Papers Versus Notes – What’s the Difference?

CHI Papers and Notes are treated very similarly in the submission, review, and publication process, and both formats are accepted at about the same rate. Both CHI Papers and CHI Notes present mature, solid work. Both are archival formats, so work published as a CHI Paper or Note should not be submitted anywhere else concurrently or re-published later in another archival venue. Neither format is appropriate for reporting preliminary results of work in progress. If your planned submission is not completed, polished research, consider the Late-Breaking Work category, with a later submission deadline.

There are important differences between Papers and Notes; the purpose of this page is to highlight those differences and help authors decide how to best present their research as an archival CHI publication.


What is a CHI Paper?

A CHI Paper, which is at most 10 pages in length (references do not count toward this limit), must break new ground and provide complete and substantial support for its results and conclusions. Successful submissions typically represent a major advance for the field of HCI and include thorough treatment of prior work.


What is a CHI Note?

A CHI Note, which is at most 4 pages in length (references do not count toward this limit), is a much more focused and succinct contribution to the research program and is likely to have a smaller – yet still significant – scope of contribution than CHI papers. For example, Notes on applications may not cover the entire iterative design cycle (observation, design, implementation, evaluation, etc.) but may instead go into depth in one or two specific areas. CHI Notes are not expected to include a discussion of related work that is as broad and complete as that of a submission to the Papers venue.

Work presented in CHI Notes, like Papers, must include sufficient detail to allow replication of the important points.

The following descriptive examples, which are characterized in contrast to submissions to the CHI Papers venue, may be helpful in understanding what kind of submissions may be suitable for CHI Notes:

  • A new implementation approach that has demonstrably addressed a significant technical issue (without extensive detail of the design process or evaluation of the implementation).
  • A new interaction technique and evidence of its utility compared to known techniques (described in sufficient detail to assist an expert reader in replicating the technique).
  • An incremental improvement or variation of an existing interaction technique with convincing evaluation.
  • A new methodology for designing or studying interactive systems that has demonstrable benefits for the HCI community (without extensive evaluation of the methodology).
  • A case study of the use of a system in a domain not typically studied by HCI researchers.
    An analysis of a specific situation that could benefit from HCI research, especially situations not typically considered by HCI researchers.
  • A focused study of a specific situation or technique that adds insight into how that situation or technique is considered within HCI.


What if my work requires an intermediate amount of space, say 6 pages?

You may submit a Paper that is less than 10 pages long, but historically such submissions have not fared well in the review process.

If the work is likely to grow with time into a more complete submission, we encourage you to wait until the next CHI conference and submit a full paper. Remember, Notes are archival publications, and it is not appropriate to use the Notes venue to publish a work in progress, then grow it into a superset of that work later and present the result as a Paper. If your work is likely to grow into a paper-sized contribution, consider a submission to this year’s Late-Breaking Work track, which is not archival and does not preclude subsequent publication.

On the other hand, any CHI author will tell you that a huge fraction of CHI Papers and Notes were, at some point, too long, and were trimmed to length prior to submission. In most cases, authors find this trimming process made the submission stronger and more focused, not less complete. So if you have a 6-page submission that represents a finished piece of research, consider experimenting with a 4-page version: you may find that it’s an ideal CHI Note that works better in 4 pages than it did in 6.