How to review?

Bastian Pfleging & Florian Alt slides Wed, 14.03.2018


In this session, Dr Pfleging gave an introductory session on “how to choose the best venue for your work?”. He listed some of the top conferences in HCI and explained how they are rated. He also discussed with the attendees in an interactive format the process of organizing conferences and the committees involved. Dr Pfleging and the other senior lecturers gave advice to the PhD students on how to join and contribute to organizing the conferences. Next, he explained the process of reviewing a paper and the rationale behind the steps via giving examples of different venues like UbiComp and CHI. The participants discussed interactively the top reasons for rejecting a paper and pinpointed some of the best and worst practices in the reviews they received.

A sample of the hints/topics discussed in the session
  1. Definition of peer-reviewed publication in HCI: paper reviewed by 3 people from the community picked by someone who is an expert in the domain. We also discussed the difference between 1) peer review vs. invited papers and 2) archival vs non-archival.
  2. The general understanding regarding program committee members is that they: 2) should have published in the venue, and 2) have a PhD or close to finishing.
  3. There is a pyramid structure to organizing conferences. If you want to serve in a job, contact the direct boss of it. There is no need to go too high in the hierarchy.
  4. In the limitations section: you argue why your work is awesome though there are limitations not point out why your work in incomplete.
  5. Be careful about the future work because if it is limitations to fix your work -> do it then submit the paper. The objective is to show how your work is relevant and fitting to the future
  6. Help reviewers to speed read your paper. If a reader goes through any of the following -> they should be able to understand your paper.
    1.  the title, abstract, figures
    2.  headings and subheading

Activity 1: Review a paper for a colleague

Participants were divided into groups of 4 and asked to review one of the papers presented in the paper clinic. The activity duration was 45 minutes.

The review had to contain the following items:
1. The contribution of the presented work to HCI
2. Strength points of the work
3. Weaknesses of the work
4. Recommendation (accept / reject .. etc)
5. Essential improvements to the current work