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Home > About UIS > call for papers Accueil

call for papers 


International Symposium on the Measurement of Digitized Cultural Products (May 9-11, 2016)


Application deadline: October 29, 2015


The transition to digital methods of creating, producing and disseminating cultural works has radically changed the conditions surrounding their statistical measurement, calling into question the relevance of current statistics on culture. It has become more difficult to study the impacts and issues related to digital media on the implementation of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted by UNESCO in 2005, a priority identified by the Conference of Parties in June 2015.


Numerous national and international institutions that collect data and produce statistics on cultural products, such as UNESCO, the World Intellectual Property Organization or the Institut de la statistique du Québec, are faced with the growing complexity of the flow of cultural products on the Internet. It is becoming increasingly difficult to measure the production and consumption of several cultural products through the means usually employed by statistical agencies, since those holding the relevant information, i.e. digital platforms that disseminate cultural content, are foreign enterprises beyond the reach of national agencies. In the future, it will likely be difficult to accurately assess the share of national cultural products in their own markets, which is an essential dimension of cultural diversity.


Quality statistics on the production and consumption of cultural products, as well as on employment in this area, are necessary in order to develop and implement cultural policies. When they exist, these policies have often been established before the advent of the Internet, and updating them can prove a hazardous operation if it is not based on a precise description of the evolution of the flow of cultural products and its effect on consumers, broadcasters, producers and creators.


The remuneration of creators and other right holders is another dimension of the flow of cultural products. The new methods of disseminating these products challenge the usual commercial models, and it is difficult to assess the impact of these changes on creators due to a lack of statistics.


Of course, the issues raised by the measurement of digitized cultural products affect statistical agencies and their methods, but they also concern policy-makers and the legal provisions governing the creation, production and dissemination of cultural products.


The objective of the symposium is to bring together statistical experts and researchers in other fields, such as electronic commerce or copyright, from around the world in order to examine the issues, methods, practices and innovations surrounding the production of statistics on digitized cultural products.


The objectives of the symposium are as follows:

  • Examine the means that make it possible to provide reliable and relevant statistics on digitized cultural products, taking into consideration the globalization and concentration of the dissemination of the digital cultural supply.
  • Take stock of the statistical instruments and methods used or to be developed (conceptual framework, classifications, etc.), document best practices and identify new avenues for the purpose of sharing the experiments conducted to date and learning from them.
  • Identify new indicators as well as innovative and promising means for producing statistics that help to shed light on the development of the methods of production, dissemination and consumption of cultural goods and services.
  • Contribute to the establishment of statistical standards, rules, and standard survey processes at the international level.
  • Strengthen the links between researchers and experts in order to develop a coherent international approach.
  • Meet the expectations of market players, by taking into account the political, legal and regulatory environment of data holders.


Guidelines for submitting papers

Papers can be submitted by university researchers, independent researchers, experts from national or international public organizations, experts from private enterprises, consultants, or other specialists in collecting and analyzing data on the cultural economy.


Papers must identify the symposium theme addressed. They may consist in case studies, exploratory research, critical analyses, etc. Preference will be given to papers that identify possible solutions.


Dates and modalities

  • The symposium will be held at HEC-Montréal from May 9 to 11, 2016.
  • The symposium will take place in French and English, with simultaneous interpretation.
  • All paper proposals not exceeding 1000 words must be sent by e-mail before October 29, 2015 to: benoit.allaire@stat.gouv.qc.ca.
  • The acceptance or refusal of proposals will be notified on November 30, 2015 at the latest.
  • The final version of papers must be received by the scientific committee before March 21, 2016.

Format of proposals

  • Summaries must not exceed 1000 words and must include three to five keywords. They must be accompanied by a short biography, as well as the author’s name, position, organization, e-mail address and mailing address.
  • Summaries can be submitted in either English or French.

Evaluation criteria for proposals


The evaluation of proposals will be based on the following criteria:

  • the relevance of the subject matter and the objectives of the paper;
  • a clear demonstration of the paper’s contribution to the advancement of knowledge;
  • the quantitative orientation of the approach;
  • the candidate’s expertise; and
  • the quality of the written language.



Participants must cover their own expenses including travel and accommodation expenses. However, to the extent possible, the symposium organizers will cover costs for certain participants from developing countries.


Moreover, there are no registration fees for speakers, and lunches, coffee breaks and a cocktail will be provided to registered participants.




The digitized products covered by the symposium relate to the following cultural fields: audiovisual including cinema and television, sound recording, book or print media publishing, heritage, libraries, visual arts and performing arts.


Theme 1: The state of cultural production and consumption in the digital age

  • What digitized cultural products are offered?
  • What digitized cultural products are consumed?
  • What data is missing?
  • How is it possible to take into account the globalization and concentration of the channels used to disseminate digitized cultural products?

Theme 2: Statistical tools for measuring digitized cultural products

  • What statistical tools are currently available that provide reliable and relevant statistics on digitized cultural products?
  • What are the difficulties encountered by statistical instruments and methods in measuring digitized cultural products?
  • What innovative statistical tools would make it possible to describe the evolution of the production, dissemination and consumption of digitized cultural products?

Theme 3: Governance tools and political issues

  • What national, regional and international prescriptive rules and processes should be developed in order to produce and disseminate statistics on digitized cultural products?
  • How can the needs of market players be met while taking into account the political, legal and regulatory environment of data holders?
  • How can the actions of researchers and experts be coordinated in order to develop a coherent international approach?

Theme 4: Copyright and remuneration of creators

  • What is the impact of the digital reality on the payment of copyright royalties?
  • What are the statistical needs of copyright collectives?

Theme 5: New data sources

  • Big Data: a potential source of data?
  • New partnerships between private and public operators

Theme 6: Measuring the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital age

  • What indicators could be used to measure the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital age?
  • How can international exchanges of digital cultural content be measured?
  • What are the issues surrounding the dissemination of national digital cultural content in developing countries?
  • How can the effects of digital media on the dissemination of minority language (such as French-language) works be measured?




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