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Experience Reports for the Haskell Symposium

Experience reports for the Haskell Symposium may seem easy to write, but acceptance rates are typically lower than for full conference papers. This is a pity because often the underlying experience is interesting in itself, and the community misses out on hearing it.

Part of the reason for the low acceptance rate is that there is a cultural mismatch between the people that tend to write the reports and the people that review them. The people that write them are often industry practitioners who have vast domain knowledge, but not much practice writing for an academic audience. In contrast, the people that review the reports are invariably come from an academic research background and have particular expectations about how a report should be structured.

Getting Feedback

The best thing you can do to improve your chance of getting accepted is to GET FEEDBACK from someone who has experience reviewing papers. Ideally, you should identify one of the people that wrote a library that you are using, or implemented a language feature, and if they have reviewer experience then ask them. Send them a copy of your report and ask for advice. I guarantee that they will be happy to hear about how you've used their work, and give advice on tweaking your report. If you can't identify such a person then ask someone that was on the Haskell Symposium programming committee in a previous year. The list of committee members in on the website.

You need to ask for feedback *early* -- meaning at least 3-4 weeks before report deadline. Chances are the people that can offer the best reviews will be busy writing their own papers, and you need to give them enough slack to schedule time to look at yours. After you receive feedback you'll also need time to make any changes and then possibly go around the cycle again. If you haven't written a paper before then expect at least two cycles.