NSDI '21 Instructions for Presenters

These instructions are for presenters at the 18th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI '21). If you wish to submit a paper or deliver a talk at another upcoming USENIX event, please review the open Calls for Papers and Calls for Participation for our upcoming USENIX conferences.


If you have questions, please contact the NSDI '21 Program Co-Chairs, James Mickens and Renata Teixeira, or the USENIX Production team.

Instructions for Authors of Refereed Papers

  1. Final Papers deadline. A PDF of your final paper is due via the submissions system by Wednesday, September 30, 2020 for the spring deadline and Tuesday, March 2, 2021 for the fall deadline. If you have questions, please contact the Production Department.
  2. Maximum page length. Final papers should be no longer than 12 pages, including footnotes, figures, and tables. Please note that the page limit does not include references and appendices.
  3. Paper format. Papers should be typeset in two-column format using 10-point type on 12-point (single-spaced) leading, in a text block 7" wide x 9" deep, formatted for 8.5" x 11" paper.
  4. Embed all fonts in your final paper PDF.
  5. Make searchable your final paper PDF.
  6. Page numbers must be suppressed on your final paper PDF.
  7. Looking for templates? Templates and sample first pages (two-column format) for Microsoft Word and LaTeX are available on the USENIX templates page.
  8. Certify your final paper's title, author, and abstract in HotCRP. The final PDF's title and author information, including author order and affiliation, and the abstract, must exactly match the information entered into the HotCRP submission system. Please update the information in HotCRP as necessary, then check the certification checkbox. Please note: if you make any changes after you check the certification checkbox, you will need to check the box again.
  9. Sign the consent to publish form. Each author must sign a consent to publish form, which allows USENIX to publish the paper as well as any slides, audio, and/or video of your presentation. USENIX makes these freely available as part of our commitment to open access. Please review and e-sign the form. If you are the lead author, please be sure all of your co-authors sign a form as well.
  10. Use of images, audio, and video in your materials. It is very important that you secure permission to use copyright-protected materials in your slide deck, paper, presentation video, or any other materials used at our event or submitted for publication. Even when using an item with a Creative Commons license, you must read and comply with the terms of the license.

    USENIX receives copyright infringement notices from time to time, resulting from authors or speakers using copyright-protected materials without proper licensing or attribution. When this happens, we have to unpublish the work in question until/unless the issue is resolved. Licensing fees may be incurred, even when the work is unpublished, and USENIX will bill the author or speaker for any costs incurred. When possible, USENIX will refer the complainant directly to the author or speaker, who will be solely responsible for resolving the complaint.
  11. Embargo Requests. All papers will be available online only to registered attendees before the symposium. If your accepted paper should not be published prior to the event, please notify the Production Department. The papers will be made available online to the public beginning on the first day of the conference.
  12. Prepare and submit your presentation videos and slides. For our virtual events, authors are required to record videos of their presentations and prepare their slide decks prior to the conference. Videos and slide decks for Spring submissions are due by Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Video and slide decks for Fall submissions are due by Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Specification requirements for both the videos and slides are available below and submission instructions will be emailed to presenters after the final paper deadline.

Slides and Video Specifications

For our virtual event, you must pre-record a video of your presentation that integrates your slides with footage of you speaking. This video will be played live for you by the USENIX staff during the event at your designated time slot in the program.

Slides Specifications

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Leave space in the top-right corner for the speaker inset showing you presenting your paper
  • Introduction slide that clearly lists the title of your paper and your name
  • Closing slide to thank your audience and/or collaborators and to display your contact information should you wish to receive follow-up questions from attendees
  • File format: PDF
  • File name: nsdi21_slides_[yourlastname].pdf (e.g. nsdi21_slides_smith.pdf)

Video Specifications

  • Length: 10–12 minutes
  • File format: H.264 MP4
  • Resolution: 1920x1080 (1080p)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Max file size: 500MB
  • File name: nsdi21_video_[yourlastname].mp4 (e.g. nsdi21_video_smith.mp4)
  • Clearly audible audio (headphones and headsets are permitted)
  • Fullscreen slides with a speaker inset, as shown here:
    Please ensure that your speaker inset does not cover any pertinent information on your slides.
  • Need help preparing your video? See our document, "USENIX Virtual Conferencing Video Instructions for Presenters," for step-by-step instructions, additional tips, and best practices.
  • Need a background to hide your messy office? Download one of USENIX video conference backgrounds.