ICA Congress Abu Dhabi - Call for Papers (Closed)

ICA Congress Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates  

Call for Proposals and Papers (Closed)



Available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic (downloadable Arabic version at the bottom of this page). 

The archival, records, and data landscape in the 21st century is changing public expectations, changing 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 21st century knowledge societies. 

The ICA Abu Dhabi Congress, Enriching Knowledge Societies, will be an opportunity for the global archives profession to share innovative ideas and research and for colleagues from allied and other professions to join the discussion at this important event. We encourage the records and archives community to submit your proposals, but we also encourage you to reach out to librarians, museum professionals, data managers, journalists, and 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. Let’s share ideas across professions and build networks to enrich our knowledge societies!  

The ICA Congress Programme Committee hereby invites your proposals for papers and other types of sessions related to the theme “Enriching Knowledge Societies.” Session formats and subthemes are described below. 

The Programme Committee especially encourages proposals from new professionals, students, and first-time presenters.  

An evaluation panel will select proposals for the final programme based on quality and significance of the proposals, while also ensuring that the Congress includes a diverse range of speakers from a wide scope of countries and perspectives. The programme will also provide an opportunity for attendees to learn about record keeping and archives in our host country. 

Note for ICA Branches, Sections, and Expert Groups: All ICA groups will be able to reserve meeting time on Monday, October 9. For this, you do not need to submit a proposal. Groups can open these meetings to all attendees or limit them to your members. However, ICA groups are encouraged to submit papers, panel proposals or workshops using the usual process. We also plan dedicated lightning talk sessions for Sections and Expert Groups to provide short introductions to their objectives and ongoing work for the general ICA audience.  


ICA Abu Dhabi Congress theme: Enriching Knowledge Societies 


Peace and Tolerance   

In a world mired in conflict and challenges, the post-pandemic era has raised new challenges. Archives worldwide have a mission to rise up to the challenges brought about by events on the international stage. Archives are memories of their nations. They also have a role to play in enriching societies by promoting peace, tolerance, and cooperation in all their missions. Full description.  

Topics in this subtheme could include: 

  • Archives in conflict 
  • Archives in support of peace 
  • Safe Havens 
  • Archives defense against cyberattacks 
  • Ethics and archives 
  • Shared archival Heritage 
  • Collective memory 
  • Reparative and transitional justice 
  • Trauma informed archives 
  • International cooperation and ICA’s history 


Emerging Technologies: Electronic Records, Electronic Solutions 

Will emerging technologies bring solutions or become additional burdens? There are inherent risks associated with implementing new technologies but there are clear advantages to making use of modern tools. Regardless of that tension, users continue to adopt new ways of creating records so archives must adapt. This subtheme aims to provide a wider space to share success stories and experiences with emerging technologies in the fields of records management and archiving. Full description

Topics in this subtheme could include: 

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning 
  • Big data, data preservation, and the public interest 
  • Implications of the Metaverse  
  • Open-source technology and software 
  • Automated appraisal 
  • Technology and technological change management 
  • Digital preservation 
  • Digital humanities and other frontiers 
  • Digitization for Collaboration and Networking 


Sustainable Knowledge, Sustainable Planet: Archives, Records and Climate Change  

One of the most important and immediate concerns today is climate change. Climate change is already affecting archives, requiring new strategies to sustain our collections and the knowledge they contain. Archives also contain valuable knowledge from the past that can assist in the fight against global warming. Sustainable knowledge is fundamental to sustainable development and the achievement of development initiatives like the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs. Full description

Topics in this subtheme could include: 

  • Preparation for climate change 
  • Combatting climate change 
  • Environmental sustainability 
  • Energy conservation in archives 
  • Financial sustainability 
  • Sustainable knowledge 
  • Sustainability and interoperability of archival standards and open source tools  
  • Archives contributions to SDGs and developmental initiatives 


Trust and Evidence 

In the age of ‘alternative facts’, ‘fake news’, misinformation, and cybersecurity threats, the need for trustworthy evidence (records, information, data) has become ever more essential. What is our role in this space? Who are our allies?  What is the role of records and archives professionals in the area of internet governance?  Archives must maintain the public’s trust and provide that trustworthy information in a form that is easily discovered, used and re-used for public discourse, education, scientific research and government policymaking. Full description

