The CHI conference is the leading venue to present innovations in human computer interaction. The year's best work from researchers and practitioners is selected in a strictly competitive process. But this competition also inevitably means that many valuable contributions are never presented at CHI - and some might not even be submitted.
With alt.chi 2009, we want to open up for unusual, challenging and thought-provoking work that might not otherwise be seen at the conference. alt.chi is a place to experiment with how CHI submissions are presented, submitted, reviewed and selected. alt.chi is CHI's breathing hole, the space for change, where new ideas can be tried out and experienced. alt.chi 2009 is your chance to present that paper you always wanted to write but you knew would never get through the conventional review process.
Alt.chi invites controversial ideas (ignore the user?), novel prototypes (is this DUX -- Designing for User Experience?), "failed" but valuable user studies, bold experiments (no pain, no gain?), and anything else that can give a fresh perspective on CHI (paradigm shift?). We invite submissions that explore technical or practical limitations in technologies or methodologies (support for user laziness?); that introduce promising, although currently non-viable techniques (perhaps using Wizard-of-Oz methods); that critique the current state of the field (where's your formal experiment?); and that explore topics outside of current discussion (human-pillow interfaces?). How about replication studies (good for students!)? We particularly welcome topics on or against CHI 2009's theme, Digital Life in a New World (Analog Death in the Old World?). We invite work that would otherwise not have been presented at CHI 2009, because it is too controversial (or too embarrassing) or outside of the norm.
Papers should not be anonymized since alt.chi has a fully open review process, and must be formatted in Extended Abstracts format. Papers may not be more than 10 pages long, and the abstract should be no longer than 100 words. Final submission PDFs must be no larger than 4 megabytes large. When submitting the paper, authors must describe a brief history of the paper, such as if it has been rejected from another forum. Although an alt.chi paper is not an "archival publication" (in the same way that Works-in-Progress are "not archival") the paper should not be accepted or under review anywhere else at the time of submission. The site will be closed for submissions 7 January 2009 (5:00pm PST) and no extensions will be granted.
The alt.chi 2009 program will be selected through a non-anonymous process, where all submissions and reviews are completely open. There will be an open forum were anyone can register to submit and review, and all submitters are required to take part in the review process. All reviews and submissions will be available to anyone who registers. We want to encourage discussion and debate on what makes a good alt.chi (or regular CHI) submission, what makes a good review, and, ultimately, what makes for a fruitful conference experience.
A preliminary set of accepted papers will be presented at the website on 26 January 2009. This gives authors the opportunity to dispute the decision and gather further reviews if necessary, before the final decision is made by the chairs. Authors will be notified of acceptance or rejection by 30 January 2009.
All accepted alt.chi papers will be presented at the conference. Because of the diversity of alt.chi papers, each paper will get the amount of time for presentation that fits best. The chairs will decide how long each presentation will be upon acceptance and specification of the detailed program. Expect between 10 and 25 minutes of presentation followed by five minutes of questions.
Accepted alt.chi papers will be distributed in the CHI Conference Extended Abstracts DVD. They will also be placed in the ACM Digital Library, where they will remain accessible to thousands of researchers and practitioners worldwide.