USENIX Security '20 Submission Policies and Instructions

Submission Policies

Important: The USENIX Security Symposium moved to multiple submission deadlines last year and included changes to the review process and submission policies. Detailed information is available at USENIX Security Publication Model Changes.

USENIX Security '20 submissions deadlines are as follows:

  • Spring Quarter: Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 8:00 pm EDT
  • Summer Quarter: Friday, August 23, 2019, 8:00 pm EDT
  • Fall Quarter: Friday, November 15, 2019, 8:00 pm EDT
  • Winter Quarter: Saturday, February 15, 2020, 8:00 pm EDT

All papers that are accepted by the end of the winter submission reviewing cycle (February–May 2020) will be invited to present at USENIX Security '20. All submissions will be made online via their respective web forms: Winter Quarter. Do not email submissions. Submissions should be finished, complete papers, and we may reject papers without review that have severe editorial problems (broken references, egregious spelling or grammar errors, missing figures, etc.) or are submitted in violation of the Submission Instructions outlined below.

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.

Papers should be typeset on U.S. letter-sized pages in two-column format in 10-point Times Roman type on 12-point leading (single-spaced), in a text block 7" x 9" deep. Please note that this text block size has changed. If you wish, please make use of USENIX's LaTeX template and style files when preparing your paper for submission. Failure to adhere to the page limit and formatting requirements can be grounds for rejection.

Prepublication of Papers

Prepublication versions of papers accepted for USENIX Security '20 will be published and open and accessible to everyone without restrictions on the following dates:

  • Spring Quarter: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
  • Summer Quarter: Wednesday, January 15, 2020
  • Fall Quarter: Wednesday, April 15, 2020
  • Winter Quarter: TBD (final papers will be published with the full conference proceedings)

Embargo Requests

Authors may request an embargo for their papers by the deadline dates listed below. All embargoed papers will be released on the first day of the conference, Wednesday, August 12, 2020.

  • Spring Quarter: Tuesday, October 8, 2019
  • Summer Quarter: Wednesday, January 8, 2020
  • Fall Quarter: Wednesday, April 8, 2020
  • Winter Quarter: Monday, July 1, 2020

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 to identify members of the program committee with whom they share a conflict of interest. This includes: (1) anyone who shares an institutional affiliation with an author at the time of submission, (2) anyone who was the advisor or advisee of an author at any time in the past, (3) anyone the author has collaborated or published with in the prior two years, (4) anyone who is serving as the sponsor or administrator of a grant that funds your research, or (5) close personal friendships. For other forms of conflict, authors must contact the chairs and explain the perceived conflict.

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.

Early Rejection Notification

The review process will consist of several reviewing rounds. In order to allow authors time to improve their work and submit to other venues, authors of submissions for which there is a consensus on rejection will be notified earlier.

Author Responses

Authors of papers that have not been rejected early will have an opportunity to respond to an initial round of reviews. We encourage authors to focus on questions posed by reviewers and significant factual corrections.

Anonymous Submission

The review process will be double blind. Papers must be submitted in a form suitable for anonymous review:

  • The title page should not contain any author names or affiliations.
  • Authors should carefully review figures and appendices (especially survey instruments) to ensure affiliations are not accidentally included.
  • 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.
  • Authors may include links to websites that contain source code, tools, or other supplemental material. The link in the paper should not contain the author’s name or affiliation. However, the website itself may contain the authors’ names and affiliations.

Papers that are not properly anonymized may be rejected without review.

While submitted papers must be anonymous, authors may choose to give talks about their work, post a preprint of the paper online, disclose security vulnerabilities to vendors or the public, etc. during the review process.

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 '20 paper submission for consideration for the Prize as part of the regular submission process. Find out more about the Internet Defense Prize.

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:

  1. Disclose whether the research received an approval or waiver from each of the authors’ institutional ethics review boards (e.g., an IRB).
  2. 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 have already taken or plan to take to address these vulnerabilities (e.g., by disclosing vulnerabilities to the vendors). The same applies if the submission deals with personally 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.

Contact the program co-chairs at if you have any questions.

Submission Instructions

All submissions will be made online via their respective web forms: Winter Quarter. Do not email submissions. 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.

If they wish, authors may include in an appendix any reviews received for a previous submission of the paper (to any conference) and a response to those reviews. However, authors are not required to submit previous reviews, and reviewers will not be required to take them into account. (Exception: Note that for resubmissions of Major Revisions, authors must submit an appendix that includes a list of changes to the paper and a statement of how the changes address the review comments.)

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 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.

Note that under the changes to the USENIX Security publication model, papers that have received a decision of Major Revisions from USENIX Security are still considered to be under review for the following two review cycles after notification; authors must formally withdraw their paper if they wish to submit to another venue. See USENIX Security Publication Model Changes for details. For submissions that received Reject or Reject and Resubmit decisions from USENIX Security '19, resubmissions must follow the rules laid out for when they can be resubmitted (i.e., not in the next two deadlines for Reject and Resubmit, and not in the next three deadlines for Reject).

Questions? Contact your program co-chairs,, or the USENIX office,

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, that do not comply with resubmission policies, 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.

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 The papers will be available online to everyone beginning on the first day of the symposium, August 12, 2020.

Specific questions about submissions may be sent to the program co-chairs at The chairs will respond to individual questions about the submission process if contacted at least a week before the submission deadline.

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