VIS 2016 banner

Paper Submission Guidelines

All conferences at IEEE VIS 2016 use similar submission and review processes. Please read the individual Call for Papers for each of the conferences here: VAST, InfoVis, and SciVis.

Make sure that you carefully read the guidelines below before submitting your paper.

  1. Important dates
  2. Submission Criteria and Review Process
  3. Supplemental Material and Formatting Guidelines
  4. General Expectations and Ethics Guidelines
  5. Paper Types


Abstract submission (MANDATORY) Monday, March 21, 2016
Paper submission Thursday, March 31, 2016
Notification of results of first review cycle Monday, June 6, 2016
Paper submission for second review cycle Monday, June 27, 2016
Final notification Monday, July 11, 2016
Camera ready copy Monday, August 1, 2016

All deadlines are at 5:00pm Pacific Time (PDT).


All conferences at IEEE VIS allow both single-blind (not anonymized) as well as double-blind (anonymized) submissions. Double-blind submissions are allowed for those authors who want to submit their work anonymously. Therefore, those authors should NOT include their name or institution on the cover page of the initial submission, and should make an effort to ensure that there is no revealing information in the text (such as obvious citations to authors’ previous work, or making acknowledgments to colleagues of long standing). Authors should also avoid posting their submitted manuscript on the web until the final notification date. To reiterate, the choice of complete anonymity (i.e., single or double-blind) is optional. Authors can reveal their names and affiliations in the first round of the review cycle if they choose not to anonymize their work.

Note that submission of an abstract for each paper is mandatory by Monday, March 21, 2016, and full papers are due Thursday, March 31, 2016. Late submissions, or submissions without a previously submitted abstract, will not be accepted. All submissions must be original work that have not been published previously in any archived conference proceedings, magazines, or journals. Related previous work by the authors must be cited (anonymously if desired and appropriate), and the differences to work described in the submitted manuscript must be clearly explained. Concurrent submissions (i.e., having the same paper under review at more than one conference or journal/magazine at the same time) are strictly forbidden. If it is determined that an identical or substantially similar manuscript is simultaneously under consideration at another publication venue or forum (e.g., conference, journal, edited book), the manuscript will be rejected at an early stage in the review process.

A paper is considered published if it has appeared in a peer-reviewed archived journal or in published meeting proceedings that are commercially available afterward to non-attendees in the form of archives (including digital). However, preliminary work described in the Interactive Posters, Contest Entries, or Late-Breaking Hot Topics venues from previous VIS conferences is not considered formally published, and may be resubmitted provided it has substantial additional new material.

Each of the three main VIS conferences—VAST, InfoVis, and SciVis—encompass different parts of the visualization field. Authors are responsible for selecting the area in which their paper fits best by submitting to the appropriate conference (see the individual calls for each conference). However, before peer review begins, papers may be moved to another conference at the discretion of the papers chairs for the conferences; in such a case, the authors will be contacted about this change. At this time, a paper may also be desk rejected—rejected outright before it enters peer review—by the papers chairs if they determine that the submission is clearly out of scope for the VIS conferences, uses poor language that precludes effective communication, does not follow the formatting guidelines, or is otherwise not appropriate.


The length of a paper should be commensurate with its contribution, up to a maximum of ten (10) pages with the caveat that an optional tenth page can only contain references. When writing your paper, keep in mind that overly long papers will add additional burden to the reviewers and that they have been explicitly instructed to make sure paper length is commensurate with its stated contribution. You may be asked to compress your paper in a second round if it is not.

Papers can include full-color figures throughout. We encourage the use of digital video to enhance the submission, particularly if part or all of the work addresses interactive techniques. Submission of code or other supplemental material in order to increase the reproducibility of the work is also encouraged. Authors are urged to make available salient parameter settings of pertinent algorithms and ideally obtain results using open source data. In case specific datasets are employed, we ask that a version of these be made available where possible. We also encourage the placement of a teaser image on the very first page to showcase your work visually.

Details and guidelines for preparing a proper submission can be found at for all three conferences: VAST, InfoVis, and SciVis.


At least one author of an accepted paper must attend the conference to present the work, and authors will also be required to present a very brief summary of their talk at the opening papers preview session.

We expect that submissions will clearly discuss the novel and significant contributions and place them in the context of prior art in the field. This will involve highlighting how the current contributions differ from and advance the state-of-the-art in visualization, especially, but not limited to previous work published in the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG) and other leading journals and conferences including IEEE VAST, IEEE InfoVis, IEEE SciVis, ACM SIGGRAPH, CHI, UIST, EuroVis, and IEEE PacificVis.

