Call for Papers 2023

Here it is – all the information you need on this year’s Call for Papers for our 6-8 June 2023 conference…

This year’s theme:
The chosen theme of UXLibs7 is ‘Connections & Collaborations’. It recognises that user experience (UX) work should be a collaborative effort that is about truly connecting and working with our users, otherwise we cannot hope to deliver relevant and valuable library and information services.

The theme also extends to how we should be collaborating with stakeholders outside of libraries when engaged in UX Research & Design: whether they be staff in IT, estates & buildings, marketing & communications, learning technology, senior management, or people separate to our organisations, including fellow UX practitioners.  We are therefore seeking talks and presentations that speak to this opportunity. 

Specifically, we would like our speakers to respond to the following questions:

  • How might we collaborate in order to make our services more useful, usable and desirable to our users?
  • How might we work with specific user groups to establish and co-create more relevant and inclusive library services?
  • How might we forge connections with external groups or individuals in order to improve both our processes and results?

If you have something to share that responds to this theme – an initiative, relevant research insights, a new approach or process – then we want to hear from you through our Call for Papers.

N.B. However, as usual we will also consider papers on wider UX topics if the theme doesn’t work for you.

Anticipated/planned UX research
Your paper may be about work that has been completed or that you anticipate conducting between now and the conference. This is absolutely fine. It is also OK if your paper ends up diverging somewhat from your initial abstract – within reason obviously. A good UX Research & Design process often sees the practitioner end up at an entirely different destination.

What do I need to do? Give me all the info!
Paper proposals are due by end of Friday 3 February 2023. After this deadline we will follow a blind peer review process with the submitted papers and will let you know if you have been successful by Friday 17 February. If you are invited to present you will have around 20 minutes in which to present your paper at the conference. You will be speaking to 30-50 people in total.

What happens if my paper is selected?
If your paper is selected you will receive a 10% discount on this year’s delegate rate in recognition of your contribution. If the paper is going to be co-presented then the 10% discount will be split between you and the other presenter. Post-conference you will be invited to write up your paper for our yearbook publication. Important note: Prior to the conference, use of the word ‘paper’ does not mean you need to provide an academic written paper, we are simply using ‘paper’ to refer to your presentation – there is sometimes confusion around this!

Best paper prize
Once again, we will be presenting a prize for the best conference paper (a free place at next year’s conference), won last year by Julie Willems.

Scoring Criteria/Submission advice
This year we will follow the same blind review scoring criteria as in previous years. Once the paper has been anonymised by the UXLibs Administrator the markers will score each paper (out of 30) accordingly:

  • How intriguing/exciting/engaging does it sound? (out of 10)
  • How unique/innovative is the topic and/or the approach? (out of 5)
  • Evidence that UX has taken place/strong UX content/specific UX methods cited (out of 5)
  • Does it fit this year’s theme: connections and collaborations (out of 3)
  • Valuable learning outcomes (out of 3)
  • Discretionary points to account for aspects not covered in the above categories (out of 4)

How academic and formal should my paper proposal be?
UXLibs is an informal and friendly conference – this doesn’t mean that we are not interested in research rigour and due process, but if your paper is dry and overly academic it may not be the best fit for our conference.

Do I have to follow this year’s theme?
Although the theme is important, don’t get hung up on it. You may persuade us to include a paper on something not connected with this year’s theme (criteria-wise it only gets you 3 points out of 30).

Our definition of User Experience work…
Our definition of UX work embraces both physical and digital, in fact all aspects of library services. We see UX as about engaging with users more deeply and meaningfully than you can through transactional surveys or by gathering usage data at a distance. In fact, we see relying solely on serve and statistical data as the antithesis to good UX. If your paper is simply about a survey you have done or statistical data it won’t get through.

Submission requirements
You should follow ALL the requirements set out below:

  • A presentation title
  • An abstract of no more than 300 words
  • A brief summary of no more than 50 words
  • A brief biography (of each author) of no more than 50 words
  • Your email address
  • Learning outcomes for attendees
  • Submit (preferably as a Word doc) by email to by end of Friday 3 February 2023
  • Papers may be co-presented but by no more than two people (additional named co-authors are fine, but only a maximum of two can actually present at the conference – please indicate who this will be if applicable)

Please feel free to contact Conference Chair Andy Priestner if you want to discuss any aspect of this year’s Call for Papers.

Thank you!

Andy, Bryony, Andrew (The UXLibs Committee)