2021-10-21: How the Internet Archive Helped Me Remember CIKM 2019

Last week, I was discussing my publications with a colleague, and I mentioned that I had a paper published at ACM CIKM 2019. They were curious about the conference and its 2019 call for papers (CFP) date. I was trying to recall the conference's venue and one of the workshop's names. I remembered that the conference was in Beijing but did not have the other information on hand during the discussion. To help answer these questions, I visited the CIKM 2019 website as linked from CIKM's page and found a very different website from what I remembered. Content drift had struck again.

This is not the CIKM conference website I was looking for...

I discovered that the CIKM 2019 conference proceedings contain proof of my paper publication, a welcome from the conference chairs, paper statistics, lists of committee members and organizers, sponsors, and other papers and workshops at CIKM 2019. 

The proceedings do not mention:

  1. the conference venue
  2. recommended conference hotels
  3. CFP dates
  4. acceptance dates
  5. links to workshop websites

Academics often keep track of conference CFP and acceptance dates when planning their publications. I wrote a trip report about the conference in 2019 but did not mention all of this information because I directed readers to the (now drifted) website. As part of their work on rediscovering missing web pages, Martin Klein and Michael Nelson presented the problem of content drift for some academic conference websites, so this is a known phenomenon.

Fortunately, I know about the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

With the Wayback Machine, I could locate mementos of pages from the conference's website and answer all outstanding questions.

This was the CIKM conference site I was looking for...

Per its accommodation page memento, shown below, the conference was held at the China National Convention Center. Thanks to this information, I remembered that I had stayed at the China National Convention Center Grand Hotel. The conference also recommended the InterContinental Beijing Beichen Hotel.
CIKM 2019's website had the accommodation and venue information.

The CFP deadline was May 22, 2019. Acceptance was planned for August 6, 2019. The memento below contains information about registration requirements, submission and review guidelines, template information, and how the review process was double-blind. Those planning to submit to CIKM in the future may want to know this history. Those planning their own conferences or studying conferences may desire this information as well.

The CFP information is easily on their Call for Contributions page.

The website also contained other information that is not in the proceedings, like sponsorship levels. Those organizing conferences of their own need to understand how other conferences handle sponsors. Sponsors need to understand the costs associated with sponsorship. Thanks to these mementos, they now have this information for CIKM 2019.

CIKM 2019 listed information about sponsorship and benefits.

Thanks to the Internet Archive, we have these mementos and can answer these questions. I happily celebrate #InternetArchive25 because I use it nearly every day for tasks like this.

Note: Mementos of the CIKM 2019 web site from November 2019 have damage. I applied TMVis to generate thumbnails of all of that site's mementos so that I could find the most visually appealing mementos. My thanks to Abby Mabe, Maheedhar Gunnam, Dhruv Patel, and Michele Weigle for developing the TMVis tool which saved me a lot of research time for this post.


  1. As the Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive, I thank you ever so much. It makes a huge difference to us to get this kind of positive feedback. Glad it worked for you!


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