Fribourg/Freiburg (Switzerland) | 6 to 8 February 2020

Home Call for Papers Keynote Speakers Abstracts & Registration Programme Accommodation & Venue Organizing Committee About IRG

Call for Papers

Please note that abstract submission is no longer possible.

Conference topic

The quality of data is paramount to obtaining robust results in linguistic research. From large quantitative studies to in-depth qualitative analyses and ethnographic fieldwork, all researchers encounter questions concerning the relevance, significance, and reliability of their data.

Graduate and doctoral students, often working on their first independent research project, are constantly faced with challenges related to data. They must consider what type of data best suits their research questions and how these data can be accessed. Once obtained, the data have to be stored, sorted, classified, analysed, and finally interpreted. During this long process, researchers must keep sight of what is theoretically and empirically advantageous, socially and ethically appropriate and practically feasible. Finally, these questions re-emerge when researchers present their data and findings to different audiences, which might range from coworkers and experts in the field to non-scientific institutions and stakeholders. Thus, the process of empirical research is to a considerable extent that of finding a path from data to knowledge.

The purpose of the IRG symposium is to create a space for young researchers to discuss their own methodological problems and share their perspectives on some fundamental scientific issues. It is also an opportunity to gain valuable experience in interacting with peers and experienced researchers during a scientific conference.

Focussing on methods, processes, challenges and problems rather than results, we will discuss issues concerning data, which arise at every step of the research process. We aim to broaden the discussion and exchange new ideas by bringing together perspectives from various language sciences including, but not limited to, applied linguistics, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, second language acquisition and bilingualism research, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, linguistic anthropology, computer linguistics, forensic linguistics, language teaching research and language assessment. We invite contributions dealing with a variety of approaches to data, ranging from single-case to large-scale studies and including both primary and secondary data as well as mixed methods approaches.

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Formats, section topics and target group

The conference structure will follow the stages of a research project from its conception to its completion. Participants will present and discuss their PAPERS (15-minute ORAL PRESENTATION + 10-minute discussion) in sections dedicated to various steps of the research process:

  1. Types of data and data selection
  2. Access to data and data collection
  3. Data management
  4. Data interpretation
  5. Challenging data: critique and validation
  6. Data reporting

Each session will be moderated by a discussant and will include three oral presentations followed by a group discussion of around 30 minutes. We will also consider proposals for POSTERS. The poster session will allow participants to interact in a more informal fashion and to share their ideas as well as specific challenges in smaller groups.

Three keynote speakers from three different linguistic fields will give talks relevant to the topic of the conference. Participants will also have the opportunity to MEET THE KEYNOTES in an afternoon workshop session, where they will engage in a discussion about challenges around data and share ideas on how to overcome difficulties.

The conference is organized by doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers and is aimed at young researchers who wish to present their on-going research to their peers and to experienced scholars, foster their academic network and gain experience at a scientific conference. We particularly encourage advanced MA and PhD students (early and advanced) to submit proposals on data-related issues relevant to their research.

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Submission guidelines

All proposals are to be submitted via the conference website.

Proposals for papers and posters should clearly outline the objectives of the presentation and focus on an aspect of data in research fitting into one of the six sections listed above. Papers and posters should be likely to promote discussion and interaction among the audience. Abstracts should not exceed 300 words and include a title of not more than 20 words, as well as 3 to 5 relevant keywords.
Upon submission, contributors must indicate the section into which their paper fits best. At least one author of the proposal must present the paper or poster during IRG 2020.


Abstracts may be submitted in the following languages: Italian, French, German, or English. Titles must be provided in the language of the abstract AND English (maximum 20 words each). Oral Presentations will be held in the language of the abstract (15 minutes + 10-minute discussion). Presentation slides must be in English unless the presentation itself is in English. Participants presenting in English are strongly encouraged to prepare slides in one of the other languages of the Symposium.
The organizers would like to promote multilingual interactions. We want to permit all participants to present their material in a language in which they feel comfortable, while English slides for non-English presentations will facilitate understanding for speakers of different languages.