Topics in this subtheme could include: 

  • Maintaining trust in archives as institutions 
  • Disinformation and misinformation 
  • Risks to archives from theft, trafficking, and tampering 
  • Blockchain to support trustworthy records 
  • Automation and ethics 
  • User Experts vs the Profession 
  • Cybersecurity and information governance 
  • Internet governance 
  • The Right to be Forgotten 


Access and Memories 

Access to archives is a right, not a privilege.  Nonetheless, access can present challenges for archives, particularly relating to the misuse and improper citation of materials, especially digital formats. Archives have a duty to preserve knowledge and a social role in sharing common memories to build enriched communities. Full description. 

Topics in this subtheme could include: 

  • Access rights  
  • Copyright 
  • Creation of historical memory 
  • User-experience initiatives 
  • Community archives and migrant records 
  • Individual rights in records creation 
  • Access and digital innovation 
  • Data protection and privacy  
  • Crowdsourcing and participatory archives 
  • Data sovereignty 
  • Archives and cultural and artistic expression 


For more details about these broad sub-themes, click here.  

Papers may be submitted in French, English, Arabic or Spanish.  

We request that you complete your application by no later than Thursday, March 2, 2023 (23:59:59 CET, deadline extended). Presenters will be notified of acceptance by the end of April 2023. The Programme Committee will only consider submissions received via ConfTool. Instructions on how to submit are contained in the submission platform


Types of Sessions 

Proposals may fall into any of the following six categories: (1) Paper Presentation; (2) Co-Lab Session; (3) Lightning Talks; (4) Panel Discussion; (5) Workshop and (6) Poster. The ICA Congress Programme Committee may accept a proposal but place it in a different category from the one initially proposed.  

  1. Paper Presentation: 20-minute presentation of one or more speakers presenting on a topic. Papers will be scheduled with other papers on a related theme. Questions and comments may be handled after each paper or at the end of the session at the discretion of the moderator and speakers. 
  2. Co-Lab Session (*): 20-minute presentation including 10 minutes for description of a project, research, or collaboration initiatives in their developing or formative stages, and 10 minutes for interactive discussion and feedback from the audience. This session is intended to either solicit comment from peers or to advertise the release of a new project, dataset, or tool. 
  3. Lightning Talks: 5-minute session for presenting a single project, demonstrating technology or pitching ideas, and connecting with other delegates.  
  4. Panel Discussion: 90-minute session consisting of three to five individuals discussing theories or perspectives on a given topic. Panels should be coherent in presenting a substantial body of research or a research question. Chair duties may be performed by one of the speakers. Panels that include speakers from multiple ICA regions are strongly encouraged. There will be time for only a limited number of panels on the programme. 
  5. Workshops: We welcome proposals for workshops lasting either a half day or a whole day integrated into the congress programme. All individuals, PCOM project managers, Expert Groups, Sections, and Regional Branches wishing to run a workshop must apply following the congress submission process. These sessions will be limited to 20-25 participants. There will be no official provision for translation; facilitators are welcome and encouraged to make their own arrangements for translation of oral and written material. Facilitators will be expected to provide a set of learning outcomes, which should be articulated in the proposal. Workshop facilitators whose proposals are chosen for delivery at the congress will be required to include a workshop evaluation in accordance with the ICA’s Training Programme procedures. The ICA Training Manager will provide support to the facilitators. 
  6. Poster: Presentation of research, a project, an idea or other type of work in the form of a paper poster that conference participants may view in a dedicated space at the conference venue. Presenters will be required to be present during the poster session in order to provide explanations and answer questions in relation to the poster presented. 

(*) Please be advised that the venue scheduled for these sessions is a flexible and adaptable space. 



  • Speakers, presenters, panel members and workshop facilitators are required to register and pay a fee to attend the congress, as well as cover their own travel to Abu Dhabi and accommodation costs in this city. 
  • A limited number of bursaries to assist speakers, panel members, workshop facilitators and poster presenters may be available, and you should indicate with your proposal whether you will need assistance to attend the congress. 
  • 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 work in archives and records management to submit a proposal, we actively encourage professionals from other networks to challenge and inform us. 
  • Members of the ICA Abu Dhabi Congress Programme Committee are not eligible to submit proposals. 

If you require assistance, please contact programme@ica.org