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Mon 14 - Fri 18 November 2022 Singapore

Call for Papers

We invite high-quality submissions, from both industry and academia, describing original and unpublished results of theoretical, empirical, conceptual, and experimental software engineering research. Contributions should describe innovative and significant original research. Papers describing groundbreaking approaches to emerging problems will also be considered. Submissions that facilitate reproducibility by using available datasets or making the described tools and datasets publicly available are especially encouraged. For a list of specific topics of interest, please see the end of this call. Papers submitted for consideration to ESEC/FSE should not have been already published elsewhere and should not be under review or submitted for review elsewhere during the reviewing period. Specifically, authors are required to adhere to the ACM Policy and Procedures on Plagiarism and the ACM Policy on Prior Publication and Simultaneous Submissions.

How to Submit

At the time of submission, all papers must conform to the ESEC/FSE 2022 Format and Submission Guidelines, and must not exceed 10 pages for all text and figures plus 2 pages for references. For Microsoft Word users, please still use the “Interim Template” and not the New Workflow for ACM Publications. All submissions must be in English and in PDF format. You can submit, optionally, an additional file containing supplementary material (see details below). Submissions that do not comply with the above instructions will be desk rejected without review. Papers must be submitted electronically through the ESEC/FSE submission site:


Each submission will be reviewed by at least three members of the program committee. Authors will have an opportunity to respond to reviews during a rebuttal period. Submissions will be evaluated on the basis of originality, importance of contribution, soundness, evaluation, quality of presentation and appropriate comparison to related work. Some papers may have more than three reviews, as PC chairs may solicit additional reviews based on factors such as reviewer expertise and strong disagreement between reviewers. The authors will have a chance to read the additional reviews and respond to them during the additional short response period. The program committee as a whole will make final decisions about which submissions to accept for presentation at the conference.

ESEC/FSE 2022 will employ a double-blind review process. The papers submitted must not reveal the authors’ identities in any way:

  • Authors should leave out author names and affiliations from the body of their submission.
  • Authors should ensure that any citation to related work by themselves is written in third person, that is, “the prior work of XYZ” as opposed to “our prior work”.
  • Authors should not include URLs to author-revealing sites (tools, datasets).
  • You are encouraged to submit a link to a Web site or repository containing supplementary material (raw data, datasets, experiments, etc.), as long as it is blinded. The visit of such sites should not be needed to conduct the review. The program committee will not necessarily consider it in the paper review process. For more information, please read How to disclose data for double-blind review and make it archived open data upon acceptance. As an alternative to having an external link, the submission form provides an option to attach a replication package.
  • Authors should anonymize author-revealing company names but instead provide general characteristics of the organizations involved needed to understand the context of the paper.
  • Authors should ensure that paper acknowledgements do not reveal the origin of their work.

The double-blind process used this year is “heavy”, i.e., the paper anonymity will be maintained during the reviewers’ discussion period and the authors’ rebuttal period. Authors must therefore maintain anonymity in their responses during the rebuttal phases, and provide no additional information that would otherwise be author-revealing.

Authors with further questions on double-blind reviewing are encouraged to contact the program chairs by email. Papers that do not comply with the double-blind review process will be desk-rejected.

To prevent double submissions, the chairs might compare the submissions with related conferences that have overlapping review periods. The double submission restriction applies only to refereed journals and conferences, not to unrefereed forums (e.g. arXiv.org). To check for plagiarism issues, the chairs might use external plagiarism detection software.

To facilitate double-blind reviewing, we advise the authors to postpone publishing their submitted work on arXiv or similar sites until after the notification of acceptance. However, if the authors have already published a version of their paper to arXiv or similar sites, we request authors to use a different title for their submission, so that author names are not inadvertently disclosed, e.g., via a notification on Google Scholar.

All publications are subject to the ACM Author Representations policy.

As a published ACM author, you and your co-authors are subject to all ACM Publications Policies, including ACM’s new Publications Policy on Research Involving Human Participants and Subjects.

Important Dates

All dates are 23:59:59 AoE (UTC-12h)

  • Paper registration: 10 March 2022 (to register a paper, only a paper title, an author list and some additional metadata are required)
  • Full paper submission: 17 March 2022
  • 1st Rebuttal period (all papers): 9-13 May, 2022
  • 2nd Additional short response period (selected papers): 30-31 May, 2022
  • Author notification: 14 June 2022

Open Science Policy

The research track of ESEC/FSE has introduced an open science policy. Openness in science is key to fostering scientific progress via transparency, reproducibility, and replicability. The steering principle is that all research results should be accessible to the public, if possible, and that empirical studies should be reproducible. In particular, we actively support the adoption of open data and open source principles and encourage all contributing authors to disclose (anonymized and curated) data to increase reproducibility and replicability.

