Sun 17 - Fri 22 October 2021 Chicago, Illinois

PACMPL Issue OOPSLA 2021 seeks contributions on all aspects of programming languages and software engineering. Authors of papers published in PACMPL Issue OOPSLA 2021 will be invited to present their work in the OOPSLA track of the SPLASH conference in November.

Papers may target any stage of software development, including requirements, modeling, prototyping, design, implementation, generation, analysis, verification, testing, evaluation, maintenance, and reuse of software systems. Contributions may include the development of new tools (such as language front-ends, program analyses, and runtime systems), new techniques (such as methodologies, design processes, and code organization approaches), new principles (such as formalisms, proofs, models, and paradigms), and new evaluations (such as experiments, corpora analyses, user studies, and surveys).

Call for Papers

Papers appear in an issue of the Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages (PACMPL). PACMPL is a Gold Open Access journal, all papers will be freely available to the public. Authors can voluntarily cover the article processing charge ($400), but payment is not required.

Paper Selection Criteria

We consider the following criteria when evaluating papers:

Novelty: The paper presents new ideas and results and places them appropriately within the context established by previous research.

Importance: The paper contributes to the advancement of knowledge in the field. We also welcome papers that diverge from the dominant trajectory of the field.

Evidence: The paper presents sufficient evidence supporting its claims, such as proofs, implemented systems, experimental results, statistical analyses, case studies, and anecdotes.

Clarity: The paper presents its contributions, methodology and results clearly.

Review Process

Papers will be selected using a two-stage process with double-blind reviewing until a subset of the submissions are conditionally accepted. This FAQ on Double Blind Reviewing address common questions. If after reading the FAQ you are still uncertain on how to prepare your submission for OOPSLA’s double-blind review, please contact the PC chair at oopsla@splashcon.org for guidance.

The first reviewing stage assess papers using the above selection criteria. At the end of that stage a set of papers is conditionally accepted. The entire first reviewing phase is double-blind.

Authors of conditionally accepted papers must make a set of mandatory revisions. The second reviewing phase assesses whether the revisions have been addressed. The expectation is that the revisions can be addressed and that conditionally accepted papers will be accepted in the second phase. The second reviewing phase does not use double blind reviewing.

The second submission must be accompanied by a cover letter mapping each mandatory revision request to specific parts of the paper.

Submission Requirements

For double-blind reviewing papers must adhere to three rules:

  1. author names and institutions must be omitted, and
  2. references to authors’ own related work should be in the third person (e.g., not “We build on our previous work …” but rather “We build on the work of …”), and
  3. any supplementary material should be similarly anonymized

The purpose of this process is to help reviewers decide whether to conditionally accept a submission without bias, not to make it impossible for them to discover the authors if they were to try. Nothing should be done in the name of anonymity that weakens the submission or makes the job of reviewing the paper more difficult.

Submissions must conform to both the ACM Policies for Authorship and SIGPLAN’s Republication Policy. Authors will be required to sign a license or copyright release.

The official publication date is the date the journal are made available in the ACM Digital Library. The journal issue and associated papers may be published up to two weeks prior to the first day of the conference.

Artifact Evaluation

Authors of conditionally accepted papers are encouraged to submit supporting materials for Artifact Evaluation.
Authors should indicate with their initial submission if an artifact exists and describe its nature and limitations.

Further information can be found in the OOPSLA Artifact track


For additional information or answers to questions please write to oopsla@splashcon.org.

Notice: Supplementary materials must be anonymized!

Submission Preparation Instructions

PACMPL (OOPSLA) employs a two-stage, double-blind reviewing process, so papers must be anonymized.

Formatting: Submissions must be in PDF, printable in black and white on US Letter sized paper. All submissions must adhere to the “ACM Small” template available (in both LaTeX and Word formats) from http://www.acm.org/publications/authors/submissions. LaTeX-specific questions are fielded by the ACM.

Submitted papers may be at most 23 pages in 10 point font, excluding bibliographic references and appendices.

There is no page limit for bibliographic references and appendices. However, reviewers are not obligated to read the appendices.

Submissions do not meet the above requirements will be rejected without review.

Citations: Papers are expected to use author-year citations. Author-year citations may be used as either a noun phrase, such as “The lambda calculus was originally conceived by Church (1932)”, or a parenthetic phase, such as “The lambda calculus (Church 1932) was intended as a foundation for mathematics”. (Either parentheses or square brackets can be used to enclose the citations.) A useful test for correct usage it to make sure that the text still reads correctly when the parenthesized portions of any references are omitted. Take care with prepositions; in the first example above, “by” is more appropriate than “in” because it allows the text to be read correctly as a reference to the author. Sometimes, readability may be improved by putting parenthetic citations at the end of a clause or a sentence, such as “A foundation for mathematics was provided by the lambda calculus (Church 1932)”. In LaTeX, use \citet{Church-1932} for citations as a noun phrase, “Church (1932)”, and \citep{Church-1932} for citations as a parenthetic phrase, “(Church 1932)”; for details, see Sections 2.3–2.5 of the natbib documentation (natbib).

