Onward! is a premier multidisciplinary conference focused on everything to do with programming and software: including processes, methods, languages, communities and applications. Onward! is more radical, more visionary and more open than other conferences to ideas that are well-argued but not yet proven. We welcome different ways of thinking about, approaching and reporting on programming language and software engineering research.
Onward! is looking for grand visions and new paradigms that could make a big difference in how we will one day build software. But Onward! is not looking for research-as-usual papers—conferences like OOPSLA are the place for that. Those conferences require rigorous validation such as theorems or empirical experiments, which are necessary for scientific progress, but which typically preclude discussion of early-stage ideas. Onward! papers must also supply some degree of validation because mere speculation is not a good basis for progress. However, Onward! accepts less rigorous methods of validation such as compelling arguments, exploratory implementations, and substantial examples. The use of worked-out examples to support new ideas is strongly encouraged. It is anticipated that once rigorous evaluation is worked out, a follow-on paper or papers would appear at appropriate venues where the primary source of “novelty” would be the elaboration of the idea(s) into proven and/or verifiable chunks.
Onward! is reaching out for constructive criticism of current software development technology and practices, and to present ideas that could change the realm of software development. Experienced researchers, graduate students, practitioners, and anyone else dissatisfied with the state of our art is encouraged to share insights about how to reform software development.
Onward! welcomes your submissions to join the conversation for the good of our field.
Onward! has two tracks that accept submissions: Papers and Essays. Please see the individual tracks for more details.
Papers: Call for PapersView track page for all details
Onward! papers are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will appear in the Onward! Proceedings in the ACM Digital Library. Submissions will be judged on the potential impact of the ideas and the quality of the presentation.
We welcome papers that contain promising ideas and have the potential to meet the conference’s standards, but have failed to achieve this in the initial submission. We will thus follow a two-phase review process. At the end of the first phase, all papers will be either: accepted normally; asked to perform certain required revisions; or rejected outright. All papers will remain under submission until the authors receive notification of acceptance or rejection.
We expect the typical strong submission to be accepted normally, with authors expected—as is conventional—to revise the paper using the program committee’s feedback.
The program committee may identify certain papers with promising ideas as needing important revisions. These papers will be handled in one of two ways. They may get a shepherd, in the tradition followed by numerous conferences. Otherwise, they will be given a concrete set of goals to accomplish in the revision. In the latter case, the second submission must then be accompanied by a cover letter mapping the revision requests to specific parts of the paper; the program committee will use the cover letter and revised submission to arrive at a final decision.
The second phase will only be used to elevate promising papers to the conference’s standard, not to require additional work of papers already deemed up to standard.
Onward! submissions must conform to both the ACM Policy on Prior Publication and Simultaneous Submissions and the SIGPLAN Re-Publication Policy. Submissions are single-blind (i.e., authors are not anonymous).
Submissions should use the ACM SIGPLAN Conference Format, 10 point font. Note that by default the SIGPLAN Proceedings Format produces papers in 9 point font. If you are formatting your paper using LaTeX, you will need to set the 10pt option in the \documentclass command. If you are formatting your paper using Word, you may wish to use the provided Word template that supports this font size. Please include page numbers in your submission (setting the preprint option in \documentclass generates page numbers). Please also ensure that your submission is legible when printed on a black and white printer. In particular, please check that colors remain distinct and font sizes are legible.
To ensure that papers stay focused on their core contributions, the main part of the paper (including bibliographic references) should be no longer than 14 pages. There is no page limit for appendices, and, therefore, for the overall submission. However, reviewers are not obligated to read the appendices, so the main part of the paper should be self contained. If the paper is accepted, the final submission will be limited to 20 pages, including appendices.
It is the responsibility of the authors to keep the reviewers interested and motivated to read their submission. Reviewers are under no obligation to read all or even a substantial portion of a paper if they do not find the initial part of the paper compelling. The committee will not accept a paper if it is unclear that the paper will fit in the Onward! Proceedings.
Authors of accepted papers are encouraged to make accompanying materials, such as artifacts, publicly available upon publication of the proceedings, by including them as “source materials” in the ACM Digital Library.
AUTHORS TAKE NOTE: All accepted papers will be available in the ACM Digital Library as early as October 2, 2015. The official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM Digital Library. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.