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Written by Nigel Smart

For EuroCrypt 2007 the PC (Moni Noar) provided a FAQ, this seemed quite a good idea so I have replicated it here, with some changes.

For the Eurocrypt 2008 Call For Papers see here.

The purpose of this document is to give some advice about writing submissions to the conference and explain a few changes with respect to previous conferences. It does not repeat the basic information given in the CFP, such as dates, how to submit and scope of the conference.

This FAQ is therefore mainly for new people to the community, however all potential submitters should at least skim read the following list.

  1. What should I do to increase the chances of my paper being accepted?
    The simple answer is have good results and present them well. There are plenty of online guides regarding writing scientific papers. For instance, this collection or Oded Goldreich's lively and opinionated essay and Shai Halevi's writing advice aimed at conference submissions. I would like to point out a few things especially relevant for the conference:

    1. Emphasize the motivation for the paper. In particular, if a paper makes up a new variant of a classical notion it is the authors' responsibility to make the case for the new notion.
    2. Have a clear statement of the contributions of the paper - early on in the writeup and clearly marked. Explain the nature of the contribution, e.g. new model or improved cryptanalysis.
    3. Explain the background and compare previous work with the current paper.
    4. It is common in cryptography for the bibliography to be ordered alphabetically. In addition citations should reflect works which have influenced the paper and which are needed to understand it.
    5. Follow the official guidelines regarding length of paper and preparation of the paper. Remember, the paper has to be readable and appreciated without reading the appendices. Also use a reasonable font size. Papers which clearly are too long will not be looked upon favourably by the referees.
    6. If there isn't sufficient space for proofs - at least hint why they work. Use the appendix to give more information, but note referee's are not required to read any appendix although many will.
    7. Start writing well in advance. No requests for extensions will be granted.
    8. Run a spell checker on the paper. If you are worried about your English, get someone to check it for you before submissions.
    9. Deadlines are very very tight this year as EuroCrypt is in mid April. Hence, deadlines will be strictly kept to.

  2. My paper was rejected from a previous IACR conference. Should I submit again?
    A Committee's work is just "best effort" given the tight time schedule. There are some subjective criteria and there is always the possibility that the committee's tastes didn't match those of the authors. So trying again may not necessarily be a bad idea. However, it is important to consider whether this conference is indeed the right venue for it. It is extremely important to address the referee's comments from previous submissions (if you received them).

  3. Who selects the papers and how?
    The program committee selects the papers. Each paper is assigned to (at least) three PC members who read it, write a report and give scores. Then the committee deliberates both online and in a face-to-face meeting.

  4. Who selects the program committee?
    The Program committee chair forms the committee. This is done after consultations with many people, with an emphasis on broadening the membership.

  5. Are there other people involved in the evaluation process?
    Subreviewers are used to enhance the expertise and ease the burden from the PC members. They submit a report to the PC member who asked for their help. The external referees are held to the same commitment of confidentiality as PC members. Also they should not farm out the reviewing any further.

  6. Are program committee members allowed to submit papers to the conference?
    Program committee members are allowed to submit papers, however their papers will be refereed by at least five PC members as opposed to three for other submissions. The programme chair is not allowed to submit any papers, but submission of papers by authors at the chairs institution (in this case Bristol) will be treated in the same way as program committee members papers.

  7. May I submit a related paper to another conference simultaneously?
    Recall that the CFP explicitly states

    Submissions must not substantially duplicate work that any of the authors has published in a journal or a conference/workshop with proceedings, or has submitted/is planning to submit before the author notification deadline to a journal or other conferences/workshops that have proceedings. Accepted submissions may not appear in any other conference or workshop that has proceedings.

    So if you submit a related paper to something you have submitted before, be sure to refer to it and explain the differences between the two submissions. Note IACR's policy on irregular submissions.

  8. What's the deal with anonymous submissions?
    In 2007 the IACR adopted a new policy for all of its conferences in that papers must be anonymous. Failure of a paper to follow this criterion will result in its instant rejection.

    This does not mean however that you cannot post your paper on your web site or the IACR eprint archive. What it means is that

    1. Reviewers can review your paper without knowing who wrote it if they so choose.
    2. Authors may submit a paper to be reviewed, and by not posting it on the web, know that the reports coming back are produced without being influenced by the author name or institution.
    The arguments for anonymity are:
    1. It increases the perception of fairness
    2. It combats subconscious bias by the reviewers.
    3. It combats bias in favour of famous authors.
    4. It combats bias against unknown institutions.
    5. It combats bias against authors due to age, sex or race.

  9. Comments on papers
    Our goal is to give meaningful comments to authors of both rejected and accepted papers. The default for the report is that it should be available to the authors (though exceptions could be made).

  10. Will there be a rebuttal process regarding the referee reports on the submissions?
    There is no official process of this nature. However, the committee may contact the authors and ask them questions or request comments. So be prepared and check the e-mail address you gave in submission.

  11. Will there be a best paper award?
    Yes, we are planning one.

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