Hints for prospective authors of research papers for the ACM Symposium on Software Visualization

  1. For any new tool or technology that the paper introduces, clearly describe the technology's intended user group and the software development tasks that the technology improves. An intended user group could be quite specific (cell phone users, financial analysts using spreadsheets) or quite broad (computer science students, professional developers), and the tasks could be drawn from any phase of a software project (requirements elicitation, feature implementation, debugging, correcting faults in the field, etc.) or could be a related domain-specific activity (finding mistakes in spreadsheets, optimizing simulation algorithms for drug design).
  2. Support your claims. For example, if your claims are about ease of comprehension, support them by a user study or an evaluation of some form, e.g., a cognitive walkthrough. Or, if your claims are about greater efficiency of execution, measure that with order statistics (big Oh) or runtime measurements. And so on.
  3. Justify the chosen visual metaphors, colors, scales, etc. When these choices represent trade-offs in a design space, describe why the final choice is better than the rejected alternatives.
  4. Make clear what the new scientific contribution being made by your paper is. To do this, compare your work with relevant work of other researchers. A large portion of the work that will help you address this issues can, in many cases, be found by looking through the proceedings of the previous SOFTVIS conferences that can be found in the ACM digital library or the proceedings of related events. Another potentially useful source is the On-line Visualization Bibliography. (Feel free to add your own papers relevant to visualization research to this bibliography, via the web form.)
  5. Submissions must not have been published previously and must not be currently under consideration by another conference or journal. If you have a previously published paper or one that is under review that you would like to distinguish from your SOFTVIS submission, don't hesitate to clarify the distinction in the body of your paper.