Check out the new USENIX Web site.

About USENIX Events Membership Publications Students
USENIX '03 Call for Papers
June 9-14, 2003, San Antonio, Texas


USENIX '03 Home

Conference Overview

Important Dates

Conference Organizers

General Session Refereed Papers

How to Submit to the General Session Refereed Track

FREENIX Refereed Track

How to Submit to the FREENIX Refereed Track

Tutorials, Invited Talks, WiPs, and BoFs

Call for Papers in PDF Format


The FREENIX Refereed track submission deadline is November 25, 2002 (23:59pm EST). This is a hard deadline; no extensions will be given!

You may submit either a complete paper, or a 3-5 page extended abstract of your work to date. The program committee reads these submissions to determine which papers to accept for the conference; it is important that you include enough detail that program committee members can know what you are doing. In no event should you submit a description in excess of 14 pages including all figures, tables, and bibliography.

All submissions for the USENIX 2003 FREENIX Track will be electronic, in PostScript, PDF, or plain text, via this Web form. Be sure your paper is formatted in US-letter style (8.5x11 inches) and please use only standard English fonts.

Authors will be notified of receipt of submission via e-mail. If you do not receive notification by Friday, November 28, 2002, please contact:

A good paper should:

  • Be informative. The readers of your paper should learn something from it. It should be clear whether readers can apply your work to their own environment, and how they would go about doing so. "Negative results" that contradict the conventional wisdom are often more important than positive results, especially in case studies.

  • Demonstrate the innovation in the work being discussed. Freely-redistributable source code alone does not necessarily make a project innovative. Projects being discussed need not be major breakthroughs in their fields, but should at minimum demonstrate something new, potentially useful, and non-obvious. Papers should clearly demonstrate any improvements over the previously published work in their field.

  • Demonstrate the maturity of the work. The work described should be well under way. Most of the design and some of the implementation and testing should be accomplished by the submission date. You should have some initial results to report, including some idea of the performance of the work described (if appropriate). Final details are not needed at submission date, but should be presented in the final published work.

  • Describe a project which has freely-redistributable source code, or work related to such a project. Authors are strongly encouraged to release any source code they have prior to initial submission, even if the sources are incomplete and may not compile. If your project is not far enough along for that to be possible, it may be more appropriate for a Work-in-Progress session. Similarly, if at all possible, final papers should include references to published source code.

  • Include sufficient references. Authors must provide citations and a bibliography to prior publications or projects, along with an explanation of how your paper builds upon or improves upon the related work. The Program Committee expects you to make a substantial effort to find related work, as part of the process of documenting what makes your paper interesting.

  • Be clearly written. Submissions should clearly describe the ideas, work already accomplished, and work to be completed. Authors are encouraged to use available online writing style guides if they need guidance in this area. (Good examples include: and

Whether you submit an extended abstract or a full-length paper, the qualities listed above should be evident in your submission. Furthermore, submissions should clearly detail where work is still to be done or explained.

Papers previously published by USENIX, especially those published in the FREENIX Refereed Track, may be useful to help determine what is appropriate, and to improve your paper. A list of papers previously published by USENIX is available in our Library of Proceedings.

Note: the USENIX Technical Conference, like most conferences and journals, requires that papers not be submitted simultaneously to more than one conference or publication, and that submitted papers not be previously or subsequently published elsewhere. Papers accompanied by non-disclosure agreement forms are not acceptable and will be returned to the author(s) unread. All submissions are held in the highest confidentiality prior to publication in the Proceedings, both as a matter of policy and in accord with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.

Authors will be notified of paper acceptance or rejection by January 22, 2003. Authors whose submissions are accepted are expected to produce a final written report for the proceedings. Each accepted paper will be shepherded by a member of the program committee. Shepherds will help authors through the writing process prior to final acceptance for publication. The final reports must be reviewed and accepted by the paper's shepherd by March 31, 2003. Typically, authors and shepherds exchange 3-4 drafts of an accepted paper during the shepherding period. Whereas the effort involved by authors varies from paper to paper, during the shepherding period authors will often spend a total of 7-10 full days of work preparing their papers for camera-ready submission. After shepherd approval, the reports must be submitted with the standard release forms to the USENIX publications office by April 8, 2003. If you would like to avoid future formatting changes, you may consult a predefined template which formats according to the USENIX guidelines: StarWriter 5.0, Troff, LaTeX and style file, Framemaker, and MS-Word.

Final reports should be as polished as possible; higher quality submissions are often better received by the community. The papers should describe work that has been completed as of the time of their final submission. Your talk at the conference may describe not only what is in your paper but also the work completed between the time that the final paper is submitted and the conference is held.

If you have specific questions about submissions, send them to the program chair via email to: To help all authors, especially first-time authors, feel free to email with your ideas for a paper. We do not reject papers because they may be unpolished and we would be happy to guide authors toward a successful paper submission.

Next page

?Need help? Use our Contacts page.
Last changed: 19 Nov. 2002 jel
USENIX '03 Home
Events Calendar