Revision to the CSCW January 2022 paper review process

This post is written by the CSCW 2022 paper co-chairs (Katharina, Hao-Chuan, Hideaki, Naomi), in response to conversations with the Editor team (Sue, John, Irina, Vera, Morgan), the Chairs (Gary, Tony), and Steering Committee chair (Andrea). It is partially based on a medium blog post from 2020 describing a similar revision. If you have feedback, concerns, or questions, email the Papers Chairs at: papers2022@cscw.acm.org.

What changes will be made?

New submissions to the CSCW 2022 January cycle (Jan 15, 2022 deadline) will receive 3 reviews in many cases, not the standard 4 reviews.

Why did you make this change?

We received an unprecedented high number of submissions. Given the burnout in our community due to the ongoing pandemic, it would be difficult for ACs to otherwise handle the load. We further believe that reviews will be stronger if reviewers and ACs are not overtaxed. Some of you may remember that this change was also made at the beginning of the pandemic in the June 2020 cycle (as described in this Medium blog post) — we are following their idea, although we are making slight adjustments to how it is carried out.

Who will write the reviews?

Each paper will receive a combined review + meta review from the 1AC, and two additional reviews. The two additional reviews will typically come from 2 external reviewers selected by the 1AC, but may occasionally come from 1 external reviewer + the 2AC. A paper will automatically receive a 4th review from a 2AC if the 1AC recommendation disagrees with the recommendation of at least one of the two external reviewers.

Will it affect the notification dates?

Due to this major change in the reviewing process, notifications are expected to be delayed by one to two weeks.

Will this change decrease the quality of the review process?

We do anticipate that receiving only three reviews will impact the breadth of feedback that authors usually receive, but we also believe the three reviews will still be of very high quality.

Of course, without a 2AC, the fate of a paper primarily lies in the hands of the 1AC. To reduce the risk of the views of the external reviewers being overridden, we have implemented two safeguards: (a) 2AC reviewers will automatically be triggered when 1AC is leaning toward rejection, while at least one external reviewer still shows support toward the paper, and (b) an Editor will pay extra attention to papers that have had a 2AC assigned due to divergent opinions. We have recruited an additional Editor (thank you, Morgan!) to account for this added load.

Can I withdraw my paper if I’m unhappy with the change?

You absolutely can. Please send us an email to papers2022@cscw.acm.org with your submission number.

How will future cycles handle the review process?

We don’t yet know. The ongoing pandemic and an increasing number of submissions has caused significant burnout in our community, the effects of which we notice whenever recruiting Editors, ACs, reviewers, or anyone else involved in the reviewing process. How this can be mitigated is currently being discussed at multiple levels.

Does this follow the ACM guidelines? Will we still publish in PACM HCI?

Yes. We will still publish in PACM HCI and follow PACM guidelines: https://www.acm.org/publications/pacm/introducing-pacm

Is this for new submissions or for Major Revisions?

This is only for new submissions to the January 2022 cycle.

Still have questions?

Feel free to email us: papers2022@cscw.acm.org

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