Call for Papers

FSE 2018 call for contributions to New Ideas and Emerging Results (FSE-NIER 2018).

25th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering

November 4–9, 2018

Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA

Call for New Ideas and Emerging Results, Visions and Reflections

ESEC/FSE-NIER 2018 seeks to challenge the status quo of our discipline by providing a venue for innovative, radical, thought-provoking new ideas, arguments, and research directions in software engineering. The NIER also incorporates the previous FSE-VaR (Visions and Reflections) track, seeking to spark conversation on the state of the field, especially in light of the 50-year anniversary of the 1968 NATO conference on Software Engineering.

We invite three kinds of papers:

  1. Innovative or groundbreaking new ideas supported by promising initial results, such as:

    a. Exciting new directions in early stages of research, supported by promising initial evidence, including summaries of highly innovative research ideas recently awarded as large, multi-year grants.

    b. Startling new results that disregard established results or beliefs, supporting a call for fundamentally new research directions.

  2. Visions of the future, such as:

    a. Bold calls to action for potential novel directions supported by a strong and well-motivated scientific intuition or argument.

    b. Well-grounded predictions of where the field of software engineering could or should take us ten, twenty, or fifty years from now.

  3. Reflections essays, such as:

    a. Arguments that challenge or call into question current research directions, ideally leading a rethinking of those directions.

    b. Thoughtful observations coalescing the most important ideas from 50 years of experience in software engineering, where they have led us so far, where past ideas have turned out to be right or wrong.

We hope that the ESEC/FSE-NIER Track contributes to a culture that encourages dreamers and trailblazers to share their visions and new research directions, particularly those that connect to other fields, as well as candid, critical reflections and recollections of past and present research. The writing style can be narrative when appropriate. Future-looking submissions (whether supported by argumentation or initial results) might propose pursuit of unusual synergies with other disciplines or explain the importance of applying software engineering to problems whose software engineering implications have not been previously studied. Reflective submissions might clearly motivate a rationale for challenging current practice and/or research in software engineering, or illustrate unexpected connections and themes across prior work.

ESEC/FSE-NIER publications should not hinder later full paper publication; rather, we hope that the ESEC/FSE-NIER papers and consequent discussions will serve as a basis for high-quality full publications.


In principle, the track addresses the same technical topics of interest as the research paper track. However, authors are encouraged to combine these topics in new ways, establish connections to other fields, and argue for the importance of software engineering research in areas not explicitly listed in the call for research papers.

Empirical results are not required for all ESEC/FSE-NIER papers. Preliminary results or a sketch of evaluation plan may be appropriate for certain submissions, and may help reviewers better understand the scope and potential of the work, but substantial evaluation is not always necessary. Historical demonstration of state of the practice impact, or lack thereof, might be warranted for reflections papers.

Out of scope

A NIER (or VAR) paper is fundamentally different in nature from a research track submission. A NIER submission should not be a full research submission lacking an evaluation, nor a disguised advertisement for previously-published results. Authors should consider submitting such out-of-scope contributions to the main conference or a co-located workshop or satellite conference.

If you have any questions about the suitability of a paper, please contact the co-chairs, Gail Kaiser and Claire Le Goues


All papers will be evaluated in terms of the following criteria.

  • Soundness: the submission makes a coherent argument, substantiated by historical analysis, cogent analytical argument, or appropriately-scoped initial empirical results.

  • Originality or potential for impact: the submission presents a particularly novel collation of historical work, insight or approach towards new/future work, and/or is potentially disruptive of current practice or common knowledge.

  • Scholarship: the submission appropriately considers and puts itself in context with respect to the relevant literature.

Submission and Publication

In the submission form, authors must clearly identify their paper as one of

  • Early Results
  • Visions (of the future)
  • Reflections (on the past)

A submission must conform at the time of submission to the ESEC/FSE 2018 submission and formatting instructions. Submissions must not exceed four pages, including all text, appendices, and figures. One more page containing only references is permitted. Papers must be submitted electronically at the ESEC/FSE EasyChair submission site by the deadline.

ESEC/FSE-NIER will employ the same double-blind review process as the main research track. Submissions must not reveal authors’ identities; consult the main research track CfP for more details on appropriate anonymization practices.

Submissions that do not comply with these instructions may be rejected without review.

Note that the official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM Digital Library. This date may be up to two weeks prior to the first day of ESEC/FSE 2018. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.

Authors of accepted papers should also create a poster describing their work. Authors will present their work via a talk and a poster session.

At least one author of each accepted paper must register and present the paper at ESEC/FSE 2018 in order for the paper to be published in the proceedings. One-day registrations do not satisfy the registration requirement. Please carefully read the complete list of ESEC/FSE Submission Policies and Policies for Accepted Contributions.

Important dates

  • Submission Deadline: Friday, June 15, 2018
  • Notification: July 25, 2018
  • Camera ready (tentative): September 14, 2018

NIER Co-Chairs

Gail Kaiser, Columbia University, USA

Claire Le Goues, Carnegie Mellon University, USA