Author Response Period: During the author response period, authors will be able to read reviews and respond to them.

Supplementary Materials: authors may attach anonymous supplementary material to a submission, on the understanding that reviewers may choose not to look at it. The material should be uploaded at submission time, as a single pdf or a tarball, not via a URL. This supplementary material should be anonymized.

Authorship Policies: All submissions are expected to comply with the ACM Policies for Authorship.

Republication Policies: Papers must describe unpublished work that is not currently submitted for publication elsewhere as described by SIGPLAN’s Republication Policy. Submitters should also be aware of ACM’s Policy and Procedures on Plagiarism.

Information for Authors of Accepted Papers

  • The page limit for final versions of papers is 27 pages (excluding references) to ensure that authors have space to respond to reviewer comments and mandatory revisions.
  • PACMPL is a Gold Open Access journal. Authors may voluntarily cover the article processing charges (currently 400 USD).
  • We invite the authors of articles in the OOPSLA issue of Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages (PACM PL) to attend the SPLASH conference and present accepted papers, regardless of nationality. If any author has visa-related difficulties, we will make arrangements to enable remote participation.
  • The official publication date is the date the papers are made available in the ACM Digital Library. The journal issue and associated papers may be published up to two weeks prior to the first day of the conference. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.

The following content is based on Mike Hicks’s guidelines with input from Frank Tip, Keshav Pingali, Richard Jones, John Boyland, Yannis Smaragdakis and Jonathan Aldrich.


Q: Why double-blind reviewing?

A: Studies have shown that a reviewer’s attitude toward a submission may be affected, even unconsciously, by the identity of the authors. We want reviewers to be able to approach each submission without any such, possibly involuntary, pre-judgment. For this reason, we ask that authors to omit their names from their submissions, and that they avoid revealing their identity through citation. 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.

Q: Do you think blinding works?

A: Studies of blinding with the flavor we are using show that author identities remain unknown 53% to 79% of the time. Moreover, about 5-10% of the time, a reviewer is certain of the authors, but then turns out to be at least partially mistaken. Yannis Smaragdakis’s survey of the OOPSLA 2016 PC showed that any given reviewer of a paper guessed at least one author correctly only 26-34% of the time, depending on whether you count a non-response to the survey as failure to guess or failure to answer. So, while sometimes authorship can be guessed correctly, the question is, is imperfect blinding better than no blinding at all? Our conjecture is that on balance the answer is “yes”.

Q: 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 may not have even been previously published?

A: A submission should always meaningfully compare and contrast its contribution with relevant published prior work, independent of the authorship of that prior work. Reviewers are held accountable for their positions and are required to identify any supposed prior work that they believe undermines the novelty of the paper. Any assertion that “this has been done before” by reviewers should be supported with concrete information. The author response mechanism exists in part to hold reviewers accountable for claims that may be incorrect.

For Authors

Q: What do I have to do?

A: 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 main guidelines are simple: omit authors’ names from your title page, 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.

Q: How do I provide supplementary material?

A: On the submission site there will be an option to submit supplementary material along with your paper. This supplementary material should be anonymized. 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. Of course, reviewers are free to change their review upon viewing supplemental material. 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 anonymous supplemental material submitted with this paper.”

Q: I am building on my work on the XYZ system. Do I rename it for anonymity?

A: No, you must not change the name and you should certainly cite your published past work on it! The relationship between systems and authors changes over time, so there will be at least some doubt about authorship.

Q: Can I submit a paper that extends a workshop paper?

A: Generally yes, but the ideal course of action depends on the degree of similarity and on publication status. On one extreme, if your workshop paper is a publication (i.e., the workshop has published a proceedings, with your paper in it) and your current submission improves on that work, then you should cite the workshop paper as if it were written by someone else. On the other extreme, if your submission is effectively a longer, more complete version of an unpublished workshop paper (e.g., no formal proceedings), then you should include a (preferably anonymous) version of the workshop paper as supplementary material. In general, there is rarely a good reason to anonymize a citation. When in doubt, contact the PC Chair.

Q: Am I allowed to post my paper on my web page, advertise it on mailing lists, send it to colleagues or give talks?

A: 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 a blatant example would include sending individual e-mail to members of the PC about your work. On the other hand, it is fine 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, 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 Program Chair.

We recognize that some researchers practice an open research style in which work is shared on mailing lists, arxiv, or social media as it is produced. We think this style of research can coexist with double-blind reviewing if authors follow simple guidelines. You may post to mailing lists, arxiv, social media, or another publicity channel about your work, but do not mention where the paper is submitted and do not use the exact, as-submitted title in the posting.

Q: Does double-blind have an impact on handling conflicts-of interest?

A: No. 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.

For Reviewers

Q: What should I do if I if I learn the authors’ identity?

A: 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 Program 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.

Q: The authors provided a URL to supplemental material, I worry they will snoop my IP address. What should I do?

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

Q: Can I seek an outside review?

A: No. PC members should do their own reviews. If doing so is problematic, e.g., you don’t feel qualified, then consider the following options. First, submit a review 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. 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.