OSS 2021
Wed 12 - Thu 13 May 2021 Lahti, Finland

Call for Papers

Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) has emerged as one of the most important phenomena in computer science, engineering, and collaboration at large. It has had a major impact on the information technology industry, has changed software development practices world-wide, and has been instrumental for education and research in academia, providing free access to essential tools and pioneering research on large-scale peer production. FLOSS has changed the way people perceive the software business and helped in keeping markets away from monopolies and lock-in risks. As such, a deep understanding of FLOSS requires an understanding of a wide spectrum of issues.

The 17th edition of the International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2021), true to the conference traditions, will be a holistic forum on the advances in the theory and practice of FLOSS, for people from very diverse backgrounds. All traditional OSS topics will be covered and welcome (see full list below). In addition, OSS 2021 will have a special focus on large-scale open source, covering topics such as, but not limited to:

  • The use of FLOSS in large organizations, including private for-profit corporations, major non-profit organizations, large public administrations, etc.

  • The migration to FLOSS from proprietary systems in said large organizations.

  • The development and maintenance of very large FLOSS systems, such as individual software products made of multi-million lines of code or entire software ecosystems encompassing tens of thousand components.

  • The study and analysis of very large FLOSS systems, as defined above, focusing on traits such as evolution, quality, and health, of both the systems themselves and the associated communities.

  • Wide-area collaboration and peer production using FLOSS and/or aimed at developing them. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, experience reports about how FLOSS systems have enabled remote work, remote conferences, or remote collaboration will be particularly welcome.

OSS 2021 will bring together people from industry and academia to share experiences and ideas as well as to provide an archival source for scholarly papers on FLOSS topics. The conference will also inform and educate practitioners, identify directions for further research, and offer a platform for ongoing technology transfer.

The conference will accept three kinds of submissions:

  • Research papers (max 10 pages): Submissions describing original research in the area of FLOSS systems. Research papers that discuss actionable insights resulting from the presented results will be particularly welcome.
  • Tool papers (max 5 pages): Submission describing the novel release or original development of software applications, libraries, frameworks, or other FLOSS tools that have a significant user base or have been used to achieve significant practical results. Tool papers are expected to include a validation section showing the usefulness of the presented tools.
  • Experience reports (max 5 pages): Submissions reflecting on the experience of adopting FLOSS processes, techniques, tools, business models, best practices, etc. in industry, community, or public sector context.

Note that, to allow for more complete and fully formatted reference lists, bibliographic references do not count towards the page limit.

Conference topics

Conference topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Business models for FLOSS
  • Cost and quality models for FLOSS
  • Diversity in FLOSS communities
  • Documentation of FLOSS
  • Empirical analysis of FLOSS development artifacts
  • FLOSS and agile methodologies
  • FLOSS in DevOps workflows
  • FLOSS and E-government
  • FLOSS case studies and experiments
  • FLOSS education and training
  • FLOSS in large organizations and public administrations
  • FLOSS in the wider Open* ecosystem: Open Culture, Open Data, Open Hardware
  • FLOSS licensing
  • FLOSS projects and communities
  • Foundations and rationale of FLOSS
  • Human factors in FLOSS
  • Impact of FLOSS on collaboration and peer production
  • Knowledge management in FLOSS
  • Legal issues and policies in FLOSS
  • Migrations from proprietary to FLOSS systems
  • Remote collaboration on FLOSS projects and using FLOSS tools
  • Software health in FLOSS systems and communities
  • Tools and methodologies for FLOSS development and management

Format and Submission

All submissions must present original work, unpublished, and not under submission elsewhere. The authors must clearly explain the contribution of the work in terms of its theoretical and/or practical value and situate it in relation to previous work.

Submissions must be in English and conform to Springer’s guidelines for Computer Science proceedings.

Papers should submit as PDF files at https://easychair.org/my/conference?conf=oss2021 All accepted submissions will be included in the conference proceedings, published by Springer. The Open Access status of the official proceedings is still being determined. In any case, open access preprints of all accepted submissions will be collected and referenced from the conference website.

Supplementary Material

Supplementary material can be uploaded via EasyChair or linked from the paper submission. Although PC members are not obligated to look at this material, we strongly encourage submitters to use supplementary material to provide access to code or data, whenever possible.

Special Issue

A selection of conference distinguished papers will be announced at the conference and invited to submit extended paper versions to the upcoming special issue on large-scale open source software of the journal Science of Computer Programming, published by Elsevier.

Program Co-chairs

Valentina Lenarduzzi and Stefano Zacchiroli