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Computer Science Publications. Jennifer Rexford Princeton University Where I’m Coming From. Chair of ACM SIGCOMM (2004-2007) Explosive growth in the number of papers Wider interest in data networks due to the Internet

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computer science publications

Computer Science Publications

Jennifer Rexford

Princeton University

where i m coming from
Where I’m Coming From
  • Chair of ACM SIGCOMM (2004-2007)
    • Explosive growth in the number of papers
    • Wider interest in data networks due to the Internet
    • Main conference with a reputation of cliquishness
  • Issues SIGCOMM has been grappling with
    • Low acceptance rates at conferences
    • Encouraging publication of new and risky ideas
    • Improving the number and quality of reviews
    • Full-length versions of workshop papers
  • Other issues that arise often
    • Non-anonymous paper reviews
    • Recycling of paper submissions
providing new kinds of venues
Providing New Kinds of Venues
  • New and risky ideas
    • Hot topics in networking
  • Active sub-areas in networking
    • Internet measurement, network software systems, network hardware architecture, sensor networks, …
  • Seeding new sub-areas
    • Workshops co-located with the main conference
    • Inter-disciplinary topics, and emerging research areas
  • Regional networking workshops
    • Latin America
    • Asia
changing the main conference
Changing the Main Conference
  • Co-located workshops (2003--)
    • Three-day conference and two days of workshops
    • Broadens participation and builds community
  • Accepting more papers (2005)
    • From high 20s to high 30s, while still single track
  • New geographic rotation (2007--)
    • Old: twice North America, once Europe
    • New: North America, Europe, and wildcard
  • Experimented with position papers (2003-2004)
    • Had them just for a couple of years
    • But, it proved to be a bit of a mixed bag
prior work at workshops
Prior Work at Workshops
  • Workshop paper grows up into conference paper
    • Extending the work in a meaningful way
  • How do you “count” the prior workshop paper?
    • If it counts, you limit the quality/excitement of workshops
    • If it doesn’t count, conferences may become repetitive
  • We’re converging on a policy
    • If the conference paper makes a significant delta (e.g., adding implementation, evaluation, analysis, etc.)…
    • … ignore workshop paper in judging the submission
  • But, we can’t control what other conferences do…
managing the reviewer load
Managing the Reviewer Load
  • Early decision on some papers
    • E.g., “quick reject” with 1-2 reviews
  • Two-tiered program committee (SIGCOMM’06)
    • “Lite” PC that reviews paper but doesn’t attend meeting
    • “Heavy” PC that reads most of the serious contenders
  • External reviewers
    • Though, these are hard to manage, and calibrate
  • Helping train future reviewers
    • Shadow program committees reviewing the papers
    • E.g., EU shadow PC, and university departments
public reviews
Public Reviews
  • “NY Times Book Review” of each accepted paper
    • Signed review, sometimes by a PC member
    • Different from paper-selection reviews
    • Provides context, and discusses pros/cons
  • Started at HotNets’04
    • Lots of discussion and enthusiasm
    • Assigned as reading in some graduate courses
    • Now done in our SIG newsletter, and SIGCOMM’05
  • Challenges and issues
    • Should authors be able to publish a rebuttal?
    • Risk of retaliation, brown-nosing, and conflict of interest
    • Why not publish the reviews of the submission?
  • Cliquishness
    • Limits the vibrancy, creativity, and breadth of a discipline
    • Need ways to have turn over, & convey value structure
  • Low acceptance rates
    • Increases the noise in the process, and the role of bias
    • Need ways to publish risky ideas, & discourage recycling
  • Review quality
    • Very heavy load of papers to review
    • Need to reduce load, spread load, provide incentives, …
  • Prevalence of workshops
    • Adds another stage to the publication pipeline
    • Need ways to address overlaps in paper contents