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A call for papers (CfP) is a method used in academic and other contexts for collecting book or journal articles or conference presentations. A CfP usually is sent to interested parties, describing the broad theme, the occasion for the CfP, formalities such as what kind of abstract (summary) has to be submitted to whom and a deadline.
A CfP is usually distributed using a mailing list (e.g. DBWorld in Computer Science), or on specialized services such as PapersInvited or EventSeer.net. Papers are usually submitted using an online abstract or paper management service.