The ICDAR2021 Organizing Committee invites proposals for Competitions that aim at evaluating the performance of algorithms and methods related to areas of document analysis and recognition.

Note that we distinguish between long and short-term competitions, they share the same rules but a different calendar. The long-term competitions should be open for a longer time period and address challenges where teams can work for a year on them. Short-term competitions will be announced later and can address very recent challenges. Furthermore, long competitions will be specially featured through special awards and prominent communication with oral sessions in the main conference.

You are cordially invited to submit a proposal, that should contain the following information:

      • A brief description of the competition (not more than 1 page), including what the particular task under evaluation is and why this competition is of interest to the ICDAR community.
      • A draft of the outline of the competition describing competition schedule, the expected number of participants and its rationale, which data is planned to be used, how will the submitted methods be evaluated and which performance measures will be used.
      • The names, contact information, and brief CVs of the competition organizers, outlining previous experience in performance evaluation and/or organizing competitions.

The following rules shall apply to the accepted competition:

      • The name of the competition must be standardized by starting with “ICDAR 2021” e.g. “ICDAR 2021 Competition on …” or “ICDAR 2021 … Competition.” 
      • Datasets used in the competitions must be made available after the end of the competitions. If the competition has already occured, the previous dataset should already be available. In principle, the organizers should submit the dataset to
      • Evaluation methodologies and metrics used must be described in detail so that results can be replicated later. Especially for the long-term competitions, it is preferable that the evaluation methodologies are open source and can be easily accessible from the participants but also from the research community.
      • Participants should not have access to the ground-truthed dataset until the end of the competition, the evaluation should be done by the organizers. 
      • The length and format of reports of the competitions are the same as for the regular papers (15 pages max and LNCS format). If there are circumstances to be considered, upon request, Competition Chairs may allow additional pages for the competitions’ reports, if necessary.
      • The results of competitions will be announced during a dedicated session of the ICDAR 2021 conference.
      • Each competition has to be presented with a poster at a prominent place at the conference venue. All accepted long-term competitions will be presented orally in a dedicated session as mentioned above.

Based on the analysis of the received proposals, the competitions chairs will first synchronize with the competitions organizers and then submit a proposal to the program committee, in order to finalize the organization of the competitions.

Submission Guidelines & Inquiries


All proposals should be submitted by electronic mail to the Competition Chairs (Foteini Liwicki and Harold Mouchère) via:

Note that we opt at accepting a significantly lower number of competitions than in the past. We encourage that competitions are open for a longer time (long-term).

For any inquiries you may have regarding the competitions, please contact us via above email.

Important Dates


June 12, 2020: Long-Term Competition Proposal Due
July 1, 2020: Long-Term Competition Acceptance Notification
September 4, 2020: Short-Term Competition Proposal Due
September 30, 2020: Short-Term Competition Acceptance Notification
Mar 31, 2021: Suggested deadline for competition participants
May 3, 2021: Initial Submission of Competition Reports Deadline
(Papers must be sent directly to the Competition Chairs)

May 31, 2021: Camera-Ready Papers Due

Download PDF version of the 1st Call for Competitions here.

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