Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) Submission Information

Submissions are closed.
Date Due Friday, October 23, 2020
Time Due 23:59 AoE (Anywhere on Earth, UTC-12h)
Submission Limits 2 pages (including abstract of 250 words)
Notification to Authors Monday, November 23, 2020
Camera-Ready Deadline Sunday, December 13, 2020
Duration 45 now up to 75 minutes

Author Guidelines: Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF)

Final as of August 27 2020

Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) Sessions provide an environment for colleagues with similar interests to meet for informal discussion. Proposers of BOF sessions should serve as discussion leaders only. BOFs are not intended to be presentations.

Single-Anonymous Review Process

Initial submissions to the Birds of a Feather track are reviewed with the single-anonymous review process, where the submissions are not anonymized but reviewers are anonymous to each other and to the authors. During the discussion of a submission in EasyChair, reviewers can refer to each other by their reviewer number on that submission’s review.

How Should The Proposal Be Formatted?

BOF proposals are to be provided in PDF format. The full 1-to-2 page proposal contains an abstract and a body that describes your BOF (as detailed below). The abstract needs to appear in two places: in the PDF proposal and in a text box on the submission page.

The full 1-to-2 page proposal is used for the review process only. If the proposal is accepted, the abstract is the description that appears on the Symposium website and in the Symposium program and proceedings. The format for the proposal is as follows.

BOF Proposal Format and Contents

Be sure to use US letter size pages that measure 8.5” by 11”, that’s 215.9mm by 279.4mm.

SIGCSE 2021 is not participating in the new ACM workflow, template, and production system. Word Authors, please use the Interim Template. LaTeX Authors, please use the official ACM Master with the ACM_SigConf template.

Please note that the ACM Template is optional for BOF submissions. However the sections described below are all required.

  • Proposer: Include name, affiliation, email address, and website address. You should expect most correspondence related to the conference to arrive via email. Please check your spam filter if you haven’t received an expected notification because the auto-responses generated by the conference software are sometimes blocked.
  • Title: A title for the BOF.
  • Abstract: A description of the BOF. The same abstract will also need to be submitted via a text box on the submission page. Please be sure that your description is accurate and that both submitted copies (here in the BOF Proposal, and in the submission text box) are exactly the same.
  • Significance and Relevance of the Topic: Please include information about any trends in relation to the topic and possibly describe (or cite) evidence to that effect. Your objective here is to explain why the topic is significant. You should also justify how your BOF will engage participants in group discussion and enhance future connections between attendees. This information can help your proposal to be selected if resources become an issue.
  • Expected Audience: Briefly describe the nature and size of the expected audience. If you expect a particularly large or small audience, please explain why. If you have a rough estimate of attendees based on previous years, please include it here. This information can help determine the schedule.
  • Discussion Leader(s): Although correspondence will be with the proposer above, it will be the discussion leader(s) who will be mentioned in Symposium literature. Please list any additional such names (besides the proposer) and affiliations here. Be certain that you have their commitments to attend the Symposium. All discussion leaders must register for the SIGCSE Technical Symposium and be present for the BOF session.
  • Expertise of Discussion Leader(s): Give a summary of the qualifications of the discussion leader(s) as it relates to the BOF topic being proposed.
  • Proposed Activity during BOF: Provide a brief description of the activities you intend to engage in during the online BOF.

BOF Abstract (limited to 250 words)

The abstract is the description of the BOF that will appear on the conference website. The description is limited to and must match verbatim the abstract section of the BOF Proposal. The BOF abstract must be submitted in plain text. The abstract for an accepted proposal may contain a URL with more information. (Abstracts of accepted BOFs can be edited in response to reviews.)

Sample Proposal

How Do I Submit My Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF)?

Please be aware that the submission form asks you to provide demographic information. This demographic information is being collected by ACM; they created the questions and require them to be in the submission form. Please know that the demographic information submitted is not seen (and thus cannot be used in any way) by Technical Symposium reviewers or leadership. We also have no control over the questions asked nor where they appear in the form.

SIGCSE TS 2021 is not participating in the new ACM workflow, template, and production system. MS Word Authors, please use the Interim Template. LaTeX Authors, please use the official ACM Master with the ACM_SigConf template.

Submissions use the English language. If you desire editing services, consider the following from the ACM.

ACM has partnered with International Science Editing (ISE) to provide language editing services to ACM authors. ISE offers a comprehensive range of services for authors including standard and premium English language editing, as well as illustration and translation services. Editing services are at author expense and do not guarantee publication of a manuscript.
  • Prepare your Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) submission using the format specified above.

  • Recall that you will also need to copy-and-paste or type your text abstract description into a text box in the submission form. Be sure that the same text appears in the submission and in the abstract text box in the submission form.

  • Be sure to choose the appropriate topic areas when submitting. Your choices help in assigning appropriate reviewers to your submission, and assist the reviewers in evaluating the paper from an appropriate perspective.

Details regarding submission upload will be made available when the submission system goes online.

The opening of submissions will be announced through the SIGCSE mailing list, social media, and the front page of this website.

Follow the SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Twitter and SIGCSE on Facebook.


If you have questions about anything discussed above, please contact:

Birds of a Feather Team


  • Meghan Allen
    University of British Columbia
  • Dale-Marie Wilson
    University of North Carolina Charlotte

Presenting at SIGCSE TS 2021

Important Dates

  • TBD

How will I be presenting my work? (Birds-of-a-Feather)

UPDATE: Unfortunately, as we have gotten into Pathable and learned more about how Zoom sessions are allocated, the original plan of allocating each BoF a “permanent Zoom room” will not work exactly as originally thought. Pathable dynamically allocates Zoom meeting room IDs (i.e. the XXX-YYY-ZZZ numbers we have become very familiar with over the past year) at the start of a given session. Thus, we cannot assign a “permanent” Zoom meeting to a given BoF as these numbers will change constantly.

What we can do in its place is schedule a second time for a BoF to have a follow up meeting not during regular conference hours. To do this, we will have to add another agenda item to the Pathable schedule and a person from the BoF will need to serve as host for the meeting to manage the Zoom controls. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer extended technical support during these sessions. If your BoF is interested in this, please email and with your request.

(This information is currently subject to change as we verify that these plans will work as intended through Pathable.)

Birds-of-a-Feather flocks will each be given a “permanent Zoom meeting room” that will be listed in Pathable and available for use for discussion or other activities throughout the Technical Symposium. Additionally, there will be an officially scheduled meeting time during one of the networking blocks that will be advertised on the schedule for the normal BoF session (as we would normally do in-person).

In Pathable, each BoF will also have a persistent chat area and space for hosting files relevant to your BoF. After seeing the success that the International Computing Education Research (ICER) Conference had using Discord for more in-depth discussions beyond the individual sessions, we hope that the week-long Zoom meeting room and additional chat functionality will work similarly for the Technical Symposium.

More information on how to manage the BoF sessions will be provided as we get closer to the Technical Symposium. We will also provide several training sessions that organizers can attend to help them become familiar with the platform ahead of their session.