This document describes the Conference Guidelines for the annual international HNR conference. It provides information about conference planning and administration and should be of particular value as a set of guiding principles and best practices for organizers. The guidelines are maintained by the HNR event team which can be contacted for any questions and will support the organizers through the process of organizing the conference (firstname.lastname@example.org, https://historicalnetworkresearch.org/about/).
The document is organized to provide information as follows:
- An overview of the conference and its details
- Expectations for the organizers
- An example for a conference timeline
For all persons interested in hosting the conference, please contact us any time at email@example.com!
The HNR community supports its own international conference each year. It usually lasts 2–3 days of which one day consists of workshops and two of the academic conference program. For references, organizers can check the program of past conferences.
The conference is usually held in June or beginning of July; the date should be set in consideration of any other conference members of the HNR community might attend, such as the Sunbelt or Networks conference (https://networks2021.net/).
The conference is known as “HNR conference YYYY,” where YYYY is the four-digit year. A shortened version of the name is “HNR[YYYY].” The social media hashtag for the conference is “#HNR[YYYY].” The conference URL is “hnrYYYY.historicalnetworkresearch.org.” The HNR event team will provide the organizers with access to this URL.
The name can be adjusted after consultation with the HNR events team if, for example, it will be held as a joint conference with other groups such as Réseaux et Histoire (ResHist) or the Connected Past.
The official logo of the HNR community should appear on the website as well as on all promotional materials. The respective files will be provided to the organizers by the HNR communications team.
The organizers will be responsible for the design, upkeep and content editing of the conference website, with support by the HNR community.
The primary language of the HNR conference should be English. However, the HNR community encourages efforts to hold a multilingual conference. We would be glad to give our support, for example by facilitating connections to HNR scholars that are native speakers to serve as reviewers or translators.
The conference usually includes an academic and a social program, as well as a couple of workshops on different aspects of (historical) network analysis, ideally for beginners as well as advanced scholars. Also, the organisation of one or more keynote speeches is highly encouraged.
Submissions for the conference’s academic program have traditionally included individual papers, posters, and software demonstrations. Depending on the organizers, panel sessions, sessions with a specific thematic focus or other formats could of course be added. The HNR community values each of the presentation formats equally and recognizes that the best presentation format for a particular piece of scholarship depends on that scholarship’s nature.
Organizers are free to organize any number and any kind of social events they want. For example, events could be an opening reception or one or more conference excursions.
Keynotes speakers affect the tone for the conference and how it is promoted. Keynote speakers should be chosen with cultural, disciplinary, geographic, and other forms of diversity in mind. The HNR community does not insist on keynotes with a strict thematic focus on historical network analysis but, on the contrary, encourages organizers to think “outside the box”. Again, we would be glad to support in brainstorming subjects as well as finding and contacting scholars suitable for a keynote.
Conference Review process
The HNR community leaves the decisions regarding the specifics of the review process mostly to the organizers. However, we are partial to double-blind peer reviews. Also, all submissions should be reviewed by a minimum of two reviewers and assessed both with regard to their methodological quality and original contribution to historical research, regardless of submission category.
We encourage the organizers to assemble a program committee to assist with tasks such as reviewing, chairing, and others. We can of course help in connecting the organizers to HNR scholars who might be able and willing to assume such a role.
Conference Management Tools
We recommend EasyChair in its free of charge version and can support the organizers in setting it up and managing the conference processes with it.
The conference itself should be free of charge, though of course fees can be charged for excursions, dinners, etc.
Unfortunately, at this time, the HNR community is unable to support the organizers financially.
Sponsorships can provide extra funds for aspects of the conference. However, insofar as the conference is first and foremost an academic endeavor, it is important for both the organizers and potential sponsors to clearly understand what roles a sponsor may play. It should be made absolutely clear in all conference material that all sponsors’ contributions are financial—and not academic—in nature (either in cash or in kind). Sponsors should not be offered time in the academic program. A presentation by a sponsor cannot happen at the opening or closing ceremonies; such a talk could possibly happen at a dinner or an award ceremony that the sponsor has supported, after approval by the HRN event team. Any deviation from this principle requires consultation with the HRN event team, with adequate time for discussion.
Usually, selected papers and posters of the HNR conference will be invited to prepare a submission for a peer-reviewed publication in the Journal of Historical Network Research (https://jhnr.uni.lu/). The respective submissions will ultimately be chosen by the editors of the Journal but the organizers will be closely involved in the process.
Expectations for the Organizers
The organizers are responsible for planning and managing the logistics and staffing of the conference. This includes mainly the conference budget and finances; the conference website; the conference venue, including adequate space for all paper and poster sessions as well as workshops; conference registration, both online and at the conference; conference wifi access; and name badges.
When arranging the conference venue, the organizers should confirm that all presentation spaces offer adequate data and overhead projection, amplification, adapters for individual presenter computers. Organizers should also ensure that adequate technical support is available for all presentation rooms.
Organizers should take care that conference facilities and the conference website are accessible to all participants.
When selecting a venue for the conference, it is recommended to ensure that there are adequate locations within a reasonable distance for participants to eat lunch and dinner.
We would also ask the organizers to produce a final report on the conference to be published on the HNR community website.
Throughout the process of organizing and holding the conference, the HNR community and especially the HNR event team can of course be contacted for any questions and will support the organizers as much as possible. The HNR community will also give access to certain parts of their infrastructure to the organizers, such as hosting the conference website, as well as use of the HNR-gang Slack workspace, the HNR twitter account and the HNR newsletter to promote the event.
Example for Conference Timeline
|June/July||Previous HNR Conference|
|October||Announce next conference (venue, format, if possible: keynote speakers, workshops) and publish Call of Papers|
|January||Deadline for submissions|
|February||Notification of Acceptance|
|March||Publication of Program; Registration starts|
|June/July||HNR Conference (1 Day Workshops, 2 Days Sessions)|
|August–October||Invitation of Selected Articles to JHNR|