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Mon 23 - Fri 27 August 2021 Athens, Greece

Call for Industry Papers

The FSE 2021 Industrial Track provides a venue for outstanding applied research in software engineering. Submissions are expected to have a strong focus on real-world application of software engineering techniques, tools, methods, processes, or practices. At the same time, the work should be original, demonstrating novelty in its technology, context, or approach. The industrial track is soliciting submissions that cover all aspects of software engineering, so long as they have been applied in an industrial context.

FSE 2021 Industry Track in a Nutshell

  • Two paper categories (brief and long); all submissions must have a strong industrial connection, i.e., the research must have been performed in an industrial setting.
  • Optional double-blind review; authors have the choice to blind their identities and companies for the paper going into review, but are not required to do so.
  • Rebuttal opportunity to clarify reviewers’ questions or inaccuracies for promising papers before third review and final decision.

Paper Categories

FSE 2021 wants to make sharing industrial research as forthcoming as possible. For this reason, we provide two paper categories:

  • Brief papers (5 pages, plus 1 page with references): Ideal for shorter contributions, tech transfer stories, early research results, experience reports, or visionary ideas.
  • Long papers (10 pages, plus 2 pages with references): Ideal for practice-oriented research papers or case studies.

Submissions should clearly identify the novel aspects of the approach, the industrial context in which it was applied, and the outcomes of its application (ideally supported by data), as well as what the audience is expected to learn. We welcome submissions from all areas of industry and for all software engineering techniques, tools, methodologies, processes, and practices applicable at any point in the software lifecycle.

Both paper types will be reviewed based on the same evaluation criteria, but brief papers are expected to have a smaller set of contributions. All accepted papers will appear in the main conference proceedings. For inspiration in terms of topic, contribution, and style, consider accepted papers from previous industry tracks (e.g., 2019 and 2020).

Evaluation Criteria

Key reviewing criteria are listed below. Not all criteria are appropriate for every submission—e.g., improvement on the state-of-the-practice may be irrelevant for an experience report—and we will adjust criteria to fit the given type of submission.

  • Industrial Application—The applied research or experience report has taken place in an industrial setting and/or with an industrial partner. Performing research on a problem the authors believe to be relevant to industry or motivated by an industrial challenge is not sufficient.
  • Improvement on the state-of-the-practice—The amount of improvement that the work achieves above and beyond the state-of-the-practice.
  • Clarity of lessons learned—The clarity in which the lessons learned are presented and how well they are supported with data and discussion.
  • Generality of results—The probability that the work, approach, or lessons learned are applicable to developers outside of the studied group.
  • Relevance to industry track audience—The core concepts of the work either originate in research, at ESEC/FSE or a related conference, or are novel topics in industry.

Reviewers will score each paper as “strong reject” (-2), “weak reject” (-1), “weak accept” (1), or “strong accept” (2) based on the above criteria. Promising submissions, i.e., an average score after the first two reviews within the range [-1,2], will get a rebuttal opportunity to clarify reviewers’ questions or inaccuracies. Only for those papers do we aim to provide a third review. The third review will encompass the paper, the previous two reviews, and the rebuttal. All three reviewers will then instigate a discussion and make a final decision on the paper.

How to Submit

Papers must be submitted electronically through the FSE Industry Track submission site. Submissions will be managed using HotCRP: https://esecfse2021-industry.hotcrp.com/

After the review phase, there will be an opportunity for authors of promising papers to submit a rebuttal.


Following other conferences (such as the NAACL 2021 Industry Track or ICLR 2021), authors are required to honor the ACM Code of Ethics. We ask that all authors read the code, and ensure that their work is conformant. We reserve the right to reject papers on ethical grounds, where the authors are judged to have operated counter to the code of ethics, or have inadequately addressed legitimate ethical concerns with their work.

Authors are encouraged to include a broader discussion of ethics in their paper, if relevant. While an ethics considerations section is not required, papers working with sensitive data or on sensitive tasks that do not discuss these issues will not be accepted.

Format and Submission Procedure

At the time of submission all papers must conform to the ESEC/FSE 2021 Format and Submission Guidelines.

Submissions can be double-blind, but do not have to be. We leave it up to the authors to judge whether they want to include their names, affiliation, and the company in which the work was performed. Submissions must be in English and use the style format of the research track. Papers must be submitted electronically as PDF files through the conference submission site. Submitted Papers may not have been published elsewhere and may not be under review or submitted for review elsewhere during the duration of consideration. Specifically, authors are required to adhere to the ACM Policy and Procedures on Plagiarism and the ACM Policy on Prior Publication and Simultaneous Submissions.

To prevent double submissions, the chairs may compare the submissions with related conferences that have overlapping review periods. The double submission restriction applies only to refereed journals and conferences, not to unrefereed pre-publication archive servers (e.g., arXiv.org). ACM plagiarism policies and procedures will be followed for cases of double submission. Submissions that do not comply with the foregoing instructions will be desk rejected without being reviewed. After receiving the first two reviews, there will be an opportunity for authors of promising submissions to write a rebuttal.

Presentation and Publication

Authors of accepted submissions will be given a time slot to present or demonstrate their work during the conference. Presentations will occur alongside research papers in the main track of the conference. Authors can submit either a brief paper or a long paper. Accepted papers will appear in the main conference proceedings.

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. Given the uncertainties introduced by COVID-19, the exact method of presentation might change across all FSE 2021 tracks, and the industry track will adapt accordingly. Please carefully read the complete list of ESEC/FSE 2021 submission policies.

Open Call for Program Committee Members

We invite researchers to (self-)nominate for participation in the PC. The duties of PC members are to review submissions and participate in the paper discussions. The minimum criteria for a nomination are:

  • A research background such as holding a PhD in a relevant area or at least 3 years of experience in a research-related position.
  • Currently working in an industry or academic position in the research area, that involves some research aspect.
  • At least one paper published in a relevant area in a relevant conference.

The program chairs will make a final decision on the nominated members based on the experience of each nominee and the representation of different research areas in the PC. The deadline for a self-nomination is December 23rd, 2020.

Important Dates

All dates are 23:59:59 AoE (UTC-12h).

  • Submission deadline: May 6, 2021
  • Rebuttal period: June 4 - June 10, 2021
  • Author notification: July 1, 2021
  • Camera ready deadline: July 18, 2021
  • Conference: 23-27 August, 2021

Industry Track Co-Chairs

Questions? Use the ESEC/FSE Industry Papers contact form.