Assuming that I want to submit a paper related to the topic X to conference Y in CS, and there is a special session in that conference which covers the topic X; in that case, is the best choice to submit the paper to the special session?

Well, as far as I know, the special sessions have a small pool of submitted papers around similar themes, from which they need 5-6 papers to accept. So I was wondering if I would lower down my chances by submitting to a SS as the pool becomes more competitive for me?

  • I understand that your question is specifically about special session vs regular tracks at conferences, but for the sake of completeness, I'd be happy to add another answer shortly addressing the interest of special journal sessions. Would you be interested in that as well? If not maybe you can edit "conference" into the question title to leave the space open for a similar question regarding journal submissions.
    – penelope
    Dec 4, 2018 at 12:08
  • @penelope: Well, the journal special issues are also interesting to me, but are not in the scope of my question as i do not need to decide on that at the conference submission which is my concern here. But thank for the suggestion, and i'd be happy to read about it even in another topic. :)
    – Bob
    Dec 5, 2018 at 9:33

1 Answer 1


It depends on the conference. Sometimes, "Special Sessions" are organized by an individual to "fill the program" and the organizer will try to find people willing to submit to this session. In those cases, you might even be asked to submit your work for the session and review might not be overly tough.

In other cases, it might happen that the special session is overcrowded - in such cases you might have a hard time.

Nonetheless, a good paper chair will move your paper to the session which is most appropriate - so it might happen that you submit to the special session and end up in a common track, or vice versa.

One good thing about special sessions is, that they draw the audience interested in the field, and they are a good opportunity for networking and exchanging ideas. Therefore, I would recommend selecting the special session.

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