Technical Papers Frequently Asked Questions
Changes for SIGGRAPH 2011
What changes have been made to the Technical Papers submission and review process this year?
This year there are only minor changes to the SIGGRAPH submission process that are visible to submitters. The author’s rebuttal text has been shortened from 2,000 words to 1,500 words. These rebuttals should be short and to the point. Many authors feel pressured to use the maximum number of words available in the rebuttal, and this creates additional work for both the authors and the reviewers. In the review form, the questions on reproducibility and limitations have been merged as they were for SIGGRAPH Asia 2010.
The more substantial changes are in the review process itself. The conflict identification process, by which committee members identify papers on which they have a conflict, is redesigned to mask the identities of the authors as much as possible. Also, when papers are initially assigned to committee members, the papers will remain anonymous in the review system for a period of three days. This serves two purposes. It avoids a hectic rush by making senior reviewers wait a few days before recruiting tertiaries, and it allows the senior reviewers to form a first impression of each paper without knowledge of the authors or their affiliations.
Should I Submit?
What types of papers should be submitted to SIGGRAPH?
Submissions should be novel, high-quality research papers on topics related to computer graphics and interactive techniques. We encourage submissions in several research areas: rendering, animation, modeling, imaging, human-computer interaction, scientific visualization, information visualization, computer-aided design, computer vision, audio, robotics, applications, and any other related topic. This list is not exhaustive. As always, excellence of the ideas is the predominant acceptance criterion.
How do I decide whether to submit my work as a paper, a talk, or a poster?
The Technical Papers program is the most competitive of these three. Technical Papers give you a chance to work out your ideas at greater length and describe them in a citable archive. SIGGRAPH Talks and Posters provide an opportunity to disseminate ideas and get feedback from colleagues, but do not represent a citable research paper.
If I have previously presented a talk or poster on my topic, can I then submit a full Technical Paper?
Yes. Authors of a previously presented talk or poster can later submit a full Technical Paper on the topic. However, other authors of submitted Technical Papers must consider the talk or poster as prior art and cite it as previous work. See Prior Art & Public Disclosure for more information on this and related topics.
Can I submit after the deadline?
No. The deadline is absolute.
But I had a major life event (birth, death, divorce ...) just two days ago!
The deadline is absolute. You may, of course, submit the work in its current form by the deadline, even if it's not the paper that you'd like it to be.
But my fancy color printer stopped working at 4 pm, and the FedEx deadline is looming!
The deadline is absolute. Equipment failures are common, and SIGGRAPH 2011 cannot adapt its schedule to accommodate them.
But I was unable to upload my submission on time. The system was overloaded, and halfway through uploading my submission the deadline passed.
The deadline is absolute. Submissions that are in progress when the 19 January delayed deadline passes, even if it's because our server has slowed down due to high load, will not be accepted. You should allow enough lead time to avoid this kind of problem. Please see How to Submit for explanations of the MD5 checksum process, the 18 January MD5 deadline, and the 19 January delayed deadline.
Unfortunately, in our rush to meet the deadline, we incorrectly set our gamma during taping, so we sent a fairly poor-quality video. I have since corrected the problem. May I substitute new videos for the ones I submitted? The video is identical, except for the gamma correction.
No. The submission deadline is absolute. All materials must be submitted by the deadline. If your paper is accepted, you will have an opportunity to replace the video.
But I'm using the SIGGRAPH 2011 English Review Service, and they didn't get back to me soon enough. So, it's SIGGRAPH's fault that my paper isn't ready.
The deadline is absolute. The English Review Service makes no guarantees about turnaround, and it's up to you to make contingency plans.
I'm not in the US, and US Customs often holds up submissions, so I have to send my supplemental materials off two weeks earlier than US researchers would. Can I send it by the deadline instead, and you'll receive it about two weeks late, after US Customs has had a chance to process it?
The deadline is absolute. If your supplemental materials must pass through various hurdles to get here, you must plan in advance how to submit it early enough to ensure arrival on time. If the PDF file is uploaded by the deadline, we will review your paper without any shipped material that arrived late.
I gave my physical submission materials to Federal Express, and I have a receipt to prove that they promised delivery before the deadline, but there was a snowstorm in Boston, and Federal Express couldn't meet their promise.
