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Important: Note that some past USENIX Security Symposia have had different policies and requirements.
Submissions are due by Monday, February 23, 2015, 9:00 p.m. EST (hard deadline). The title and abstract of a submission must be registered by Monday, February 16, 2015, 9:00 p.m. EST (hard deadline). All submissions will be made online via the Web form. Submissions should be finished, complete papers.
Paper submissions should be at most 13 typeset pages, excluding bibliography and well-marked appendices. These appendices may be included to assist reviewers who may have questions that fall outside the stated contribution of the paper on which your work is to be evaluated or to provide details that would only be of interest to a small minority of readers (e.g., the 2,000 applications that make up your benchmark or the exact wording of the instructions and 50 questions in a survey). There is no limit on the length of the bibliography and appendices, but reviewers are not required to read any appendices so the paper should be self contained without them. Once accepted, papers must be reformatted to fit in 16 pages, including bibliography and any appendices. The submission must be formatted in 2 columns, using 10-point Times Roman type on 12-point leading, in a text block of 6.5" by 9", on 8.5"x11" (letter-sized) paper. If you wish, please make use of the LaTeX file and style file available here when preparing your paper for submission.
Conflicts of Interest
The program chairs require cooperation from both authors and program committee members to prevent submissions from being evaluated by reviewers who have a conflict of interest. During the submission process, we will ask authors identify members of the program committee with whom they share a conflict of interest. This includes anyone who shares an institutional affiliation with an author at the time of submission, anyone who was the advisor or advisee of an author at any time in the past, or anyone the author has collaborated or published with in the prior two years.
Program committee members who are conflicts of interest with a paper, including program chairs, will be excluded from both online and in-person evaluation and discussion of the paper by default. With the program committee’s transition from one to two program chairs, the steering committee has modified the conflict of interest policies to allow all members of the program committee (including program chairs) to submit papers, so long as there is one chair who is not an author of the submission.
Papers must be submitted in a form suitable for anonymous review: no author names or affiliations may appear on the title page and authors should avoid revealing their identity in the text. When referring to your previous work, do so in the third person, as though it were written by someone else. Only blind the reference itself in the (unusual) case that a third-person reference is infeasible.
While authors will not be identified during the bulk of the review process, anonymity will expire after the great majority of reviews have been submitted and preliminary outcomes decided. While USENIX Security required authors to disclose their identities during the first two decades, we transitioned to anonymous submission in 2011 to prevent knowledge of authors’ identities from biasing reviewers. In 2014, we began revealing the identities of authors to reviewers toward the end of the review process—after reviewers had submitted their evaluations of the paper. This allows reviewers to identify mistaken assumptions they have made about the authorship of the paper, identify conflicts of interest that might have otherwise gone unnoticed, and to ameliorate any other damage caused by false assumptions about a paper’s authorship. To ensure transparency and determine the effectiveness of this approach, changes to reviews and paper outcomes that follow, and potentially result from, revelations of the authors’ identities will be monitored and reported on.
Reviews from Prior Submissions (New This Year!)
The rapidly increasing number of papers being submitted to security conferences has put a strain on both authors’ and reviewers’ time, with both sides concerned about the implications on the fairness of the process. Concerned reviewers worry that authors will give into the temptation to resubmit rejected papers without addressing prior reviewers’ concerns, hoping that different reviewers will lead to a different outcome. Authors are concerned that reviewers who helped to reject an earlier draft of a paper will not read an improved draft as diligently as they would read an unfamiliar submission and may miss or disregard improvements. The broad set of peer-reviewed publication venues in security make it hard to quantify, understand, or correct for these problems.
Starting this year, authors can optionally submit a document (PDF or text) containing (1) the complete reviews they received from prior submission(s) and (2) a page of up to 500 words documenting the improvements made since the prior submission(s). To reduce any potential bias, this document will be only available to reviewers after the bulk of reviews have been submitted, at the same time authors’ identities are revealed.
