Handbook for SIGFSM event organizers

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Handbook for [|ACL Special Interest Group on Finite-State Methods, SIGFSM] event organizers

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The purpose of this page is (1) to help organizers of SIGFSM endorsed events and (2) to set recommendations and standards for various policies.

Conflict of Interest (proposal received on 15 Oct 2012)

The following recommendation is adapted from [|the ACL Conference Handbook].

The following is the SIGFSM policy on conflicts of interest in reviewing and accepting conference submissions. A person is deemed to have a conflict of interest in a paper submitted to a SIGFSM conference if he (male forms only here)

    • is a (co-)author of the paper, or
    • is employed at the same institution as that person, or
    • is, or has been in the previous five years, a student/supervisor/advisor of an author, or
    • has extensively collaborated with an author (usually demonstrated by
    several joint publications) in the past incl. the previous five years, or
    • any other circumstances create an appearance that he might have a
    bias in the evaluation of the paper.

COMMENT: We softened the constraints on collaboration since we are a focused conference where some collaboration between member is very likely; disallowing any collaboration in the past 5 years might make it difficult to find good reviewers.

COMMENT: The term "extensive" might need to be clarified, but one could put the collaboration between Nederhof and Satta forward as a positive example and the collaboration between Hanneforth and Bak as a negative example (see DBLP for joint publications).

COMMENT: We only changed the order; these two basic facts are automatically checked by conference software (such as Easychair) and thus do not involve much work and represent to me the bare minimum

No person shall review or participate in the acceptance decision of any paper in which he has a conflict of interest. The identity of the reviewers of a paper shall be withheld from all people who have a conflict of interest in that paper.

The following are the procedures that must be followed for avoidance of conflicts of interest in reviewing and accepting conference submissions.

    • 1. The program committee (co-)chair and his students must NOT submit contributions to the conference.
    • 2. A paper shall not be assigned to a PC or to a reviewer who has a
    conflict of interest in it.
    • 3. If a PC or reviewer is inadvertently assigned a paper in which he
    has a conflict of interest, he must immediately declare the fact and return the paper.
    • 4. Reviewing procedures and software shall be organized in such a manner as to prevent any person from seeing non-anonymized reviews of any paper in which he has a conflict of interest. Reviewing procedures and software and program committee discussions and meetings shall be organized in such a manner as to prevent any person from participating in or observing any discussion relating to the acceptance decision of any paper in which he has a conflict of interest.

COMMENT: Since we typically do not have several layers of chairs, this seems to be the only reasonable conclusion. In my opinion, this is also less of a restriction as other equally reputable conferences exist and can be used for those papers.

COMMENT: This recommendation is makes the quality of the reviewing process more transparent. In general, this transparency has not been observed systematically in the past, which makes it harder to judge from outside that the quality of the reviewing process. Without the recommendation, the chairs can use an automatic assignment and ask PC members to delegate the reviewing, but such extra cautions are difficult to testify.

In the interpretation of this policy and these procedures, if there is any doubt as to whether or not a conflict of interest exists, PC chairs, PC members and reviewers are advised to be cautious. The SIGFSM Board (IAB) may be asked for its opinion on specific cases.

The SIGFSM Board (IAB) is committed (if this recommendation is endorsed) to observing how this recommendation is implemented and to develop the transparency of the quality of the reviewing process.

The version control of this document

--Anssi.Yli-Jyra Wed 31 Oct 2012 08:54:34 EET.

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