If you can provide the receipt (and we'll ask for it), then we'll accept the materials whenever Federal Express delivers them, but we cannot guarantee that reviewers will receive them in time to influence their reviews. You still must have completed the submission form and uploaded the PDF file before the deadline, though.
Can I email my submission to the papers chair if the online submission system is overloaded?
No. Papers and submission materials emailed to the papers chair or other conference representative are not considered to have been submitted; you must use the online submission system. Please leave yourself enough time before the deadline to avoid problems.
I would like to submit my paper to conference X or journal Y as well as to SIGGRAPH 2011.
You must submit to just SIGGRAPH 2011 and await our response before submitting elsewhere (should your work not be accepted by SIGGRAPH 2011). If you submit your paper to another conference or journal simultaneously, we will reject your paper without review. We'll be in contact with the editors of several graphics journals, and chairs of other graphics-related conferences, swapping information. Several double submissions to SIGGRAPH have been found in recent years.
I would like to submit my paper to conference X. Their submission deadline is after SIGGRAPH 2011's Technical Papers committee meeting, but they require abstracts to be submitted before SIGGRAPH 2011's committee meeting. May I submit the abstract?
Yes. The prohibition against dual submission kicks in when a full paper substantially equivalent to your SIGGRAPH paper is submitted elsewhere. For conferences that require extended abstracts or other formats, you should ask the Technical Papers Chair before submitting, to avoid risking your paper being rejected from SIGGRAPH.
But I want my paper to be in SIGGRAPH 2011. I promise that if it's accepted by SIGGRAPH 2011, I'll withdraw it from the other conference or journal.
Dual submissions are not allowed. Your submission cannot be under review by any other conference or journal during the SIGGRAPH review process, or else it will be rejected.
We've submitted a paper about a pilot study to conference X, and now we'd like to submit a paper about the full-blown user study to SIGGRAPH 2011. How should we go about that to avoid the perception that it is a dual submission?
Cite the submitted paper in your SIGGRAPH 2011 submission with a note to the reviewers that either it will be accepted by conference X, or you will publish it as a tech report and make it freely available on the web. Send in an anonymous version with your SIGGRAPH 2011 submission. Then when you write the SIGGRAPH 2011 paper, treat the pilot study as already published. Don't repeat text or figures from that paper in the SIGGRAPH 2011 version.
I sent in a paper to workshop X with the understanding that it was for review purposes only, and the workshop would have no published proceedings. Now, four months later, they tell me that they're going to publish the proceedings and include it in the digital library. Unfortunately there is significant overlap between that paper and my submitted SIGGRAPH 2011 paper. How should I handle this?
We realize that you didn't intend to do anything against the SIGGRAPH rules, but now that the workshop rules have changed, you should either withdraw the workshop paper from the proceedings or withdraw your SIGGRAPH 2011 submission.
I have a paper that was previous published in a little-known conference or in another language. Can I submit it to SIGGRAPH?
Previously published papers in any language may not be submitted, nor may work be submitted to any other conference or journal. A paper is considered previously published if it has appeared in a peer-reviewed journal or meeting proceedings that are visibly, reliably, and permanently available afterward in print or electronically to non-attendees, regardless of the language of that publication.
Can I submit a paper on my work that has previously appeared in my thesis, a tech report, a patent, and/or an abstract of a talk at another conference?
Publications such as theses, tech reports, patents, or abstracts in other conferences do not preclude subsequent publication of a complete paper on the same topic by the same authors. However, such publications by other authors are considered prior art and should be cited as such. Whether this or any other form of prior art "scoops" (precludes publication of) your paper or not is up to the reviewers. Talks and presentations (including SIGGRAPH presentations) can be cited, but they need not be, and they are not considered prior art.
How do I reference an ACM SIGGRAPH Sketch or Talk on the same topic as the paper that I am writing?
Depending on the year of presentation, the Sketch or Talk might appear in the ACM Digital Library. If it does, you should use the ACM Digital Library as a reference. If it is not archived, you may refer to the oral presentation at the conference or the abstract, if it appeared in one of the conference publications. If you were the author of the Sketch or Talk, then citation is not strictly necessary because publication of a Sketch or Talk does not preclude publication of a full paper. If you were not the author of the Sketch or Talk, then you should cite the Sketch or Talk to respect the author's ideas. If the authors have published a subsequent paper, thesis, or tech report about their work, you should cite that instead of the Sketch or Talk because it will be a more useful pointer for your readers.
