Identify the Champion

Eric | October 29, 2007

I just read again through Identify the Champion by Oscar Nierstrasz. I have read it before but I just got a paper rejected so I thought I read it again ;-) The paper describes a pattern language for organizing a program committee meeting. What’s really valuable about the document is the fact that this pattern language has become something like the de facto standard in the field of Computer Science. As far as I can tell, all important conferences I submit to (OOPSLA, ECOOP, POPL, PLDI, …) use it for their review process now. You might like that or not. The point is that you have to cope with it and hence you should make sure to know how it works. The advise is already in the paper: Identify the champion! In the paper this is addressed to the program chair. It’s his task to identify persons who will be likely to “champion” a paper, i.e. stand up for it and fight for it to be accepted. In my opinion however, the challenge equally holds for people who submit to the conference. The unfortunate fact of “Identify the champion” is that your paper is not going to make it if there is nobody championing it. Hence, you as an author have to identify your champion as well! If you know people in the program committee and if you know that there is at least somebody of them who cares, write the paper for that person! In my opinion that makes it more likely to get your paper accepted. (I will tell you if it works after the notification deadline ;-) .)

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