Reviewer Guidelines

Thank you for agreeing to review for CVPR15. To maintain a high-quality technical program, we rely very much on the time and expertise of our reviewers. This document explains what is expected of all members of the Reviewing Committee for CVPR15.

The CVPR15 Reviewing Timeline

• November 14: Paper submission deadline
• December 8: Papers assigned to reviewers
• January 9: Reviews due
• January 30: Author rebuttal due
• Jan 30 - Feb 10: Paper discussion with Area Chairs and fellow reviewers
• February 10: Final reviewer recommendation due
• March 2: Final decision to authors

The CVPR15 Reviewer Guidelines

Check your papers

As soon as you get your reviewing assignment, please go through all the papers to make sure that (a) there is no obvious conflict with you (e.g., a paper authored by your recent collaborator from a different institution) and (b) you feel comfortable to review the paper assigned. If either of these issues arise, please let us know right away by emailing the Program Chairs.

What to Look For

Look for what's good or stimulating in the paper. Minor flaws can be corrected and shouldn't be a reason to reject a paper. CVPR as a conference is looking for new ideas. We recommend that you embrace novel, brave concepts, even if they have not been tested on many datasets. For example, the fact that a proposed method does not exceed the state of the art accuracy on an existing benchmark dataset is not grounds for rejection by itself. Acceptance and rejection decisions should not be determined solely by the method's raw performance. Rather, it is important to weigh both the novelty and potential impact of the work alongside the reported performance. Each paper that is accepted should be technically sound and make a contribution to the field.

Blind Reviews

Authors were asked to take reasonable efforts to hide their identities, including not listing their names or affiliations and omitting acknowledgments. This information will of course be included in the published version. Reviewers should also make all efforts to keep their identity invisible to the authors. Please see the Author Guidelines for details on how authors have been instructed to preserve anonymity, including guidelines for referencing one's own prior work.

Be Specific

Please be specific and detailed in your reviews. In the discussion of related work and references, simply saying "this is well known" or "this has been common practice in the industry for years" is not sufficient: cite specific publications, including books, or public disclosures of techniques.

Your main critique of the paper should be written in terms of a list of strengths and weaknesses of the paper. Use bullet points here, and explain your arguments. Your discussion, sometimes more than your score, will help the authors, fellow reviewers, and Area Chairs understand the basis of your opinions, so please be thorough. Your reviews will be returned to the authors, so you should include specific feedback on ways the authors can improve their papers. For more suggestions on writing your reviews, read the section below on Writing Technical Reviews.

When You're Done

When you have finished with your review, you should destroy any paper manuscript and/or supporting material you received. See the Ethics guidelines below.

Writing Technical Reviews

Here are some recommendations that may help you as you do this very valuable task.

We volunteer our time by reviewing papers that are written by other researchers in our field. We recommend that you approach your reviews in this spirit of volunteerism. Your reviews make you a gatekeeper in helping decide which papers are ready for publication. Just as important, however, is to provide feedback to the authors so that they may improve their work. Try to write your review in a way that the authors can benefit from. We suggest reading a paper and then thinking about it over the course of several days before you write your review.

The tone of your review is also important. A harshly written review will be disregarded by the authors, regardless of whether your criticisms are true. If you take care, it is always possible to word your review diplomatically while staying true to your thoughts about the paper. Put yourself in the mindset of writing to someone you wish to help, such as a respected colleague who wants your opinion on a concept or a project.

Here are some specific issues to keep in mind as you write your reviews:
  • Short reviews are unhelpful to authors, other reviewers, and Area Chairs. If you have agreed to review a paper, you should take enough time to write a thoughtful and detailed review.
  • Be specific when you suggest that the writing needs to be improved. If there is a particular section that is unclear, point it out and give suggestions for how it can be clarified.
  • Don't give away your identity by asking the authors to cite several of your own papers.
  • Be specific about novelty. Claims in a review that the submitted work "has been done before" MUST be backed up with specific references and an explanation of how closely they are related. At the same time, for a positive review, be sure to summarize what novel aspects are most interesting in the strengths.
  • If you think the paper is out of scope for CVPR's subject areas, clearly explain why in the review. Then suggest other publication possibilities (journals, conferences, workshops) that would be a better match for the paper.
  • Avoid referring to the authors by using the phrase "you". These phrases should be replaced by "the authors" or "the paper." Referring to the authors as "you" can be perceived as being confrontational, even though you do not mean it this way.

Be generous about giving the authors new ideas for how they can improve their work. Your suggestions may be very specific (for example, "this numerical solver would be better for your application") or may be more general in nature. You might suggest a new dataset that could be tried, or a new application area that might benefit from their tool. You may tell them how their idea can be generalized beyond what they have already considered. A thoughtful review not only benefits the authors, but may benefit you as well. Remember that your reviews are read by other reviewers and especially the Area Chairs, in addition to the authors. Being a helpful reviewer will generate good will towards you in the research community.