A month after submitting our paper, we obtained much better results. Can we withdraw our paper from review and submit it elsewhere (or wait until next year)?
SIGGRAPH submissions can be withdrawn at any time. However, authors should remember that the program chair and the senior reviewers on their paper know who they are, and may have already spent considerable effort reviewing their paper. Withdrawing a paper won't help your reputation with these reviewers. If your paper is provisionally accepted, you will be able to add your new results, subject to approval by the senior reviewers.
What supplemental material can be uploaded with my submission?
Authors are invited, but not required, to include supplemental materials such as related papers, additional images and videos, executables, and data for reproducibility of results, etc. These materials do not form a part of the official submission and will be viewed only at the discretion of the reviewers.
If you have a related paper that is under review or in press elsewhere, you should upload a version of this paper as non-anonymous supplemental submission material. Because we check with other conferences and journals for duplicate submissions (which are summarily rejected), you may also wish to include a cover letter that outlines the differences between your SIGGRAPH 2011 submission and the related paper. Related papers and cover letters need not be anonymous, as they will be used only by the members of the Technical Papers Committee to determine whether the submitted work is unique. For more information, see the Double Submissions section.
If your paper is a revision of a paper that was previously submitted to SIGGRAPH or SIGGRAPH Asia, please see the Resubmission section.
If your paper is an interactive system and/or presents quantitative results, we recommend that you upload a zip OR tar file with an executable, data, and scripts that can be used to reproduce the results presented in the paper. A README.txt file should be included to describe how to run the executable on the data, and how to interpret the results (please make these descriptions as simple as possible). The instructions can be followed by the reviewers to run your code on the data you provide, and (even better) on other data of the same type to validate the results presented in the paper. Clearly, reviewers will appreciate your claims of generality if they can validate those claims directly.
What is the difference between anonymous and non-anonymous supplemental material?
There are separate areas in the online submission form for submitting anonymous and non-anonymous supplemental materials. Materials whose authorship cannot be readily ascertained (even with a search of the web) are anonymous (for example, extra images or videos with results for this paper, interactive viewers, etc.), while all others are non-anonymous (for example, materials with names of authors or institutions, previously published papers, previous technical reports, etc.).
Supplemental materials should be anonymized if possible. Anonymous materials can be made available to all reviewers. Examples include additional images, videos, interactive viewers, data and executables, etc. Non-anonymous supplemental materials will be seen only by members of the Technical Papers Committee.
My submission is a revision of a paper that I submitted to an earlier SIGGRAPH conference. Will the reviewers get to see the earlier reviews?
Only if you authorize them to. When you submit your paper, you can optionally identify it as a resubmission, in which case all reviews (suitably anonymized) and BBS discussions from all previous submissions will be made available to the current reviewers. The identity of the previous reviewers will also be made available to the sorters and the senior reviewers. If you do not choose this option, none of the materials from any previous submission will be known to this year's reviewers. For more details on these options, see Publication Requirements.
Do I have to prepare the paper in the final format?
Yes, please format your paper according to the SIGGRAPH Technical Papers formatting guidelines. Seeing a paper in final format lets us verify the page count and allows us to compare it to other papers.
Where can I get LaTex formatting templates?
See the SIGGRAPH Technical Papers formatting guidelines.
Should the pages of my paper be numbered?
You should number the pages on your submission, but not the final version.
What is the page limit for papers?
There is no arbitrary maximum length imposed on papers. Rather, reviewers will be instructed to weigh the contribution of a paper relative to its length. Typical research papers are eight pages long. However, in any given year, it is common for papers to be accepted with as few as four pages and as many as 12 pages.
Can I provide a video with my paper?
Papers may be accompanied by a video that is five minutes or less in length. In recent years, well over half of the accepted papers were accompanied by some kind of video material.
What file formats are allowed?
The paper must be submitted in Adobe PDF format, and the representative image should be JPEG. Optional images should be in TIFF, JPG, or PNG formats. Optional videos should be in QuickTime, MPEG, or DivX Version 6 formats. Other supplemental materials can be provided in any format (for example, txt, zip, html). However, there is no guarantee that the referees will view supplemental materials, especially if they are available only in an obscure format.
What types of keywords should I include with my paper?
Select one primary topic area and one or more secondary topic areas from the list of keywords in the online submission form. Include those keywords under the abstract in your paper, along with any others that you feel are appropriate. The final draft of the paper will also need to include a list of Computing Reviews categories.
