Why are there no continental chapters of the ACM Conference on Recommender Systems? E.g. the Asian or European Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSysAsia / RecSysEU)?

The number of submissions and participants at the ACM Conference on Recommender Systems is increasing, year by year. Sometimes, the conference is even sold out or moves short-notice to a new larger venue. Acceptance rates decreased from 46% in its first year (2007) to below 20% in recent years.

Acceptance Rates at the ACM Recommender-Systems Conference 2007-2019 https://recsys.acm.org/statistics/

Among the rejected papers, there are certainly good ones that will eventually be published at other venues. These “other” venues though are splattered across the ‘publishing universe’, which makes it difficult for recommender-system researchers to find those publications. While premier conferences like SIGIR typically have continental chapters like ECIR, no such thing exist for the ACM Conference on Recommender Systems.

Often, there are good reasons to have continental or national chapters of a conference. For instance, some topics are relevant only for a geographically limited audience (e.g. GDPR in Europe); some people cannot afford to travel large distances to attend the ACM RecSys conference every year or if their paper was not accepted; continental conferences may be a good place to publish good but maybe not groundbreaking papers that were not accepted at the ACM Recommender Systems conference; last, but not least, continental chapters may be a good place to experiment with new formats (e.g. a dataset track; NECTAR track; a special student track; …).

Mockup of a RecSysEU website; based on the RecSys 2012 conference website

Interestingly, there are quite a few local recommender-system meetups. So, there seems to be a ‘gap’ to fill between the international ACM Conference Series on Recommender Systems, and the local Meetup events. This ‘gap’ could be filled by continental Recommender System Conferences such as a European Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSysEU), or national conferences (e.g RecSysDE).

What are your thoughts? Do we need Continental or National Recommender-System conferences? Let us know in the poll and comments.

Do We Need Continental or National Recommender-System Conferences in addition to the International ACM RecSys Conference?

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