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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

Report on SIGMOD 2005

DeWitt reporting for Widom

my true feelings about panels
My True Feelings About Panels
  • What does “PANEL” stand for?
  • Pain in the A**, Nothing Ever Learned
report on sigmod 20053
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
pc groups
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
pc meeting
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
review process
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
author feedback
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%)
feedback redux
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
paper quota
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%
dewitt s thoughts
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