Where can I find a list of the Computing Reviews categories?
See the ACM's Computing Classification System to determine the selection of keywords to include with the final draft of your paper.
As a non-native English speaker, I would appreciate help to improve the text in my paper submission.
Non-native English speakers may optionally use the English Review Service to help improve the text of submissions. Please note that this process takes time, so plan far ahead.
The details in my imagery are very subtle. I am concerned that the reviewers will not print my paper on a suitable printer or view my video with an appropriate codec.
You still need to submit your paper as a PDF file, but you are welcome to use the physical submission process and send hard copy of the paper (in addition to submitting it electronically), or selected images, or of your video.
What is the deal with MD5 checksums?
If you upload all of your files by 18 January 2011, 20:00 UTC/GMT, you can ignore the MD5 checksum. The system will, however, compute and report the MD5 checksum for any file you upload, once the uploaded file has been completely received by the submissions server. You may find this useful if you want to check that your file has been uploaded without corruption. Just compare the MD5 checksum you compute for your file with the checksum computed by the submission system.
If you are uploading in the last few hours before the submission deadline, server response may be slow. To be sure of making the deadline, you may initially upload just the MD5 checksum for your files. If the MD5 checksum is received by 18 January 2011, 22:00 UTC/GMT, you will have 24 hours to complete the upload of files that have a matching MD5 checksum, i.e. you will have until 19 January 2011, 22:00 UTC/GMT, to upload files matching the MD5 checksums previously uploaded.
Does the video submitted by January have to be final quality? Or will people whose papers are accepted have the opportunity to prepare a more polished video?
You'll have the opportunity to prepare a more polished video. Of course, the better the submitted video looks, the more likely reviewers will be able to see the strength of your work, so early polishing is a good investment of time and energy.
What should I do to make my submission anonymous?
Remove any information from the paper, video, and supplemental materials that identifies you or any of the other authors, or any of your institutions or places of work. In particular, replace the authors' names with the paper ID (for example, papers-0000) in your submitted paper. You may upload information that reveals your identity as "non-anonymous supplemental materials". They will be seen only by the senior reviewers for your paper.
How do I include a reference to myself without identifying myself?
The general rule is to use the third person. For example, if Fred Brooks were to write a paper, he might say in his "related work" section: "Brooks et al.  discuss a system in which molecular visualizations are ... Our work builds on some of the ideas presented there, and on the ideas of Smith et al.  and the interaction techniques described by Wolford ." He would NOT say: "The authors, in prior work , discussed a system in which molecular visualization ... " The only case in which anonymous references are appropriate are unpublished manuscripts, in which case he might write: "The authors have also developed closely related techniques for molecular manipulation , but that work is outside the scope of this paper." Reference 15 would then read:  Anonymous Authors. Molecular manipulations through computer graphics, submitted to CACM.
If there is any danger that reference  might be considered a dual submission, then you should submit it as supplemental material with your SIGGRAPH submission, along with a cover letter (also submitted as supplemental material) briefly explaining the differences between it and your SIGGRAPH submission. You do not need to anonymize the cover letter, and normally you do not need to anonymize the supplemental manuscript either. However, if you believe it is important that all reviewers see that manuscript (for example, because it explains background concepts they might need in order to judge your SIGGRAPH submission), then send in an anonymous version with your SIGGRAPH 2011 submission. This will allow it to be sent to tertiary reviewers. Make sure your cover letter clearly identifies which PDF file is your SIGGRAPH 2011 submission. If you can submit these supplementary materials (and any cover letter) electronically, please do so. The submission form provides separate areas for submitting supplementary materials intended to go to all reviewers versus supplementary materials intended to go only to the primary and secondary reviewer. Non-anonymized materials that would identify you as the author, including any cover letter, should go in the second area.
My SIGGRAPH submission needs to cite a tech report or thesis that might be hard for reviewers to find. What should I do?
You are welcome to submit that report or thesis as supplemental material. Cite it in the third person in your SIGGRAPH submission, even if you are one of its authors. This avoids the necessity of anonymizing it.
My SIGGRAPH submission needs to cite one of our own web pages, which can't easily be anonymized. Now what should I do?
