Towards more constructive reviewing of SIGCOMM papers

By: 
Jeffrey C. Mogul
Appears in: 
CCR July 2013

Many people in CS in general, and SIGCOMM in particular, have expressed concerns about an increasingly "hypercritical" approach to reviewing, which can block or discourage the publication of innovative research. The SIGCOMM Technical Steering Committee (TSC) has been addressing this issue, with the goal of encouraging cultural change without undermining the integrity of peer review. Based on my experience as an author, PC member, TSC member, and occasional PC chair, I examine possible causes for hypercritical reviewing, and offer some advice for PC chairs, reviewers, and authors. My focus is on improving existing publication cultures and peer review processes, rather than on proposing radical changes.