Confessions of a researchaholic

December 20, 2010

How to use the papers committee list

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:49 am
Tags: ,

SIGGRAPH now publishes the technical papers committee list a few weeks prior to the submission deadline. Here is my suggestion on how to take this information to your advantage.

First, let me tell you what NOT to do. It is very common for people to try to guess who is likely to review your papers, but this is entirely useless and counterproductive. In general, there is indeed a positive correlation between the committee member expertise and your paper subject, but it is not a very strong correlation and there is a non-trivial chance that a paper will be assigned to an unexpected committee member. (This is mainly due to how the paper sorting and assignment process goes but I am not going to elaborate on this here because I do not think it is necessary for authoring a good paper.)

So my personal strategy is to make sure the paper will survive *any* committee member. This is the safest bet and you cannot go wrong with that. (But do check the committee member list constantly though as sometimes it may change prior to the deadline.) Specifically, you should write your paper (especially the title and abstract) in a way so that it is as clear as possible on what it is all about to minimize the chance of misunderstanding. (If the paper sorters misunderstand your paper, they are more likely to assign your paper to the wrong committee member. And if the senior reviewers misunderstand your paper, they are more likely to assign your paper to the wrong tertiaries. And if reviewers misunderstand your paper they are more likely to score it lowly.)

It also helps to read and cite papers from the committee members for two reasons. The first reason is that the background and expertise of a committee member will obviously have a huge influence on how she is going to review a paper, so if you understand her, you stand a better chance of appreciating how she might approach a paper. The second reason is that psychological studies indicate that it is almost never too much to flatter, and people are usually happy to see their own papers cited and attributed in a positive manner.

If you want to push this further, my personal philosophy is to assume that my paper will be reviewed by the worst possible reviewers and prepare for that. Like Andy Grove said, only the paranoid survive.

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