If you can reasonably cite the web page in the third person, go ahead. Remember, however, that reviewers may be reluctant to visit cited web pages, since doing so could compromise their anonymity. If for some reason you can't cite a web page in the third person, or if doing so would compromise your anonymity (for example, the same pictures appear in your submission and on the web page, or the web page includes a link to a paper by you that is cited in your SIGGRAPH submission as Anonymous Authors), then don't cite it; find another solution. If in this unusual case you're worried about a reviewer thinking that you've appropriated other people's work without proper citation, then submit as supplemental material a letter explaining the situation. You do not need to anonymize this letter.
My SIGGRAPH submission needs to cite another, concurrent SIGGRAPH submission by our group. Now what should I do?
Cite it as  Anonymous Authors, A grand unified theory of computer graphics, submitted to SIGGRAPH 2011, and submit as non-anonymous supplemental material a letter telling us which paper-id you are referring to.
I know I am supposed to remove my name, company name, etc. from the document, but should I also remove names from the acknowledgements? If the paper is accepted, should I send another copy to you with this additional material?
You should not include an "acknowledgements" section in the submission. If your paper is accepted, you will submit a revised version that identifies you and your co-authors, your affiliations, and any acknowledgements that are appropriate. Keep in mind the additional space that will be required when stating how many pages the paper will require.
Can you give me some example reasons that my paper would get rejected without review?
Submissions will be rejected without review if it is found that:
a. The submission violates the ACM Policy and Procedures on Plagiarism.
b. The submission is a dual submission; that is, if the submission is simultaneously under review for any other conference or publication. For more details see the Policy on Previous Publication and the Double Submissions section of the Frequently Asked Questions.
c. The paper is so incomplete or poorly written review is impossible.
d. The paper focuses on advertising of a company's product(s).
e. The paper is on a topic clearly outside the scope of SIGGRAPH.
f. Electronic files have been submitted that have been designed to have side effects other than presenting the submitted work to reviewers and committee members (for example, a "phone home" script).
Why are good papers rejected?
Check out this article by Jim Kajiya, the Papers Chair for SIGGRAPH 93, for many excellent reasons. Although some of the details are dated, the general wisdom is timeless.
Am I allowed to ask for my paper to not be reviewed by someone from whom I do not expect a fair review?
No. The reviewer selection process includes no such provisions. Surprisingly often during the committee meeting there is discussion such as: "This paper got scores of 5, 4, 5, 4.5, and 2, but let me explain the score of 2. The reviewer picked at small details, was angry that his own work had not been properly cited (although when I looked at it, it appeared to have been treated more than fairly), and then wrote a very cursory review of the main contribution of the paper. It seems as if there's something going on here that doesn't have to do with the quality of the paper and we should discount this score as an outlier."
I am submitting a paper on topic X, which I know is an area of expertise for committee member Y. Can I ask that Y be a senior reviewer of my paper?
I am submitting a paper on topic X, which I know is an area of expertise for committee member Y. Can I ask that Y not be a senior reviewer of my paper, because Y works for a competing company?
No. Indeed, Y may well be the best qualified reviewer for your work, and if so, we may ask Y to be the senior reviewer.
Who knows the identities of the authors and how is that information used during the review process?
Only the senior reviewers of a paper know the identity of its authors. This information is normally used to avoid conflicts of interest when choosing tertiary reviewers. Authors' identities are not discussed amongst reviewers on the BBS, nor at the committee meeting, and so papers are judged solely on their merit, as determined by the reviews.
Isn't the committee more likely to accept papers by committee members and other insiders? How do you prevent a conflict of interest?
Any paper on which a committee member has a conflict of interest will not be discussed while that committee member is in the room. While each committee member has a list of papers and the committee members who reviewed them, these lists are customized so that the names of the members who reviewed papers on which I have a conflict of interest will not be shown on my list. In general, the acceptance rate for papers by committee members has been slightly higher than the acceptance rate for those in the overall submission pool. But the acceptance rate for these same people has also been higher in years when they were not on the committee; they're invited to be on the committee, in part, because of their expertise in the field.
Is there a quota for the number or percentage of papers accepted?
Although the acceptance rate of SIGGRAPH papers has remained nearly constant at about 20%, there is no quota for the number of papers that should be accepted; this number arises organically each year from the actions of the committee.
I'm a SIGGRAPH reviewer, and I'd like to show this paper to one of my students, who frankly knows more about the topic of this paper than I do. May I?
