Digital Preservation 2020 Call for Proposals


The Digital Preservation 2020 Call for Proposals closed May 11, 2020. You can see the text of the CFP below.

The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) invites proposals for Digital Preservation 2020: Get Active with Digital Preservation to be held in Baltimore, Maryland, November 11-12, 2020.

Digital Preservation is the major meeting and conference of the NDSA. Open to members and non-members alike, it highlights the theory and practice of digital stewardship and preservation, data curation, the digital object lifecycle, and related issues. Our 2020 meeting is held in partnership with our host organization, the Council on Library and Information Resources’ (CLIR) Digital Library Federation. Separate calls are being issued for CLIR+DLF’s 2020 events, the 2020 DLF Forum (November 9-11) and associated preconference day Learn@DLF (November 8), and CLIR’s Digitizing Hidden Special Collections Symposium (November 11-12), which will take place at the same venue.

Proposals are due by Monday, May 11, at 11:59pm Eastern Time.

Submissions for Digital Preservation 2020

NDSA welcomes 250-word proposals describing your presentation, demo, or poster, or 500-word proposals for full 45-minute sessions. Please also include a 50-word abstract to be included in the conference program if your submission is selected. Submit proposals online with ConfTool:

Deadline to submit a proposal: Monday, May 11, at 11:59pm Eastern Time.

We encourage proposals related to this year’s theme: Get Active with Digital Preservation

This year, Digital Preservation 2020 invites presentations and workshops that seek to explore processes that support this year’s theme: “Get Active with Digital Preservation.” Preservation decisions are actions made by humans connected through communities, and those decisions are constantly evolving. Let’s explore how the NDSA can advocate for the preservation of human action in a more holistic and sustainable way. The program committee is particularly interested in presentations that address the following topics:

  • Ethical Decision-Making and Collaborating with Designated Communities
    • Institutional motivations for digital preservation. How do we select which content is preserved and at which level we preserve it? What guidelines do institutions employ to select content preservation, and how do they discover which digital content is most at-risk?
    • Current and future impact of preservation action decisions. What individuals and communities are impacted by preservation decisions? Do the communities represented in the materials impact the decisions we make? What materials, individuals and communities will be left behind and which will be overrepresented?
    • Representation of what we preserve to our constituents. How do we communicate our preservation decisions to our designated communities? How do we advocate through example? Does whether the content is controversial, sensitive, or otherwise offensive inform some aspect of how we go about preservation?
  • Accessibility in Practice
    • Obligations. What are our obligations for accessibility of the content we preserve?
    • System Design. How does the way we design our own systems encourage participation from differently abled colleagues in our field?
    • Allocation of resources to support more inclusive accessibility. How does the way resources are allocated impact accessibility issues?
    • End-user accessibility. How do our preservation actions inform end-user accessibility to our shared cultural heritage?
  • Sustainable Digital Preservation Practices
    • Environmental impact. What does environmentally sustainable digital preservation practice look like and how do we implement it?
    • Economic considerations. How does cost impact preservation actions and decisions? How can costly best practice be sustainable?
    • Expertise and “best” practices. How do we sustain the level of expertise necessary to achieve good practice? Can we successfully align practice with our stated values?
  • Impact of Feasibility on Decision-Making
    • Influence of digital content type on actions. How does the ease or difficulty of preservation of a format or content type impact our preservation actions? For content types and formats for which preservation practices are still emerging, are some institutions moving ahead while others wait-and-see?
    • Resource allocation’s impact on curatorial decisions. In organizations with low or limited resources, how do some actions get prioritized and what good practices are feasible to implement? How do those bodies with limited resources make it work? What does successful digital preservation practice look like?

Submission length and format

Submissions this year are invited in the following lengths and formats:

  • 45-minute Panel: 45-minute panel discussions with 3-4 speakers will be given a dedicated session. Panels should reflect a diverse range of voices, and male-only panels will not be accepted.
  • 45-minute Workshop: Hands-on training sessions on specific tools, techniques, workflows, or concepts. No more than 5 leaders are allowed per submission. All workshop organizers are asked to provide details on technology needs and learning outcomes for participants. Workshops must be interactive, and the strongest proposals will demonstrate this clearly.
  • 15-minute Talk/Demo: Presentations and demonstrations are allocated 15 minutes each, and speakers should reserve time within that allotment (3-5 minutes) for interactive exchanges on next steps, possible NDSA community action, and discussion or debate.
  • 2-minute Lightning Talk/Poster: Share your ideas in 2 minutes or less in front of all DigiPres attendees before the reception on Wednesday evening. Presenters will have the opportunity to display and present a poster during the reception that follows, though this is not mandatory.
  • 60-minute Working Group Meeting: NDSA working and interest group chairs are invited to propose 60-minute group meetings or targeted collaboration sessions.

All submissions will be peer-reviewed by NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2020 Program Committee. Presenters will be notified of their acceptance in June and guaranteed a registration slot.

Deadline to submit a proposal: Monday, May 11, at 11:59pm Eastern Time.

About the NDSA and Digital Preservation 2020

The NDSA is a consortium of more than 250 organizations committed to the long-term preservation and stewardship of digital information and cultural heritage. Digital Preservation 2020 (#digipres20) will be a crucial venue for intellectual exchange, community-building, development of good practices, and national-level agenda-setting in the field, helping to chart future directions for both the NDSA and digital stewardship.

The conference will be held at the beautiful Renaissance Harborplace in Baltimore, Maryland. NDSA strives to create a safe, accessible, welcoming, and inclusive event, and adheres to the DLF Forum’s Code of Conduct.

Digital Preservation will overlap with the DLF Forum so both communities can have the opportunity to interact and learn from each other. On Wednesday morning (November 11), DigiPres attendees will join DLF Forum attendees for breakfast, Forum sessions, a coffee break, and the Forum closing plenary. Then, Forum attendees will depart and DigiPres attendees will stay for an exclusive buffet lunch, followed by an opening plenary, DigiPres conference sessions, and a reception. DigiPres continues through midday Thursday (November 12) with sessions and working group meetings.

Questions? Feel free to reach out to and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.