Guidelines about Workshops

SIGPLAN-sponsored conferences often organize a program of affiliated workshops in addition to the main conference program. These workshops are beneficial to the community—attracting participants, fostering discussion, encouraging students, and so on—and are strongly supported by SIGPLAN.

There are two kinds of workshops: SIGPLAN-approved workshops and conference-approved workshops. The first kind require SIGPLAN EC approval, have a PC, use the SIGPLAN name, and publish their proceedings (if any) in the ACM DL; the second kind require approval only by the conference organizers and not by SIGPLAN EC, need not have a PC, cannot use the SIGPLAN name, and should not publish proceedings.

SIGPLAN-approved workshops


  • A SIGPLAN-approved workshop has a call for submissions and a submission deadline.
  • Submissions are evaluated by a Program Committee, and thus subject to peer review.
  • The Program Committee respects the SIGPLAN Diversity Policy.
  • The proposal for a SIGPLAN-approved workshop, including the composition of the Program Committee, is approved (prior to issuing invitations) by the SIGPLAN Executive Committee.
  • If there is a proceedings of any kind, it must be lodged in the ACM Digital Library, and the papers in it are considered published.


  • SIGPLAN-approved workshops are usually but not necessarily colocated with a SIGPLAN host conference.
  • The “submissions” need not be full papers - they may be abstracts, talk proposals, etc.
  • The workshop organizers may choose for there to be no proceedings.
  • The workshop may use the SIGPLAN name in its title and the SIGPLAN logo on its materials.

Conference-approved workshops


  • A conference-approved workshop is organized under the aegis of a SIGPLAN host conference.
  • A conference-approved workshop may not use the SIGPLAN name or logo. It may, however, use the name of the host conference.
  • A conference-approved workshop need not have an open call for contributions, nor a programme committee. However, if it does have a PC, that PC must respect the SIGPLAN Diversity Policy and be approved by the SIGPLAN Executive Committee prior to issuing invitations.
  • Accepted submissions must not be published in any way, and they do not become part of the ACM Digital Library.


  • If there are submitted or accepted papers, workshop organizers are encouraged to keep them short; from two to six 2-column ACM pages is often appropriate.
  • Organizers may wish to select participants by explicitly soliciting abstracts or position statements, and directly issuing invitations to panelists or discussion leaders.
  • Although a conference-approved workshop may not collect submissions into a proceedings, it may create a “workshop summary” that is not peer-reviewed, but which is included within the host conference “companion” or posted on a web site. The summary may include talk abstracts, talk slides, talk videos, and other information intended as an informal record of the workshop. These materials are not considered published, and they are not expected to be cited in future publications. (That is, subsequent authors may choose to cite these materials, as they may for any other “grey literature”, but they need not.)


  • Whether SIGPLAN-approved or conference-approved, workshops located alongside a larger conference are typically organized through the host conference, either via the General Chair of the host conference or by delegation to a Workshops Chair.
  • A conference-approved workshop need not have a Program Committee or a Call for Papers; it might be just a Birds-of-a-Feather session.
  • Accepted submissions often present work in progress for early access. Some will subsequently be extended into full papers for submission and peer review elsewhere.
  • In accordance with the SIGPLAN Republication Policy, if it is the intention that presentation at the workshop should not preclude publication elsewhere, then this should be clearly stated in the call for papers and in any workshop record.
  • A conference-approved workshop is not subject to approval by the SIGPLAN Executive Committee; it is sufficient for the organizers of the host conference to be satisfied as to the workshop’s quality and integrity.
  • Both kinds of workshop are valuable, and SIGPLAN encourages them equally. But clarity about the two distinct kinds is valuable too, and “hybrid” arrangements risk causing confusion among the community. SIGPLAN does not endorse hybrids, such as workshops with proceedings in the DL but no formal CFP or no PC, or full papers in the DL that are not intended to be considered as “formally published”.

Guidelines for Workshop Organizers

The primary decision you need to make is whether your workshop should be “SIGPLAN-approved” or “conference-approved”. If you intend for submissions to be polished papers, lodged in the DL for posterity, and permanently citable, you should go the “SIGPLAN-approved” route; you will need to select a Program Committee (paying attention to SIGPLAN’s Diversity Policy), Download the PC proposal spreadsheet template and enter the requested information for your proposed PC members and alternates, send the completed spreadsheet to the SIGPLAN Vice Chair ( for comments and approval by the SIGPLAN Executive Committee, distribute a call for papers, review submissions, and so on. If instead you want to attract work in progress and do not want to discourage authors from submitting substantially the same work as a full paper elsewhere, then you might prefer the “conference-approved” route.

If you want to organize a SIGPLAN-sponsored workshop, by far the simplest way to do so is as part of a SIGPLAN-sponsored conference; otherwise, the effort of managing the finances is likely to be out of proportion with the size of the event. The main four SIGPLAN conferences (POPL, PLDI, ICFP, SPLASH) each have a Workshops Chair and a formal Call for Workshop Proposals; submit your proposal in response to this call, and the Workshops Chair will guide you through the process of setting up your workshop. For the other SIGPLAN conferences, the role of Workshops Chair is usually played by the General Chair; you should contact them directly, as there may be no formal call for proposals.

Warning for organizers of conference-approved workshops: You may choose to make submissions publicly available, for example by linking them on a workshop webpage. But please be aware that, although SIGPLAN encourages presentation and discussion of work in progress in this way, it has no control over the policies of subsequent publication venues. The only way to be sure that a presentation of work in progress at your workshop does not preclude later publication of a closely related paper is not to make submissions publicly available.

Instructions for Workshop Chairs of SIGPLAN Conferences

  • Decide on a timeline for proposals. Consider having a deadline for early decisions on a gathered field of proposals, followed by first-come first-served decisions as space permits about later proposals.
  • The host conference should manage the finances of sponsored workshops; liaise with the General Chair about this.
  • Distribute a Call for Workshop Proposals widely. You want to encourage new workshops, as well as repeats of previous years’.
  • You may choose to invite proposals for SIGPLAN-approved workshops, conference-approved workshops, or both.
  • SIGPLAN-approved workshops need approval from SIGPLAN EC, so you should collect from proposers at least the information listed under How to Apply on the Guidelines for Sponsored Events page—except for item 10 on finances. Collate this information and submit it to the SIGPLAN Vice Chair for approval.
  • Conference-approved workshops need only the approval of the conference General Chair. Note that such informal workshops cannot use the name “SIGPLAN” in their title, nor the SIGPLAN logo on their webpage. Accepted submissions will not appear in the ACM DL, although a combined “workshop summary” may.
  • Don’t forget that workshop presenters are eligible to apply for the PAC Fund; you may want to encourage organizers to mention this in the CFP.