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 Important Dates
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 Refereed Papers
 Practice and Experience Reports
 Web Submission Form for Papers and Reports
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 Need Help with Your Submission?
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Call for Participation in PDF

LISA '11 Call for Participation

Refereed Papers

Refereed papers describe new techniques, tools, theory, or inventions, or present case histories that extend our understanding of system and network administration. They present new ideas, backed by repeatable methodology, in the context of previous related work.

System administration is a broad topic, and good papers take a variety of approaches. A few examples:

  • Description/analysis of a new technique, tool, technology, or theory
  • Applying an existing technique, tool, etc., in a novel or maybe controversial way
  • Critical analysis of the alternatives for solving a common problem, including new recommendations
  • New lessons learned from a detailed and honest evaluation of a case history
The crucial component of all of these is something new or timely, maybe controversial, and something that was not previously available, discussed, considered, or recognized.

The program committee is particularly interested in contributions from full-time students. Cash prizes will be awarded at the conference for the best refereed paper and the best refereed paper with a student as lead author. Writing a refereed paper for LISA is a rewarding challenge. A properly crafted paper can make a difference in the thinking or practice of thousands of your peers and colleagues. An ideal paper is understandable by an intermediate-level system administrator while containing ideas that are new and timely for expert administrators. It is particularly important to fit your own work into the context of past work and practice. LISA papers must provide references to prior relevant work and describe the differences between that work and their own. Authors should browse proceedings of previous LISA conferences for references and can use the online proceedings (going back to 1993).

Need help with your submission? You're not alone or in the dark. Please see our page about getting assistance with your submission.

Submission Details

Authors must submit extended abstracts of 4–8 pages in length or (draft) full papers of 8–18 pages in length, including diagrams, figures, references, and appendices. A brief outline of the final paper should be attached to extended abstract submissions; any lacking outlines will not be accepted for review.

The title and author name(s) and affiliation(s) should appear on the first page of the submission. (LISA reviewing is single blind.) Authors should make sure that their submission prints properly on U.S.-style 8.5"x11" paper.

General submission rules:

  • All submissions must be electronic, in PDF only, via the Web form. The Web form will ask for contact information for the paper and allows for the submission of your full paper file. Please do not email submissions.

  • The first page of each submission must include the name, affiliation, and email address of the author(s).

  • Submissions should include a list of appropriate topic keywords or tags above the body text of the draft paper.
    • Tags: security, research, IPv6
    Suggested tags include DevOps, networking, infrastructure, security, research, case study, backups, configuration management, database, Web, printing, filesystem, authentication, and VMs. Authors may include additional tags as well.

  • Full paper submissions must include full references or they will not be considered. Full reference inclusion for extended abstracts are strongly advised.

  • Submissions whose main purpose is to promote a commercial product or service will not be accepted.

  • Submissions may be submitted only by an author of the paper. No third-party submissions will be accepted.

  • All accepted papers must be presented at the LISA conference by at least one author. The author(s) will give a 20-minute presentation immediately followed by a 10-minute Q&A session. One author per paper will receive a registration discount of $200. USENIX will offer a complimentary registration for the technical program upon request.

  • The author(s) of an accepted paper must provide a final paper for publication in the conference proceedings. Final papers should be 8–18 pages long, including diagrams, figures, references, and appendices. Complete instructions will be sent to the authors of accepted papers. To aid authors in creating a paper suitable for LISA's audience, authors of accepted proposals will be assigned one or more shepherds to help with the process of completing the paper. The shepherds will read one or more intermediate drafts and provide advice and assistance, as needed, before the authors complete the final draft. Accepted authors will be expected to make a dress rehearsal presentation with their shepherd prior to the conference.

  • All accepted papers will be available online to registered attendees before the workshop. If your paper should not be published prior to the event, please notify The papers will be available online to everyone beginning on December 7, 2011.

  • Papers may not be simultaneously submitted to other venues. Writing must be original, not previously published online or otherwise. See the USENIX Conference Submissions Policy for details. Note that the above does not preclude the submission of a regular full paper that overlaps with a previous short paper if it provides a significant new contribution, for example, by providing a more complete evaluation. Questions? Contact your program co-chairs,, or the USENIX office,

  • Papers accompanied by nondisclosure agreement forms will not be considered. Accepted submissions will be treated as confidential prior to publication on the LISA '11 Web site; rejected submissions will be permanently treated as confidential.

For more information, please consult the detailed author guidelines.

Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. PDT on June 9, 2011.

Authors will be notified by July 11, 2011, whether their papers have been accepted. The final papers are due September 15, 2011.

If your paper is accepted and you need an invitation letter to apply for a visa to attend the conference, please contact as soon as possible. (Visa applications can take at least 30 working days to process.) Please identify yourself as a presenter and include your mailing address in your email.

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