Call for Labs Proposals

Scope of CLEF Labs

Proposals are accepted for two different types of labs (see 2018 Lab here):
  • Evaluation Labs that are a "campaign-style" evaluation for specific information access problems (during the twelve month period preceding the conference), similar in nature to the traditional CLEF campaign "tracks". Topics covered by campaign-style labs can be inspired by any information access-related domain or task.
  • Labs that follow a more classical "workshop" pattern, exploring issues of evaluation methodology, metrics, processes etc. in information access and closely related fields, such as natural language processing, machine translation, and human-computer interaction.
If the organisers of the proposal are new to CLEF or other shared task evaluation campaigns, we highly recommend that a lab workshop first be organised to discuss the format, the problem space, and the practicalities of the shared task. The CLEF 2019 programme will reserve about half of the conference schedule for lab sessions. The labs will present their overall results "overview presentations" during the plenary scientific paper sessions to allow non-participants to get a sense of where the research frontiers are moving. Organisers of each lab are expected to organise the separate sessions for their lab at the conference so that they contain ample time for general discussion and engagement by all participants - not just those presenting campaign results and papers. Organisers should plan time in their sessions for activities such as panels, demos, poster sessions etc. as appropriate. CLEF is always interested in receiving and facilitating innovative lab proposals. Potential task proposers who are unsure of the suitability of their task proposal or its format for inclusion at CLEF are encouraged to contact the CLEF 2019 Lab Organizing Committee Chairs to discuss its suitability or design at an early stage.

Proposal Submission

Lab proposals must provide sufficient information to judge the relevance, timeliness, scientific quality, benefits for the research community, and the competence of the proposers to coordinate the lab. Each lab proposal should identify one or more organizers as responsible for ensuring the timely execution of the lab. Proposals should be 3-4 pages long and should provide the following information:
  • Title of the proposed lab.
  • A brief description of the lab topic and goals, its relevance to CLEF and the significance for the field.
  • A brief but clear statement of usage scenarios or domain to which the activity is intended to contribute, including the evaluation setup and metrics.
  • Details on the lab organizer(s), including identifying the task chair(s) responsible for ensuring the running of the task. This should include details of any previous of involvement in organising or participating in evaluation tasks at CLEF or similar campaigns.
  • The planned format of the lab, i.e. campaign-style ("track") or workshop.
  • Is the lab a continuation of an activity from previous year(s) or a new activity?
    • For activities continued from previous year(s): Statistics from previous years (number of participants/runs for each task), a clear statement on why another edition is needed, an explicit listing of the changes proposed, and a discussion of lessons to be learned or insights to be made.
    • For new activities: A statement on why a new evaluation campaign is needed and how the community would benefit from the activity.
  • Details of the expected target audience, i.e. who do you expect to participate in the task(s), and how do you propose to reach them.
  • Brief details of tasks to be carried out in the lab. The proposal should clearly motivate the need for each of the proposed tasks and provide evidence of its capability of attracting enough participation. The dataset which will be adopted by the Lab needs to be described and motivated in the perspective of the goals of the Labs; also indications on how the dataset will be shared are useful. It is fine for a lab to have a single task, but labs often contain multiple closely related tasks, needing a strong motivation for more than 3 tasks, to avoid useless fragmentation.
  • Expected length of the lab session at the conference: half-day, one day, two days. This should include very high level details of planned structure of the session, e.g. participant presentations, invited speaker(s), panels, etc., to justify the requested session length.
  • Arrangements for the organization of the lab campaign: who will be responsible for activities within the task; how will data be acquired or created, what tools or methods will be used, e.g., how will necessary queries be created or relevance assessment carried out; any other information which is relevant to the conduct of your lab.
  • If the lab proposes to set up a steering committee to oversee and advise its activities, include names, addresses, and homepage links of people you propose to be involved.
Lab proposals have to be submitted at the following address:

choosing the “CLEF 2019 Lab Proposals” track.

Reviewing Process

Each submitted proposal will be reviewed by the CLEF 2019 lab organizing committee. The decision will be sent by email to the responsible organizer by July 25, 2018. The final length of the lab session will be determined based on the overall organization of the conference and the number of participant submissions received by a lab.

Advertising Labs at CLEF 2018 and ECIR 2019

Organizers of accepted labs are expected to advertise their labs at both CLEF 2018 (10-14 September 2018, Avignon, France) and ECIR 2019 (mid April 2019, Cologne, Germany). So, at least one lab representative should attend these events. Advertising at CLEF 2018 will consist of displaying a poster describing the new lab, running a break-out session to discuss the lab with prospective participants, and advertising/announcing it during the closing session. Advertising at ECIR 2019 will consist of submitting a short lab description (1-2 pages) to be included in ECIR 2019 proceedings (deadline 23 October 2018), advertising the lab in a booster session during ECIR 2019, and displaying a poster about the lab.

**NEW** Mentorship Program for Lab Proposals from newcomers

CLEF 2019 introduces a mentorship program to support the preparation of lab proposals for newcomers to CLEF. The CLEF newcomers mentoring program offers help, guidance, and feedback on the writing of your draft lab proposal by assigning a mentor to you, who help you in preparing and maturing the lab proposal for submission. If your lab proposal falls into the scope of an already existing CLEF lab, the mentor will help you to get in touch with those lab organizers and team up forces. Lab proposals for mentorship have to be submitted at the following address:

choosing the “CLEF 2019 Lab Mentorship” track.

Important Dates

  • Requests for mentorship submission (only newcomers): 04 June 2018
  • Mentorship period: by 30 June 2018
  • Lab proposals submission (both newcomers and veterans): 10 July 2018
  • Notification of lab acceptance: 25 July 2018
  • Planning for lab breakouts at the next CLEF: late July 2018 - mid August 2018
  • Advertising labs at CLEF 2018: 10-14 September 2018, Avignon, France
  • Submission of short lab description for ECIR 2019: 23 October 2018
  • Labs registration opens: 5 November 2018
  • Advertising labs at ECIR 2019: mid April 2019, Cologne, Germany
  • Registration closes: 26 April 2019
  • End Evaluation Cycle: 10 May 2019
  • CEUR-WS Working Notes Participant paper submission deadline: 24 May 2019
  • CEUR-WS Working Notes Participant paper notification: 14 June 2019
  • CEUR-WS Working Notes (Participant papers and Extended Lab Overviews) Camera Ready: 28 June 2019

CLEF 2019 Lab Chairs

Henning Müller, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO), Switzerland
David Losada, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

CLEF 2019 Lab Mentorship Chair

Lorraine Goeuriot, Université Grenoble Alpes, France