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Report on SIGMOD 2005. DeWitt reporting for Widom. My True Feelings About Panels. What does “ PANEL ” stand for? P ain in the A **, N othing E ver L earned. Report on SIGMOD 2005. Notable Changes from past including PC Groups Reviewing Load Mandatory PC Meeting Detailed Review Form

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Report on sigmod 2005 l.jpg

Report on SIGMOD 2005

DeWitt reporting for Widom

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My True Feelings About Panels

  • What does “PANEL” stand for?

  • Pain in the A**, Nothing Ever Learned

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Report on SIGMOD 2005

  • Notable Changes from past including

    • PC Groups

    • Reviewing Load

    • Mandatory PC Meeting

    • Detailed Review Form

    • Review Monitoring by PC Chair

    • Author Feedback

    • No quota on Number of Papers Accepted

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PC Groups

  • 57 PC members divided into 9 groups w. goals:

    • All papers in an area (e.g. XML) went to the same group

    • Papers balanced among groups

    • Higher than normal load since smaller than normal PC

  • Group leaders

    • Assigned papers to group members

    • About 10% of the paper assignments were to members in different groups

    • Monitored reviewing process, initiating and moderating discussions of controversial papers BEFORE the PC Meeting

    • Ran group meeting at the PC meeting

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PC Meeting

  • Mandatory attendance!!!!!

    • Made clear when PC invitations were extended

    • All 57 PC members showed up

  • Meeting had 3 phases:

    • Separate group meetings to decide on papers to rate papers as accept, possible accept, or reject (4 hours)

    • Group leader meeting with Widom to decide on PC papers rated “possible accept” (1 hour)

    • All PC meeting to decide fate of non-PC papers rated as “possible accept” (2 very long hours)

  • Followed by a one day symposium for young faculty to pitch their stuff

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Review Process

  • More detailed review form

    • Separate questions for technical correctness, depth, novelty, impact, …

    • 3 strong points and 3 weak points were required for each paper

  • Automated review monitoring by Widom for “harshly worded” reviews

    • Many false positives but her goal of “kinder, gentler” reviews was certainly achieved

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Author Feedback

  • Text portion of reviews returned to authors one week before PC meeting

  • Goals:

    • Minimize technical errors by reviewers

    • Eliminate unprofessional reviews

  • Authors allowed to respond (up to 4000 characters)

    • Minor battles between authors and Widom over whether LF characters counted!!!

    • Authors felt obligated to respond (about 75%)

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Feedback Redux

  • Need 2 weeks: 1 week for author to prepare feedback and 1 week for PC to digest feedback

  • 4000 characters too long

  • Authors probably not satisfied with effect of feedback on outcome of their papers

  • Almost certainly had a positive effect on tone of the reviews in the first place

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Paper Quota

  • Like VLDB 2004, no preset limit on how many papers would be accepted

  • Like most recent conferences acceptance rate ended up being 15%

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DeWitt’s thoughts

  • Best SIGMOD in years

    • There were no talks that I listened to that led me to think “they accepted that?”

  • Why?

    • Face-to-face PC meeting with 100% attendance

    • Group organization led to better decisions

    • Author feedback encouraged reviewers to write careful and thorough reviews

    • Widom is a tough taskmaster