Posters should be in English to encourage discussion in any language with a larger part of the audience.

Anonymization and review

After submission, abstracts will be subjected to a double-blind review process.
To ensure anonymity during the review process, abstracts and titles should not contain any identifying information about the author or the institution from which the proposal originates.

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Practical information

Conference fees

The conference fee amounts to CHF 65 for students (Master, PhD and post-doc) and CHF 85 for all other participants.
This fee covers participation at the conference, lunches and coffee breaks as well as the conference dinner.

Abstract submission and dates

  • Submission of abstracts: via the conference website.
  • Deadline for submissions: closed
  • Notification of acceptance: 30 September 2019
  • Preliminary Program: 15 December 2019

For more information contact us at

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Suggestions for topics and possible points of discussions in the six sections

Section 1: Types of data and data selection

  • What data do I choose and for what research purposes do I choose this type of data?
  • What knowledge can be gained from certain types of data (and what not)?
  • How much data do I need to answer my research question?
  • What is representative data?
  • ...

Section 2: Access to data and data collection

  • How do I get access to data, people and/or institutions?
  • How do I communicate my research interest to my participants?
  • How do I deal with refusal to participate and/or missing data?
  • What are the stages of data collection?
  • ...

Section 3: Data management

  • How do I store, catalogue and describe my data?
  • How can I manage very heterogeneous data?
  • How do I deal with anonymization?
  • How do I deal with data security and privacy?
  • ...

Section 4: Data interpretation

  • What tools or methods are there to interpret my data? Which do I choose?
  • What are the limits of my interpretation? What are the limits of my data?
  • How does the interpretation of my data influence my results?
  • How do I approach secondary data?
  • ...

Section 5: Challenging data: critique and validation

  • How can I be sure of my interpretation? Do I need a second opinion?
  • Should I generalize my results? How?
  • Can qualitative and quantitative data cross-validate each other?
  • How do I confront my data with other data?
  • ...

Section 6: Data reporting

  • What data do I select for articles or presentations?
  • How do I represent the information in my data (use of graphs, summaries, tables…)?
  • (How) Do I communicate my results to my study’s participants?
  • How do I present my data to different publics?
  • ...

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Members of the scientific committee

Cecilia Andorno, Università degli Studi di Torino
Evelyne Berger, Université de Genève
Renata Coray, Institut für Mehrsprachigkeit, Freiburg/Schweiz
Valentina Cristante, Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main
Alfonso Del Percio, University College London
Elena Diez Del Corral Areta, Université de Lausanne
Christine Dimroth, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Daniel Elmiger, Université de Genève
Andrea Ender, Universität Salzburg
Mi-Cha Flubacher, Universität Wien
Philippe Hambye, Université de Louvain
Claudia Harsch, Universität Bremen
Alberto Hijazo-Gascón, University of East Anglia
Dominique Huck, Université de Strasbourg
Francis Hult, Lunds Universitet
Britta Juska-Bacher, PH Bern
Benjamin Kremmel, Universität Innsbruck
Amelia Lambelet, University of Maryland
Didier Maillat, Université de Fribourg
Marinette Matthey, Université de Grenoble
Teresa Molés-Cases, Universitat Politècnica de València
Mathias Picenoni, Université de Fribourg
Alexei Prikhodkine, Université de Genève
Verónica Sánchez, IRDP, Neuchâtel
Susan Sayehli, Stockholms Universitet
Larissa Schedel, Universität Bonn
Zorana Sokolovska, PH Luzern
Gabriela Steffen, Université de Genève
Mariana Steiner, HEP Fribourg
Jan Vanhove, Université de Fribourg
Katrin Wisniewski, Universität Leipzig
Anne-Christel Zeiter-Grau, Université de Lausanne
Martina Zimmermann, PH Luzern