When submitting your paper you will be asked to provide a complete list of authors even when submitting an anonymized version of the manuscript. This is required to avoid potential conflicts of interest when assigning reviewers. Adding additional authors AFTER the acceptance of a paper is unacceptable and will not be permitted.

Submissions will be treated as confidential communications during the review process, so submission does not constitute public disclosure of any ideas therein. Submissions should contain no information or materials that will be proprietary or confidential at the time of publication (at the conference), and should cite no publications that are proprietary or confidential at the time of publication.

All VIS conferences adhere to the VGTC ethics guidelines for reviewers, which can be found at


A VIS paper typically falls into one of five categories: technique, system, design study, evaluation, or model. We briefly discuss these categories below. Although your main paper type has to be specified during the paper submission process, papers can include elements of more than one of these categories; in fact, the best papers typically combine elements from several paper types. Please see “Process and Pitfalls in Writing Information Visualization Research Papers” by Tamara Munzner for more detailed discussion on how to write a successful VIS paper.

Technique papers introduce novel techniques or algorithms that have not previously appeared in the literature, or that significantly extend known techniques or algorithms, for example by scaling to datasets of much larger size than before or by generalizing a technique to a larger class of uses. The technique or algorithm description provided in the paper should be complete enough that a competent graduate student in visualization could implement the work, and the authors should create a prototype implementation of the methods. Relevant previous work must be referenced, and the advantage of the new methods over it should be clearly demonstrated. There should be a discussion of the tasks and datasets for which this new method is appropriate, as well as its limitations. Evaluation through informal or formal user studies, or other methods, will often serve to strengthen the paper, but are not mandatory.

System papers present a blend of algorithms, technical requirements, user requirements, and design that solves a major problem. The system that is described is both novel and important, and has been implemented. The rationale for significant design decisions is provided, design alternatives and final design choices are discussed, and the system is compared to documented, best-of-breed systems already in use. The comparison includes specific discussion of how the described system differs from and is, in some significant respects, superior to those systems. For example, the described system may offer substantial advancements in the performance or usability of visualization systems, or novel capabilities. Every effort should be made to eliminate external factors (such as advances in processor performance, memory sizes or operating system features) that would affect this comparison. For further suggestions, please review “How (and How Not) to Write a Good Systems Paper” by Roy Levin and David Redell, and “Empirical Methods in CS and AI” by Toby Walsh.

Application/Design Study papers explore the choices made when applying visualization and visual analytics techniques in an application area, for example relating the visual encodings and interaction techniques to the requirements of the target task. In addition, Application papers have been the norm when researchers describe the use of visualization techniques to glean insights from problems in engineering and science. Although a significant amount of application domain background information can be useful to provide a framing context in which to discuss the specifics of the target task, the primary focus of the case study must be the visualization content. The results of the Application/Design Study, including insights generated in the application domain, should be clearly conveyed. Describing new techniques and algorithms developed to solve the target problem will strengthen a Design Study paper, but the requirements for novelty are less stringent than in a Technique paper. Where necessary, the identification of the underlying parametric space and its efficient search must be aptly described. The work will be judged by the design lessons learned or insights gleaned, on which future contributors can build. We invite submissions on any application area.

Evaluation papers explore the usage of visualization and visual analytics by human users, and typically present an empirical study of visualization techniques or systems. Authors are not necessarily expected to implement the systems used in these studies themselves; the research contribution will be judged on the validity and importance of the experimental results as opposed to the novelty of the systems or techniques under study. The conference committee appreciates the difficulty and importance of designing and performing rigorous experiments, including the definition of appropriate hypotheses, tasks, data sets, selection of subjects, measurement, validation and conclusions. The goal of such efforts should be to move from mere description of experiments, toward prediction and explanation. We do suggest that potential authors who have not had formal training in the design of experiments involving human subjects may wish to partner with a colleague from an area such as psychology or human-computer interaction who has experience with designing rigorous experimental protocols and statistical analysis of the resulting data. Other novel forms of evaluation are also encouraged.

Theory/Model papers present new interpretations of the foundational theory of visualization and visual analytics. Implementations are usually not relevant for papers in this category. Papers should focus on basic advancement in our understanding of how visualization techniques complement and exploit properties of human vision and cognition.