Important Dates
Paper pre-registration:
30 September 2020
Paper submission:
7 October 2020
11 December 2020
3-10 March 2021

All deadlines are at 11:59 PM anywhere on earth (AoE) on the given date.

ACM FAccT (formerly known as ACM FAT*) solicits work from a wide variety of disciplines, including computer science, statistics, law, social sciences, the humanities, and education. ACM FAccT welcomes submissions that touch on any of the topics of fairness, accountability and transparency (broadly construed). We welcome scholarship in dialogue with fairness, accountability, and transparency in computational systems, including critical approaches that investigate core assumptions and propose alternative designs, practices, and policies. We especially welcome contributions that consider dimensions beyond individual decisions, including equity and justice in systems, policy, and pedagogy.

Questions? Contact the Program Co-chairs: And stay tuned for updates by following @facctconference

Areas of Interest

As a multi-disciplinary peer-reviewed conference, ACM FAccT requires a broad as well as deep set of expertise from a wide variety of disciplines, including computer science, statistics, the humanities, and law.

This year’s conference will take place in the context of a worldwide reckoning with racism and other forms of injustice, in society generally and within the field of computing in particular. Such questions are not only a matter of personal and professional concern, but also a perennial focus of FAccT scholarship. In this light, we especially welcome attention to insufficiently addressed issues in computing such as: How do algorithmic systems develop in relation to racism and anti-blackness? How should the field address the problems and opportunities of intersectional perspectives on fairness? What kinds of marginalization are relevant to the concerns of ACM FAccT? How can perspectives and tools from gender/LGBTQ studies, postcolonial studies, indigenous studies, racial and ethnic studies, migration studies, work on disability and other relevant domains inform a broad perspective on how to frame and advance social justice in relation to design of computational systems?

We welcome submissions in the following areas:

  • Algorithm Development e.g. Fairness; Interpretable and explainable models; Causality; Data collection and curation

  • Data and Algorithm Evaluation e.g. Metrics; Audits; Evaluations

  • Applications e.g. NLP; Computer vision; Health; Search engines; Recommender systems; Programming languages; Databases

  • Human Factors e.g. Human-computer interaction; Humans-in-the-loop; Information visualization; UX design; Community or participatory-research design

  • Privacy and Security e.g. Formal approaches; Privacy-preserving models; Usable privacy and security

  • Law and Policy e.g. Data protection; Non-discrimination; Organizational governance; Codes of ethics; Models from historically marginalized perspectives (e.g. Global Southern, feminist, communitarian, or Indigenous perspectives)

  • Humanistic theory and critique e.g. Interrogating foundational concepts; Bridging critical concepts across fields; Philosophical, moral and ethical analysis

  • Social and organizational processes e.g. Algorithms in organizations and institutions; Social, cultural, and historical shaping of algorithmic phenomena; algorithmic impacts on social phenomena

  • Community-based approaches e.g. Participatory algorithm design; Community designed and maintained systems; Activism-driven technological change

  • Education e.g. Pedagogical approaches, proposals, and experiences in areas of relevance to FAccT

FAccT is an ACM conference about computing, dedicated to rigorous study and development of computing as a field of knowledge and practice at the intersection of many disciplines. To this end, papers will be reviewed by experts on the topic, from disciplines as diverse as those represented among FAccT authors past and present. In keeping with our roots in computing, we appreciate both systems building, analysis, and practical impact alongside psychological, social, and institutional analyses. Please note that in contrast to last year, papers and position papers are in scope for the program and will be evaluated for their contributions following the same reviewing rubric as all papers.

Review process

Each paper will be reviewed by members of the program committee. To aid with the review process, authors are asked to select one or more of the above areas when they register their submissions. The program and area chairs will make every effort to ensure that papers are reviewed by reviewers with the appropriate expertise. We will be aided in this effort by your area selections and the abstract of your paper.

Evaluation criteria will include:

  • Relevance to the themes of the conference;
  • Quality of submission as measured by accuracy, clarity, comprehensiveness, and depth of exposition, including contextualizing the work in the relevant field(s);
  • Novelty of the contributions and problem domain; and
  • Potential for broader impact, including across other disciplines and real-world systems.

Area chairs will oversee the reviewing process. In case you are not sure which area your submission fits under, feel free to contact the Program chairs for clarification.

Author rebuttals: (Please note, this is a different process than that of previous years.) Should authors find extraordinary errors or equity concerns in paper reviews, authors will have an opportunity to respond to initial reviews with a rebuttal. Reviewers will be invited to reconsider their reviews and scores in light of rebuttals before final decisions are made. Further information on the expected format and content of author rebuttals will be provided when the rebuttal period opens.

Research ethics and social impact

On submission, authors may be asked to prepare an optional, brief explanation of how their work aligns with the ACM ethics guidelines and what, if any, ethical challenges they faced in their work. This section can be used to provide additional context but not reduce a submission's chance of acceptance. We will use learnings from this optional experiment to guide FAccT conference work towards more ethical computing scholarship in future years.

FAccT is an ACM conference and as such, we will review papers in alignment with the ACM ethics guidelines. Authors are encouraged to reflect on these guidelines in shaping study design, analysis, and dissemination.

Papers that (1) describe experiments with users and/or deployed systems (e.g., websites or apps), or (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 Program Chairs (PC) have 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 will take 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 regarding ethical considerations. Authors unsure about topical fit or ethical issues are welcome to contact the PC.

Submission Format and Guidelines

Authors are required to pre-register their papers through the submission site by submitting a tentative title and abstract and specifying their submission area(s) by Sept 30. 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 FAccT. 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, (virtually) 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 in a two-column format with ACM style reference format. Authors do not need to include terms, keywords, or other front matter in their submissions.
  • For Word users, authors may download the Interim Layout template.
  • For LaTeX users, choose format=sigconf with a two-column format.
  • For Overleaf users, authors may use the sigconf template but you do not need to change to a single-column format for submission.
  • 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 exceeding the specified page length, may be rejected without review. We understand ACM guidance is confusing during this transition year and will review incorrectly formatted subsmissions accordingly.

Beginning next year, submissions for FAccT 2022 will shift to the new ACM workflow for article templates and publication proceedings. These workflow and formatting changes will improve usability and accessibility as well as support the longevity of ACM publication archive.

Preparation for review

ACM FAccT uses a mutually anonymous 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.

Archival and Non-archival Submissions

ACM FAccT 2021 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 discipline-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 FAccT 2021 conference, regardless of whether their paper is archival or non-archival.

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 and will be removed from submission.

There are three main exceptions to this rule:

  • Technical reports and pre-prints: ACM FAccT welcomes submission of work that is already 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 FAccT 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. FAccT* 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 require authors to select the non-archival option for the FAccT submission. Authors are also responsible for ensuring that submitting to FAccT would not be in violation of the relevant journal's submission policies.

Program Co-Chairs

Please contact for any questions.

  • Lilly Irani, University of California, San Diego
  • Sampath Kannan, University of Pennsylvania
  • Margaret Mitchell, Google Research
  • David G. Robinson, Cornell University