In the interest of maximizing fairness and the meritocratic nature of the evaluation process, and to minimize the impact of possible implicit biases, ECRTS’21 implements a double-blind peer reviewing process.
Concretely, this means that authors will submit blinded manuscripts (that do not reveal author identity or affiliation) and reviewers will not be made aware of author identities until after acceptance/rejection decisions have been made. Papers not selected by the program committee for (conditional) acceptance will not be de-blinded.
We ask that all authors and program committee members make an honest effort to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the following double-blind submission rules. Failure to do so would be unethical and may be considered research misconduct.
Double-Blind Submission Rules
Generally: when in doubt, ask the program committee (PC) chair for clarification or guidance prior to submission.
- Submitted manuscripts must not reveal (or hint at) author identities, affiliations, funding sources, or major project names or initiatives. This rule pertains to the paper content and PDF metadata as well as any data sets, research artifacts, etc.
- Own prior work must be discussed and cited just like any other prior work by adopting a third-party point of view (i.e., using author names and third-person pronouns rather than “we”/“our”). References must not be omitted or blinded, as this hinders the peer-reviewing process.
- Own prior workshop and work-in-progress publications that present a preliminary version of the same material as the submitted manuscript (in part or in full), and that have not appeared in formally published proceedings, are exempted from this rule to not disadvantage authors who choose to solicit feedback on ongoing work. Such preliminary versions should be disclosed to the PC chair at the time of submission, but must not be discussed in the submitted manuscript itself.
- Text and figure reuse should be avoided as much as possible, also in the interest of avoiding any impression of (self-)plagiarism. When unavoidable, the source material should be cited (e.g., “(figure adapted from [X])”).
- As in Rule 2 above, own prior workshop and work-in-progress publications that have not appeared in formally published proceedings are exempted from this rule.
- Until notification of acceptance, authors must not upload their manuscript to public websites (e.g., preprint servers such as arXiv, personal, project, or institution websites, etc.). Furthermore, until notification of acceptance, authors must not advertise their work (e.g., on social media).
- As an important exception, preexisting preprints uploaded well in advance of the ECRTS deadline are exempt from this rule to not disadvantage resubmissions. Any such preexisting preprints must not be referenced in the submission.
- Additional exemptions may be granted in exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis (e.g., to satisfy graduation or funding agency requirements). Contact the PC chair to inquire if this becomes necessary.
- If a submitted manuscript refers to supplemental material (e.g., an extended online appendix or supporting tech report, demo videos, etc.), then any such supplemental material must be provided in suitably blinded form to the PC chair by the submission deadline and not linked to directly.
- Specifically, do not use tricks such as linking to “anonymous” cloud storage or email accounts.
- Similarly, do not upload videos to “anonymous” accounts on public video hosting platforms.
- In the manuscript itself, include the following note: “URL omitted for double-blind review. The referenced material can be obtained from the PC chair upon request.”
- If file size is a concern, please contact the PC chair to coordinate suitable arrangements on a case-by-case basis.
- Failure to comply with these rules can result in rejection without further review.
Arguably no double-blind peer reviewing process can guarantee perfect anonymity (given community size, well-known topic preferences, writing styles, resubmissions, availability of preprints, etc.). It’s also not difficult to imagine ways in which a double-blind peer reviewing process might be partially subverted by scheming individuals.
Nonetheless, even an imperfect double-blind review process is much better than none when it comes to improving fairness, lessening the potential impact of implicit biases, etc.
Therefore, we are committed to implementing a proper double-blind peer reviewing process to ensure the maximal amount of author anonymity that we can reasonably achieve.