ISSAC 2014 Paper Review Process

The ISSAC Program Committee (PC) and external reviewers, both consisting of recognized experts, will review submitted papers. After reviewing, the PC will select those papers to be presented at ISSAC 2014 conference and published in the Proceedings of ISSAC 2014.

The paper review process will be conducted by (1) the Program Committee Chair, who was chosen by the ISSAC 2014 General co-Chairs in consultation with the ISSAC Steering Committee Chair; (2) the Program Committee, consisting 20 members (including the Chair) whose expertise spans the entire field. The Program Committee was selected by the Program Committee Chair, in consultation with the General co-Chairs of ISSAC 2014; and (3) external reviewers, chosen by the Program Committee members to review individual papers based on their expertise.

The Review Process

  1. Paper Bidding and Assignment: During the week between the Abstract Submission deadline and the Full Paper Submission deadline, and during the following one week period, the Program Committee will conduct the paper bidding. After the bidding, the PC Chair will assign each submission to two PC members. The first PC member is called the primary referee of the paper, and will be required to collect 2 reviews for the paper. The second PC member is called the secondary referee of the paper, and will be required to collect 1 review for the paper. Papers that are inappropriate may be rejected during this assignment period and during the first week after assignments were made, without being sent to any external reviewers. Papers will normally be rejected at this stage only if
    • they are clearly off-topic for ISSAC 2014, or
    • they are extended abstracts, or
    • substantially exceed 8 pages in ACM sig-alternate.cls style, or its equivalent of about 17 pages of letter size paper, typeset in 12pt with normal spacing and reasonably large margins, or
    • have been submitted simultaneously to another conference or journal.
    It is possible that a paper may also be rejected without review if it solves a problem that is known to be already solved; or if it has no evaluation via proof, experiment, or analysis; or if it is solving a problem sufficiently minor that the program committee do not believe that it belongs in the program.

  2. Paper Reviewing: Each paper that has not been rejected during phase one will be reviewed by three or more reviewers. Two of them are selected by the primary referee of that paper, and the third is selected by the secondary referee. The primary and the secondary referees may choose to write a review of the paper themselves and/or ask external reviewers who are experts in the field of the paper to write reviews. PC members who are not the primary or secondary referees of the paper may also choose to write or obtain reviews. The reviewers all write full reviews that will be later returned to the authors anonymously. In unusual cases, such as when an external reviewer fails to deliver a review on time, papers may receive only two reviews. However, if a paper receives fewer than two reviews, additional reviewers will be found, possibly from the program committee.

  3. Selective Rebuttal: After all reviews are complete, the PC Chair, in accordance with the referees of the paper, may choose to ask for a response from authors whose papers raised questions in the reviewing phase. The PC Chair will send these authors the reviews that raise questions. The authors have five days to answer questions and to respond to comments of the reviewers. The rebuttal is confined to 500 words in length, and it must be self-contained. The rebuttal is for addressing specific questions or factual errors in the reviews, not for getting revised text or new results into the review process. Any such novel material will be ignored by the referees.

  4. Recommendation: The primary and secondary referees will read the external reviews and the possible author rebuttals, and each prepare a recommendation for the program committee. These recommendations would contain an explanation why the paper should be accepted or rejected, or a third option is to further discuss the paper by the entire program committee. In this third case the referees would still give a summary of their opinions of the paper. These recommendations are not returned to the authors.

  5. Discussion and Decision: Based on the recommendations of the referees, the PC chair will create 3 groups: accept, reject, discuss. PC members are allowed to request papers to move from the accept or reject group to the discuss group. If a paper is in the discuss group, all PC members, except those with conflict of interests, will be invited to comment and discuss the paper. The comments of the PC members will not be returned to the authors. In exceptional cases further reviews will be prepared for such papers either by PC members or external reviewers. Any extra reviews will be returned to the authors. Selective rebuttal may also take place in this phase, with the same rules as above. Finally, the entire PC will vote on each paper in the discuss group whether to accept or reject it. The PC Chair will make the final decision on acceptance/rejection of these papers based on the results of the votes.

Possible Outcomes for a Paper

Email notifications of the Program Committee's decisions will be sent to the corresponding authors before the deadline for Notification of Acceptance/Rejection (see important dates). This mail will also contain all reviews of the paper, anonymously. The notifications will place each paper in one of the following categories:

  1. Accepted for presentation at ISSAC 2014. Accepted papers undergo a second reviewing process, in which the primary referee of the paper verifies that the final version of the paper is acceptable (that any required changes have been made, and that other changes made by the authors, perhaps in response to reviewer comments, have not compromised the paper in any way). The authors are required to write an accompanying list of changes made to the paper. This second and final stage determines the final acceptance status of all papers. Papers that do not satisfy the referees in this second stage of reviewing and/or that are not uploaded in final form by the deadline for camera ready copies will be rejected. The decision of the Program Committee Chair, in consultation with the referees, is final. Accepted papers will appear in the conference proceedings. One author of the paper must commit to presenting the paper in person at the conference.

  2. Rejected. No further rebuttal or appeal is accepted for rejected papers, the rejection decisions of the Program Committee are final.