USENIX Concern Reporting Process

As approved by the USENIX Board of Directors on June 6, 2024

USENIX takes concerns regarding its conferences seriously. The proper route for reporting concerns depends on the nature of the concerns.

Concerns Related to Peer Reviews, Publications, and Presentations

For concerns related to a USENIX conference’s processes for peer reviews, publications, and presentations, you should generally report the concerns privately to the program chairs of that conference directly. You may find contact details for a conference’s program chairs on the conference’s website.

In exceptional cases, contacting the program chairs may be undesirable. For example, concerns may relate to the program chairs themselves, or the adequacy of an investigation. In these cases, you can submit this form, which allows anonymous reporting. USENIX staff members, all of whom are nonprofit organization management professionals and thus operate as neutral parties within USENIX's research and engineering communities, receive and triage these concerns, passing them to the appropriate parties to handle the issues.

The triage could lead to one or more of the following parties participating in the process of reviewing and investigating concerns and deciding upon any sanctions:

  • Program chairs: If the concerns do not justify excluding the conference’s program chairs, the program chairs will lead the investigation.
  • Steering committee: If the concerns justify excluding the program chairs, the steering committee for the conference will lead the investigation. The (non-conflicted) members of the steering committee may also be consulted by the chairs leading the investigation if their input is considered valuable.
  • USENIX Board of Directors or Designees: In the unlikely event that neither a conference's chairs nor its steering committee can lead an investigation, members of the USENIX Board of Directors will determine alternatives (e.g., senior community members) to lead the investigation. Members of the USENIX Board of Directors are also responsible for making the final decision on any sanctions recommended by the investigating party.

The parties leading an investigation may request assistance from others (e.g., non-conflicted chairs of other conferences) in conducting the investigation and assessing possible responses. Individuals accused of wrongdoing and those with conflicts of interest are excluded from assisting, except to provide information and answers responsive to investigators’ requests. To determine conflicts, the aggregate of a conference’s latest conflict of interest policies (at the time the concerns were received) with the conflict of interest policies for all relevant years is used.

If the investigation results in a conclusion that sanctions are appropriate, the nature of the conduct, apparent intent, impact, and precedent guide decisions. While a wide range of sanctions are possible, past sanctions considered or enforced include (but are not limited to) removal of individuals from program committee service, prohibitions on service, rejection of submitted papers, and revocation of a paper or presentation’s acceptance. Sanctions are made by USENIX on the recommendation of the parties conducting the investigation.

To avoid unintended and unfair consequences for the individuals involved, the investigating parties will not publicly disclose allegations, sanctions resulting from allegations, or details of investigations. In extraordinary cases, USENIX may decide to disclose some details publicly with appropriate context.

If you have questions about this policy, please contact

Potential Violations of Code of Conduct

USENIX’s Code of Conduct aims to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants in its communities. For concerns related to harassment, potentially offensive imagery, or other violations of the Code when participating in USENIX events, online communities, and social media, please refer to the Code for information on reporting those concerns to USENIX staff.