Yes. You may show a paper under review to a small number of people, normally one or two, providing that you:
1. List their name(s), title(s) (for example, "my PhD student"), and affiliation(s) in the private section of the review form, (question 9, which goes only to the papers committee).
2. Clearly instruct them on the rules of confidentiality of the SIGGRAPH review process. THIS IS IMPORTANT: submissions are confidential, and therefore all information related to rejected submissions must be "forgotten" by all who saw them after the review process is complete.
However, it is not appropriate for others to write the review for you. If this is your intention, then you must discuss it with the senior reviewer who assigned you the paper. At that person's discretion, the paper may be officially reassigned to your student.
What is a rebuttal?
There will be an opportunity to upload a rebuttal to address factual errors and specific questions in the reviews via the SIGGRAPH online submission system from 22:00 UTC/GMT, 7 March 2011 through 22:00 UTC/GMT, 11 March 2011. Reviews will be available via the online submission system at 22:00 UTC/GMT, 7 March 2011. Then authors may upload up to 1,500 words of text (no images, video, or URLs to external pages) in the system before 22:00 UTC/GMT, 11 March 2011. The rebuttals will be read by the referees and factored into the discussion leading up to the decisions made at the Technical Papers Committee meeting.
Should I write a rebuttal?
Any author may upload a rebuttal. The choice of whether to submit one and how much time to spend on it is up to each author. As a general guideline, submitting a rebuttal is a good idea if the paper seems to have a chance of being accepted, and if the reviews contain errors that can be corrected or specific questions than can be answered with short textual descriptions.
What should be included in the rebuttal?
The rebuttal is for addressing factual errors in the reviews and for answering specific questions posed by reviewers. It is limited to 1,500 words of text, and must be self-contained. It cannot, for instance, contain URLs to external pages. There will be no uploads of images or videos during the rebuttal process. The rebuttal can also help clarify the merits and novelty of the paper with respect to prior work, if it is felt that the reviewers misunderstood the paper’s contributions and scope.
Now that I've read the reviews of my paper, I see much better how to organize it so it will be clear to the reader. Can I do this reorganization and upload the new version during the rebuttal period?
No. The rebuttal period is for addressing factual errors in the reviews, not for getting revised text into the review process. The committee members will have only a short time in which to read and act on your rebuttal, and it must be short and to the point. Hence, it will be limited to 1,500 words of text (no images or video).
Between January and late March, we've gotten some really cool new results for our paper. Can I upload those results during the rebuttal period? I'm sure that they will make the reviewers realize the importance of our approach.
No. The rebuttal period is for addressing factual errors in the reviews, not for getting new results into the review process.
Reviewer #2 says that our collision-detection algorithm won't work on concave objects. But it will, as we just demonstrated with the lid of the teapot. Can we upload an image or movie showing this new result?
No. Images and video may not be uploaded with rebuttals. In recent years, you could ask the primary referee for permission to upload additional material. However, that feature was eliminated in 2009 to provide greater fairness and less stress in the rebuttal process.
Reviewer #4 clearly didn't read my paper carefully enough. Either that or this reviewer doesn't know anything about the field! How should I respond during the rebuttal period?
We've all received SIGGRAPH reviews that made us mad, particularly on first reading. The rebuttal period is short and doesn't allow for the cooling-off period that authors have before they write a response to a journal review. As a result, authors need to be particularly careful to address only factual errors or reviewer questions in the rebuttals rather than letting their emotions show through.
Please don't say: "If reviewer #4 had just taken the time to read my paper carefully, he would have realized that our algorithm was rotation invariant." Instead say: "Unfortunately, Section #4 must not have been as clear as we had hoped because Reviewer #4 didn't understand that our algorithm was rotation invariant and he was therefore skeptical about the general applicability of our approach. Here is a revised version of the second paragraph in Section 4, which should clear up this confusion."
Remember that your rebuttal gets sent to all the reviewers; you don't want to offend them. In particular, you want the two senior reviewers to come out of the rebuttal process sufficiently enthused about your paper to champion it at the committee meeting, and if the paper is accepted and needs revision, then you want them to feel sufficiently comfortable with you as an author that they are willing to "shepherd" the paper through the revision process.
I uploaded a rebuttal, but got no feedback. How can I be sure the reviewers received and actually read my rebuttal?
