Call for Papers: History of the Web

All the evidence indicates that with Generative AI we are going through a transformation right now that may be comparable to that caused by the emergence of the World Wide Web. What lessons have we learnt over the last 30+ years since that revolution? Are any of these lessons transferable to the current large transformation we are undergoing? How has the Web changed how we work, socialise and live?

This Web Conference Track is dedicated to answering the above and acting as a verified record of this amazing technology’s history. Capturing, reflecting upon and understanding what happened will help us through this and future technologically founded revolutions.

With its initial invention in 1989 we are now well over one whole generation away from its beginnings in CERN. In a few decades we will be relying more on written rather than verbal recollection to understand the events, impact and rationales. This Track will aid in the ongoing development of the written historical record.

As Edmund Burke said in the 18th century:

Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.

Please join us in Singapore and help us to avoid the above trap.

Important Dates

  • Paper submission: Monday, February 12th, 2024
  • Notification: Monday, February 26th, 2024

All submission deadlines are end-of-day in the Anywhere on Earth (AoE) time zone.


Four varieties of contributions are requested:

  • Papers outlining key lessons learnt which may enhance the current Generative AI based transformations;

  • Research papers focussing on the history of Web technology;

  • Research papers focussing on the impact of Web technology in any aspect of human activity including the big challenges around global equality and achieving net zero;

  • Research essays explaining how the evolution of the Web has impacted your professional or private life;

  • Memoirs describing anecdotal events related to the evolution of the Web.

All submissions will be peer-reviewed and evaluated on the basis of originality, relevance, quality, and technical, sociological, or historical contribution.

This year a major theme of the track will be what lessons from the web revolution are helpful for today’s Generative AI transformation but all submissions are welcome.

Submission Guidelines

Formatting Requirements. Submissions must be written in English, in double-column format, and must adhere to the ACM template and format (also available in Overleaf). Word users may use the Word Interim Template. The recommended setting for LaTeX is:

\documentclass\\sigconf, review\\{acmart}.

For this special track, submissions length must be between 2 and 4 content pages including all figures and tables.

Submission Site. Submissions must be made through the EasyChair system at the History of the Web track).

Authorship. Submissions are NOT anonymous. The review process will be single-blind.

Publication and Presentation Policies

Publication. Each accepted paper will be included in the Proceedings of the Web Conference 2024. In addition, each paper is required to submit a brief pre-recorded video, which will appear on ACM Digital Library, along with the PDF.

Registration. To be included in the proceedings, every accepted paper must be covered by a distinct conference registration, e.g., two papers require two registrations, even if they have overlapping authors. This registration must be Full Conference (5-day) or Main Conference (3-day) registration, at the standard (non-student) in-person rate, payment of which must be completed by the camera-ready deadline. This registration requirement applies universally, regardless of attendance or presentation mode.

Presentation. Every accepted paper must be presented at the conference. No-show papers may be withdrawn from the proceedings. There will be two forms of presentation:

  • Oral Presentation. Among the accepted papers, a subset will be selected for oral presentation. Generally we expect oral presentations to be in-person, but may allow a few online presentations by authors with significant travel difficulties.

  • Poster Presentation. All papers will be asked to produce a poster on-site. An e-copy will appear on Whova. To facilitate authors in getting their hard-copy posters on-site, the conference offers a local poster printing service for a fee, which you may access at this link. Organizer will bring the posters on-site.

History of the Web Co-Chairs