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Call for Ideas, Visions and Reflections Papers

FSE 2021 Ideas, Visions and Reflections Track (FSE-IVR) seeks to disrupt the status quo in our discipline with radical, innovative, thought-provoking new ideas, and research directions, as well as lessons learned from the past.

We invite three types of papers:

  1. Innovative or groundbreaking new ideas supported by promising initial results, such as:
    • Exciting new directions in early stages of research, supported by initial evidence.
    • Startling new results that come in conflict with established results or beliefs, supporting a call for fundamentally new research directions.
  2. Visions of the future, such as:
    • Bold visions of new directions that may not yet be supported by solid results but rather by a strong and well motivated scientific intuition. Examples include unusual synergies with other disciplines, or the importance of software engineering in problems whose software engineering aspects have not been studied earlier.
    • Summaries of highly innovative research ideas recently awarded as grants.
  3. Reflections on the past, such as:
    • Bold revisits of current research directions that may be somehow misguided.
    • Thoughtful observations coalescing the most important ideas since the inception of the field of software engineering, where they have led us so far, where past ideas have turned out to be right or wrong.

Submissions must clearly motivate and illustrate initial evidence (type 1) or a rationale (types 2 and 3) for changing current practice and/or research in software engineering. The writing style can even be narrative to the extent where this supports the motivation for an emerging research direction.

Evaluation results are not required for FSE-IVR papers. Preliminary results for submissions of the first type or a sketch of an evaluation plan for submissions of the second type, could help the reviewers understand the scope of the work better.

We hope that the FSE Ideas, Visions and Reflections Track helps create a culture of encouraging trailblazers to share their vision and new research directions that connect to other fields or to share candid, critical reflections of past and present research. We believe that FSE-IVR publications should not hinder a later full paper publication and hope that FSE-IVR papers rather lay the foundation for a strong full paper publication later on.


FSE-IVR provides a forum for innovative, thought-provoking research in software engineering in order to accelerate the exposure of the community to early, yet promising and potentially inspiring research efforts. FSE-IVR papers are not second-class FSE research track papers; they are first-class contributions that provide novel, soundly motivated research directions, emerging results and thoughtful reflections.

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

Out of Scope

A submission should not be an FSE full research submission lacking an evaluation, or a disguised advertisement for previously published results. Hence, an FSE research track submission with slightly less evaluation or lower quality is nota good FSE-IVR paper.


All papers will be evaluated in terms of the following criteria (criteria may vary for the three types of submissions).

  • Value: the problem is worth exploring (all types)
  • Impact: the potential for disruption of current practice (all types)
  • Originality: the novelty of the paper’s insight (all types)
  • Validity: soundness of the rationale (types 2, 3)
  • Scholarship: appropriate consideration of relevant literature
  • Quality: overall paper quality (all types)
  • Surprise: startling and unexpected findings (type 1)

How to Submit

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

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

A submission must conform at the time of submission to the ESEC/FSE 2021 Format and Submission Guidelines, and must not exceed four pages, including all text, references, appendices, and figures. Papers must be submitted electronically at the FSE-IVR submission site by the submission deadline.

ESEC/FSE-IVR 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 the instructions and size limits may be rejected without review.

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 FSE 2021. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.

At least one author of each accepted paper must register and present the paper at FSE 2021 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 FSE Submission Policies and Policies for Accepted Contributions.

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: May 6, 2021 (23:59:59 AOE, AOE Time Reference)
  • Notification to authors: June 24, 2021
  • Camera ready deadline: July 8, 2021

If you have any questions about the suitability of a paper, please contact the co-chairs, Paris Avgeriou and Dongmei Zhang.

Ideas, Visions and Reflections Track Co-Chairs

Paris Avgeriou, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Dongmei Zhang, Microsoft Research, China

Questions? Use the ESEC/FSE Ideas, Visions and Reflections contact form.