Write a Blog >>
ECOOP 2017
Sun 18 - Fri 23 June 2017 Barcelona, Spain
co-located with PLDI'17 and ECOOP'17

Call for Papers

ECOOP is a programming languages conference. Its primary focus has been object-orientation, though in recent years, it has accepted quality papers over a much broader range of programming topics. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the theory, design, implementation, optimization, and analysis of programs and programming languages. It solicits both innovative and creative solutions to real problems, and evaluations of existing solutions in ways that shed new insights. It also encourages the submission of reproduction studies.

Paper Selection

ECOOP 2017 solicits high quality submissions describing original and unpublished results. The program committee will evaluate the technical contribution of each submission as well as its general relevance and accessibility to the ECOOP audience according the following criteria:

  • Originality. Papers must present new ideas and place them appropriately within the context established by previous research in the field.
  • Significance. The results in the paper must have the potential to add to the state of the art or practice in significant ways.
  • Evidence. The paper must present evidence supporting its claims. Examples of evidence include formalizations and proofs, implemented systems, experimental results, statistical analyses, and case studies.
  • Clarity. The paper must present its contributions and results clearly.
  • For Reproduction Studies: Empirical Evaluation. Common in other sciences, reproduction means independently reconstructing an experiment in a different context (e.g., virtual machine, platform, class of applications) in order to validate or refute important results of earlier work. A good reproduction study will include thorough empirical evaluation. It will contain a detailed comparison with the previous results, seeking reasons for possible disagreements.

Paper Submission

Only papers that have not been published and are not under review for publication elsewhere can be submitted. Double submissions will be rejected without review. If major parts of an ECOOP submission have appeared elsewhere in any form, authors are required to notify the ECOOP program chair and to explain the overlap and relationship. Authors are also required to inform the program chair about closely related work submitted to another conference while the ECOOP submission is under review.

Papers must be no longer than 25 pages, excluding references. See below for information about appendices. Authors will not be penalized for papers that are shorter than the page limit.

Submissions will be carried out electronically via HotCRP.

ECOOP Proceedings are published by Dagstuhl LIPIcs. Papers must be written in English and follow the Dagstuhl LIPIcs LaTeX-style template. Authors retain ownership of their content.

Anonymity

ECOOP will use light double-blind reviewing whereby authors’ identities are withheld until the reviewer submits their review (as usual, reviews are always anonymous). To facilitate this, submitted papers must adhere to two rules:

  • author names and institutions must be omitted, and
  • references to authors’ own other work should be in the third person (e.g., not We build on our previous work… but rather We build on the work of…).

A document answering frequently asked questions that hopefully addresses many common concerns ia available here. When in doubt, contact the program chair.

Additional Material

Clearly marked additional appendices, not intended for the final publication, containing supporting proofs, analyses, statistics, etc., may be included beyond the page limit. There is also an option on the paper submission page to submit supplementary material, e.g., a technical report including proofs, or web pages and repositories that cannot easily be anonymized. This material will be made available to reviewers after the initial reviews have been completed when author names are revealed.

Reviewers are under no obligation to examine the appendices and supplemental material. Therefore, the paper must be a stand-alone document, with the appendices and supplemental material viewed only as a way of providing useful information that cannot fit in the page limit, rather than as a means to extend the page limit.

Authors of papers that have been submitted but not accepted by previous prestigious conferences may additionally submit a Note to Reviewers. The Note to Reviewers should a) identify the previous venue(s) (e.g., ESOP 2017, POPL 2017, OOPSLA 2016); b) list the major issues identified by the reviews at those venues; and c) describe the changes made to the paper in response to those reviews. These notes will be made available to reviewers after the initial review has been completed and author names have been revealed.

Response period

Authors will be given a three-day period to read and respond to the reviews of their papers before the program committee meeting. Responses have no formal length limit, but concision will be highly appreciated and is likely to be more effective.

