● Cluster 2023
IEEE Cluster Double-Blind Review Policy
Acknowledgements: This policy is an extract from the SC16 Double Blind Review Policy drafted by Rich Vuduc and Lois Curfman McInnes.
Technical papers submitted to Cluster 2023 will undergo a double-blind review process. In this process, authors do not know who reviews their papers and reviewers do not see author names. The goal for double-blind review is to mitigate the potential for implicit or explicit bias.
Guidance to Authors
If you are an author, you should write your paper so as not to disclose your identity or the identities of your co-authors. The following guidelines are best practices for “blinding” a submission in a way that should not weaken it or the presentation of its ideas.
These practices were distilled from McKinley (2015) and Snodgrass (2007).
- Do not use your name or your co-authors’ names, affiliations, funding sources, or acknowledgments in the heading or body of the document.
- Do not eliminate self-references to your published work that are relevant and essential to a proper review of your paper solely in an attempt to anonymize your submission. Instead, write self-references in the third person. Recall that the goal and spirit of double-blind review is to create uncertainty about authorship, which is sufficient to realize most of its benefits.
- To reference your unpublished work, use anonymous citations. From Snodgrass (2007): “The authors developed … ” where the reference  appears as, “ Anonymous (omitted due to double-blind review).” You will have a way to explain these references to the non-conflicted Technical Papers Chairs or their designee(s); see “At Submission Time” below.
At Submission Time
- At submission time, you will be asked to declare conflicts of interest you may have with program committee members. You will also have the option to upload a list of conflicts. Reviewers will be asked separately to verify declared conflicts.
During the Reviewing Period
- You are not forbidden from disseminating your work via talks or technical reports (including self-publication on pages like arXiv). However, you should not try to directly or otherwise unduly influence program committee members who may be reviewing your paper.
Guidance to Technical Papers Track Chairs and Reviewers
If you are a Technical Papers Chair or Area Chair (hereafter, “Chair”) or if you are a Reviewer (i.e., Technical Papers Committee member), the following is a set of guidelines you should follow. Generally speaking, the procedures draw inspiration from the three principles Snodgrass suggests in his 2007 editorial on ACM SIGMOD’s move to double-blind reviews:
“The first is that authors should not be required to go to great lengths to blind their submissions. The second is that comprehensiveness of the review trumps blinding efficacy. The final principle … is that [editors and chairs] retain flexibility and authority in managing the reviewing process.”
Before the Submission Deadline
- Correctly identifying conflicts of interest (COIs) is one of the most important procedural aspects of double-blind review. Therefore, before the paper submission deadline, Chairs and Reviewers should log into the review system, Linklings, to verify and upload their conflicts of interest. [https://ssl.linklings.net/conferences/ieeecluster/] This process can be time-consuming, so please plan accordingly.
- During paper bidding, Reviewers should let their Chair know if they suspect a conflict with a submission and what they believe is the nature of the conflict.
During the Reviewing Period
- A Reviewer may accidentally discover the identities of the authors during the review. (For instance, he or she might be checking references to determine the novelty of the submission and discover a technical report with the same content.) In this case, the Reviewer should disclose this discovery to a Chair. Such incidents do not necessarily “violate” the double-blind policy, and the Reviewer may continue to review the paper. The spirit of double-blind reviewing is that Reviewers should not actively try to discover who the authors of a submission are.
- A Reviewer who thinks he or she knows the identity of the authors should not reveal his or her suspicion in his or her review or during discussions with other reviewers (whether online or in-person).
- Reviewers who feel that knowing the author names or affiliations is necessary to review a submission can make their case to a Chair at any time during the review process.
- Reviewers who wish to ask colleagues to help with reviews must clear these requests with a Chair first and take steps to ensure that the colleague understands the double-blind policy. However, a Reviewer is responsible for representing his or her reviews fully.
During the Program Committee Meeting
- Chairs should still observe and manage conflicts as they would in a single-blind review. For instance, they should avoid a discussion of a paper until all of the paper’s conflicted reviewers have left the meeting.
- S. McKinley (2015). “More on Improving Reviewing Quality with Double-Blind Reviewing, External Review Committees, Author Response, and in Person Program Committee Meetings.” http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/mckinley/notes/blind-revised-2015.html
- T. Snodgrass (2007). “Editorial: Single- versus double-blind reviewing.”http://history.acm.org/pictures/tods/tods.acm.org/editorial.pdf