exactly just How (and just how perhaps Not) to publish A systems that is good Paper

An assessment of this Ninth SOSP Submissions -or- How (and exactly how perhaps Not) to create A systems that is good Paper

Roy Levin and David D. Redell, Ninth SOSP Program Committee Co-chairmen


On March 21, 1983, this system committee for the 9th Symposium on Operating System Principles, having see the eighty-three papers submitted, chosen sixteen for presentation during the symposium. This acceptance ratio of approximately one in five approximates those of previous SOSPs, even though the true wide range of submissions had been notably less than in the last few years. A few people in this program committee discovered it interestingly an easy task to split up the papers that are good the bad ones; certainly, the ten committee users quickly decided on the disposition of over 80% for the documents. Given that acceptance ratio shows, many of these had been rejections.

Following the committee had finished its selectio n process, a few users expressed dissatisfaction when you look at the quality that is overall of submissions. Lots of the refused papers exhibited comparable weaknesses, weaknesses that the committee felt must have been evident to your writers. When you look at the hope of increasing the caliber of future SOSP submissions, and systems documents generally speaking, the committee chose to explain the requirements found in assessing the documents it received. This short article combines the requirements utilized by most of the people of the committee, not only the writers.

To try and avoid sounding preachy or pedagogic, we’ve cast this presentation in the 1st and 2nd individual and adopted a light, periodically funny design. However, the intent is severe: to indicate the typical conditions that look over over and over over and over repeatedly in technical documents in a manner that is going to make it easier for future writers to prevent them. While you look at this article, then, assume you to ultimately be described as a potential writer when it comes to tenth SOSP or for TOCS. You have done some work you desire to publish, so that you take a seat to write a paper. Just just What concerns for anyone who is wondering as you compose? They are additionally the concerns that individuals, the reviewers of one’s paper, would be asking to find out its suitability for book.

Classes of documents

Your paper will fall naturally into probably certainly one of three groups:

  • It presents a genuine system, either by a worldwide study of a complete system or by a selective study of particular themes embodied in the machine.
  • It presents a method that is unimplemented but uses ideas or methods which you have the community that is technical know.
  • It addresses a subject into the areas that are theoretical for instance, performance modelling or safety verification.

Clearly, a solitary group of assessment requirements can not be used uniformly across these groups; nevertheless, many requirements use similarly well to all or any three. We will try to emphasize the classes of papers to which it applies as we describe each one below. Frequently it will be evident from context.

Criteria for Evaluation of Submissions

Original Tips

Will be the basic some ideas within the paper brand new? There’s absolutely no part of publishing a paper to a meeting or log worried about initial work unless the paper contains a minumum of one idea that is new.

How can you understand? You really must be acquainted with their state associated with the art and research that is current the location included in your paper to be able to realize that your projects is initial. Probably the many failing that is common the submissions in the 1st category (genuine systems) had been an lack of brand new a few ideas; the systems described were often isomorphic to at least one of only a few pioneering systems well-documented within the literature.

Could you state the brand new concept concisely? Should your paper is always to advance their state of real information, your audience must certanly be capable of finding the ideas that are new comprehend them. Take to composing psychology research topics each concept down in a paragraph that somebody generally speaking versed into the appropriate area can realize. If you fail to, consider the possibility that you do not actually comprehend the concept your self. Them in the abstract for the paper when you have the paragraphs, use.

Precisely what is the nagging issue being fixed? Your audience can not be likely to imagine the issue you encountered provided just a description of this solution. Be certain. Make sure to explain why your condition could not be fixed simply aswell by formerly posted practices.

Will be the basic some ideas significant adequate to justify a paper? Frequently, documents explaining systems that are real a couple of tiny improvements of founded methods. The newest idea(s) could be described in a couple of paragraphs; a twenty-page paper is unneeded and frequently obscures the real innovation. Since construction of an actual system will be a lot of work, the writer for the paper often unconsciously confuses the full total work with all the work that is really brand new. (« My group labored on this technique for 2 years so we’re finally done. Why don’t we inform the world exactly exactly how wonderful it really is. ») In the event that innovation is tiny, a tiny paper or technical note in an appropriate journal is much more appropriate than an SOSP submission.

Could be the ongoing work described notably different from current associated work? an extension that is obvious a formerly posted algorithm, method, or system, will not generally justify publication. Needless to say, the label « obvious » must certanly be used very very carefully. ( recall the story of Columbus sjust howing steps to make an egg get up at a stretch (by carefully crushing it): « it’s obvious once I’ve shown you how ».) you have to show that the work represents a substantial departure from their state associated with the art. If you cannot, you ought to think about why you may be composing the paper and just why anybody except your mom should desire to read it.

Is all related work referenced, while having you actually see the cited material? You should have trouble persuading the skeptical audience for the originality of the efforts until you especially differentiate it from formerly posted work. This calls for citation. Also, you will discover it harder to persuade your audience regarding the superiority of the approach you haven’t if he has read the cited works and.

Are comparisons with past work clear and explicit? You just cannot simply state: « Our approach varies significantly from that used into the BagOfBits system 3. » Be certain:  » Our digital memory administration approach makes use of magnetic news in the place of punched paper tape like in the BagOfBits system 3, because of the expected improvements in transfer price and janitorial expenses. »

Does the job comprise an extension that is significant validation, or repudiation of previous but unverified tips? Execution experiences supporting or contradicting a formerly posted paper design are extremely valuable and candidates that are worthy book. Designs are inexpensive, but implementations (specially those predicated on unsound designs) are very pricey.

What’s the earliest paper you referenced? The modern? Have actually you referenced work that is similar another organization? Have actually you referenced technical reports, unpublished memoranda, individual communications? The responses to those concerns help alert you to definitely spots that are blind your knowledge or understanding. Usually, papers with just venerable sources repeat recently posted work of that the writer is unaware. Papers with just current references frequently « rediscover » (through ignorance) old tips. Documents that cite just unpublished or material that is unrefereed to have problems with narrowness and parochialism. Understand that citations not just acknowledge a financial obligation to other people, but additionally act as an abbreviation apparatus to spare your audience a development that is complete very first axioms. If the audience has to get some good of the development, nonetheless, he must certanly be in a position to transform your citations into supply product he is able to read. Private communications and memoranda that are internal this test. Technical reports are generally posted in restricted amounts, out-of-print, and tough to get. Consequently, such citations as supply product ought to be avoided whenever we can.

In the event that system happens to be implemented, just exactly exactly how has it been utilized, and exactly exactly exactly what has this usage shown concerning the importance that is practical of tips? Once more, a multiple implementation that is man-year will not of it self justify book of a paper. In the event that system that is implemented brand brand new some ideas, it is critical to explain the way they worked call at training. an idea that is seemingly good don’t pan away is at minimum since interesting as you that did. It is vital to be particular and accurate. « Our climate prediction system is ready to go with no you have complained about its periodic inaccurate forecasts » is a lot less convincing than « everytime we neglect to forecast rainfall, the users hang their damp tops within the tape drives to dry ». Into the second instance, at minimum we understand that folks are employing and according to the system.