ACM FAT* is an international computer science conference with a cross-disciplinary focus that publishes peer-reviewed papers and brings together researchers and practitioners interested in fairness, accountability, and transparency in socio-technical systems.

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Important Dates (detailed timeline below)
Paper pre-registration:
Thursday, August 15th
Paper submission:
Thursday, August 22nd
Reviews sent to authors for their rebuttal:
Thursday, October 17th
Rebuttals due by authors:
Thursday, October 24th
Friday, November 15th Monday, November 19th

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, law, social sciences, the humanities, and education. ACM FAT* welcomes submissions that touch on any of the topics of Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (broadly construed). Survey papers and position papers are out of the scope of the technical program. Authors of such works may consider submitting to the Call for Tutorials.

Potential authors should read through the 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 contact the PC Chairs.


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 areas of interest. Authors will select exactly one primary track and area of interest when they register their submissions, in addition to one or more sub-discipline(s) (called “topics” in HotCRP). The track and the sub-discipline(s) will determine the pool of PC members who will review the submission.

Track 1: Computer Science

  1. Fairness, equity and justice by design
  2. Methods to audit, measure, and evaluate fairness
  3. Methods involving human factors and humans-in-the-loop
  4. Accountability, transparency and interpretability by design
  5. Methods to assess 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. Sociology, and Science and Technology Studies (STS)
  2. Philosophy, Political Philosophy, and Digital Ethics

Track 4: Practice and Experience

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

Track 5: Education

  1. Educating at the intersection of Law, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Computer Science

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. The PC Chairs reserve the right to move submissions between tracks and/or areas of interest if the PC believes that a submission has been misclassified.

Submission Format and Guidelines

Submission Site

Authors are required to pre-register their papers through the submission site by submitting a tentative title and abstract and specifying their submission track by the pre-registration deadline (August 15th, 2019). 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., “TBA”) 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), plus unlimited pages for references. This typically corresponds to about 8,000 words for the main content. Optionally, authors can upload supplementary materials (e.g., appendices) with their submission, but reviewers will not be required to read the supplementary materials, 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. 
  • Papers may also be formatted simply 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 ACM format.

Papers that are neither in ACM format nor follow the simplified formatting rules, or papers substantially exceeding the specified page length, may be rejected without review. 

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.
  • Non-archival papers will only appear as abstracts in the proceedings, if they are accepted.

The non-archival option is offered to avoid precluding the future submission of these papers to area-specific journals. Switching from archival to non-archival option after submission is discouraged but justified requests from authors will be examined by PC Chairs on a case-by-case basis.

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.

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


ACM FAT* uses a double blind review process. Authors must omit their names and affiliations from submissions, and avoid obvious identifying statements. For instance, 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 track they are submitted to. In an effort to encourage and facilitate broader perspectives, in addition to multiple peer reviews, papers receiving positive peer reviews will receive additionally a cross-disciplinary review by a PC member from a different track.

Reviewing guidelines are available.

Author Response ("Rebuttal")

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.

Dual Submission Policy

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

There are three main exceptions to this rule:

  • Technical reports and pre-prints: ACM FAT* welcomes submission of work that has previously been made available without peer reviewing as a technical report (e.g., in SSRN, arXiv, or similar). In this case, the authors should not cite the report, so as to preserve anonymity.
  • Extensions of workshop papers: ACM FAT* welcomes submission of work that has previously appeared in non-archival venues such as workshops without formal proceedings. 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 or abstracts, even if they appeared in formal proceedings, if the previously published version does not exceed 4 pages in length.
  • Conference-length (8-10 pages) versions of papers that are under review at a journal, but which have not yet been published in that journal: In such cases, we encourage authors to select the non-archival option for the ACM FAT* submission. Authors are also responsible for ensuring that submitting to ACM FAT* would not be in violation of the relevant journal's submission policies.

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


  • Intention to submit deadline: Thursday August 15
  • Submission deadline for authors: Thursday August 22
  • Peer reviews due by PC members: Wednesday September 18th
  • Program Chairs choose which papers will get cross-reviews: Wednesday September 25th
  • Assignment of papers to cross-disciplinary reviewers due by Track Chairs: Tuesday October 1st
  • Cross-reviews due by PC members: Tuesday October 15th
  • Reviews sent to authors of all papers by Track Chairs for their rebuttal: Thursday October 17th
  • Rebuttals due by authors: Thursday October 24th
  • Comments on rebuttals from PC members due: Thursday October 31st
  • Preliminary per-track recommendations by Track Chairs due: Thursday November 7th
  • PC meeting in Barcelona of General Chairs, Program Chairs, and Track Chairs: Thursday November 14th
  • Notification sent by Program Chairs: Friday November 15th Monday, November 19th
  • Camera-ready version due by authors: Thursday November 28th Thursday, December 5th
  • All files for ACM due by Publications Chair: Thursday December 5th


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 result in rejection of the submission.


We encourage authors to read through and follow the ACM ethics guidelines.

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.

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.

Awards Committee

This committee is in charge of selecting papers for a best paper award.

Program Co-Chairs

Please contact for any questions.