Artifact Evaluation

To reward the creation of artifacts and support replication of experiments, authors of accepted research papers can submit artifacts (such as tools, data, models, or videos) to be evaluated by an Artifact Evaluation Committee. Artifacts that pass muster will be recognized formally, and the Artifact Evaluation Committee will give an award for the most distinguished artifact.

More Information

For additional information, please contact the ECOOP Program Chair, Peter Müller (peter.mueller@inf.ethz.ch).

This content is mainly due to Mike Hicks and Richard Jones.

General

Why are you using double-blind reviewing?

Our goal is to give each a reviewer an unbiased “first look” at each paper. Studies have shown that a reviewer’s attitude toward a submission may be affected, even unconsciously, by the identity of the author (see link below to more details). We want reviewers to be able to approach each submission without such involuntary reactions as “Barnaby; he writes a good paper” or “Who are these people? I have never heard of them.” For this reason, we ask that authors to omit their names from their submissions, and that they avoid revealing their identity through citation. Note that many systems and security conferences use double-blind reviewing and have done so for years (e.g., PLDI, ASPLOS, SIGCOMM, OSDI, IEEE Security and Privacy, SIGMOD, ISMM).

A key principle to keep in mind is that we intend this process to be cooperative, not adversarial. If a reviewer does discover an author’s identity though a subtle clue or oversight the author will not be penalized.

For those wanting more information, see the list of studies about gender bias in other fields and links to CS-related articles that cover this and other forms of bias below.

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

Studies of blinding with the flavor we are using show that author identities remain unknown 53% to 79% of the time (see Snodgrass, linked below, for details). Moreover, about 5-10% of the time (again, see Snodgrass), a reviewer is certain of the authors, but then turns out to be at least partially mistaken. Mike Hicks’s survey of POPL’12 PC and ERC members showed that they were often mistaken or surprised by the author’s identity. So, while sometimes authorship can be guessed correctly, the question is, is imperfect blinding better than no blinding at all? If author names are not explicitly in front of the reviewer on the front page, does that help at all even for the remaining submissions where it would be possible to guess? Our conjecture is that on balance the answer is “yes”.

Couldn’t blind submission create an injustice where a paper is inappropriately rejected based upon supposedly-prior work which was actually by the same authors and not previously published?

In the approach we are taking for ECOOP’16, author names are revealed to reviewers after they have submitted their review. Therefore, a reviewer can correct their review if they indeed have penalized the authors inappropriately. Unblinding prior to the PC meeting also avoids abuses in which committee members end up advancing the cause of a paper with which they have a conflict.

For authors

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

Your job is not to make your identity undiscoverable but simply to make it possible for our reviewers to evaluate your submission without having to know who you are. The specific guidelines stated in the call for papers are simple: omit authors’ names from your title page (or list them as “omitted for submission”), and when you cite your own work, refer to it in the third person. For example, if your name is Smith and you have worked on amphibious type systems, instead of saying “We extend our earlier work on statically typed toads (Smith 2004),” you might say “We extend Smith’s (2004) earlier work on statically typed toads.” Also, be sure not to include any acknowledgements that would give away your identity.

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?

A: On the submission site there will be an option to submit supplementary material along with your main paper. This supplementary material need not be anonymized; it will only be revealed to reviewers after they have submitted their review of your paper and learned your identity. Reviewers are under no obligation to look at this material. The submission itself is the object of review and so it should strive to convince the reader of at least the plausibility of reported results; supplemental material only serves to confirm, in more detail, the idea argued in the paper. Of course, reviewers are free to change their review upon viewing supplemental material (or for any other reason). For those authors who wish to supplement, we encourage them to mention the supplement in the body of the paper. E.g., “The proof of Lemma 1 is included in the non-anonymous supplemental material submitted with this paper.”

Q: Is there a way for me to submit anonymous supplemental material which could be considered by a reviewer before she submits her review (rather than potentially non-anonymous material that can only be viewed afterward)?

You may include additional material as an anonymized appendix to your paper. Reviewers are under no obligation to look at this material. That said, there is nothing stopping an author from releasing a TR, code, etc. via an anonymous hosting service, and including a URL to that material in the paper. We point out this option not to encourage authors to exercise it, but to make them aware it exists, since we know of others who have used it. We emphasize that authors should strive to make their paper as convincing as possible on its own, in case reviewers choose not to access supplemental material.

