Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals Now Closed

BitCurator Users Forum 2018

Living on the Edge: Extending Digital Forensics into New Sectors

The BitCurator Consortium (BCC) invites proposals for the 2018 BitCurator Users Forum, to be held September 13-14 at the University of California, Los Angeles.

As cultural heritage institutions borrow and adapt forensic techniques from criminal investigation, repurposing these context-specific forensic tools raises new questions and possibilities for engaging with born-digital materials. We want to hear your experiences and visions of how digital forensics affects your work. In previous BitCurator Users Forums we have focused on sharing strategies, approaches, and best practices for using digital forensics tools and methods within processing workflows in archives, libraries, and museums. While we still encourage proposals in these topic areas, this year we are seeking to expand the scope and discussions on digital forensics to new areas including, but not limited to personal digital archiving, digital humanities research, and data privacy. We particularly welcome participation from organizations and individuals working outside of academic and special collections libraries, as well as individuals working outside of the United States.

Please note that the BitCurator Users Forum is open to all. You don't need to be a BCC member to submit a proposal and/or attend the event.

The first day of the BitCurator Users Forum will feature an "Introduction to Digital Forensics" workshop aimed at practitioners who are just getting started working with digital forensics tools and methods. This workshop will include an overview of digital forensics concepts, and will mostly focus on hands-on exercises and activities. For attendees looking to dive a little deeper into specific topics or issues, day one will also feature a “Let’s-Do-This-a-thon”--a collaborative working session for which we are seeking suggestions of topics, hare-brained project ideas, problems, issues, etc. We invite submissions for the “Let’s-Do-This-a-thon” in advance (more details below) but will provide time at the beginning of day one for attendees to self-organize around topics and interests. The second day will include a mix of panels, presentations, and lightning talks.

We invite proposals for the following session formats:

  • “Let’s-do-this-a-thon” working sessions
  • Panels
  • Presentations
  • Lightning Talks

Submission Information

“Let’s-do-this-a-thon” sessions
Inspired by OpenCon’s Do-A-Thon, we are organizing activities on day one around this model of quickly forming small groups to start getting things done. We welcome submissions on a wide range of topics, problems/challenges, project ideas, workflow issues, theoretical musings, etc. These sessions do not have to be technical in nature, and could include topics such as:

  • Sharing best practices on description of born-digital materials
  • Outreach and advocacy
  • Training strategies for public services staff
  • Tools and scripts that you want to start building
  • Works-in-progress you’d like to get feedback on

1 - 2 presenters, 45 - 60 minutes
Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words.

This format is intended for one or two speakers presenting a single perspective, piece of research, or practical investigation. We encourage presentations to move beyond the case study and address pressing issues, best practices, opportunities for collaboration, visions, and expanded uses for digital forensics in libraries, archives, and museums.

Individual or group submissions welcome. 3 - 5 presenters, 60 - 75 minutes
Please submit a 250-word (maximum) abstract. If submitting as an solo speaker, individual panelists may be matched by the BCC Program Committee based on complementarity of subjects or overarching themes.

We encourage panels to represent a range of professional backgrounds and experience. Proposals that include diverse perspectives (i.e., faculty, students, researchers, community members, archivists, and/or multiple institutions) are strongly encouraged. Alternative panel formats (pecha kucha, lightning talks followed by small group discussions, or others) that will facilitate dialogue and enlarge participation are also invited.

Lightning Talks
1 presenter, 5-12 minutes
Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words.

Lightning talks are a great format for case studies, digital forensics “success stories” or “tragic tales,” and research updates.

Other session formats are welcome, especially sessions that incorporate interactivity and audience participation.


We invite presentations that address any topic related to digital forensics. Topics of particular interest include:

  • case studies: specific applications of digital forensics in a variety of domains - architecture, design, art, manuscripts, organizational records, museum collections, corporate archives, digital humanities, investigative journalism, personal digital archiving, to name some examples - and with different types of materials, such as records, manuscripts, digital art, or research data
  • access to born-digital materials: how are organizations providing access? What description, software, hardware, and policies are used?
  • training: teaching and learning in digital preservation, forensics, and archives, including advocacy, “in-reach,” and cross-training across roles within organizations
  • ethical concerns: how privacy and security, donor relations, institutional risk tolerance, and other ethical issues affect forensic analysis
  • tool integrations: developing workflows that connect multiple digital curation systems
  • process automation: use of scripting and related methods to support efficiency


The BCC Program Committee will review and accept abstracts based on their relevance to the conference theme and audience; the clarity of description; and their potential for inspiring discussion, collaboration, and innovation.


Submission Deadline: Extended to April 30, 2018

Acceptance Notification: May 18, 2018

How to Submit

Submit proposals here.

Eligibility & Requirements

We welcome proposals from archivists, librarians, digital forensics software and systems providers (vendors), scholars, students, and other individuals working with digital forensics on a regular basis, at both BCC member institutions and non-member institutions, large and small. We particularly welcome submissions from organizations and individuals working outside of the United States, as well as individuals working outside of academic and special collections libraries.

Presenters must register for and attend the conference. Presenters must also sign and submit a speaker agreement granting permission to the BCC to distribute their slides online with a CC-BY license. Some sessions will be recorded and distributed online, with permission from the presenters. These presenters will also be asked to sign and submit an agreement granting permission to the BCC to record presentations and distribute recordings online with a CC-BY license. Exceptions to the CC-BY license will be considered on a case-by-case basis.