This preliminary Call for Papers will be updated with more information in the coming months. Stay tuned by following @fatconference

Important Dates
Paper pre-registration:
Thursday, August 15
Paper submission:
Thursday, August 22
Reviews sent to authors:
Thursday, October 17th
Author responses due:
Thursday, October 24th
Notification date:
Friday, November 15th
Conference dates:
January 27th - January 30th, in Barcelona, Spain

All deadlines are at 11:59 PM anywhere on earth (AoE) on the given date.

Note: Please note that as announced at ACM FAT* 2019, ACM FAT* will be changing its name this year. Please stay tuned for separate communication about the new name.

Topics of Interest

The ACM FAT* conference solicits work from a wide variety of disciplines, including computer science, statistics, the humanities, law, and education. ACM FAT* welcomes submissions that touch on any of the the topics of Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (broadly construed).

Potential authors should read through the track and sub-track descriptions to determine whether their work falls within the purview of the ACM FAT* conference. Authors who remain unclear about the fit of their work with the ACM FAT* conference should should contact the track chairs of the track to which they intend to submit for clarification.


To ensure that all submissions to ACM FAT* are reviewed by a knowledgeable and appropriate set of reviewers, the conference is divided into tracks and subtracks. Authors must choose one primary sub-track, and may select secondary subtracks when they register their submissions; papers will be reviewed by experts on each sub-track. Track chairs will oversee the reviewing process. In case you are not sure which track your submission fits under, feel free to contact the track or PC chairs for clarification.

Track 1: Computer Science

  1. Fairness by design
  2. Methods for algorithmic auditing, measurement, evaluation and risk assessment
  3. Methods involving human factors and humans-in-the-loop
  4. Accountability by design
  5. Methods for the assessment of explainability, transparency and interpretability

Track 2: Law

  1. Data protection law and fundamental rights and freedoms
  2. Non-discrimination law, justice and fairness

Track 3: Social Sciences and Humanities

  1. Economics, politics and social justice
  2. Philosophy and Science and Technology Studies

Track 4: Practice and Experience

  1. Deployed applications, systems or software.
  2. Algorithmic audits, evaluations, or benchmarks of real-world systems.
  3. Experiences in governance: standardization, activism or communication.

Track 5: Education

  1. Educating at the intersection of law, social sciences, humanities, and computer science
  2. Fairness, accountability and transparency in education

More details about the tracks, sub-tracks and track chairs will be available.

Authors of all accepted papers must present their work at the FAT* 2020 conference, regardless of whether their paper is archival or non-archival.

Submission Format and Guidelines

Submission Site

ACM FAT* 2020 is using the submission site(to be available)

Authors are required to pre-register their papers through the submission site by submitting a tentative title and abstract and specifying their submission track(s) by the pre-registration deadline. This process will enable the program chairs to better anticipate the submission load and to make necessary adjustments to the program committee.

Those who do not pre-register their submission by the stated deadline will be unable to submit their paper to ACM FAT* . Authors will be able to make changes to their titles and abstracts up until the full paper submission deadline, however the preliminary title and abstract should be representative of the submitted work. Submissions that have “placeholder” titles and abstracts (e.g., “test’, “xyz”, “tbd”) or none at all at the abstract submission deadline may be deleted.

At least one author of each accepted paper is required to register for, attend, and present the work at the conference in order for the paper to appear in the conference proceedings in the ACM Digital Library.

Length and Formatting

Submitted papers must be 8-10 pages (including all figures and tables, but not including references), plus unlimited pages for appendices. Reviewers will not be required to read material in appendices, so authors are encouraged to use them judiciously.

Papers should be formatted using the 2017 ACM Master Article Template and the reference format indicated therein. For LaTeX users, choose format=sigconf. ACM also makes a Word template available. Authors do not need to include terms, keywords, or other front matter in their submissions.

Authors who are not familiar with ACM templates may simply submit their manuscripts for review in two-column format, with one inch margins, 9 point Times New Roman font. If the paper is accepted, authors will have to reformat their paper in the format indicated above for inclusion in the proceedings, unless they have chosen the non-archival option.

Track Selection

Authors will select exactly one primary sub-track when they register their submissions, and and can select additional sub-tracks. The selected sub-track(s) will determine the pool of PC members who will review the submission. The PC Chairs reserve the right to move submissions between tracks and/or sub-tracks if the PC feels that a submission has been misclassified.

