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ACM Computing Surveys
Hypertext and Hypermedia Symposium

Since Vannevar Bush first proposed his Memex system, hypermedia has been used to structure and navigate information spaces, provide guided trails that communicate particular points of view, facilitate collaboration among geographically dispersed work groups, and open ways of exploring complex domains that were previously impossible, indeed unthinkable.

The first hypertext conference, which was held at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1987, highlighted issues of: search and query, composite documents, virtual and dynamic structures, versioning, computation in and over the network, collaborative support, extensibility, and tailorability. Papers addressed issues of theory, models, system support, and text structure, while applications ranged from writing, education, medical documents, argumentation analysis, to software systen design and engineering.

In the ensuing decade the research conferences have reported on increasingly complex issues related to systems, theory, models, user interfaces, tools, and applications. Five years ago the advent of the WWW and its graphical browsers introduced the notion of hypertext, at the most basic level of unidirectional goto-like text links, to a global community.

Since that time, there has been a gradual convergence of the research community with the burgeoning WWW , more recently facilitated by the development and rapid growth in popularity of Java. Increasingly sophisticated hypertext structure and navigation concepts formerly restricted to research systems are being applied to the WWW and are being used by a wide range of information systems and applications.

In recognition of the immediacy and importance of this topic, we are pleased to announce an ACM Computing Surveys symposium on the state of the art in hypertext and hypermedia theory, models, systems, and applications. The editors for this symposium issue, Helen Ashman, Rosemary Simpson, and Paul Thistlewaite, invite the submission of 1500-word essays that describe position statements, completed research, proposals for current and future research, and system descriptions on the following or other relevant topics:

Suggested topics:

The schedule is: Submissions should be emailed to all three of the following addresses:

PS, PDF, ASCII, and HTML are the preferred formats for paper submission. Please attach a separate cover page with author details but do not put author details in the essay itself. All submissions will be refereed and selected according to quality, correctness and relevance to the symposium.


This symposium issue aims to give an update of the current state of the art in hypermedia, providing a concise perspective, identifying major trends, or giving a high-level overview. Submissions should be tailored for a technically-literate but non-specialist audience and should clarify ideas or present trends rather than providing detailed accounts of current research. We plan to organize this symposium as an electronic hypertext in the ACM Repository.

The ACM Hypertext '99 Call for Participation provides several questions to ponder:

This website - - provides extensive information on hypertext research, including projects reported in most of the hypertext conferences. Its ultimate goal is to provide information on the people, projects, and institutions reported on in all the ACM Hypertext conferences since the first one in 1987.