Call for Abstracts: Miltary Sciences vs Open Sciences in Pandemic, Virtual Conference


Helsinki conference header

30 August 2020

Deadline for submission of Abstracts (link to follow)

30 September 2020

Notification of authors

10 October 2020

Deadline for Registration 


13-26 October 2020


off-line (asynchronous) comments and discussion of research within working groups       

27-29 October 2020     

online (in person) on Zoom, with working group and plenary sessions

Virtual business meetings will be scheduled for Military Research Centres, Military Librarians, and Military Journal editors. Discussions are also scheduled for Technical Staff Training and Education programs. For details, contact

To cover the costs of electronic hosting, the Conference Fee has been set at 50 Euros, which can be paid online through Fikket at the following link: after 1 August 2020.

The Finnish National Defence University (FNDU) is pleased to host the ISMS Annual Conference 2020. Originally, the conference was scheduled to take place as a traditional “physical conference” at the FNDU campus in Helsinki Finland. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions caused by it, FNDU is offering an alternative format for the ISMS 2020 conference to safeguard participants’ health and to overcome potential travel restrictions that still may be in effect in fall 2020. 

The initial theme of the conference was “Military Sciences vs. Open Sciences.” It has been amended to consider the impact of the ongoing pandemic. With the original theme, we would like to encourage the participants of the conference to challenge their preconceptions about how, why, on what and for whom we do research on the area of military sciences. The term “Military Science” or “Military Sciences” juxtaposes two worlds. The military world is traditionally based on secrecy and control of information while the scientific world is open for public criticism. The main intention of the “Open Science” movement is to make scientific research—including publications, data, physical samples, software, and dissemination of results—accessible to everybody. Open science encourages sharing knowledge and building new research on previous research regardless of where it has been conducted. Thus, this theme challenges researchers in both the military world and the world of science to learn from the experiences of the other.  

In addition, the current COVID-19 pandemic has made new demands on Defence Forces—fulfilling ordinary tasks and providing stability and sustainability of modern societies. We can’t avoid touching these issues. Hence, this conference offers also an opportunity to exchange experiences on the best practises for military research and education conducted during a pandemic, and new tasks for defence forces and their partners organizations. 

This is our first experience of a virtual conference, and we hope to see the usual participants, and some new faces freed from the need to travel. 

ISMS annual conference 2020 will take place in two phases in fall 2020: 

13-26 October, working groups and business meetings will have off-line (asynchronous) conversations for registered participants within each group. Participants and presenters can watch view these materials, give comments, ask questions, and otherwise participate in each group at the time when it suits them.

27-29 October, there will be an online virtual conference on a video teleconferencing platform (Zoom) including plenary sessions, parallel working group sessions, and social meeting forums. There will be a mentoring session for young scholars. We anticipate roundtable discussions to support ongoing publication projects, including the Handbook of Military Sciences. These events will be scheduled for Central European Time

This two-phased virtual conference will be a test for new working methods to improve future physical conferences, which might be improved by circulating materials online before meeting.

We are calling for academic abstracts under the theme “MILITARY SCIENCES vs. OPEN SCIENCES with scent of COVID-19 pandemic”. Abstracts will be reviewed by Working Groups and Conference Committee. Accepted abstracts will be presented in one of the ten ISMS Working Groups, which are as follows: 

1. War Studies

2. Military History

3. Military Technology

4. Leadership, Command, and Basic Competences

5. Law and Ethics

6. Security and Defence Policy

7. Armed Forces and Society

8. Defence Management and Economics

9. Military Education

10. Strategy

Authors are asked to specify one or two preferred Working Groups for their abstract. More information on the Working Groups can be found on the website at:

Guidelines for Submitting Abstracts

Abstracts should provide valuable scientific insight for the international community of military professionals and scholars. Abstracts should be 600 – 1,000 words in length and should identify:

  • The research problem or question investigated
  • The basic design of the study, including sources and methods
  • The major findings of your study
  • A summary of your interpretations and conclusions
  • The relevance of your work for the specific audience and wider community of practice

The deadline for submitting abstracts will be 31.8.2020. The abstracts should be submitted in MS Word format, using the font Times New Roman and font size 12. All abstracts will undergo a review process, and authors will be notified by 30.9.2020 whether their abstract has been accepted for the Conference.

To submit your abstract, a link will be provided shortly. All abstracts and brief profiles of the researchers will be published in the Conference Booklet in electronic format.