Digital Footprints 2024

1pm Wednesday 8th May – 4pm Thursday 9th May, University of Bristol

We invite you to participate in a two-day Digital Footprints 2024 Conference, focusing on novel forms of data to deliver social impact. 

What can you learn at our conference? 

The Digital Footprints Conference is an innovative forum dedicated to communicating the vast potential of novel digital data for public good. The conference showcases multidisciplinary research in the field of digital footprints, bringing together a multi-sector audience – academics, policy-makers, government representatives, industry – to share insights and frameworks for working with this data. 

The conference covers a broad scope of cutting-edge topics. In 2023, these included: leveraging shopping loyalty card data to understand dietary transitions and nutrient deficiency, using social media data to measure mental health and wellbeing, exploring spatial patterns of vulnerability using linked health data, using mobile phone traces to examine transport and mobility segregation in urban spaces, and investigating customer trends in take-away purchasing using geospatial data from food delivery platforms.

This year’s conference focuses on advancing the understanding of digital footprints data for social impact, inviting innovative research that harnesses the potential of these novel datasets to address pressing societal challenges and drive positive change. The speakers for the conference include: Osama Rahman (Director of Data Science Campus, Office of National Statistics, UK), Andy Boyd (Director of UK Longitudinal Linkage Collaboration, University of Bristol, UK), Frederik Trier Møller (Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Prevention, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark), and Jeff Brunstorm (Professor of Experimental Psychology, School of Psychological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK). Additional speakers and the full programme will be announced closer to the date.

The conference is taking place in the beautiful city of Bristol, UK. Further information on the specific event location will be distributed closer to the event.

Call for contributions

We invite submissions for research abstracts, panels, and workshops for the upcoming conference. Submissions with any angle are welcomed, however, we will prioritise those that address the conference theme: Digital Footprints Research for Social Impact

We welcome research projects from academics, industry, government departments and non-profit research organisations who are using digital footprints data. 

Digital footprints data includes, but is not limited to: transactional records; internet history records; social media data; geospatial/mobility data; sensor records such as those collected by wearables; and image data. We welcome submissions of projects related to using these datasets, or using combinations of those and linked datasets. 

Submission types may consist of (but are not restricted to):

  • Empirical
  • Methodological
  • Conceptual Frameworks and Position Papers
  • Reviews 
  • Case Studies
  • Demonstrations 
  • Engagement Activities 
  • User Experience and Design Frameworks. 

We would particularly like to showcase how digital footprints data can make a real difference in society. We want to see research that not only discusses but also demonstrates the practical applications of this data for positive social impact, offering insights that can contribute to meaningful change in our communities and beyond.

Registration and fees

Attendance of the conference is subject to a £50 fee to cover admin costs, lunch and refreshments. There is an additional fee of £30 for those intending to join the reception on the evening of May 8th.

The conference may be attended without presentation, or by acceptance of a submission, via sign up using this link. There will be options to access recorded content online for those who cannot attend in person.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm on the 9th of February, and notification of acceptance will be provided by the 1st of March. 

This year, we are pleased to be able to offer the opportunity to access Early Career Researchers travel grants. The grant amount is flexible and will be tailored to individual needs, but may include travel expenses, overnight accommodation, and subsistence costs. Exclusive to conference presenters, these grants are designed in particular to provide invaluable support to early career researchers, including MSc and PhD students, as well as researchers with no more than 3 years of post-PhD research experience (excluding career breaks). The application, which will involve the submission of a 2-page CV and a 500 words maximum cover letter detailing how the grant will be beneficial, must be submitted before the deadline on March 8th. We aim to announce successful applications w/c March 11th. If applicants do not meet the eligibility criteria exactly, but also do not have funds to cover attendance, they should get in touch with organisers directly to discuss individual circumstances. In some cases, the organisers may be able to make exceptions and provide additional support.

Proceedings of the conference will be published in the International Journal for Population Data Science. The International Journal of Population Data Science (IJPDS) is delighted to be the official publisher for the 1st Digital Footprints Conference. IJPDS is an electronic, open-access, peer-reviewed journal focusing on the science pertaining to population data. As the only journal dedicated to the field of Population Data Science, IJPDS publishes articles on all aspects of research, development and evaluation connected with data about people and populations.

The conference is organised by Turing Novel Data Linkage for Health and Wellbeing Interest Group. You can find more information about the group and how to sign up here.

Submission guidelines

All submissions will be evaluated by the Scientific Committee and independent reviewers according to the following criteria: (1) Relevance to Digital Footprints; (2) Pathway to social impact; (3) Scientific quality; (4) Presentation quality.   

To make a submission, please follow this link.

Posters 

We invite submissions of 350-word abstracts for posters. A limited number of successful abstracts, with authors’ permission, will be selected for oral flash presentations. Submissions must include a title for the paper, an abstract, a contact email address, and indication of institutional affiliation. The abstract should be structured under the following headings: Introduction & Background, Objectives & Approach, Relevance to Digital Footprints, Results, and Conclusions & Implications. 

Panels and workshops

We invite submissions of panels and workshop sessions, a limited number of which will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday 8th May. These sessions can be between 1 hour and 1 hour 30 minutes in length. 

Proposals should include a 500-word overview, outlining the Title, Motivation and Background, Structure, and Relevance to Digital Footprints. The sessions may address any topic related to digital footprints, for instance, leveraging Digital Footprints data in the context of: public health interventions, environmental sustainability, or educational practices. We also welcome training and community dialog type workshops. 

The structure of these sessions is not fixed, and may be designed to suit individual requirements. Proposers are responsible for defining the full contents of the workshop or panel, namely the authors and presenters.  

Contact us

For further questions, please email digital-footprints-conference2024@bristol.ac.uk.