Types of Papers and Submission Instructions

OpenSym distinguishes between research track papers and industry and community track contributions. Research track contributions are further divided into full and short papers as well as research posters. Industry and community track contributions are further divided into full and short experience reports as well as workshop, panel, demo, and tutorial proposals. The Doctoral Symposium accepts position papers.

Authors submit through EasyChair at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=opensym2016 using the appropriate category. Submissions and final contributions must follow the ACM SIG Proceedings template found at http://www.acm.org/publications/article-templates/proceedings-template.html/.


Research track papers have to pass rigorous academic peer review, while community track papers are primarily evaluated based on their interest to the community. Below we provide precise definitions of the paper types in each category. Please note that a research track does not have to accept all types of papers. However, if the track accepts a particular type of paper, it will conform to the description given below.

For inclusion in the conference proceedings in the ACM Digital Library (ACM DL), authors of submissions classified as research papers will either have to transfer their copyright to the ACM or pay for the open access option.

Authors who would not like to cause a full publication incident can choose to have a short (less than one page) abstract published in the proceedings. They will still get the slot commensurate with their paper type (full, short, poster). They will still have to transfer the copyright for the abstract to the ACM.

Within the proceedings, different paper types are maintained in different sections, and the review process they passed (i.e. the academic value) will be explained in the foreword to the proceedings.

In addition to being published in the ACM Digital Library the proceedings will also be made available, for free, on the OpenSym website. By submitting to OpenSym authors agree to the publication on the OpenSym website.

Research Track Paper Types

The following types of submissions can be submitted to a research track:

Full and Short Research Papers

A research paper is a manuscript that the author(s) submit for academic peer review. Research papers present integrative reviews or original reports of substantive new work: theoretical, empirical, and/or in the design, development and/or deployment of novel concepts, systems, and mechanisms. Research papers will be reviewed by a research track program committee to meet rigorous academic standards of publication. Papers will be reviewed for relevance, conceptual quality, innovation and clarity of presentation. A full research paper has a maximum of 10 pages and a short research paper has a maximum of 4 pages.

An accepted research paper will be published in the conference proceedings; the author(s) will either have to sign a copyright transfer agreement to the ACM or they can choose to pay for the open access option. If the authors don’t want to publish their full paper in the ACM DL, they can replace their original submission with an abstract (less than one page). All authors of accepted papers, independent of whether they chose to publish their original submission or just an abstract, will have to present their work at the conference in an allocated time slot. A full research paper is given a 30min presentation slot and a short research paper is given a 15min presentation slot.

Research Posters

A research poster is a two-page manuscript that describes late-breaking or otherwise novel and interesting results to the overall community at large. The goal is to give novel but not necessarily mature work a chance to be seen by other researchers and practitioners and to be discussed at the conference.

The poster description is put into the conference proceedings. At the conference, all poster presenters are given a large pinboard or equivalent presentation opportunity to put up material describing their work. A dedicated time slot, the poster session, is reserved for all poster presenters to be available at their pinboard and discuss their work with interested parties.

Research-in-progress Presentations

A research-in-progress presentation submission is a research paper that will be reviewed according to the same standards as a full or short research paper, see above. If accepted, the authors will be invited to present their work at the conference. However, in the conference proceedings, only a one-page abstract of the submission will be published (to document in the proceedings that the presentation has taken place).

This type of submission was created for scientific disciplines who value journal submissions over conference submissions. This submission type allows authors to participate actively in OpenSym without creating a (full) publication incident. The authors are free to take the feedback they receive and move on with their work to a journal. An acknowledgement of the support received through the OpenSym community is appreciated.

Industry and Community Track Paper Types

The following types of papers can be submitted to the industry and community track:

Submissions are reviewed by the industry and community track committee for their interest to the OpenSym community in general. For questions about community track submissions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Contributions to the industry and community track will be published in the companion to the proceedings of the conference.

