The first paper ‘sense-check’ session

15Sep - by Angelika - 0 - In In The Workplace

The CHI deadline is coming up soon, and many of us are writing papers. Every year it’s the same thing: people are stressed out, unsure about their papers, there’s always someone who hasn’t written a CHI paper (or even any other paper) before, and we don’t really know how to help each other.

So this year, we thought we’d try something a bit more than just helping out our friends by reading their papers. We organised a 2h session where we sense-checked each others’ papers. The idea of the day came about in our first pot-luck lunch a few months ago which was supposed to be a meet-up to talk about our CHI writing early on to see how we can support each other throughout the whole experience.

The idea was that, even if the first draft of paper is not completely finished yet, we all come together in the teaching space of the lab, have 15 minutes to vent about the writing, and then get on with the reading. We got into pairs of two (where the pairs didn’t know much about each others’ work and hadn’t read the papers previously). The pairs switched papers and everyone spread out across the lab to read them. We had roughly an hour to read the papers before we met up again in the teaching space. Now we had 30 mins. (15 mins. per paper) for feedback. I put on a timer, and off we went. After quickly spreading out a bit in the room, the noise started to rise a bit as we were all giving each other feedback.

After the 30 mins. we also had a chat about whether the session was useful, and how we could support one another with our writing throughout the year. We came up with a lot of different things, starting with how to support MRes students specifically, a writing bootcamp where we meet up every 2 months for a session on a particular topic of writing a paper, and to repeat this kind of sense-check for other conferences too. The first ones will probably be DIS, CSCW, PD, or IDC.

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