Upon submission to the research track, authors are asked to make their data available to the program committee (via upload of anonymized supplemental material or a link to an anonymized private or public repository) or to comment on why this is not possible or desirable. While sharing such a repository is not mandatory for submission or acceptance, this information will be passed to the program committee to inform its decision. Furthermore, authors are asked to indicate whether they intend to make their data publicly available upon acceptance. For more details on ESEC/FSE open science policy, please refer to the official guidelines.

Authors of accepted papers will be given an opportunity (and encouragement) to submit their data and tools to the separate ESEC/FSE’21 artifact evaluation committee.

Topics of Interest

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning for software engineering
  • Autonomic computing
  • Debugging and fault localization
  • Dependability, safety, and reliability
  • Distributed and collaborative software engineering
  • Embedded software, safety-critical systems, and cyber-physical systems
  • Empirical software engineering
  • Formal methods
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Mining software repositories
  • Mobile development
  • Model checking
  • Model-driven engineering
  • Parallel, distributed, and concurrent systems
  • Performance engineering
  • Program analysis
  • Program comprehension
  • Program repair
  • Program synthesis
  • Programming languages
  • Recommendation systems
  • Requirements engineering
  • Search-based software engineering
  • Services, components, and cloud
  • Software architectures
  • Software engineering education
  • Software engineering for machine learning and artificial intelligence
  • Software evolution
  • Software processes
  • Software security
  • Software testing
  • Software traceability
  • Symbolic execution
  • Tools and environments

FAQ on Review Process and Double-Anonymous Reviewing

Open Science Policy

Q: What is the ESEC/FSE 2021 open science policy and how can I follow it?

Openness in science is key to fostering scientific progress via transparency, reproducibility, and replicability. Upon submission to the research track, authors are asked to:

  • make their data available to the program committee (via upload of supplemental material or a link to an anonymous repository) and provide instructions on how to access this data in the paper; or
  • include in the paper an explanation as to why this is not possible or desirable; and
  • indicate if they intend to make their data publicly available upon acceptance.

Q: How can I upload supplementary material via the HotCRP site and make it anonymous for double-anonymous review?

To conform to the double-anonymous policy, please include an anonymized URL. Code and data repositories may be exported to remove version control history, scrubbed of names in comments and metadata, and anonymously uploaded to a sharing site.

Rationale for Double-Anonymous Reviewing (DAR)

Q: Why are you using double-anonymous reviewing?

A: Studies have shown that a reviewer’s attitude toward a submission may be affected, even unconsciously, by the identity of the authors.

Q: Do you really think DAR actually works? I suspect reviewers can often guess who the authors are anyway.

A: It is rare for authorship to be guessed correctly, even by expert reviewers, as detailed in this study.

For Authors

Q: What exactly do I have to do to anonymize my paper?

A: Use common sense. Your job is not to make your identity undiscoverable but simply to make it possible for reviewers to evaluate your submission without having to know who you are: omit authors’ names from your title page, and when you cite your own work, refer to it in the third person. Also, be sure not to include any acknowledgements that would give away your identity. You should also avoid revealing the institutional affiliation of authors

Q: I would like to provide supplementary material for consideration, e.g., the code of my implementation or proofs of theorems. How do I do this?

On the submission site, there will be an option to submit supplementary material along with your main paper. This supplementary material should also be anonymized; it may be viewed by reviewers during the review period, so it should adhere to the same double-blind guidelines.

Q: My submission is based on code available in a public repository. How do I deal with this?

A: Making your code publicly available is not incompatible with double-blind reviewing. You should do the following. You can cite the code in your paper, but remove the actual URL. Instead create an anonymized version of the repository and include a new URL that points to the anonymized version of the repository, similar to how you would include supplementary materials to adhere to the Open Science policy.

Q: I am building on my own past work on the WizWoz system. Do I need to rename this system in my paper for purposes of anonymity, so as to remove the implied connection between my authorship of past work on this system and my present submission?

A: Maybe. The core question is really whether the system is one that, once identified, automatically identifies the author(s) and/or the institution. If the system is widely available, and especially if it has a substantial body of contributors and has been out for a while, then these conditions may not hold (e.g., LLVM or HotSpot), because there would be considerable doubt about authorship. By contrast, a paper on a modification to a proprietary system (e.g., Visual C++, or a research project that has not open-sourced its code) implicitly reveals the identity of the authors or their institution. If naming your system essentially reveals your identity (or institution), then anonymize it. In your submission, point out that the system name has been anonymized. If you have any doubts, please contact the Program Chair.

Q: I am submitting a paper that extends my own work that previously appeared at a workshop. Should I anonymize any reference to that prior work?

