UbiComp 2013 Social Media ChairThe UbiComp Program Chairs just opened up the submission page, and I went there to check it out. The submission form is a tad longer than the usual ones, so I decided to take this opportunity to follow up on this with one of the PC Chairs, Marc Langheinrich.

Marc, there is a lot of text to read on the submission form. Where do I start?

UbiComp 2013 PC Co-ChairIndeed, it is a bit wordy. However, we wanted to make sure that people would not misunderstand the purpose and intent of the various parts needed for a submission, in particular the role of the many optional items in the process. But at minimum, you should be paying attention to the anonymization requirement and the page length limit. Notes can be up to 4 pages, Full Papers up to 10 pages, including figures and the bibliography. We also explicitly encourage shorter full papers, as long as their length is commensurate with their content.

That sounds great, and I think I do remember this from previous Pervasive and UbiComp conferences. What was new to me was the absence of a “topics” selection, like they are listed on the CFP, e.g., “Systems & infrastructures”, or “Devices and techniques”. Where did this go?

UbiComp 2013 PC Co-ChairThat is right, we do not require you to “classify” your work like this anymore. This was often difficult, as work in UbiComp often crosses a lot of boundaries and people were not sure how to best express this. Instead, we now have “Contribution Types” and “Reviewer Expertise Keywords”. We already discussed the contribution types in a previous blog entry, so I won’t explain them again. However, note that indicating this on the submission form is optional. It is meant to give you the chance to communicate to the reviewers how your work contributes to our body of knowledge, thus helping to better calibrate reviewer expectations about what they can “learn” from your submission.

What about these keywords then, aren’t these some sort of classification after all?

UbiComp 2013 PC Co-ChairThey are, but the important difference is that they are not really meant to describe your submission, but rather your assessment of the kind of expertise necessary to properly review it. This had previously been implicitly done with the topic selection, as well as with the list of keywords that you could use to describe your work. Now we turned this around and re-framed the keywords to describe not your submission, but the profile of the reviewers that should review it. Instead of authors struggling to find the proper set of keywords that fits their work (often far too many), they can now select the background that they would like the reviewers of their submission to have. This should naturally converge to only a few main keywords, helping us to better select reviewers for it.

Sounds like an interesting approach – let’s see how well this will work!

We will continue this interview in a series of blog post in the upcoming days. Stay tuned!