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The ICA Pre-conference Hackathon is a two day hands-on workshop that takes place before the annual meeting of the International Communication Association. The main goal of the hackathon is to encourage open, non-competitive collaboration across communication subfields utilizing computational and "big data" methods. The hackathon is a collaborative effort between the Computational Methods division and the Communication Science and Biology interest group of the International Communication Association. During the hackathon, attendees will join teams to collaborate on programming projects and learn from one another. Attendees will also have the opportunity to lead and attend breakout sessions taught by other hackathon attendees. No programming experience is necessary to participate in the hackathon, and we encourage those of all skill levels to attend!

Cost [Tier A/B/C]: Faculty: $175/$125/$75, Students/Postdocs: $125/$75/$25


We will hack on a beautiful green peninsula right in the middle of Brisbane (see below). The venue is at Gardens Point campus of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. The hackathon will take place in the P-Block of the campus, surrounding The Cube in the Science and Engineering Centre. Venue of the 2024 Hackathon - QUT Gardens Point Campus

Important: The Hackathon will take place in Brisbane, while ICA main conference is in Gold Coast. Gold Coast is a city south of Brisbane. It takes about an hour by train to get there from Brisbane. We will organize a travel group that Hackathon participants can join. This also means you can fly into Brisbane, stay there a couple of days and hack with us, and then take an easy train ride south to ICA.


  • June 19th & June 20th 2024
  • We start June 19 sometime in the morning (not too early) and will end June 20 in the late afternoon. We will be early enough to get you to Gold Coast in time for the opening lecture of the main conference.

What is a Hackathon?

Advancing open research practices in communication is contingent upon sharing tools, ideas, skills, and data across a disparate collection of sub-fields. Although conferences and workshops are undoubtedly beneficial for pursuing these goals, they rarely afford the unstructured time and hands-on collaboration required to fully realize their potential for catalyzing open research practices. We believe that hackathons can serve as a viable means of improving collaboration and skill development within communication science.

During a hackathon, participants self-organize and work together to learn new skills and solve problems of their choosing while engaging in discussions about coding, big data ethics, and reproducible research practices. Hackathons provide a collaborative, low-risk opportunity to experiment with new ideas, find potential collaborators, and to try something a little “out of the box.” For this reason, hackathons are organized quite differently from a traditional preconference or conference session. Instead of audience members passively listening to a series of talks on a subject, they will actively participate in (and perhaps even organize!) projects of their choosing.

On the first day of the hackathon, organizers and attendees will propose a collection of projects that can be reasonably tackled during the hackathon. Everyone will select the project that they wish to work on, and will spend the rest of the time collaborating with their project team to accomplish their desired goals. At the same time, a collection of breakout sessions will serve as a more formal means of sharing knowledge and increasing skills. If you have an idea for a project or breakout session for the hackathon, please reach out to the organizing committee.

Hackathons do not require existing knowledge of computational skills. In fact, projects are often centered around learning and developing resources for beginners. We encourage everyone to participate, even (or especially!) if you have little to no coding knowledge.

Sponsors of our hackathons (2020-2024)

Previous hackathons were made possible thanks in part to generous sponsorship from the following organizations.
We are currently soliciting sponsors for the 2024 Hackathon.

If you would like more information regarding sponsoring the pre-conference this year or in future years, please see the Sponsorship page.