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Visualization for Communication (VisComm)

An IEEE VIS Workshop


Date and Location: The workshop will be held online on October 25 or 26.

While visualization research is still largely focused on data analysis, most people experience visualization as communication and presentation. The New York Times and other publications regularly release interactive visuals depicting complex datasets including political topics, budgets, and sports. An independent community of visualization practitioners and bloggers has also sprung up, producing and deconstructing visualizations of data of broad interest. Free visualization tools such as D3, Data Wrapper, Tableau Public, and others are available and widely used.

The VisComm workshop brings together practitioners and researchers from a broad range of disciplines to address questions raised by visualization’s new communicative role. We encourage participation from journalists, designers, health communicators and others that do not typically attend IEEE VIS.


We hope that everyone is coping well with these unprecedented times! Because of the pandemic, IEEE Vis and VisComm will take place online. We will announce futher program and technology details here, but you can also monitor the status of IEEE VIS.


VisComm seeks contributions addressing questions including:

We particularly encourage contributors to address and illustrate issues like these with visual case studies that demonstrate the success or failure of communicative visualization projects in data journalism, public health and more. Our goal is to consider a broad range of examples and learn from their design decisions and process.

We invite contributions from any discipline, but particularly encourage journalists and designers to submit their work involving data-based communication or reporting. Scientific contributions concerning visualization for communication are of course welcome, as well.


VisComm has four submission tracks: short papers (research or position), posters, and visual case studies.

Short Research Papers

We invite submission of research papers between 2 and 6 pages long, with length matching content. Research papers will be reviewed based on how well claims are supported by evidence. Submissions are expected to include all materials and data needed to replicate and reproduce any figures, analyses, and methods. If anything cannot be publicly shared (e.g., for data privacy concerns), state the reason in the paper.

Short Position Papers

We invite submission of position papers between 2 and 6 pages long, with length matching content. Position papers are problem discussions or statements describing the author’s relevant experience and ideas with regards to methods and methodologies for visualization research, and in particular the focus topic of the workshop. Position papers will be selected according to their importance and relevance for the workshop topics and how well they will fit the planned discussions.


We invite both late-breaking work and contributions in this area in the form of extended abstracts 1 to 2 pages in length (plus an additional page for references), with an optional video.

Visual Case Studies

We invite practitioners to submit a one-page write-up together with a link to an online piece or a short video. The write-up should explain what you made, why you made it, outcome/responses (both expected and unexpected), etc.

The goal is to show the work of journalists, designers, people working for governments or non-profits, etc., who use data to inform and communicate.

Formatting and Submitting

Your paper, abstract or write-up should take the form of a PDF file, formatted in the VGTC conference style, which has both Latex and MS Word templates. However, please replace the statement about IEEE copyright and reprints with the following text: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

All submissions should contain full author names and affiliations. If applicable, a short video (up to 5 min. in length) may also be submitted. Submissions will be juried by the organizers. At least one author of each accepted submission must register for the conference (even if only for the workshop). Registration information is available on the IEEE VIS website.

Submit papers online using PCS. Choose the VGTC society, the VIS 2020 conference, and the VisComm track.

Accepted Submissions

All accepted submissions will be published using links from the workshop website.

We expect authors of accepted submissions to post their documents on the Open Science Framework’s preprint archive, using the instructions we send. Authors are welcome to post an initial version of their submission earlier. Our OSF workshop papers are not considered archival by IEEE, and may be published elsewhere at a later date. However, we understand that authors from non-engineering disciplines may have different prior publication standards; please contact the chairs if you must publish your accepted submission differently.

Presenting authors can make use of a reduced registration fee at IEEE VIS.

Important Dates (EXTENDED)

deadlines are at 11:59 PM in the last timezone on Earth

Submission deadline: June 15 July 16, 2020

Notification: July 15 August 16, 2020

Camera-ready deadline: August 15 August 27, 2020

Speaker schedule available: October 1, 2020

Workshop: October 25 or 26, 2020


The quickest way to contact VisComm’s organizers is via their shared email,

Alvitta Ottley, Washington University in St. Louis (

Adriana Arcia, Columbia University (

Ben Watson, North Carolina State University (

Robert Kosara, Tableau Research (


2019 schedule, papers and posters

2018 schedule, papers and posters