A: No. But we recommend you do not use the same title for your ESEC/FSE submission, so that it is clearly distinguished from the prior paper. In general, there is rarely a good reason to anonymize a citation. When in doubt, contact the Program Co-Chairs.

Q: Am I allowed to post my (non-blinded) paper on my web page or arXiv?

A: If the authors have already published a version of their paper to arXiv or similar sites, we request authors to consider using a different title for their submission, so that author names are not inadvertently disclosed, e.g., via a notification on Google Scholar. Another option would be to postpone publishing their submitted work on arXiv or similar sites, until after the notification of acceptance. If the paper is accepted, you may request a title change to the PC chairs (via email to esecfse2022pc-chairs@googlegroups.com, with subject “ESEC/FSE 2022 [PAPER-ID]: Title change request”), which will be subject to reviewers’ approval.

Q: Can I give a talk about my work while it is under review? How do I handle social media?

A: We have developed guidelines, described here, to help everyone navigate in the same way the tension between the normal communication of scientific results, which double-anonymous reviewing should not impede, and actions that essentially force potential reviewers to learn the identity of the authors for a submission. Roughly speaking, you may (of course!) discuss work under submission, but you should not broadly advertise your work through media that is likely to reach your reviewers. We acknowledge there are gray areas and trade-offs; we cannot describe every possible scenario.

Things you may do:

  • Put your submission on your home page.
  • Discuss your work with anyone who is not on the review committees, or with people on the committees with whom you already have a conflict.
  • Present your work at professional meetings, job interviews, etc.
  • Submit work previously discussed at an informal workshop, previously posted on arXiv or a similar site, previously submitted to a conference not using double-anonymous reviewing, etc.

Things you should not do:

  • Contact members of the review committees about your work, or deliberately present your work where you expect them to be.
  • Publicize your work on major mailing lists used by the community (because potential reviewers likely read these lists).
  • Publicize your work on social media if wide public [re-]propagation is common (e.g., Twitter) and therefore likely to reach potential reviewers. For example, on Facebook, a post with a broad privacy setting (public or all friends) saying, “Whew, ESEC/FSE paper in, time to sleep” is okay, but one describing the work or giving its title is not appropriate. Alternatively, a post to a group including only the colleagues at your institution is fine.

Reviewers will not be asked to recuse themselves from reviewing your paper unless they feel you have gone out of your way to advertise your authorship information to them. If you are unsure about what constitutes “going out of your way”, please contact the Program Co-Chairs.

Q: Will the fact that ESEC/FSE is double-anonymous have an impact on handling conflicts of interest?

A: Double-anonymous reviewing does not change the principle that reviewers should not review papers with which they have a conflict of interest, even if they do not immediately know who the authors are. Authors declare conflicts of interest when submitting their papers using the guidelines in the Cal for Papers. Papers will not be assigned to reviewers who have a conflict. Note that you should not declare gratuitous conflicts of interest and the chairs will compare the conflicts declared by the authors with those declared by the reviewers. Papers abusing the system will be desk-rejected.

For Reviewers

Q: What should I do if I learn the authors’ identity? What should I do if a prospective ESEC/FSE author contacts me and asks to visit my institution?

A: If you feel that the authors’ actions are largely aimed at ensuring that potential reviewers know their identity, contact the Program Chairs. Otherwise, you should not treat double-anonymous reviewing differently from other reviewing. In particular, refrain from seeking out information on the authors’ identity, but if you discover it accidentally this will not automatically disqualify you as a reviewer. Use your best judgment.

Q: The authors have provided a URL to supplemental material. I would like to see the material but I worry they will snoop my IP address and learn my identity. What should I do?

A: Contact the Program Chairs, who will download the material on your behalf and make it available to you.

Q: If I am assigned a paper for which I feel I am not an expert, how do I seek an outside review?

A: PC members should do their own reviews, not delegate them to someone else. Please contact the Program Chairs, especially since additional reviewers might have a different set of conflicts of interest.

Q: How do we handle potential conflicts of interest since I cannot see the author names?

A: The conference review system will ask that you identify conflicts of interest when you get an account on the submission system.

Q: How should I avoid learning the authors’ identity, if I am using web-search in the process of performing my review?

A: You should make a good-faith effort not to find the authors’ identity during the review period, but if you inadvertently do so, this does not disqualify you from reviewing the paper. As part of the good-faith effort, please turn off Google Scholar auto-notifications. Please do not use search engines with terms like the paper’s title or the name of a new system being discussed. If you need to search for related work you believe exists, do so after completing a preliminary review of the paper.

These guidelines are partly based on the PLDI FAQ on double-blind reviewing and the ICSE 2022 guidelines on double-anonymous submissions.

Review Process

Q: Can I withdraw my paper?

A: Yes, papers can be withdrawn at any time using HotCRP.