Reviewer Instructions for AISTATS 2015
Reviews must be entered electronically through the CMT system:
Each review should begin with an overview of the paper summarising its
main contributions. In particular some thought should be given to how
the paper fits with the aims and topics of the
conference (not interpreted overly narrowly) . The ideas presented
should be related to previous work in the field.
The next section of the review should deal with major comments, issues
that the reviewer sees as standing in the way of acceptance of the
paper, or issues that should be addressed prior to publication.
The final section of the review should deal with any minor issues,
such as typographical errors or spelling mistakes or areas where
presentation could be improved.
Contributions of AISTATS papers can perhaps be categorised into four
areas a) algorithmic, b) theoretical, c) unifying or d)
Algorithmic contributions may make a particular approach
feasible for the first time or may extend the applicability of an
approach (for example allowing it to to be applied to very large data
A theoretical contribution should provide a new result about a
model or algorithm. For example convergence proofs, consistency proofs
or performance guarantees.
A unifying contribution may bring together several apparently
different ideas and show how they are related, providing new insights
and directions for future research.
Finally, an application contribution should typically have aspects
that present particular statistical challenges which required solution
in a novel way or through clever adaptation of existing techniques.
A paper may exhibit one or more of these contributions, each of
them are important in advancing the state of the art in the field. Of
course, at AISTATS we are also particularly keen to see work which
relates machine learning and statistics or highlights novel
connections between the fields.
When reviewing bear in mind that one of the most important aspects
of a successful conference paper is that it should be thought
provoking. Thought provoking papers sometimes generate strong
reactions on initial reading, which may sometimes be
negative. However, if the paper genuinely represents a paradigm shift
it may take a little longer than a regular paper to come around to the
author's way of thinking. Keep an eye out for such papers, although
they may take longer to review, if they do represent an important
advance the effort will be well worth it.
Confidentiality and Double Blind Process
AISTATS 2015 is a double blind reviewed conference. Whilst we
expect authors to remove information that will obviously reveal their
identity, we also expect that reviewers don't take positive steps to
try and uncover the authors' identity.
We are very happy for authors to submit material that they have
placed on line as tech reports (such as
in arXiv), or that they have
submitted to existing workshops which do not produce published proceedings.
This can clearly present a problem
with regard to anonymisation. Please do not seek out such reports on
line in an effort to deanonymise.
The review process is double blind. Authors do not know reviewer
identities, and this includes any authors on the senior programme
committee (the area chairs). However, area chairs do see reviewer
identities. Also, during the discussion phase reviewer identities will
be made available to other reviewers. In other words whilst the
authors will not know your identity your co-reviewers will. This
should help facilitate discussion of the papers.
The AISTATS reviewing process is confidential. By agreeing to
review you agree not to use ideas and results from submitted papers in
your work. This includes research and grant proposals. This applies
unless that work has appeared in other publicly available formats, for
example technical reports or other published work. You also agree not
to distribute submitted papers or the ideas to anyone else unless
permission is gained from the program chairs.
The CMT Reviewing System
The first step in the review process is to enter conflicts of
interests. These conflicts can be entered as domain names and also by
marking specific authors with whom you have a conflict. The use of
double blind reviewing means you may not able to determine the papers
you have a conflict with, so it is important you go through this list
carefully and mark any conflicts. You should mark a conflict with
anyone who is or ever was your student or mentor, is a current or
recent colleague, or is a close collaborator. If in doubt, it's
probably better to mark a conflict, in order to avoid the appearance
of impropriety. Your own username should be automatically marked as a
conflict, but sometimes the same person may have more than one
account, in which case you should definitely mark your other accounts
as a conflict as well. If you do not mark a conflict with an author,
it is assumed that you do not have a conflict by default.
CMT also requests subject information which will be used to assist
allocation of reviewers to papers. Please enter relevant keywords to
assist in paper allocation.
You can revise your review multiple times before the
submission. Your formal invite to be a reviewer came from the CMT
system. The email address used in this invite is your login, you can
change your password with a password reset from the login screen.
Supplementary material is allowed by AISTATS 2015. For example,
this supplementary material could include proofs, video, source code
or audio. As a reviewer you should feel free to make use of this
supplementary material to help in your review.
Simultaneous submission to other conference venues in the areas of
machine learning and statistics is not permitted.
Simultaneous submission to journal publications of significantly
extended versions of the paper is permitted, as long as the
publication date of the journal is not before 2015.
Some parts of these reviewer instructions are based on those for NIPS.