Call for proposals

The 18th International Conference on Open Repositories, OR2023, will be held from 12-15 June 2023 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The organisers are pleased to invite you to contribute to the program. The conference theme is:

Repositories unlocked for discovery and interoperability

The web was designed as an information space with the goal that it should be useful not only for human-human communication, but also to allow communication facilitated by machines. The OR2023 conference will focus on the practices of the international repositories community to develop and implement the standards, frameworks, architectures, and methodologies for open repositories to serve as knowledge representation databases for the structured web of data.

Invitation to participate
OR2023 will provide an opportunity to explore and reflect on the ways repositories enable discoverability and interoperability of information and data within the structured web of data. How can we better utilize repositories for machine interoperability? How can we develop the capacity of institutions to implement sustainable open repositories to improve data equity worldwide?

We particularly welcome proposals on the overall “Repositories unlocked for discovery and interoperability” theme, but also on other administrative, organisational, or practical topics related to digital repositories. We are interested in the following sub-themes:

1. Unbiased discovery of knowledge:

  • Equity and democratization of knowledge.
  • Open repositories facilitating the unbiased discovery of indigenous knowledge.
  • Inclusion of marginalized and underrepresented voices.
  • Local knowledge sharing

2. Sustainable development:

  • Linking open repositories content to the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Supporting knowledge in the service of society, encouraging non-academic use.
  • Repositories and global knowledge.

3. Linked data:

  • Integration with other open knowledge resources (e.g., Wikimedia and Wikidata).
  • Linking repositories to aggregate data stores and the world of NoSQL and Graph databases.
  • Linked data with metadata schemas.

4. Trust in the machine:

  • The machine as a user.
  • Integrating repository content with the semantic web of data using the Resource Description Framework (RDF) knowledge representation language.
  • Data mining, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
  • New technologies for standardizing visualization (IIIF), harnessing AI.

5. Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS):

  • Taxonomies and ontologies in open repositories to enhance the discoverability of data.
  • Processes of knowledge engineering with repositories’ data by creating formal representation of objects and relations within a domain.
  • Metadata schemas and the conversion of schemas to formats that can be expressed in RDF triples.

6. Integrating content:

  • Interoperability vs integration.
  • Novel or complex formats, data types and sources.
  • Big data, large and complex datasets.

7. Repositioning repositories:

  • Reinvesting and reskilling in the latest digital repository platforms.
  • Next gen repositories, the Pubfair framework and new models.
  • Convergence and integration with other types of systems (e.g., current research information systems, digital asset management systems, publishing, and e-learning platforms, ORCID).

Submission Process

The Program Committee has provided templates to use for submissions (see below for links). Please use the submission template, and then submit through ConfTool where you will be asked to provide additional information (such as primary contact and the conference subtheme your submission best fits).

Accepted proposals will be made available through the conference’s website. Later, the presentations and associated materials will be made available in the Zenodo Open Repositories community; you will be contacted to upload your set of slides or poster. After the completion of the conference, we may solicit full papers from a selection of presentations to be published in the OR2023 proceedings (open access, no article processing charge) in cooperation with a scholarly publisher. If you are proposing a presentation or panel, please consider whether it would benefit for publication as a journal article.

Submitters should note that presentations are in person and there is no remote/pre-recorded presentation option.

We look forward to the vibrant conversations and learning opportunities of the conference.

Submission Categories


We invite presentations on topics relating to the theme Repositories unlocked for discovery and interoperability and on Open Repository topics, more generally. Presentations will be 15 minutes plus time for questions and discussion.

Presentation proposals should be 2-3 pages.


Panels are made up of two or more panelists presenting on work or issues where multiple perspectives and experiences are useful or necessary. Successful submissions in past years have typically described work relevant to a wide audience and applicable beyond a single software system. All panels are expected to include diversity in viewpoints, personal background, and gender of the panelists. Panels can be 60 or 90 minutes long.

Panel proposals should be 2-3 pages.

24×7 Presentations

24×7 presentations are 7-minute presentations comprising no more than 24 slides. Successful 24×7 presentations are fast-paced and have a clear focus on one idea. 24×7 presentations about failures and lessons learned are highly encouraged.

Presentations will be grouped into blocks based on conference themes, with each block followed by a moderated question and answer session involving the audience and all block presenters.

Proposals for 24×7 presentations should be one page.


Posters should showcase current or ongoing work that is not yet ready for a full presentation. Instructions for preparing the posters will be distributed to authors of accepted poster proposals prior to the conference. Poster presenters will be expected to give a one-minute teaser at a Minute Madness session.

Proposals for posters should be one page.

Developer Track

The Developer Track provides focus for showcasing technical work and exchanging ideas. Presentations should be 10 minutes and can be informal. Successful developer track presentations include live demonstrations, tours of code repositories, examples of cool features, and unique viewpoints. Pre-recorded talks are encouraged to facilitate functioning demos and have more time for a live conversation about the implementation.

Proposals for the developer track should be one page.

Workshops and Tutorials

Workshops and tutorials generally cover practical issues around repositories and related technologies, tools, and processes. Successful workshops include clear learning outcomes, involve active learning, and are realistic in terms of the number of attendees that can actively participate in the workshop.

Workshops and tutorials can be 60 minutes, 90 minutes, or 3 hours.

Proposals for workshops should be no longer than 2 pages.


The OR2023 proposal templates help you prepare an effective submission. Please select the submission type below to download the templates. Templates are available in Microsoft Word and Open Doc format. Submission in PDF format is preferred.

Submission System

The submission system is now open –

Review Process

All submissions will be peer-reviewed and evaluated according to the criteria outlined in the call for proposals, including quality of content, significance, originality, and thematic fit. The program committee makes the final decisions on inclusion in the conference. If you would like to volunteer to be a reviewer, please contact the program committee below.

Also, please note that the program committee may accept a submission with the requirement that it move to another format (a presentation to a poster, for example). In such cases, submitters will have the opportunity to decide on whether to accept or decline such a move.

Code of Conduct

Please see the OR2023 Code of Conduct webpage. We expect submitters to hold to the Code of Conduct in their proposals, presentations, and conduct at the conference.

Key Dates

  • 15 January 2023: Deadline for submissions
  • 22 January 2023: Extended deadline for submissions
  • 7 March 2023: Submitters notified of acceptance of full presentation, 24×7, workshop, poster, and developer track proposals
  • 7 March 2023: Registration opens
  • 12-15 June 2023: OR2023 conference

Program Co-Chairs

  • Ilkay Holt, British Library
  • Mimi Seyffert-Wirth, Stellenbosch University
  • Wouter Klapwijk, Stellenbosch University


Website and Social Media



Hashtag: #openrepos2023