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?

No, you must not change the name. The relationship between systems and authors changes over time, so there will be at least some doubt about authorship. Increasing this doubt by changing the system name would help with anonymity, but it would compromise the research process. In particular, changing the name requires explaining a lot about the system again because you can’t just refer to the existing papers, which use the proper name. Not citing these papers runs the risk of the reviewers who know about the existing system thinking you are replicating earlier work. It is also confusing for the reviewers to read about the paper under Name X and then have the name be changed to Name Y. Will all the reviewers go and re-read the final version with the correct name? If not, they have the wrong name in their heads, which could be harmful in the long run.

I did an empirical study at my university. Should I mention the university at which the study was done, even if that would reveal the affiliation of one or more authors?

It is a best practice to describe the study audience precisely in the final paper, but for many studies a description of the audience’s university (“students at a mid-tier undergraduate liberal arts institution, with a strong verification component in the computer science curriculum”) is sufficient for reviewing, and is unlikely to cause the kind of confusion alluded to when blinding the name of a research system. Thus in most cases the actual university should be blinded to avoid breaching anonymity. If doing so would compromise the reviewing process, however - for example because the university at which the study was done has relevant unique characteristics - it should not be blinded. When in doubt, or to explain a decision not to blind the university at which the study was done, contact the PC chair.

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?

No. But we recommend you do not use the same title for your ECOOP submission, so that it is clearly distinguished from the prior paper. In general there is rarely a good reason to anonymize a citation. One possibility is for work that is tightly related to the present submission and is also under review. But such works may often be non-anonymous. When in doubt, contact the PC Chair.

Am I allowed to post my (non-blinded) paper on my web page? Can I advertise the unblinded version of my paper on mailing lists or send it to colleagues? May I give a talk about my work while it is under review?

As far as the authors’ publicity actions are concerned, a paper under double-blind review is largely the same as a paper under regular (single-blind) review. Double-blind reviewing should not hinder the usual communication of results.

That said, we do ask that you not attempt to deliberately subvert the double-blind reviewing process by announcing the names of the authors of your paper to the potential reviewers of your paper. It is difficult to define exactly what counts as “subversion” here, but some blatant examples include: sending individual e-mail to members of the PC about your work (unless they are conflicted out anyway), posting mail to a major mailing list (e.g. TYPES) announcing your paper, or posting about it on social media. On the other hand, it is perfectly fine, for example, to visit other institutions and give talks about your work, to present your submitted work during job interviews, to present your work at professional meetings (e.g. Dagstuhl), or to post your work on your web page. PC members 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’re not sure about what constitutes “going out of your way”, please consult directly with the Programme Chair.

Will the fact that ECOOP is double-blind have an impact on handling conflicts-of interest? When I am asked by the submission system to identify conflicts of interest, what criteria should I use?

Using DBR 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.

As an author, you should list PC members (and any others, since others may be asked for outside reviewers) who you believe have a conflict with you. While particular criteria for making this determination may vary, the AITO guidelines indicate a potential conflict with:

Your graduate supervisors and students. Members of your current research team. A co-author of a paper in the last five years. A member of your family or a close personal friend. Someone with whom you have a significant financial relationship . An employee of theorganization you work for (including an academic department). There is (perhaps fortunately, perhaps not) room for interpretation in many of these. Example: If you work for a large company or a multi-campus university, do you have a conflict with all other employees? Well, even the U.S. National Science Foundation permits members of one campus to waive conflicts with members of the other campuses. There might be similar border line situations with large European projects. When you’re unsure, ask the programme chair for advice.

If a possible reviewer does not meet the above criteria, please do not identify him/her as conflicted. Doing so could be viewed as an attempt to prevent a qualified, but possibly skeptical reviewer from reviewing your paper. If you nevertheless believe that a reviewer who does not meet the above criteria is conflicted, you may identify the person and send a note to the PC Chair.

