Conference Peer Review Process!

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I was thinking about how the database research community is accepting new ideas. I usually (or should I say always) have hard times trying to come up with this sort of persuasive argument in my papers. Actually, I try to put myself in the reviewer's shoes, but it seems that these kinds of shoes are hard to get. Let me give you a simple example, which I believe, will make my point clear. Once upon a time (Fairy Tale style :D), I submitted a paper to a conference and it was rejected (very typical) and that is not the problem. My normal behavior is to get read the reviewers' comments, fix the paper accordingly, and submit it again to the next conference on my calendar. For the second submission, I am expecting at least to get better reviews than those received upon the first submission. However, I figured out that the reviewers of the second conference almost hated the modifications I made to the paper as a response to the first conference reviewers' comments. That actually drives me crazy, it is like you are cooking a meal and you are consulting two friends to taste the food. Your first friend figured out that it needs more salt, and your second friend sees that it is too salty and the meal needs to be redone. What I am trying to say here is that the review process seems to be too subjective. I appreciate the community is getting bigger and bigger and the reviewers do not have the time to give more insightful reviews. So, does this mean we might sacrifice the reviews quality ? Definitely, not. The review process is crucial for our field to evolve and keep attracting more people to get in. So, the solution should remain in figuring how to enhance the review process in order to make it more objective. I attended ICDE 2010 keynote speech given by Jeffrey Naughton, who focused on the review process and how to make it better. Actually, he came up with a couple of creative ideas that I liked a lot. For instance, he suggested to offer an award for the best reviewers which will encourage the reviewers to do their best. He also suggested to publish the reviews online so that community can see the reviews, and this way the reviewer may feel embarrassed to submit a bad review. The one that I like the most is to reveal the identity of the reviewer to the paper's authors, which will also put some stress on the reviewer to write high quality review. The aforementioned ideas are good, and I believe the community can come up with better ideas if all people agree that there is an issue that needs to be solved so that we would maintain the prestige of our community that it earned in the past..

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This page contains a single entry by M. Sarwat published on November 13, 2011 4:51 AM.

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