Friday, September 11, 2009: Paper submissions due.
Monday, September 14, 2009: Papers to Reviewers.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009: Reviews Due.
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Guidelines for Reviewers of Special Sessions
Your job as a reviewer of Special Sessions is an important one.
Through your reviews you have the opportunity to help the
authors and to improve the quality of the symposium.
Below are some general guidelines for writing good Special
- Your job is to write detailed reviews, even for
excellent proposals. Tell the authors why you liked
their proposal, so that they know what made it successful.
- If you believe that the proposal is poorly written
or poorly thought-out, provide constructive criticism
to help the authors.
- The best reviews clearly justify the reviewer's choice
of rating. The least valuable review gives a low score
with no written comments. This simply tells the
authors that they have been unsuccessful, with no
indication of how or why. It is of no help to the
members of the Program Committee, who are charged with
making program decisions based on your reviews.
- Although SIGCSE requires all Special Session proposals to be
polished work, the authors will have a brief opportunity
to improve their proposals before camera-ready copy
is due. Your detailed feedback may help improve
a special session and, as a result, the conference.
- DISTINCTION BETWEEN PANELS AND SPECIAL SESSIONS:
Panels present multiple perspectives on a specific topic. Special sessions
are an opportunity to customize and experiment with the SIGCSE conference
format (e.g. a seminar on a new topic, a committee report, or a forum on
The questions on the Special Session review form are quite general.
The benefit of such a review form is that it allows you
to write a wide range of comments that are appropriately
tailored to the specific proposal.
At the same time, many reviewers appreciate specific
suggestions of issues to consider as they read proposals
and write reviews. Where appropriate, please
try to address the following in your review:
- Is the special session topic suitable for the symposium?
- Do you expect that the level of interest
in the special session would be high?
- Are the particular presenters appropriate? Does their
expertise match the topic?
(Remember that Special Session reviewing is not blind.)
- Does the proposal appropriately place the topic
in the larger context of Computer Science education?
Are the authors aware of a range of ideas on the topic?
If appropriate, do the authors cite related work?
(In evaluating this, please keep in mind that proposals
are limited to two pages, so it is unreasonable
to expect a detailed "Related Work" section or
a long bibliography.)
- Very Important:
Is the structure of the special session presentation
- Do the authors describe the structure of the
session at an appropriate level of detail?
- Is it clear to you how the session will be run?
- Is this truly a special session?
(Is it a Panel in disguise? Is there another
format that would be more appropriate?)
- Is the proposal well-written? Is it clear and
well-organized? Are there any technical errors?
- Do you have any suggestions for the authors ...
- ... to improve the proposal itself (either for
publication in the proceedings or for submission
to a future symposium)?
- ... to improve the quality of the presentation,
Obviously this list is not exhaustive. The Program Committee
and authors will appreciate your views on other issues as well.
Panels and Special Sessions
Laurie Smith King
College of the Holy Cross