Information for Authors

Note: This information applies to PoPETs 2023 and later. See the information for 2022.

Submission Guidelines

Papers not following these instructions risk being rejected without consideration of their merits!

All papers must be submitted using the submission server! See the current CFP for the correct link for the current volume and issue.

In general, submitted papers must be at most 12 pages, excluding bibliography and clearly-marked appendices, using the ACM template (see LaTeX instructions). However, PoPETs papers given a decision of Major Revision or Accept with Shepherding (aka Minor Revision) may revise their paper with 13 main-body pages, excluding bibliography and clearly-marked appendices. In either case, there is no page limit for references, acknowledgement, and clearly-marked appendices. PC members are not required to read the appendices, which should only be used to provide additional supporting information.

Unlike journals that publish extended versions of conference papers, PoPETs seeks to publish original, previously unpublished work. Submitted papers must not substantially overlap with papers that have been published or that are simultaneously submitted to a journal or a conference with proceedings. Papers that have previously been submitted to PoPETs must include a document summarizing the changes (see the guidelines for this document). The paper should start with the title and an abstract. The introduction should give some background and summarize the contributions of the paper at a level appropriate for a non-specialist reader.

LaTeX Template Instructions

Authors should use the “sigconf” style that is defined in the ACM LaTeX template, following the example file samples/sample-sigconf.tex that is included in the template .zip file, with the following important exceptions:

Example conforming .tex, .bib, and .pdf files are available.

Anonymization of Submissions

All submitted papers will be judged based on their quality and relevance through double-blind reviewing, where the identities of the authors are withheld from the reviewers. As an author, you are required to make a good-faith effort to preserve the anonymity of your submission, while at the same time allowing the reader to fully grasp the context of related past work, including your own. It is recognized that, at times, information regarding the identities of authors may become public outside the submission process (e.g., if a pre-print is published as a technical report or on a pre-print server). The PC will ignore this external information. Minimally, please take the following steps when preparing your submission:

Conflicts of Interest

Authors are asked to indicate conflicts of interest with PC members as part of the online submission process. We consider the following to be clear cases of a conflict:

  1. Sharing an institutional affiliation with an author at the time of submission
  2. The advisor or advisee of an author at any time in the past
  3. A co-author of the author within the past two years or a current collaborator

For other forms of conflict, authors must contact the chairs and explain the perceived conflict. If the chairs do not receive a rationale for the conflict, they will remove this conflict when making reviewing assignments.


Papers should follow the basic principles of ethical research. These principles include, but are not limited to, beneficence (maximizing the benefits to an individual or to society while minimizing harm to the individual), minimal risk (appropriateness of the risk versus benefit ratio), informed consent, respect for privacy, and limited deception. Consider especially the ethical implications of research involving human subjects, user data (e.g. network traffic, passwords, and social network data), and system vulnerabilities (e.g. cryptographic weaknesses, software exploits, and privacy attacks). See the Menlo Report for detailed guidelines on ethical research.

Authors are encouraged to include a subsection on Ethical Principles, and such a discussion may be required if deemed necessary during the review process. This section should include a justification of the ethics of the work and information about whether the work was submitted to an external ethics panel such as an IRB or the Tor Research Safety Board. Research that is deemed to not have met adequate ethical standards may be rejected on those grounds. Authors are encouraged to contact PC chairs before submitting to clarify any doubts.

Claims of Benefits to Particular Populations

Authors should make clear whether their claims about benefits to a particular user population have been validated in some way (e.g. interviews, literature review, discussions with experts etc.). If authors can't offer such support or validation for their claims about that target community, this should be clearly acknowledged in a limitations section.

Security Proofs

Some papers require lengthy security proofs to support the technical validity of the contribution. These papers should indicate this in the body of the paper and include the proof in the appendix.

Resubmission - Summary of Changes

A document summarizing changes is required for all resubmissions, regardless of the decision received. A resubmission is any paper with content substantially shared by a previous submission to PoPETs that received any reviews, and this includes a minor revision sent to a shepherd. There is no specific template for the summary of changes, and so you should feel free to draft it in a way that presents your revisions and responses to review points in a clear and concise manner. The document must be a PDF.

Suggestions on what to include in your summary:

  1. Include a paragraph or two summarizing the main changes you have made in the revision and how they address the main concerns raised by the reviewers.
  2. Respond point-by-point to the issues mentioned in the meta-review. Be clear and explicit in explaining the concerns of the meta-review and how you have addressed them. Also, please point to the sections of the paper where the changes can be found.
  3. Mention whether and how you have addressed the other issues raised in the individual reviews (and not included in the meta-review)
  4. If there are points in the reviews (and especially the meta-review) that you disagree with, and thus have not addressed, make sure you make a convincing case providing your reasons.
  5. Provide information on any other changes you have made to the paper (and not raised in the reviews).
  6. Refrain from listing very minor changes (e.g., typos). It’s assumed that you have corrected them.
  7. You can also attach a latex diff, if that helps understanding how you have updated your paper (though this is not useful if you have done very heavy editing all over the place).

You are advised to put some effort into writing a summary that makes it easy for reviewers to understand how the new version compares to the old one, how you have addressed reviewer comments, and how the paper has been improved. Expect reviewers to read your summary of changes before they read the new version of the paper, and so you should see it as an opportunity to present the improvements you’ve made during revision. The summary of changes should be anonymized in the same way as the submission.

Copyright and Licensing

Papers will be self-published on the PETS/PoPETS website, under an open access policy; details coming soon.

Camera-ready Instructions for Accepted Papers

To be updated for 2023; details coming soon.