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Call for Visions and Reflections

FSE 2020 Visions and Reflections Track (FSE-V&R) seeks to disrupt the status quo in our discipline with radical, innovative, thought-provoking new ideas, arguments, and research directions.

We invite three kinds 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 promising initial evidence, including summaries of highly innovative research ideas recently awarded as large, multi-year grants.
    • Startling new results that disregard 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. An example of such a vision can be 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:
    • Startling results that call into question current research directions.
    • Bold arguments on current research directions that may be somehow misguided.
    • 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.
    • Novel results that disregard established results or evidence and call for fundamentally new directions.

Submissions must clearly motivate and illustrate a rationale 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-V&R papers. Preliminary results or a sketch of evaluation plan could help the reviewers understand the scope of the work better; however, substantial evaluation results are not necessary for FSE-V&R papers.

We hope that the FSE 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-V&R publications should not hinder a later full paper publication and hope that FSE-V&R papers rather lay the foundation for a strong full paper publication later on.


FSE-V&R 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-V&R papers are not second-class FSE research track papers. FSE-V&R is a forum for first-class contributions that provide novel, soundly motivated research directions and emerging results.

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 not a good FSE-V&R paper.


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

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

How to Submit

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

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

You must specify one and only one of the most related pieces of work (in your opinion) in the first sentence of the related work section, and articulate how your work is novel. We understand that this selection is subjective and often an idea is related to many research papers. The goal of identifying the most related work is to help add an anchor point for articulating the novelty.

A submission must conform at the time of submission to the FSE 2020 submission and formatting instructions, and must not exceed four pages, including all text, references, appendices, and figures. Papers must be submitted electronically at the FSE-V&R submission site (hotcrp) by the submission deadline.

ESEC/FSE-V&R 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 2020. 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 2020 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: June 10, 2020 (23:59:59 AOE, AOE Time Reference)
  • Notification to authors: July 21, 2020
  • Camera ready deadline: September 10, 2020

If you have any questions about the suitability of a paper, please contact the co-chairs, Earl Barr and Lin Tan.

Visions and Reflections Track Chairs

Earl T. Barr, University of London, UK

Lin Tan, Purdue University, USA