For reviewers

What should I do if I if I learn the authors’ identity? What should I do if a prospective ECOOP author contacts me and asks to visit my institution?

If at any point you feel that the authors’ actions are largely aimed at ensuring that potential reviewers know their identity, you should contact the Programme Chair. Otherwise you should not treat double-blind reviewing differently from regular blind reviewing. In particular, you should 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.

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?

Contact the Programme Chair, who will download the material on your behalf and make it available to you.

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

PC members should do their own reviews, not delegate them to someone else. If doing so is problematic for some papers, e.g., you don’t feel completely qualified, then consider the following options. First, submit a review for your paper that is as careful as possible, outlining areas where you think your knowledge is lacking. Assuming we have sufficient expert reviews, that could be the end of it: non-expert reviews are valuable too, since conference attendees are by-and-large not experts for any given paper. Second, the review form provides a mechanism for suggesting additional expert reviewers to the PC Chair, who may contact them if additional expertise is needed. Please do NOT contact outside reviewers yourself. As a last resort, if you feel like your review would be extremely uninformed and you’d rather not even submit a first cut, contact the PC Chair, and another reviewer will be assigned.

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

The conference review system will ask that you identify conflicts of interest when you get an account on the submission system. Please see the related question applied to authors to decide how to identify conflicts. Feel free to also identify additional authors whose papers you feel you could not review fairly for reasons other than those given (e.g., strong personal friendship).

More information about bias in merit reviewing

Kathryn McKinley’s editorial makes the case for double-blind reviewing from a computer science perspective. Her article cites Richard Snodgrass’s SIGMOD record editorial which collects many studies of the effects of potential bias in peer review. Mike Hicks’s Chair’s Report describes how POPL’12 used double-blind reviewing and analyzes its effectiveness.

Here are a few studies on the potential effects of bias manifesting in a merit review process, focusing on bias against women. (These were collected by David Wagner.)

  • There’s the famous story of gender bias in orchestra try-outs, where moving to blind auditions seems to have increased the hiring of female musicians by up to 33% or so. Today some orchestras even go so far as to ask musicians to remove their shoes (or roll out thick carpets) before auditioning, to try to prevent gender-revealing cues from the sound of the auditioner’s shoes.

  • One study found bias in assessment of identical CVs but with names and genders changed. In particular, the researchers mailed out c.v.’s for a faculty position, but randomly swapped the gender of the name on some of them. They found that both men and women reviewers ranked supposedly-male job applicants higher than supposedly-female applicants – even though the contents of the c.v. were identical. Presumably, none of the reviewers thought of themselves as biased, yet their evaluations in fact exhibited gender bias. (However: in contrast to the gender bias at hiring time, if the reviewers were instead asked to evaluate whether a candidate should be granted tenure, the big gender differences disappeared. For whatever that’s worth.)

  • The Implicit Association Test illustrates how factors can bias our decision-making, without us realising it. For instance, a large fraction of the population has a tendency to associate men with career (professional life) and women with family (home life), without realizing it. The claim is that we have certain gender stereotypes and schemas which unconsciously influence the way we think. The interesting thing about the IAT is that you can take it yourself. If you want to give it a try, select the Gender-Career IAT or the Gender-Science IAT from here. There’s evidence that these unconscious biases affect our behavior. For instance, one study of recommendation letters written for 300 applicants (looking only at the ones who were eventually hired) found that, when writing about men, letter-writers were more likely to highlight the applicant’s research and technical skills, while when writing about women, letter-writers were more likely to mention the applicant’s teaching and interpersonal skills.

  • This study reports experience from an ecology journal that switched from non-blind to blind reviewing. After the switch, they found a significant (~8%) increase in the acceptance rate for female-first-authored submissions. To put it another way, they saw a 33% increase in the fraction of published papers whose first author is female (28% -> 37%). Keep in mind that this is not a controlled experiment, so it proves correlation but not causation, and there appears to be controversy in the literature about the work. So it as at most a plausibility result that gender bias could be present in the sciences, but far from definitive.

