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NSPW 2017: Call for Papers

Since 1992, the New Security Paradigms Workshop (NSPW) has offered a unique forum for information security research involving high-risk, high-opportunity paradigms, perspectives, and positions. The workshop itself is highly interactive with presentations by authors prepared for in-depth discussions, and ample opportunity to exchange views with open-minded peers. NSPW is also distinguished by its deep-rooted tradition of positive feedback, collegiality, and encouragement.

NSPW seeks embryonic, disruptive, and unconventional ideas that benefit from early feedback. The ideas are almost always not yet proven, and sometimes infeasible to validate to the extent expected in traditional forums. NSPW seeks ideas pushing the boundaries of science and engineering beyond what would typically be considered mainstream; papers that would be strong candidates in "conventional" information security venues are, as a rule of thumb, a poor fit for NSPW. We welcome papers with perspectives that augment traditional information security, both from computer science and other disciplines that study adversarial relationships (e.g., biology, economics, the social sciences). Submissions typically address current limitations of information security, directly challenge long-held beliefs or the very foundations of security, or view problems from an entirely novel angle leading to new solutions.

In 2016, more than 50% of the presenters had never attended NSPW before. We are actively trying to continue this trend, and therefore we encourage submissions from new NSPW authors.

Financial Aid

NSF has provided financial aid especially for U.S.-based students and junior faculty. We have a limited amount of financial aid available for others, as well. We encourage submissions from students, junior faculty, and others, even if support may be required to attend.

Submission Types

REGULAR SUBMISSIONS: NSPW papers vary in approach and style, but often involve a systematic investigation supported by structured argument. Some involve an opinionated analysis, or explore a design space that emerges upon replacing a common assumption (even if this is beyond current technology). Successful submissions show strong scholarship, demonstrate sound knowledge of related literature while placing the contributions in context to it, and are often accompanied by early validation and a research agenda for broader validation. Ideal papers lead to spirited workshop discussion, but NSPW is not a debating society—the discussion should relate to new ideas and perspectives as characterized above, rather than well-known controversial topics.

NSPHD SUBMISSIONS: This category is for students at an early stage in thesis research that meets the NSPW characteristics noted above, and ideally for thesis work and directions that would benefit from extensive expert feedback; the research thus must be preliminary (mature or completed theses are unsuitable). NSPHD papers may be held to a less rigorous standard than regular NSPW submissions. The format is flexible, but should outline ideas, work completed so far, and what is envisioned as future work. NSPHD papers are typically omitted from the main proceedings, but if desired, can be made available through links on the NSPW site. The NSPHD category is not intended for graduate students simply co-authoring with faculty advisors or work suitable as a regular submission. Student authors of accepted NSPHD papers are invited to present; typically their faculty advisors are not.

PANEL PROPOSALS: NSPW often includes one or two stimulating panel discussions. Successful panel proposals will include a great idea, a list of potential panelists including moderator, an outline of the topic, and motivation for its suitability for NSPW. The proposers of accepted panels and the panelists are typically invited to prepare a short summary for the proceedings after the workshop.


The workshop itself is invitation-only, with typically 30–35 participants consisting of authors of about 10 accepted papers, panelists, program committee members, and organizers. One author of each accepted paper must attend; additional authors may be invited if space permits. All participants must commit to a "social contract": no one arrives late, no one leaves early, no laptops, and all attend all sessions of the 2.5 day program, sharing meals in a group setting. The workshop is preceded by an evening reception allowing attendees to meet each other beforehand.

Submission Instructions

Submissions must be made in PDF format through EasyChair, as linked on the NSPW site.

Submissions must include a cover page with authors' names, affiliation, justification statement and attendance statement. Papers not including these risk desk rejection. The justification statement should specify exactly one category (Regular, NSPHD, or Panel), briefly explain why the submission is appropriate for NSPW, and summarize the new paradigm, perspective, or position. The attendance statement must specify which author(s) commit to attend upon acceptance/invitation. The cover page is part of the package given to the reviewers, hence NSPW submissions are not double-blind. All submissions should be in ACM SIG proceedings format. Regular and NSPHD submissions are expected to be 6–15 pages. All submissions are treated as confidential as a matter of policy. NSPW does not accept papers published elsewhere, nor submitted to other venues or journals concurrently.

Final proceedings are published post-workshop, allowing revised papers to include feedback received during the workshop.

New this year: author responses! Authors will receive preliminary paper reviews in late May and will have one week to submit a response. Like a rebuttal in other venues, this response can (and should) be used to clear up any perceived review inaccuracies. However, unlike traditional rebuttals, this response should also be used describe how the pre-proceedings paper will be improved based on reviews' feedback. If accepted, this response will serve as a contract between the authors and the committee: all NSPW papers are conditionally accepted with shepherding, and the role of the shepherd is to ensure that any promised changes made to reviewers are incorporated into the paper. Similarly, if reviewers do not request that any changes be made (and/or if none are promised in the author response), then obviously none will be required by the shepherding process.