Guidelines about Workshops
SIGPLAN-sponsored conferences often organize a program of affiliated
workshops in addition to the main conference program. These workshops are
beneficial to the community—attracting participants, fostering
discussion, encouraging students, and so on—and are strongly supported
By and large, there are two kinds of workshops. The first kind require
SIGPLAN EC approval, have a PC, use the SIGPLAN name, and publish their
proceedings (if any) in the ACM DL; the second kind require approval only by
the conference organizers and not by SIGPLAN EC, need not have a PC, cannot
use the SIGPLAN name, and should not publish proceedings. In this document
we call them SIGPLAN-approved workshops and conference-approved
- A SIGPLAN-approved workshop has a call for submissions and a submission
- Submissions are evaluated by a Program Committee, and thus subject to peer
- The Program Committee respects the SIGPLAN Diversity Policy.
- The proposal for a SIGPLAN-approved workshop, including the composition of
the Program Committee, is approved by the SIGPLAN Executive Committee.
- If there is a proceedings of any kind, the proceedings must be lodged in
the ACM Digital Library, and the papers in it are considered published.
- SIGPLAN-approved workshops are usually but not necessarily colocated with
a SIGPLAN host conference.
- The “submissions” need not be full papers - they may be abstracts, talk
- The workshop organizers may choose for there to be no proceedings.
- The workshop may use the SIGPLAN name in its title and the SIGPLAN logo on
- A conference-approved workshop is organized under the aegis of a SIGPLAN
- Accepted submissions must not be published in any way, and they do not
become part of the ACM Digital Library.
- A conference-approved workshop may not use the SIGPLAN name or logo. It
may, however, use the name of the host conference.
- If there are submitted or accepted papers, workshop organizers are
encouraged to keep them short; from two to six 2-column ACM pages is often
- Organizers may wish to select participants by explicitly soliciting
abstracts or position statements, and directly issuing invitations to
panellists or discussion leaders.
- Although a conference-approved workshop may not collect submissions into a
proceedings, it may create a “workshop summary” that is not peer-reviewed,
but which is included within the host conference “companion” or posted on
a web site. The summary may include talk abstracts, talk slides, talk
videos, and other information intended as an informal record of the
workshop. These materials are not considered published, and they are not
expected to be cited in future publications. (That is, subsequent authors
may choose to cite these materials, as they may for any other “grey
literature”, but they need not.)
- Whether SIGPLAN-approved or conference-approved, workshops located
alongside a larger conference are typically organized through the host
conference, either via the General Chair of the host conference or by
delegation to a Workshops Chair.
- A conference-approved workshop need not have a Program Committee or a Call
for Papers; it might be just a Birds-of-a-Feather session.
- Accepted submissions often present work in progress for early access. Some
will subsequently be extended into full papers for submission and peer
- In accordance with the SIGPLAN Republication Policy, if it is the
intention that presentation at the workshop should not preclude
publication elsewhere, then this should be clearly stated in the call for
papers and in any workshop record.
- A conference-approved workshop is not subject to approval by the SIGPLAN
Executive Committee; it is sufficient for the organizers of the host
conference to be satisfied as to the workshop’s quality and integrity.
- Both kinds of workshop are valuable, and SIGPLAN encourages them
equally. But clarity about the two distinct kinds is valuable too, and
“hybrid” arrangements risk causing confusion among the community. SIGPLAN
does not endorse hybrids, such as workshops with proceedings in the DL but
no formal CFP or no PC, or full papers in the DL that are not intended to
be considered as “formally published”.
Guidelines for Workshop Organizers
The primary decision you need to make is whether your workshop should be
“SIGPLAN-approved” or “conference-approved”, in the sense discussed
above. If you intend for submissions to be polished papers, lodged in the DL
for posterity, and permanently citable, you should go the “SIGPLAN-approved”
route; you will need to select a Program Committee, have it approved by
SIGPLAN EC, distribute a call for papers, review submissions, and so on. If
instead you want to attract work in progress, and do not want to discourage
authors from submitting substantially the same work as a full paper
elsewhere, then you might go the “conference-approved” route.
If you want to organize a SIGPLAN-sponsored workshop, by far the simplest
way to do so is as part of a SIGPLAN-sponsored conference; otherwise, the
effort of managing the finances is likely to be out of proportion with the
size of the event. The main four SIGPLAN conferences (POPL, PLDI, ICFP,
SPLASH) each have a Workshops Chair and a formal Call for Workshop
Proposals; submit your proposal in response to this call, and the Workshops
Chair will guide you through the process of setting up your workshop. For
the other SIGPLAN conferences, the role of Workshops Chair is usually played
by the General Chair; you should contact them directly, as there need be no
formal call for proposals.
Warning for organizers of conference-approved workshops: You may choose
to make submissions publicly available, for example by linking them on a
workshop webpage. But please be aware that, although SIGPLAN encourages
presentation and discussion of work in progress in this way, it has no
control over subsequent publication venues. The only way to be sure that a
presentation of work in progress at your workshop does not preclude later
publication of a closely related paper is not to make submissions publicly
Instructions for Workshop Chairs of SIGPLAN Conferences
- Decide on a timeline for proposals. Consider having a deadline for early
decisions on a gathered field of proposals, followed by first-come
first-served decisions as space permits about later proposals.
- The host conference should manage the finances of sponsored workshops;
liaise with the General Chair about this.
- Distribute a Call for Workshop Proposals widely. You want to encourage new
workshops, as well as repeats of previous years’.
- You may choose to invite proposals for SIGPLAN-approved workshops,
conference-approved workshops, or both.
- SIGPLAN-approved workshops need approval from SIGPLAN EC, so you should
collect from proposers at least the information listed under How to
Apply on the Guidelines for Sponsored
page—except for item 10 on finances. Collate this information and
submit it to the SIGPLAN Vice Chair for approval.
- Conference-approved workshops need only the approval of the conference
General Chair. Note that such informal workshops cannot use the name
“SIGPLAN” in their title, nor the SIGPLAN logo on their webpage. Accepted
submissions will not appear in the ACM DL, although a combined “workshop
- Don’t forget that workshop presenters are eligible to apply for the
PAC Fund; you may want to encourage
organizers to mention this in the CFP.