Expectations for Industry Paper Submissions To The Symposium On eCrime Research

Oct 11, 2015 12:21pm

Past experiences with case study papers submitted to the APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research (APWG eCrime) and research venues with common topical research foci have provided insight into common mistakes made by industry researchers trying to publish in more formalized forums. The content presented here is aimed at sharing some of these observed common missteps and provide guidance to potential submitters on ways to strengthen their research and increase the chances of the paper’s acceptance.

Publish A Meaningful Research or Investigation

The ability to determine whether or not research is worthy of publishing is probably the hardest aspect of the enterprise to convey. Many researchers, academics, and writers hope that their content should be published but the reality is that most acceptance rates are less than 50 percent of the papers. Spend some time thinking about if what you researched or investigated is not well-known or presents findings that are in some way novel in nature. Do not share a simple how to guide on how one would analyze a malware sample; instead, organize documentation of what investigators can do to map out entire malware families in ways that exploit heretofore uncodified efficiencies. The goal is to get novel case studies or research projects sharing strategies that are little known by the industry rather than creating a piecewise review of other work that is readily available if searched for.

Write a Structured, Formalized Paper

There have been papers submitted in the past have presented excellent research strategies and supporting data; however, the papers are written with what seems to be lack of thought behind the structure of the paper. APWG eCrime’s steering committee are expecting formally composed papers that are worthy of being published in an IEEE-sponsored publication in their research and also in comporting with the standards and conventions of scholarly papers. First, if you are new to this kind of expository enterprise read a number of the papers from past eCrime and other conferences whose topical foci bisect those covered at APWG eCrime to get a stronger sense of what a structured paper looks like. Take the time to create an outline, drafting and redrafting the components to present the most powerful argument and supporting data to illuminate your findings in the greatest depth. Think before writing and do your best to use proper grammar and sentence structure.  These things can make a difference in how the data presented is interpreted by the committee members and the readers in general. 

Present a Case Study as a Study and Not a Marketing Event

Another common misstep is the submission of case studies have been used as a method for marketing a product. That is not to say that a product cannot be used during a case study demonstration. In fact, many academic and industry papers use products such as Maltego, i2 Analyst Notebook, and others to showcase research directions and results. There is no problem with using a product or suite of tools within the paper, but showcase the merit of the work being accomplished rather than reviewing product features. 

Share Your Open Source Code

There are a number of really interesting open source projects that being passed around between industry professionals and researchers. Such projects have taken individuals and groups a lot of thought and effort to develop. Publishing a paper is a great way to get visibility to the code as well as how to use it the tool. Providing open source code posted to your favorite repositories or blogs alongside meaningful research on how it can be used has the potential to educate other researchers and investigators, make a big difference within the industry, and get the use out of the tools that developers created that tool for. APWG eCrime is particularly excited about the potential that this aspect of the industry publishing can bring to the table.