Technical Papers: Review Process
The Technical Papers Committee and a set of external reviewers, both consisting of recognized experts, will review submitted papers. Then, at their meeting (1-2 August 2009), the committee will select those papers to be presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 and published in a special issue of ACM Transactions on Graphics.
SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 is an ACM SIGGRAPH conference, but it is distinct from the long and ongoing series of SIGGRAPH conferences that have been held in the United States. As such it faces new challenges, especially in the definition of its review process. The process is patterned on the review processes of previous SIGGRAPH conferences, but it does not match exactly the process employed by SIGGRAPH 2009.
The Technical Papers Committee
The Technical Papers review process will be conducted by (1) the Papers Chair, who was chosen by the SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 Conference Chair and approved by the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee and its Conference Advisory Group; (2) the Technical Papers Advisory Board, consisting of the SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 through 2010 Technical Papers Chairs, (who were selected by the corresponding SIGGRAPH Asia Conference Chair and approved by the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee), and six other people, selected by the SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 Technical Papers Chair. 3) the Technical Papers Committee, chosen by the Technical Papers Chair with the assistance of the members of the Technical Papers Advisory Board, and consisting of about 35 people whose expertise spans the entire field.
The Review Process
1. On the weekend following the submission deadline, the Technical Papers Chair and several other volunteers will conduct the papers sort. During this meeting, they assign papers to the two senior reviewers, called the primary and secondary reviewers, who are members of the Technical Papers Committee. The Technical Papers Chair does not review papers. Papers that are inappropriate may be rejected during this assignment process, without being sent to any senior reviewers. Papers will normally be rejected at this stage only if they are clearly off-topic for SIGGRAPH Asia 2009, or if they are discovered to have been published previously or to have been submitted simultaneously to another conference or journal. For more details, see Prior Art & Public Disclosure and the Double Submissions section of Frequently Asked Questions.
2. The two assigned senior reviewers may, upon conferring with each other and the Technical Papers Chair, recommend a paper to be rejected without additional review. A paper will normally be rejected at this stage only if it falls into one of the categories listed in phase one, but this fact was not detected during the papers sort. It is possible, although unlikely, that a paper may also be rejected at this stage if it solves a problem that is known to be already solved; or if it does not cite (and the authors seem unaware of) important prior work on the same problem and doesn't address how it is different; or if it has no evaluation via proof, experiment, or analysis; or if it is solving a problem sufficiently minor that the senior reviewers do not believe that it belongs in the program.
3. Each paper is distributed to three or more additional experts, called tertiary reviewers. Two of them are selected by the primary senior reviewer of that paper, and the third is selected by the secondary senior reviewer. The primary, secondary, and tertiary reviewers all write full reviews. A copy of the review form can be found here and reviewer instructions here. Thus, at least five reviews are written for each paper that has not been rejected during phases one and two. The senior reviewers know the identities of the authors of the papers, but the tertiary reviewers do not. In unusual cases, such as when a tertiary reviewer fails to deliver a review on time, papers may receive only four reviews. However, if a paper receives fewer than four reviews, additional reviewers will be found, possibly from the committee. For more details, see the Review Process section of Frequently Asked Questions.
4. After all reviews are complete, the review system allows the authors access to the reviews and scores for their papers. The authors have five days, from 14 July 2009 through 19 July 2009, to enter rebuttals if they feel that the reviewers have made substantive errors, or to answer specific questions posed by the reviewers. The rebuttal is confined to 2,000 words in length. The rebuttal period is for addressing factual errors in the reviews, not for getting revised text or new results into the review process. Any such novel material will be ignored by the senior reviewers. For more details see the Rebuttal Process section of Frequently Asked Questions.
5. After the rebuttal is submitted, or beginning on 20 July if no rebuttal was received, the senior reviewers will read the author rebuttals, confer intensively about the paper, and prepare by 23 July a recommendation for the committee meeting. The three tertiary reviewers will see the author rebuttals and will participate in discussion of the paper. Since the three tertiary reviewers do not know the names of the authors, the authors should maintain anonymity in their rebuttals. In addition, the tertiary reviewers don't know each other's identities, so they too must maintain anonymity during the discussion. The preliminary recommendation agreed on at this stage will be either accept, reject, or refer to ACM Transactions on Graphics. If an agreement on the recommendation cannot be reached, a fourth option is to table the paper, for further review and discussion.
6. If a paper is tabled, the senior reviewers will select by 24 July one or more other members of the papers committee to write extra reviews of the paper, and be prepared to discuss it in detail at the meeting. The extra reviews will be written during the week before the committee meeting. If consensus still cannot be reached, it is even possible that extra reviews will be assigned during the meeting itself. Any extra reviews will be returned to the authors after the meeting.
7. The full Technical Papers Committee meets on 1 - 2 August to determine acceptance or rejection of each paper. In cases where a consensus on a paper was not reached during the pre-meeting discussion phase, additional committee members may read the paper, and their evaluations will be taken into account in the decision.
Although the senior reviewers of a paper know the identities of its authors, they normally do not disclose these identities during the meeting. In advance of the paper sort, the papers committee members specify with which paper authors they have conflicts of interest, due to institutional, professional or student/teacher relationships. They leave the room when papers for which they have conflicts are discussed. Papers are judged solely on their merit, as determined by the reviews. Although the acceptance rate of SIGGRAPH papers has remained nearly constant in the range of 15% to 25%, there is no quota for the number of papers that should be accepted by the SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 Technical Papers committee; this number will arise organically from the actions of the committee.
Possible Outcomes for a Paper
Email notifications of the paper committee's decisions should be sent by 23:59 UTC/GMT on Tuesday, 4 August 2009. The notifications will place each paper in one of the following three categories:
2. Conditionally accepted for presentation at SIGGRAPH Asia 2009. Conditionally accepted papers undergo a second reviewing process, in which a referee (a member of the Technical Papers Committee) verifies that the final version of the paper is acceptable (that any required changes have been made, and that other changes made by the authors, perhaps in response to reviewer comments, have not compromised the paper in any way). This second and final stage determines the final acceptance status of all papers. The referees' decisions are final. Papers that do not satisfy the referees in the second stage of reviewing and/or that are not uploaded in final form by the final deadline of 12 September 2009, together with the original or revised versions of the submitted supplementary material, will be rejected. Accepted papers will appear in the conference proceedings, which will continue to be published as a special issue of ACM Transactions on Graphics.
3. Conditionally accepted for publication in ACM Transactions on Graphics, pending major revisions. At the authors' discretion, these papers undergo a second reviewing process, in which an Associate Editor of ACM Transactions on Graphics works with the authors to produce an acceptable final version of their papers. The TOG reviewers will have access to the SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 reviews, and to the extent possible, the paper will be assigned to the SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 reviewers, so that there is consistency in the requested changes. Accepted papers will be published in regular issues of ACM Transactions on Graphics and may be presented at a later SIGGRAPH or SIGGRAPH Asia conference.