Submission Process

  1. Initial Submission (February)
    Authors have to submit the first version of their paper. This initial submission will be assessed for suitability, and accepted papers will be assigned to a shepherd.

  2. Shepherding Phase (starting in March)
    During shepherding, a shepherd (an experienced pattern author) helps you improve your paper by asking questions and giving feedback. Usually, this takes about four months and involves multiple iterations of feedback loops.

  3. Second Draft (May)
    Halfway through the shepherding process, you submit a second draft of your paper. This second draft will be reviewed for improved quality and your willingness and openness to consider and incorporate the shepherd’s feedback. This review will determine whether your paper is accepted to the conference and the ACM proceedings.

  4. Conference Version and Preparation for the Conference (June)
    After your paper is accepted for the conference, you and your shepherd can continue working on your paper. However, a few weeks before the conference, a final draft must be submitted to be distributed to the other workshop participants. Shepherding ends here.

  5. Feedback (June)
    You will receive the papers for your workshop about two weeks before the conference. Your task is to read and annotate it, to be able to give the author constructive feedback during the Writers’ Workshop at the conference. Usually, the annotated version is handed over to the author during the conference.

  6. Conference (July)
    A peer group of five to ten pattern authors will discuss your paper at a Writer’s Workshop at the conference, where you will receive a lot of feedback and suggestions for improvement for your paper. For every paper, at least one unique author has to attend the conference to collect the feedback.

  7. Proceedings Version (September)
    After the conference, you have to incorporate the suggestions for improvement which you received during the Writer’s Workshop at the conference and submit it a few months later as the final proceedings version, which goes to the ACM Digital Library.
  • Optional: TPLoP
    By being accepted to a PLoP conference and going through all the improvement steps and the Writer’s workshop, your paper qualifies for submitting to the Springer journal LNCS Transactions on Pattern Languages of Programming (TPLoP). To be accepted, the paper has to be extended substantially beyond the original conference paper.

Submission Format

  • Style: ACM  Article Template

  • Length: approx. 10 pages (as a rough guideline)

  • Maximum File Size: 20 MB

  • Fileformat: PDF

Accepted papers will be published in the ACM Digital Library, which requires those papers to be formatted according to the ACM guidelines (two columns, sigconf format). The ACM master article template is available for Word and LaTeX.

Every submission needs to have a unique author attending the conference. Multiple co-authorships are possible, but it is important that for every submission a unique author is able to attend the workshop the whole time to give and get feedback.

However, for the initial draft and also for the conference draft, there are no requirements regarding your paper format – only for the final version to be published with ACM. Some pattern authors prefer a format that is easier to read than the ACM format – have a look at the introductory information pack for examples. If you don’t want to publish your paper, you can choose whatever format you like. Nevertheless, we encourage to use the ACM two-column format right from the beginning to avoid layout problems in the end. Also, be reminded that there has to be a distinct author for each paper at the conference. While it is allowed to co-author multiple ones, there has to be a unique representant for each submission.

We recommend 10 pages as a guideline for the papers’ length and especially welcome shorter papers. Longer papers are also possible but bear in mind that the writers’ workshop might decide to focus only on a part of your paper.

Also, the file size of a single submission must not exceed 20MB.

Make sure that you have the usage rights for materials used in your paper. Note that the license Creative Commons Non-Commercial (CC-NC) is not usable since ACM is commercial.

Acceptance Criteria

The EuroPLoP conference accepts papers on patterns, pattern languages, their theory, and their practical application. It focuses on topics related to computing, including software engineering, programming, design, education, organizational, and management topics. EuroPLoP is open for synergies with other fields and therefore accepts up to 20% of pattern papers on non-computing topics.

Submitted papers go through an initial evaluation by the Program Committee (PC) to ensure they are aligned with the topics mentioned above. All suitable papers enter the shepherding phase. In this phase, the authors are assigned a shepherd who will provide feedback in multiple iterations to help improve the quality of the paper. The revised papers are reviewed by the PC members again and a final acceptance decision is made.

For the final acceptance decision, the following criteria apply: comprehensibility, applicability, novelty of the content, provided evidence (e.g. three known uses, empirical studies), active participation in the shepherding process, relation to existing work, and paper structure.

All accepted papers are discussed in a writers’ workshop during the conference. To have a sufficiently high number of writers’ workshop participants, not more than one paper per conference participant is accepted. Authors are expected to include the feedback from the writers’ workshop in a final revision, which is then published in the conference proceedings.

Authors of papers that were not accepted can still be invited for a special on-site shepherding session to improve their work. These papers will not be part of the proceedings. Also, papers which are not related to a computing topic (which don’t fit any ACM Computing Classification System category) will not be accepted for the ACM proceedings (authors are informed about that during the initial screening phase).


The shepherding process is a special reviewing process. The shepherd guides the autor into a more mature understanding of his or her pattern. Shepherds are individuals, with experience in pattern writing, assigned to an author’s paper with the expressed interest in helping the author improve the pattern. Shepherds also have experience with the shepherding procedure, either having been a shepherd or an author before.

Shepherding is about improving the pattern itself, while the shepherd maintains that the author is the one doing the pattern writing. The shepherding process is done before the paper is to be discussed at a conference.

Near the end of the shepherding, shepherds must submit their recommendations to the Program Committee members, which then decide about its acceptance to the part of a writer’s workshop of the conference. After accepted, authors and shepherds can continue evolving the papers to produce the conference draft version.

For a more in-depth description of this reviewing process typical of EuroPLoP’s, visit “The Language of Shepherding” or “The Art of Deep Shepherding”.

All the papers submitted and accepted to be shepherded for EuroPLoP are available for Program Committee members, shepherds, and authors.