Information for Authors

Note: Information on this page applies to PoPETs volume 2022 and earlier only. See our new page for information for 2023.

Useful Files

LaTeX template
License Agreement

Submission Guidelines

Note: Information on this page applies to PoPETs volume 2022 and earlier only. See our new page for information for 2023.

Papers not following these instructions risk being rejected without consideration of their merits!

All papers must be submitted using the submission server! See the current CFP for the correct link for the current volume and issue.

In general, submitted papers must be at most 15 pages, excluding bibliography and clearly-marked appendices, and 20 pages total in this LaTeX template. However, PETS papers given a decision of Major Revision or Accept with Shepherding (aka Minor Revision) may revise their paper with 16 main-body pages, excluding bibliography and clearly-marked appendices, and 21 pages total. Note that additional pages are also allowed for the camera-ready version of accepted papers. PC members are not required to read the appendices, which should only be used to provide additional supporting information. Additional pages in the appendices may be allowed in some cases (for example, long security proofs, or long user questionnaires). Authors should contact the chairs in advance to request an exception to the page limit, justifying the need for additional pages.

Unlike journals that publish extended versions of conference papers, PoPETs seeks to publish original, previously unpublished work. Submitted papers must not substantially overlap with papers that have been published or that are simultaneously submitted to a journal or a conference with proceedings. Papers that have previously been submitted to PETS must include a document summarizing the changes (see the guidelines for this document). The paper should start with the title and an abstract. The introduction should give some background and summarize the contributions of the paper at a level appropriate for a non-specialist reader.

Anonymization of Submissions

All submitted papers will be judged based on their quality and relevance through double-blind reviewing, where the identities of the authors are withheld from the reviewers. As an author, you are required to make a good-faith effort to preserve the anonymity of your submission, while at the same time allowing the reader to fully grasp the context of related past work, including your own. It is recognized that, at times, information regarding the identities of authors may become public outside the submission process (e.g., if a pre-print is published as a technical report or on a pre-print server). The PC will ignore this external information. Minimally, please take the following steps when preparing your submission:

Conflicts of Interest

Authors are asked to indicate conflicts of interest with PC members as part of the online submission process. We consider the following to be clear cases of a conflict:

  1. Sharing an institutional affiliation with an author at the time of submission
  2. The advisor or advisee of an author at any time in the past
  3. A co-author of the author within the past two years or a current collaborator

For other forms of conflict, authors must contact the chairs and explain the perceived conflict. If the chairs do not receive a rationale for the conflict, they will remove this conflict when making reviewing assignments.


Papers should follow the basic principles of ethical research. These principles include, but are not limited to, beneficence (maximizing the benefits to an individual or to society while minimizing harm to the individual), minimal risk (appropriateness of the risk versus benefit ratio), informed consent, respect for privacy, and limited deception. Consider especially the ethical implications of research involving human subjects, user data (e.g. network traffic, passwords, and social network data), and system vulnerabilities (e.g. cryptographic weaknesses, software exploits, and privacy attacks). See the Menlo Report for detailed guidelines on ethical research.

Authors are encouraged to include a subsection on Ethical Principles, and such a discussion may be required if deemed necessary during the review process. This section should include a justification of the ethics of the work and information about whether the work was submitted to an external ethics panel such as an IRB or the Tor Research Safety Board. Research that is deemed to not have met adequate ethical standards may be rejected on those grounds. Authors are encouraged to contact PC chairs before submitting to clarify any doubts.

Claims of Benefits to Particular Populations

Authors should make clear whether their claims about benefits to a particular user population have been validated in some way (e.g. interviews, literature review, discussions with experts etc.). If authors can't offer such support or validation for their claims about that target community, this should be clearly acknowledged in a limitations section.

Security Proofs

Some papers require lengthy security proofs to support the technical validity of the contribution. These papers should indicate this in the body of the paper and include the proof in the appendix. The acceptance or rejection notification for these papers may be delayed to allow for the proof to be reviewed, meaning that the paper may appear in the issue following the one to which it was submitted. A paper submitted to the February deadline may or may not be reviewed in time for the paper to be presented at that year’s symposium. If this occurs the paper will be published in Issue 1 of the following year and presented at that year’s symposium.

