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How and Where to Submit Refereed Papers
Important: Note that some past USENIX Security Symposia have had different policies and requirements. Please read the following text carefully.
Submissions are due by Thursday, February 18, 2016, 9:00 pm EST (hard deadline); no abstract submission is required. All submissions will be made online via the Web form, which will be available here soon. 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. 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 18 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. Failure to adhere to the page limit and formatting requirements can be grounds for rejection.
Conflicts of Interest
The program co-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 co-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 program co-chairs may now submit papers, so long as there is one chair who is not an author of the submission. The program co-chair who is not the author of the paper will be responsible for managing the other program co-chair’s paper.
Early Rejection and Appeals (New This Year!)
There will be no conventional rebuttal process. Papers that receive substantially negative initial reviews will be rejected early, and at the same time, the initial reviews of all submissions will be sent to the authors. Authors who substantively disagree with the reviews can appeal to the PC chairs. Authors' appeals must clearly and explicitly identify concrete disagreements with factual statements in the initial reviews that should be adjudicated by a special arbitration reviewer who may be recruited by the PC chairs. Appealing a submission that was rejected early will keep it under consideration, and it cannot be withdrawn or resubmitted elsewhere until the final notification of acceptance or rejection.
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. Papers that are not properly anonymized may be rejected without review.
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.
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 '16 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.
Human Subjects and Ethical Considerations
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)—if applicable).
- Discuss steps taken to ensure that participants and others who might have been affected by an experiment were treated ethically and with respect.
If the submission deals with vulnerabilities (e.g., software vulnerabilities in a given program or design weaknesses in a hardware system), the authors need to discuss in detail the steps they plan to take to address these vulnerabilities (e.g., by disclosing vulnerabilities to the vendors). The same applies if the submission deals with personal identifiable information (PII) or other kinds of sensitive data. If a paper raises significant ethical and legal concerns, it might be rejected based on these concerns.
Authors seeking ways to reduce the ethical risks of their experiments may optionally consider reaching out to the 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 this panel is before conducting your experiments, but they may be able to assist if concerns arise during an experiment. Contact the program co-chairs at email@example.com if you have any questions.
All submissions will be made online via the Web form. Submissions should be finished, complete papers and must be in PDF format. LaTeX users can use the "pdflatex" command to convert a LaTeX document into PDF format. Please make sure to embed your fonts, and 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 co-chairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. Simultaneous submission of the same work to multiple venues, submission of previously published work, or plagiarism constitutes dishonesty or fraud. Failure to point out and explain overlap will be grounds for rejection. 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 co-chairs, email@example.com, or the USENIX office, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The program committee and external reviewers are required to treat all submissions as confidential. However, the program co-chairs 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 Monday, May 16, 2016. The final paper due date is Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 9:00 pm 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 email@example.com. The papers will be available online to everyone beginning on the first day of the symposium, August 10, 2016.Specific questions about submissions may be sent to the program co-chairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. The chair will respond to individual questions about the submission process if contacted at least a week before the submission deadline.