Archival and Non-archival Submissions

ACM FAT* 2020 offers authors the choice of archival and non-archival paper submissions. Archival papers will appear in the published proceedings of the conference, if they are accepted; conversely, accepted non-archival papers will only appear as abstracts in the proceedings. ACM FAT* offers a non-archival option to avoid precluding the future submission of these papers to area-specific journals.

Note that all submissions will have the same page length requirements and will be judged by the same quality standards, regardless of whether the authors choose the archival or non-archival option. Furthermore, reviewers will not be told whether submissions under review are archival or not, to avoid influencing their evaluations.


ACM FAT* uses a double blind review process. Authors must omit their names and affiliations from submissions, and avoid obvious identifying statements. Citations to the authors' own prior work should be made in the third-person. Submissions that do not comply with this policy will be rejected without review.

Confidentiality of submitted material will be maintained. Upon acceptance, the titles, authorship, and abstracts of papers will be released prior to the conference.

Papers will be peer reviewed by experts according to the sub-track they are submitted to. In an effort to encourage and facilitate broader perspectives, in addition to multiple peer reviews, papers will receive a cross-review by a PC member from a different track.

More details about the reviewing guidelines will be available.

Author Responses

Authors will have a one-week opportunity to view and respond to initial reviews during the reviewing process. Reviewers will have the opportunity to update their reviews and scores in light of the submitted response before final decisions are made

More details about the author response guidelines will be available.

Dual Submission Policy

You may not submit papers that are identical (or substantially similar) to versions that are currently under review at other conference, have been previously published, or have been accepted for publication. Such submissions violate our dual submission policy.

There are two main exceptions to this rule:

Extensions of workshop papers: ACM FAT* welcomes submission of work that has previously appeared in non-archival venues. These works may be submitted as-is or in an extended form.ACM FAT* also welcomes full paper submissions that extend previously published short papers (e.g. from workshops).

Short versions of papers that are under review at journals, but which have not yet been published in that journal: In such cases, we encourage authors to select the non-archival options for the ACM FAT* submission. Authors are also responsible for ensuring that submitting to FAT* would not be in violation of the journal's submission policies.

Authors must take care to comply with the double blind reviewing requirements when submitting extensions of prior work.


Submitting authors make the following representations about their work (drawn from the ACM Author Policy Representations):

  1. The paper being submitted is original, the listed authors are the creators of the work, each author is aware of the submission and that they are listed as an author, and the paper is an honest representation of the underlying work.
  2. The paper is not currently under review at any other conference, and it will not be submitted to another conference unless it has been rejected or withdrawn from this conference.
  3. The paper is not currently under review at any journal, unless it is submitted to this conference with the non-archival option. The authors understand that it is their responsibility to ensure that they are in full compliance with the journal's dual submission policies.
  4. An author of the paper will register for and attend the conference to present the paper, should it be accepted.
Violation of these policies may results in rejection of the submission.


Papers that (1) describe experiments with users and/or deployed systems (e.g., websites or apps), or that (2) rely on sensitive user data (e.g., social network information), must follow basic precepts of ethical research and subscribe to community norms. These include: respect for privacy, secure storage of sensitive data, voluntary and informed consent if users are placed at risk, avoiding deceptive practices when not essential, beneficence (maximizing the benefits to an individual or to society while minimizing harm to the individual), risk mitigation, and post-hoc disclosure of audits. When appropriate, authors are encouraged to include a subsection describing these issues.

We encourage authors to read through and follow the ACM ethics guidelines. Authors may also want to consult the Menlo Report for further information on ethical principles, the Allman/Paxson IMC'07 paper for guidance on ethical data sharing, and the Sandvig et al. '14 paper on the ethics of algorithm audits.

Note that submitting research for approval by each author’s institutional ethics review body (IRB) may be necessary in some cases, but by itself may not be sufficient. In cases where the PC has concerns about the ethics of the work in a submission, the PC will consider the ethical soundness and justification of the submission, just as it does its technical soundness. The PC takes a broad view of what constitutes an ethical concern, and authors agree to be available at any time during the review process to rapidly respond to queries from the PC Chairs regarding ethical considerations. Authors unsure about topical fit or ethical issues are welcome to contact the PC Chairs.

Program Co-Chairs