If you can view your rebuttal comments in the online review system, so can your reviewers. Rest assured that rebuttal information is considered and can be very helpful in the selection process.
Why can't we upload images and videos as was possible prior to 2009?
Over the past few years, authors could ask the committee for permission to post images, audio, and/or videos on a public BBS. While this feature was sometimes helpful for providing examples that answer specific questions posed by referees, it was used very differently by different authors and regulated differently by different referees. In some cases, an author would be allowed to upload entirely new examples, while nothing was allowed in others. The instructions clearly stated that rebuttals are only for "addressing factual errors in reviews". Yet, some authors would push the limits (for example, "the review said my method doesn't work, and so here are several new results to show that it does work ..."), and some referees were more lenient than others in allowing such uploads. To improve the uniformity of the review process, rebuttals will be limited to only 1,500 words of text. No images and no video can be uploaded with the rebuttal for any paper. This change should improve the fairness of the rebuttal process, and also decrease the pressure on submitters to create new results during the short rebuttal process.
Will we use the bulletin board system (BBS) for discussion during the rebuttal period?
There will be no discussion back-and-forth between authors and referees on any BBS during the review process. Prior to 2009, referees could ask questions of authors on the public BBS at any time prior to the committee meeting, and authors could provide extended answers, sometimes with new visual results in response to specific questions. Thus, the review process was different for different papers, and unnecessarily stressful for all. Presently, there is no longer a public BBS. Instead, authors have the opportunity to upload a single, text-only rebuttal. This change was made to increase the fairness and reduce the stress of the rebuttal process. If your paper is accepted, the bulletin boards will be opened for discussions during the revision process.
Are papers merely published in print, or is there a presentation as well?
There is a presentation, of about 20 minutes in length, followed by five minutes of discussion and questions.
Where can I get the ACM Copyright Form on the web? I need to show it to my employers before I submit.
The ACM Copyright Form will be available soon.
My paper was just accepted to SIGGRAPH 2011, and I'm thrilled. But now my boss points out that I can't use Bart Simpson as the example in my paper because I don't have the rights to use him. What do I do now?
The Call for Technical Papers explicitly stated that you MUST have permissions for all the images in your paper and the footage on your videotape, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM at the time of submission. You should immediately tell the Technical Papers Chair what you propose to use as a replacement. If the new images or footage are not substantively similar to that submitted for review in the judgment of the Chair and the Papers Advisory Board, then acceptance of your paper will be rescinded. The archival record (Proceedings and DVD-ROM) must contain material that is equivalent to what the reviewers saw at the time of review.
Referrals to TOG
My paper was accepted with major revisions to a subsequent issue of ACM Transactions on Graphics. Does it have to appear there, or can I submit it somewhere else?
SIGGRAPH 2011 submissions can be withdrawn at any time. The offer to publish a revised version of the paper in an upcoming TOG issue is completely at the discretion of the author.
How soon will my paper accepted with major revisions be published in ACM Transactions on Graphics?
The revisions will be verified by the original SIGGRAPH 2011 reviewers, which greatly accelerates the refereeing process. Some papers can appear as soon as the October issue following the annual conference, and most should appear before SIGGRAPH 2012.
My paper was accepted with major revisions to ACM Transactions on Graphics. Great, but I want to submit it to another workshop, symposium, or conference first.
The offer to retain the original SIGGRAPH reviewers evaporates the moment the paper is submitted anywhere else. The paper can always be submitted to TOG later, but it will be reviewed through the ordinary refereeing process, which may, but probably will not, include any of the original SIGGRAPH 2011 reviewers.
Patents and Confidentiality
When will my accepted paper become publicly available?
Public disclosure of a paper's title, abstract, and contents can have important commercial and legal ramifications. Acceptances are finalized around the beginning of May, at which time the paper's title, abstract, and 30-word summary (written by the authors) may be disclosed publicly in SIGGRAPH 2011 communications. Excerpts of the paper's companion video may also be disclosed. The SIGGRAPH 2011 Proceedings will be published as Volume 30, Issue #4 of ACM Transactions on Graphics. The publication date of this issue is 25 July 2011. Please be advised that in order to receive maximum international patent protection on your paper's idea, you will need to file your application prior to that date.
What information about my rejected paper will become publicly available?
No information about rejected papers or papers conditionally accepted for publication in ACM Transactions on Graphics will be made public.
