After getting the conference's decision to publish a paper there is a short period of time to prepare and sent a camera ready version. However, during the review period, it was found that the paper can be improved significantly or that the minor bug can be fixed.

Is it acceptable to change the scientific content of the paper after it's acceptance? If yes, to what extent one can change the paper? I am especially interested in the minor setting of the experiment. Should one inform the conference chairman if he's gonna make changes (fixes)?

  • 4
    What is the field? I have the feeling that CS would be different than anything else.
    – Davidmh
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 11:37

3 Answers 3


Generally, papers presented at conferences include the preliminary results, and the purpose is to receive feedback on your preliminary results and improve them for the final study. If this is the case with your paper, I think you could consider making the improvement after the conference, since you are going to improve the study anyways later on based on the inputs you receive at the conference. However, if you strongly feel that making the change would improve the paper significantly, you can write to the Chairman and explain your concern. If he agrees, you can make the change.


I can't speak for all disciplines, but in my area (somewhere on the boundary between theoretical and practical CS) I've never met anyone who claimed that changes from the submitted version to the final version of a conference paper have to be restricted to those issues that were spotted by the reviewers. That means: yes, of course you may fix bugs – in fact, you are supposed to. You may update experimental results, if you clearly state that the results published in the final version were obtained using Comcom-Moc, vers. 3.1.4, 2016-09-24. You may include better examples, and you may add further explanations.

The caveat is that you may not make changes that might have influenced the opinion of the reviewers negatively. So, for instance, if you spot a bug in Comcom-Moc, vers. 3.1.3 (i.e., in the version used in the submitted version), you must of course fix it, but if the results for vers. 3.1.4 look a lot less impressive than the results for the buggy old version, you have to inform the editor – neither keeping the old results (which are known to be invalid) nor silently replacing them by the new ones (which are possibly no longer competitive) would be acceptable. The same applies if you find a bug in a theoretical proof that can only be repaired by replacing the main statement of the paper by something significantly weaker.


In general, you should go ahead and make the change without consulting anyone if it:

  1. Fixes typos, spelling, layout, readablilty without significantly impacting the content or flow of the paper.
  2. Adds results or comments supporting the claims made (and accepted) during review.
  3. Does not result in anything being removed from the paper, or the "results in the paper being weakened" *

Especially if you are adding more results, you should note that this does not permit you to remove anything from the paper to stay within the page limit if applicable.

For any other (major) changes, you should contact the track chair through the conference organizers.

*Closely paraphrased actual wording I have seen for an intl. conference.

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