The CSCW 2024 call for papers says:

Valuable but concise contributions are welcome as short papers. Shorter, more focused papers will be reviewed with the expectation of a small, focused contribution. Papers whose length is incommensurate with their contribution will be rejected.

What kinds of short papers are valuable and concise?

The deck is stacked against short papers: because of disciplinary norms around situating CSCW papers strongly in existing literature, every CSCW paper will spend a long time on “background”. I like these norms, because they naturally encourage combining related studies so that the background information only needs to be presented once. The cost is that stand-alone short contributions are hard to publish as reviewers can imagine other related studies that could have been combined with the present study.

With those constraints in mind, here are a few types of study that are more appropriate for a short paper:

  • Theoretical contributions and position papers that present no new data. Can include new taxonomies that make sense of existing research or data.
  • Close replications of previous work with few changes e.g. new context, improved method, or more recent dataset.
  • Analyses of common assumptions or widely-believed claims. Simple analyses that definitively demonstrate an effect that has been observed in the popular press or in industry but not rigorously described or theorized in published work. There are many claims used to motivate HCI work that “everybody already knows”… but often the evidence for those claims is limited.

As a reviewer, these are the types of short papers that I like seeing.