I have long been a proponent of double-blind reviewing. People suffer from expectation bias, and double-blind reviewing is a tried and true approach to combat it. I adopted double-blind reviewing when I co-chaired VEE 2010 and just recently for WoDet 3, and have decided to take a stand to sway more program committees to implement it. Join me!
When asked to serve on a PC, agree only if double-blind reviewing is used.
This approach doesn’t always work, but the fact is that most program chairs simply had not considered it and are happy to adopt it. My advisor Kathryn McKinley‘s case for double-blind and Mike Hicks‘ fantastic FAQ on the topic make excellent ammunition. I suggested it to Todd Mowry and he implemented it for ASPLOS 2011; P. Sadayappan did the same for PPoPP 2012 (I am grateful to both for their patience!)
But there has been some backsliding; double-blind reviewing is not going to be used for POPL 2013, despite the overwhelmingly positive response of the POPL 2012 committee members.
So the next time you get asked to serve on a PC, at least bring it up. Let’s help make this a standard practice across our community.
5 thoughts on “Take a Stand for Double-Blind Reviewing!”
One problem with double-blind (rather than single-blind) is that it prohibits people from posting their papers in their web pages and/or arXiv once the first good draft is done.
Sometimes I feel like physics and mathematics manage to move faster than computer science, ironically enough, because they embrace these technologies fuller.
Actually, this is not at all required by double-blind submission.
Mike addresses this concern in his FAQ:
Interesting post. I am generally in favor of double-blind reviewing (though I have flip-flopped at least a few times on the issue).
I am troubled, however, by the recent(?) trend to refuse to serve on a PC unless the conference changes . If there are a lot of ‘s, then the community is deeply hurt by not getting the best PC and overworking more flexible members.
If this is something you feel very deeply about, sure. But, it’s also important to realize that there can be legitimate differences of opinion over an issue and work to change those opinions in less harmful ways.
I am not sure what other reasons people may have for refusing to serve; I do feel strongly about this particular topic.
But as I point out in my post, even just bringing up double-blind is often enough to get the PC to adopt it. If enough of us do at least that, I believe we will change our communities for the better.
Indeed. This is a bit like the switch to allowing PC submissions which I am sure (or like to think) was helped by the hassle of getting qualified PC members to serve.
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