APC Responsibilities

As you may know, SIGCSE strives for high-quality reviews for papers to provide authors with feedback so they may improve their work for presentation or future submission. To that end, we strive to have each submission receive 5 reviews. Reviewers will each review 3-5 full papers (max 6 pages each). In addition to these reviews, each paper along its reviews will be carefully meta-reviewed by an Associate Program Chair (APC). The Associate Program Chairs, denoted as “Senior PC” members in EasyChair, are responsible for promoting discussion among the reviewers during the discussion phase until the reviewers and APC agree on a recommendation about whether the paper should be accepted. The APC then submits that recommendation to the Program Chairs. The APC and Program Chairs work together to select the final papers. Please note that the numerical scores on each paper are NOT the only considerations for paper acceptance. Novelty, balance of perspectives, diversity, and space/time considerations are also important.

The responsibilities of an Associate Program Chair are to meta-review 8-9 SIGCSE papers and make recommendations for acceptance to the Program Chairs for these papers. Each APC is expected to read their assigned papers, but their primary responsibility is to ensure that:

  1. each paper receives 5 quality reviews;
  2. the reviewers discuss their reviews using the Comments feature in EasyChair;
  3. recommendations are made to the Program Chairs for each assigned paper; and
  4. the APC writes a meta-review for papers whose reviewers did NOT come to a consensus on their recommendation, or for which they recommend something different than the reviewers. APCs are also responsible for communicating with the Program Chairs about their 8-9 papers.

When making recommendations, APCs are asked to consider how each paper will contribute to an outstanding SIGCSE 2018 program and experience for attendees, as well as how it brings new ideas to the field and practitioners of computer science education. At the end of the reviewing phase, APCs read the reviews for their papers, and prompt the reviewers to engage in discussion using the Comments feature in EasyChair, until all of the reviewers have come to a consensus on whether to accept the paper or not.

Review Period

  • During the review period list below, the APC should make sure that reviewers are making progress on their tasks. Don’t wait to see all reviews entered at the last moment. Instead, encourage partial progress from the reviewers along the way.
  • Use EasyChair to send reminder messages to the reviewers.
  • Remember that the reviewers are anonymous to each other. The paper is anonymous to all (reviewers and APC alike). Your communication with each individual reviewer does not need to be anonymous; however, messages sent to the entire group should protect the anonymity of the individual reviewer(s).

Discussion Period

  • The goal of the discussion period is not to have reviewers change or update their scores, though that might happen as a by product of the discussion.
  • The goal is to reach an agreement on the quality of the submission. For example, one reviewer might find objection with some premises of the paper and give the paper a low score. Another reviewer might excuse that limitation and find of high quality the results and give the paper a high score. Both reviews are valid, presumably, and thus their scores should not be updated. But their reviews (and possibly the meta-review) should highlight the tradeoffs that result from this discussion, and come up with an agreeable decision to both reviewers.
  • In a few rare cases, the reviewers will have opposite views and the meta-reviewer should capture the essence of all reviews and leave the recommendation as neutral.

It is important that at no point reviewers should feel forced to change their reviews, scores, or viewpoints in this process. The APC can disagree with them and communicate that to the Program Co-Chairs as needed, but the APC should NOT force reviewers to change their review because of a difference in viewpoint.


  • Aug 25 Abstracts due, paper bidding begins by authors
  • Sep 1 Full papers due - paper bidding ends
  • Sep 2-3 Program Co-Chairs will assign papers to reviewers and to APC
  • Sep 3 Review begins - APC please remind reviewers to submit reviews on time
  • Sep 20 Reviews due
  • Sep 21 Paper discussion starts
  • Sep 26 Paper discussion ends
  • Sep 28 APCs make recommendations to Program Co-Chairs - APC work is finished at this point
  • Sep 29-30 Program Co-Chairs will meet in Baltimore with the conference program track chairs (they will join via phone) to put together the conference program
  • Oct 3 Decisions will be communicated to authors by Oct 3, so authors of rejected papers may take advantage of poster deadline (Oct 13)
  • Oct 22 Sheridan will send instructions to authors for camera ready
  • Dec 11 Camera ready deadline for all submissions