Experience Reports

Experience reports are an integral part of the conference program. These are opportunities to discuss how ideas that sound good on paper (and at conferences!) work in real life. Many attendees want to learn from people on the front lines what it is like to do things like start a company wiki, run an open source project, or build a political campaign using open collaboration systems.

Experience reports are not research papers; their goal is to present experience and reflections on a particular case, and they are reviewed for usefulness, clarity and reflection. Strong experience reports discuss both benefits and drawbacks of the approaches used and clearly call out lessons learned. Reports may focus on a particular aspect of technology usage and practice, or describe broad project experiences.

Full experience reports may be 5-10 pages long and short experience reports may be 2-4 pages long. At the conference, a 30min presentation slot will be provided for full experience reports and a 15min presentation slot will be provided for short experience reports.


Workshops provide an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to discuss and learn about topics that require in-depth, extended engagement such as new systems, research methods, standards, and formats.

Workshop proposals should describe what you intend to do and how your session will meet the criteria described above. It should include a concise abstract, proposed time frame (half-day or full-day), what you plan to do during the workshop, and one-paragraph biographies of all organizers.

Workshop proposals will be reviewed and selected for their interest to the community. Each accepted workshop will be provided with a meeting room for either a half or full day. Organizers may also request technology and materials (projector, flip pads, etc).

A workshop proposal may be up to 4 pages long. At the conference, a workshop slot (half-day or full-day) will be provided.


Panels provide an interactive forum for bringing together people with interesting points of view to discuss compelling issues around open collaboration. Panels involve participation from both the panelists and audience members in a lively discussion. Proposals for panels should describe the topics and goals and explain how the panel will be organized and how the OpenSym community will benefit. It should include a concise abstract and one-paragraph biographies of panelists and moderators. Panel submissions will be reviewed and selected for their interest to the community.

A panel proposal may be up to 4 pages long. At the conference, a session (90min) discussion slot for the panel will be provided.


No format is better suited for demonstrating the utility of a new innovation than showing and using them. Demonstrations give presenters an opportunity to show running systems and gather feedback. Demo submissions should provide a setup for the demo, a specific description of what you plan to demo, what you hope to get out of demoing, and how the audience will benefit. A short note of any special technical requirements should be included. Demo submissions will be reviewed based on their relevance to the community.

A demo proposal may be up to 2 pages long. At the conference, space and time will be provided at the demo session (90min).


Tutorials tutorials are half-day classes, taught by experts, designed to help professionals rapidly come up to speed on a specific technology or methodology. Tutorials can be lecture-oriented or participatory. Tutorial attendees deserve the highest standard of excellence in tutorial preparation and delivery. Tutorial presenters are typically experts in their chosen topic and experienced speakers skilled in preparing and delivering educational presentations. When selecting tutorials, we will consider the presenter’s knowledge of the proposed topic and past success at teaching it.

A tutorial proposal may be up to 4 pages long. At the conference, a tutorial slot (90min) will be provided.

Doctoral Symposium Papers

Ph.D. students who are interested in receiving feedback on their dissertation work from professors and other experts can submit a summary to the doctoral symposium (track); there is only one type of submission.

  • Please use the following sections and headings:
    • Background: Quickly explain the domain, the problem, and how the problem arises
    • Goals: Formulate one or more research questions and describe what your expected answers and research contribution should look like (type, size/depth/degree).
    • Methods: What research and data collection methods you used (or intend to use or what is still unclear about this).
    • Results: What results (if any) you have so far.
    • My questions: Describe on which aspects of your research you would most like to receive feedback at the symposium.
  • Please vary the length of the sections as you see fit (right down to a mere “nothing yet.”), but stick to this format to help the committee understand the very different submissions (in terms of topic as well as research phase) we expect to receive.
  • Introduce subsections to your own liking; use cross references to avoid duplication. There is no abstract and no conclusions section. Cite references only where you think it will be useful.
  • Overall length should be four pages or shorter.
  • Applications are reviewed for the possible value their authors would receive when accepted to the doctoral symposium.

Position papers will be published in the companion to the proceedings of the conference.