Snodgrass’ studies includes some of these, and more.

All papers and all artifacts will be available free of charge from the publisher's web site. Moreover, authors will retain full copyright to their work, allowing them to deposit copies in institutional repositories and free archives such as arXiv..

Background

From its first proceeding for the Paris conference of 1987, ECOOP appeared as an issue of Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), volume 267 was the first. The only exceptions were ECOOP’89 (Nottingham) and 1990 (co-located with OOPSLA in Ottawa), which were published by Cambridge University Press and ACM, respectively. ECOOP’14, volume 8586 of LNCS, will thus end a long partnership. Over the years, Springer supported the conference in different ways, such as providing prizes for best papers and allowing authors to upload large software artifacts. This support was appreciated by the community but it is time to reconsider ECOOP’s publishing arrangements.

In the last decade or two, the publishing landscape underwent a radical transformation. Print decreased drastically: there was a time when each attendee would expect a printed copy, but that number dwindled to the 50 free volumes given by Springer to organizers. In 2014, half of those free copies went unclaimed. Similarly CD-ROMs and USB sticks became historical curiosities. Today “publishing” a conference proceedings means little more than insuring that an electronic copy of each paper is available in perpetuity and that that copy is properly indexed by various search engines. Whereas publishers used to edit and typeset documents, nowadays authors and volunteers prepare the proceedings themselves.

As open source software has become the standard for government funded research, increasingly the same is required for publications on that same research. Numerous countries and funding agencies are mandating Open access (OA), that is to say unrestricted access to scientific works without charge to the reader, this known as “Gold” OA. Other models exist, but only “Gold” OA ensures free access to all articles in perpetuity. The alternative, Green OA, depends on authors posting copies of the published version on their, or their institution’s, web pages. These may not be preserved in perpetuity, and provide no centralized index. OA does not entail that authors retain copyright of their work.

LIPIcs

Since 2015, ECOOP proceedings are published in the LIPIcs–Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics series established in cooperation with Schloss Dagstuhl–Leibniz Center for Informatics. LIPIcs volumes are published according to the principle of OpenAccess, i.e., they are available online and free of charge. Schloss Dagstuhl institutes an Editorial Board to assure the high scientific quality of the series by overseeing the selection of the conferences to be included.

LIPIcs are published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. Thereby, the authors retain their copyrights and readers can re-use the published work in the most meaningful manner. All documents published in LIPIcs are assigned a persistent identifier. Each document gets a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and a Uniform Resource Name (URN) as persistent identifiers. All documents published in LIPIcs are collected by the German National Library which is responsible for not only archiving the documents but also for conversion to future formats or future supply of current environments which allow the long-term retrieval of the publications. All LIPIcs volumes are indexed in dblp, and in Scopus. Dagstuhl charges an article-processing fee (APC) of 15 EUR per published paper.

Procedural matters

A few words on how the switch happened. ECOOP’s contract with LNCS is negotiated yearly. In 2014, AITO Executive Board (Exec) representatives contacted Springer with questions about open access. They received no answer. In parallel, Shriram Krishnamurthi, the ECOOP’16 PC chair, suggested that AITO consider open access for 2016. With the approval of John Tang Boyland, the ECOOP’15 PC chair, a survey of all authors of submitted papers was conducted. The results were strongly in favor of moving to open access. In fact, even switching in 2015 was favored by the respondents. The AITO Exec had an internal vote and the result was unanimous support. John Boyland was consulted once more and he agreed to the switch. Then AITO members were asked to vote on the switch. The result was 28 votes in favor and one abstention. In response the AITO Exec proceeded to sign a five year contract with LIPIcs.

Important Dates AoE (UTC-12h)
Wed 12 Apr 2017
Acceptance notification
Wed 19 Apr 2017
Artifact submission
Wed 22 Mar 2017
Author response end
Mon 20 Mar 2017
Author response start
Fri 13 Jan 2017
Paper submission
Sat 7 Jan 2017
Abstract submission