Digital Preservation 2021 Embracing Digitality - Call for Proposals


The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) invites proposals for Digital Preservation 2021: Embracing Digitality (#DigiPres21) to be held ONLINE this year on November 4th.

Digitality - the experience of living in a digital culture - has been accelerated by the global pandemic, shifting how we think, work, and exist in digital spaces. Digital stewardship professionals have demonstrated that we are able to respond creatively to the preservation, discovery, and access of information beyond the physical environment. How does the advancement of digitality expand the landscape of possibilities for people, systems, the environment, and the world? What opportunities have we gained, and what must we be wary of losing? How can we best position our profession to embrace digitality and intentionally develop strategies, tools, and practices that move us forward as a community? How can we foster partnerships with other professional backgrounds to join us in this effort?

Please note that proposals do not have to adhere to our conference theme to be considered, but we especially encourage proposals related to Embracing Digitality, particularly presentations that address:

  • Emergent institutional or social/cultural barriers, risks, and opportunities inherent in preserving digitality
  • Collaboration and dismantling digital stewardship silos
  • Balancing innovation with long-term planning and maintenance
  • Critical examination of digital existence(s) and how it impacts the scope of our work
  • Envisioning a roadmap for the future of our profession or “Where do we go from here, and who are we going with?”

Because of the virtual format and our interest in minimizing screen fatigue but still facilitating community connection, we will be offering a reduced number of sessions than are typically offered during the in-person Digital Preservation conference. To make space for as many voices as possible, individuals may present only once on the conference program, though names may be listed more than once in affiliation with awards and/or projects. We will offer additional ways for community members to share content and resources whether conference proposals are accepted or not.

The 2021 Call for Proposals closed on May 17, 2021.

Submission length and format

Submissions are invited in the following lengths and formats:

  • 45-minute Panel: Panels with 3-4 speakers on a shared topic, and an emphasis on discussion, will be given 45-minutes. In line with the rest of the programming, strong preference will be given to panels that are fully inclusive and reflect a wide range of expression and identity.
  • 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.
  • 6:2:1 Lightning Talk: Share your ideas and/or projects in a lightning talk of six slides, in 2 minutes, using one keyword or picture per slide.
  • Solution Rooms: Looking to connect with colleagues and brainstorm solutions to a preservation problem? Propose it for the Solution Room! These will be 25-minute breakout rooms in Zoom where you can receive peer support on answers to a digital stewardship challenge.

Submission Requirements:

  • Proposal title
  • Submission format and event: Varies by event
  • First and last names, organizational affiliations, and email addresses for all authors / presenters
  • Abstract (50 words max)
  • Proposal (250 works max for all formats except for panels, up to 500 words)
  • Five keywords for your proposal

Evaluation Criteria

All submissions will be peer-reviewed by NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2021 Program Committee. The DigiPres Planning Committee will give strong preference to programming that is fully inclusive and reflects a wide range of expression and identity. When evaluating proposals, the Planning Committee will rank submissions according to the following criteria:

  • Familiarity of the reviewer with the topic of the submission (1-10)
  • Recommendation for inclusion in the conference program (1-10)
  • Reviewer’s Comments on the Contribution
    • Contribution of the Submission (open field)
    • Comments for the Program Committee (open field)

Presenters will be notified of their acceptance in June and guaranteed a registration slot. Accepted presentations, panels, and lightning talks will be delivered via pre-recorded video that will “go live” at specific times during the conference, to avoid technology challenges and to provide a more accessible format to all of our attendees. Presenters will be expected to be in attendance and available during their presentation time for live Q&A. Presenters will receive support in the form of tutorials, resources, and individual assistance.

The 2021 Call for Proposals closed on May 17, 2021.

About the NDSA and Digital Preservation 2021

The NDSA is a consortium of over 250 organizations committed to the long-term preservation and stewardship of digital information and cultural heritage. 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.

Digital Preservation 2021 (#DigiPres21) 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 2021 events, the 2021 DLF Forum (November 1-3) and associated workshop series Learn@DLF (November 8-10). NDSA strives to create a safe, accessible, welcoming, and inclusive event, and adheres to DLF’s Code of Conduct.

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