blockchain
  • Crowdsourcing: user-generated content and metadata
  • Automation and ethics
  • User Experts vs the Profession
  • Cybersecurity and information governance
  • Internet governance
  • The Right to be Forgotten

Any other related topics

  • User-experience initiatives
  • Access and digital innovation
  • Sustainability through community collaboration
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Shared archival heritage
  • Legal matters (freedom of information, access to information, data protection, intellectual property, protection of cultural property)
  • Illicit trafficking of documentary heritage
  • Ethics and archives
  • Climate change and archives
  • Training and new skills for archives and information professionals
  • Speakers, presenters, panel members and workshop facilitators are required to register and pay a reduced fee to attend the congress, as well as cover their own travel to Abu Dhabi and accommodation costs in this city.
  • Membership of ICA is not required in order to attend or present, but ICA members enjoy a reduced registration fee.
  • Presenters do not have to be an ICA member or work in archives and records management to submit a proposal, we actively encourage professionals from other networks to challenge and inform us.
  • A limited number of bursaries to assist speakers may be available, and you should indicate with your proposal whether you will need assistance to attend the congress.

If you require assistance, please contact