Onward! is the premier multidisciplinary conference focused on everything to do with programming and software: including processes, methods, languages, communities, and applications. Onward! is more radical, more visionary, and more open than other conferences to not yet well-proven but well-argued ideas. We welcome different ways of thinking about, approaching, and reporting on programming language and software engineering research.

Submission Summary
Due on: April 05, 2013
Abstracts due: March 29, 2013
Papers due: April 05, 2013
First phase notification: June 01, 2013
Revisions due: July 20, 2013
Final notification: July 29, 2013
Camera ready version due: August 05, 2013
Format: ACM Proceedings format
Submit to: http://cyberchair.acm.org/onwardpapers/submit/
Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (chair)

The ACM International Conference on Systems, Programming, Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH) is sponsored by ACM SIGPLAN.

SPLASH is the home of OOPSLA Research Papers, Onward!, and the Dynamic Languages Symposium, among other events.

Call for Papers

Onward! is looking for grand visions and new paradigms that could make a big difference in how we will one day build software. But Onward! is not looking for research-as-usual papers—conferences like OOPSLA are the place for that. Those conferences require rigorous validation such as theorems or empirical experiments, which are necessary for scientific progress, but which typically preclude discussion of early-stage ideas. Onward! papers must also supply some degree of validation because mere speculation is not a good basis for progress. However, Onward! accepts less rigorous methods of validation such as compelling arguments, exploratory implementations, and substantial examples. The use of worked-out examples to support new ideas is strongly encouraged.

Onward! is reaching out not only to experienced academics but also to graduate students for constructive criticism of current software development technology and practices, and to present ideas that could change the realm of software development. Practitioners who are dissatisfied with the state of our art are also encouraged to share insights about how to reform software development, perhaps by presenting detailed examples of as new approach, and demonstrating concrete benefits and potential risks.

Onward! welcomes your submissions to join the conversation for the good of our field.

Selection Process

Onward! papers are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will appear in the Onward! Proceedings in the ACM Digital Library. Submissions will be judged on the potential impact of the ideas and the quality of the presentation.

Onward! will follow a two-phase review process. The first reviewing phase assesses the papers using the criteria stated above and results in the selection of a subset of submissions that are either accepted as-is or deemed potentially acceptable. All other papers will be rejected in this phase.

Authors of potentially accepted papers will be requested to improve specific aspects of the papers in keeping with the assessment criteria and the nature of Onward!. For example, the following represent some core improvement suggestions:

  • clarity of presentation and overall writing improvements to make the work more accessible,

  • making the presentation of the technical ideas crisper or more concrete,

  • making the argument sharper and more compelling, or

  • expanding or refining the ideas based on new input from the reviewers.

Authors will be given about two months to perform the revisions, after which a second submission will occur.

The second submission should reflect the revision requests sent to the authors. To that end, the second submission must be accompanied by a cover letter mapping each revision request to specific parts of the paper. The absence of this cover letter might form the basis for the paper's rejection.

The second and final reviewing phase assesses how the revision requests have been acted upon by the authors, and whether the final paper improves the original submission. Revisions that did not address the reviewers' requests or significantly lessen the quality of the paper may lead to the its rejection.


Onward! submissions must conform to both the ACM Policy on Prior Publication and Simultaneous Submissions (http://www.acm.org/publications/policies/sim_submissions/) and the SIGPLAN Republication Policy (http://www.sigplan.org/Resources/Policies/Republication/).

NOTE THAT because Onward! publishes papers describing early-stage ideas with limited validation, its organizers not only recognize but also expect that subsequent papers will be published reporting on the fleshed out ideas with full validations. To be clear, this note is intended to be an explicit invocation of exceptions to the ACM Policy on Prior Publication and Simultaneous Submissions and the SIGPLAN Republication Policy as stated in the above-referenced web pages and directed to downstream conference committees and journal editors:

  • "the published policies of the publications or conferences involved do not prohibit this"

  • "The call for papers for the first venue clearly states that publication in the venue is not intended to preclude later publication."

Papers are to be submitted electronically at http://cyberchair.acm.org/onwardpapers/submit/.

Submissions should use the SIGPLAN Proceedings Format using 10 point font. Note that by default the SIGPLAN Proceedings Format produces papers in 9 point font. If you are formatting your paper using LaTeX, you will need to set the 10pt option in the \documentclass command. If you are formatting your paper using Word, you may wish to use the Word template that provides support for this font size. Please include page numbers in your submission. Setting the preprint option in the LaTeX \documentclass command generates page numbers. Please also ensure that your submission is legible when printed on a black and white printer. In particular, please check that colors remain distinct and font sizes are legible.

To ensure that papers stay focused on their core contributions, the main part of the paper should be no longer than 14 pages. There is no page limit for appendices, and, therefore, for the overall submission. If the paper is accepted, the final submission will be limited to 20 pages, including appendices.

It is the responsibility of the authors to keep the reviewers interested and motivated to read their submission. Reviewers are under no obligation to read all or even a substantial portion of a paper if they do not find the initial part of the paper compelling. The committee will not accept a paper if it is unclear that the paper will fit in the Onward! Proceedings.

For More Information

For additional information, clarification, or answers to questions please contact the Onward! Chair, Robert Hirschfeld, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Onward! Committee

  • Robert Hirschfeld, Hasso-Plattner-Institut Potsdam, Germany (chair)
  • Alessandro Warth, Google, USA
  • Andrew Black, Portland State U, USA
  • Atsushi Igarashi, Kyoto U, Japan
  • Cristina V. Lopes, U California Irvine, USA
  • David H. Lorenz, The Open U of Israel, Israel
  • Dirk Riehle, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
  • Erik Ernst, Aarhus U, Denmark
  • Hidehiko Masuhara, U Tokyo, Japan
  • Jonathan Edwards, MIT, USA
  • Kevin Sullivan, U Virginia, USA
  • Klaus Ostermann, U Marburg, Germany
  • Laurence Tratt, King's College London, UK
  • Martin C. Rinard, MIT, USA
  • Pascal Costanza, Intel ExaScience Lab, Belgium
  • Ralf Lämmel, U Koblenz-Landau, Germany
  • Richard P. Gabriel, IBM Research Almaden, USA
  • Robby Findler, Northwestern U, USA
  • Sean McDirmid, Microsoft Research Asia, China
  • Shigeru Chiba, U Tokyo, Japan
  • Stéphane Ducasse, Inria Lille Nord Europe, France
  • William R. Cook, U Texas Austin, USA
  • Wolfgang De Meuter, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
  • Yoshiki Ohshima, Viewpoints Research Institute, USA


Antony Hosking
Patrick Eugster
Purdue U


Cristina V. Lopes
UC Irvine


Robert Hirschfeld


Carl Friedrich Bolz

Sponsored by ACM SIGPLAN


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