ECIS 2020 Research Papers

Abstract

Conferences are an integral part of academic life. Yet, this practice is increasingly questioned due to the large carbon footprint that attendee flying involves. On an individual basis, carbon footprint calculators have become a widely used intervention to act upon individual practice by increasing the provision of information. Likewise, we aim at acting upon Conference Committees by making them aware of the carbon penalty associated with their events. Informed by the theory of planned behaviour, we introduce a purposeful artefact: “carbon layers”. The name aims at conveying “the what” (i.e. carbon calculation) as well as “the how” (i.e. the carbon footprint is layered on top of the conference’s Web-embodiment). Architecturally, these artefacts are realized as browser extensions on top of the conference’s embodiment, let this be the conference’s website or a bibliography website. This vision is realized through grnDBLP, a Carbon Layer for the DBLP website. By installing such extension, committees can become aware of the carbon footprint estimates for their previous conference editions, and the footprint for potential venues calculated by extrapolation. A pilot survey is conducted, with a view to spark further debate on how to increase the sustainability of scientific conferences.

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