Also starting this year, if a submission is derived in any way from a submission submitted to another venue (conference, journal, etc.) in the past twelve months, we require that the authors provide the name of the most recent venue to which it was submitted. This information will be used (1) for aggregate statistics to understand the percent of resubmissions among the set of submitted (and accepted) papers; (2) at the chair's discretion, to identify dual submissions and verify the accuracy of prior reviews provided by authors regarding previously rejected papers.
Facebook Internet Defense Prize
The Internet Defense Prize recognizes and rewards research that meaningfully makes the internet more secure. Created in 2014, the award is funded by Facebook and offered in partnership with USENIX to celebrate contributions to the protection and defense of the internet. Successful recipients of the Internet Defense Prize will provide a working prototype that demonstrates significant contributions to the security of the internet, particularly in the areas of prevention and defense. This award is meant to recognize the direction of the research and not necessarily its progress to date. The intent of the award is to inspire researchers to focus on high-impact areas of research.
You may submit your USENIX Security '15 paper submission for consideration for the Prize as part of the regular submission process. More details will be available here soon. Find out more about the Prize here.
Submissions that describe experiments on human subjects, that analyze data derived from human subjects (even anonymized data), or that otherwise may put humans at risk should:
- Disclose whether the research received an approval or waiver from each of the authors’ institutional ethics review boards (IRB).
- Discuss steps taken to ensure that participants and others who might have been affected by an experiment were treated ethically and with respect.
Authors seeking ways to reduce the ethical risks of their experiments may optionally consider reaching out to the newly formed Ethics Feedback Panel for Networking and Security. The panel’s mission is to help researchers identify ethics-related risks, find prior research that provides precedent or data to inform ethical decision making, to suggest ways to improve experimental designs to reduce ethical risks, and provide any other information that may assist the researchers in meeting their ethical obligations. The best time to reach out to panel is before conducting your experiments, but they may be able to assist if concerns arise during an experiment. Contact the program chair at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
How and Where to Submit
Submissions must be in PDF format. LaTeX users can use the “pdflatex” command to convert a LaTeX document into PDF format. Please make sure your submission can be opened using Adobe Reader. Please also make sure your submission, and all embedded figures, are intelligible when printed in grayscale.
All submissions will be judged on originality, relevance, correctness, and clarity. In addition to citing relevant published work, authors should relate their submission to any other relevant submissions of theirs in other venues that are under review at the same time as their submission to the Symposium. These citations to simultaneously submitted papers should be anonymized; non-anonymous versions of these citations must, however, be emailed to the program chair at email@example.com.
Simultaneous submission of the same work to multiple venues, submission of previously published work, or plagiarism constitutes dishonesty or fraud. USENIX, like other scientific and technical conferences and journals, prohibits these practices and may take action against authors who have committed them. See the USENIX Conference Submissions Policy for details. Questions? Contact your program chair, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the USENIX office, email@example.com.
The program committee and external reviewers are required to treat all submissions as confidential. However, the program chair or designated committee members may share submissions outside the program committee to allow chairs of other conferences to identify dual submissions.
Papers that do not comply with the submission requirements, including length and anonymity, or that do not have a clear application to security or privacy, may be rejected without review. Papers accompanied by nondisclosure agreement forms will not be considered.
Authors will be notified of acceptance by Tuesday, May 12, 2015. The final paper due date is Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 9:00 p.m. EDT. Each accepted submission may be assigned a member of the program committee to act as its shepherd through the preparation of the final paper. The assigned member will act as a conduit for feedback from the committee to the authors.
All papers will by default be available online to registered attendees before the symposium. If your accepted paper should not be published prior to the event, please notify firstname.lastname@example.org. The papers will be available online to everyone beginning on the first day of the symposium, August 12, 2015.
Specific questions about submissions may be sent to the program chair at email@example.com. The chair will respond to individual questions about the submission process if contacted at least a week before the submission deadline.