Resubmission - Summary of Changes

Note: Information on this page applies to PoPETs volume 2022 and earlier only. See our new page for information for 2023.

A document summarizing changes is required for all resubmissions, regardless of the decision received. A resubmission is any paper with content substantially shared by a previous submission to PoPETs that received any reviews, and this includes a minor revision sent to a shepherd. There is no specific template for the summary of changes, and so you should feel free to draft it in a way that presents your revisions and responses to review points in a clear and concise manner. The document must be a PDF.

Suggestions on what to include in your summary:

  1. Include a paragraph or two summarizing the main changes you have made in the revision and how they address the main concerns raised by the reviewers.
  2. Respond point-by-point to the issues mentioned in the meta-review. Be clear and explicit in explaining the concerns of the meta-review and how you have addressed them. Also, please point to the sections of the paper where the changes can be found.
  3. Mention whether and how you have addressed the other issues raised in the individual reviews (and not included in the meta-review)
  4. If there are points in the reviews (and especially the meta-review) that you disagree with, and thus have not addressed, make sure you make a convincing case providing your reasons.
  5. Provide information on any other changes you have made to the paper (and not raised in the reviews).
  6. Refrain from listing very minor changes (e.g., typos). It’s assumed that you have corrected them.
  7. You can also attach a latex diff, if that helps understanding how you have updated your paper (though this is not useful if you have done very heavy editing all over the place).

You are advised to put some effort into writing a summary that makes it easy for reviewers to understand how the new version compares to the old one, how you have addressed reviewer comments, and how the paper has been improved. Expect reviewers to read your summary of changes before they read the new version of the paper, and so you should see it as an opportunity to present the improvements you’ve made during revision. The summary of changes should be anonymized in the same way as the submission.

Copyright and Licensing

Note: Information on this page applies to PoPETs volume 2022 and earlier only. See our new page for information for 2023.


Accepted papers will be published as an open access journal by Sciendo, part of De Gruyter, which has over 260 years of publishing history. Authors retain copyright of their work. Papers will be published under an open access policy using a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license.

License Agreement

Authors of accepted papers must sign the license agreement. This allows us to distribute your work under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license, and grants Sciendo exclusive commercial use of the article. (This allows Sciendo to sell subscriptions to the journal.) One co-author needs to send this on behalf of all of the authors.

Note: The Journal Owner in the license agreement is listed as The Tor Project, Inc. This is because PoPETs is not currently a legal entity and The Tor Project, Inc. has agreed to enter into this agreement on behalf of PoPETs. The Tor Project, Inc. does not exercise any editorial control over PoPETs or PETs.

For US government employees: If one or more of the authors is a US federal government employee, you can sign the license as it is, because of the note “for U.S. government employees: to the extent transferable” in Clause 1.

For UK government employees and employees of other Commonwealth country governments: Each author that is an employee of a government agency must sign a copy of the license, along with an authorized representative of the government agency. If the agency does not sign the license, UK government employees should submit a signed declaration form. The paper should include an acknowledgement of Crown copyright of the form: © Crown copyright YYYY.

Camera-ready Instructions for Accepted Papers

Note: Information on this page applies to PoPETs volume 2022 and earlier only. See our new page for information for 2023.

What to submit for the camera-ready version

Email the following files to

An archive of your source (zip, tar, etc). This must contain all of your source files so that we can build your pdf.

A completed and signed license agreement (details here).

Funding Source Acknowledgements

All papers must include an acknowledgement section that lists, for all authors, the names of the bodies that funded the research. If no funding supported the research, the section should include the sentence "This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.".

Paper Formatting

Help with fonts

PDF fonts

Embedding fonts in figures and graphs

The following script embeds and subsets fonts for figures and graphs. (We provided as-is, without support or warranty.)

Create a script called "embedfont" with the following contents:
# Usage: ./embedfont file.pdf
# Outputs file.pdf_embed. Make sure it looks good before overwriting original file.pdf
gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -q -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -dSAFER -dPDFX \
-dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress -sOutputFile=$1_embed -f $1 \
-c quit

Error: variable ngerman
When using the template "dgruyter_NEW.sty", you may get an error: variable ngerman wasn't defined To solve this issue, install "lineno.sty" and comment out the lines related to that in dgruyter_NEW.sty