What about patents and confidentiality? Are the two senior reviewers and the three tertiary reviewers under a confidentiality agreement not to disclose the contents of the paper to others? Some organizations like IEEE have all reviewers sign a confidentiality agreement. It's very important that I know for sure, since my employer may want to apply for a patent, and it affects when I may submit the paper to the SIGGRAPH conference. Can I, for example, get a written guarantee of confidentiality?
Reviewers are asked to keep confidential all materials sent to them for review, but they do not sign a confidentiality agreement. In general, there is wide respect for the confidentiality of submissions, but we cannot promise anything, or provide a written guarantee.
It would not be wise for SIGGRAPH to give you legal counsel on the matter of patents and publication; we urge you to seek independent legal advice. The main issue is that in different jurisdictions (such as Europe) prior public disclosure could invalidate a patent application. The situation is different in North America, where you have one year after public disclosure (for example, publication) to file a patent. It is a common practice for authors to prepare a patent filing coincidentally with their SIGGRAPH publication.
Technical Papers Committee
Who is on the Technical Papers Committee?
The Technical Papers Committee consists of (1) the Chair, who was chosen by the SIGGRAPH 2011 Conference Chair and approved by the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee and its Conference Advisory Group; (2) the Advisory Board, consisting of the SIGGRAPH 2011 Technical Papers Chair and four other people chosen by the Chair; and (3) the rest of the committee, chosen by (1), (2), and (3), and consisting of about 55 people whose expertise spans the entire field.
In publishing this list, we are trusting the community not to abuse this knowledge. For example, if one week before the submission deadline you send your manuscript to a Technical Papers Committee member with whom you are not already collaborating on that research, in hopes of getting useful advice or of circumventing author anonymity, you may cause that committee member to declare a conflict on your paper, you may annoy the person, and you may develop a reputation for lobbying - none of which will help your paper get accepted by SIGGRAPH.
Can I contact members of the Technical Papers Committee with questions?
In general, although search engines make it a simple matter to find email addresses for these people, we ask that you do not contact them directly about the review process. Instead, please use the SIGGRAPH 2011 Technical Papers Email Contact Form, which sends messages to the Chair, the Advisory Board, and selected administrators of the papers review process.
I've been doing graphics for years. May I be on the Technical Papers Committee?
The Technical Papers Chair selects the committee with several goals in mind, including: coverage of areas in which we anticipate submissions, getting some "old hands" who have been on the committee before, bringing some new folks into the process, recruiting people who will work well together and treat papers with respect and enthusiasm, and getting representation from diverse communities. If you'd like to participate, send email to the Technical Papers Chair and tell us about yourself and your areas of expertise.
I've volunteered to be on the committee for three years now, and I've never been chosen. What's up with that?
It may be that others are better qualified, that we already have committee members with expertise in your area, that the chairs do not feel that you've been in the field long enough to be an effective committee member, or any number of other reasons. The committee composition does change from year to year, though. Please keep offering your services.
Just what sort of workload is involved in being on the Technical Papers Committee?
You must review about 20 papers. For about 10 papers, you must find two additional reviewers, and for the other 10 you must find one additional reviewer. You must attend a Technical Papers Committee meeting, during which time you'll discuss papers, possibly be called on to provide additional reviews of a couple of papers, and be expected to listen carefully to a lot of discussion that has little to do with you. You may also be asked to act as a referee for a paper that's been conditionally accepted or conditionally accepted with minor changes, to verify that the final version meets the requirements set for it. Finally, you may be asked to chair a Technical Papers session at the SIGGRAPH conference.
What do I get for all the work that I'll be doing as a committee member?
In material terms, you get a deep discount when registering for SIGGRAPH 2011. You also receive the recognition of your colleagues, the gratitude of authors, and the sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing you've given something back to the organization that helps disseminate research in graphics.
To whom should I send questions about the papers submission and review process?
Use the Technical Papers Email Contact Form. Do not send email directly to the Technical Papers Chair. Why? First, I might be unavailable for several days. Second, during parts of the submission and review process, I will be buried in email. If you use the contact form, your email will go to the Technical Papers Chair and selected administrators of the papers review process. One of them may be able to answer your question, and they will often do so surprisingly promptly.
If you have a question of extreme delicacy, or a question on which the Technical Papers Chair or a member of the Advisory Board might be conflicted, and only in this case, then you may use a real email address.