Ethics for Reviewing Papers

1. Protect Ideas
As a reviewer for CVPR, you have the responsibility to protect the confidentiality of the ideas represented in the papers you review. CVPR submissions are not published documents. The work is considered new or proprietary by the authors; otherwise they would not have submitted it. Of course, their intent is to ultimately publish to the world, but most of the submitted papers will not appear in the CVPR proceedings. Thus, it is likely that the paper you have in your hands will be refined further and submitted to some other journal or conference, or even to CVPR next year. Sometimes the work is still considered confidential by the authors' employers. These organizations do not consider sending a paper to CVPR for review to constitute a public disclosure. Protection of the ideas in the papers you receive means:
  • You should not show the paper to anyone else, including colleagues or students, unless you have asked them to write a review, or to help with your review.
  • You should not show any results or videos/images or any of the supplementary material to non-reviewers.
  • You should not use ideas from papers you review to develop new ones.
  • After the review process, you should destroy all copies of papers and videos and erase any implementations you have written to evaluate the ideas in the papers, as well as any results of those implementations.
2. Avoid Conflict of Interest
As a reviewer of a CVPR paper, it is important for you to avoid any conflict of interest. There should be absolutely no question about the impartiality of any review. Thus, if you are assigned a paper where your review would create a possible conflict of interest, you should return the paper and not submit a review. Conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) situations in which:
  • You work at the same institution as one of the authors.
  • You have been directly involved in the work and will be receiving credit in some way. If you're a member of the author's thesis committee, and the paper is about his or her thesis work, then you were involved.
  • You suspect that others might see a conflict of interest in your involvement.
  • You have collaborated with one of the authors in the past three years (more or less). Collaboration is usually defined as having written a paper or grant proposal together, although you should use your judgment.
  • You were the MS/PhD advisor of one of the authors or the MS/PhD advisee of one of the authors. Most funding agencies and publications typically consider advisees to represent a lifetime conflict of interest. CVPR has traditionally been more flexible than this, but you should think carefully before reviewing a paper you know to be written by a former advisee, especially a recent one.
While the organizers make every effort to avoid such conflicts in the review assignments, they may nonetheless occasionally arise. If you recognize the work or the author and feel it could present a conflict of interest, email the Program Chairs as soon as possible so he or she can find someone else to review it.

3. Be Professional

Belittling or sarcastic comments have no place in the reviewing process. The most valuable comments in a review are those that help the authors understand the shortcomings of their work and how they might improve it. Write a courteous, informative, incisive, and helpful review that you would be proud to add your name to (were it not anonymous).

Reviewer Instructions
The following provides further details for reviewing papers using the CVPR15 submission and reviewer system. In addition, please see the Reviewer Guidelines above and the FAQs below.
  • The submission/review site is /CVPR15/ (bookmark or save this URL!)
  • Please make sure that your browser has cookies and Javascript enabled.
  • Please add to your list of safe senders in your own email client to prevent important email announcements from being blocked by spam filters.
  • Do not create a new account on CMT! If you need to change the email address on your account, email the PCs and we will do it for you. If you need to change only your name, you can do this in the CMT system yourself using the same account.
Once you've been notified that the papers have been assigned to you, please log in to the CMT site and follow these steps:

1. Download papers and check for possible conflict or submission rule violations:
  • In the Section "Paper Reviews and Discussions", click on "Download Assigned Papers". This allows you to download a zip file containing all the papers plus supplementary files (if available).
  • Contact the Program Chairs immediately if:
    1. You think you are in any way conflicted with the paper (see above).
    2. There is a violation of the stated paper submission rules.
    3. Such a violation includes:
      • Over 8 pages (not including references),
      • Constitutes a double submission,
      • Supplementary material includes a newer version of the paper.
      • Please specify the exact nature of the violation.
  • For your reference, the paper submission guidelines, which includes descriptions of CVPR15's dual submission policy, can be found in the Author Guidelines .
2. Familiarize yourself with the data under "Detailed Reviews and Discussions":
  • "Paper Summary" label: next to it, you'll see the icons "+" and "-". Clicking on "+" shows you all the abstracts; clicking on "-" collapses all them back.
  • At the end of each paper title, you'll see "+" as well. This has the same function of showing the abstract for that paper, toggling to "-" at the same time, which collapses it when selected.
  • Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the table entries; clicking on any of the column heading (e.g., "Paper ID") sorts according to its description.
3. Review papers and assign them a Preliminary Rating:
  • For a paper, under the review column, click "Add" (to the right of the "Review" line) to enter a review. Please see the Reviewer Guidelines above and take each review seriously. The review form contains detailed instructions about writing the review and the meaning of the different ratings (Oral, Poster, etc.).
  • CMT does not allow users to type certain characters into a text box that could be interpreted as html tags (for example, "y<x") or a malicious script. As a workaround, introducing spaces between these characters (for example, "y < x") will allow you to submit the text since this can no longer be interpreted as an html tag.
  • If you save your review as a draft, it is visible only to you. You can access your draft review form by clicking on the same "Add" link. To make the review visible to the Area Chair, click on the "Submit" button in the review form. "Submit" won't work if any of the required items is not filled.
4. (Optional) Review papers offline:
  • You have two options to access the "Offline Reviewing" page: (1) In the "Paper Reviews and Discussions" page, click on "Review papers offline" link near the top of the page, or (2) In the "View/Edit Review" page, click on "offline reviewing" link.
  • In the "Offline Reviewing" page, you can download one review template file for a single paper, several papers, or all the papers. We suggest that you download a review template file for each paper to avoid confusion.
  • Please read instructions on how to modify the file to incorporate your responses. Note that you must not add certain characters in your responses that could be interpreted as html tags or a malicious script. See item 3 above.
  • You can upload the completed file using the "Upload" interface at the bottom of the page. The new uploaded version will (destructively) overwrite the current review.
  • We suggest that you try downloading a review template file for one paper, enter test responses, and upload to get a sense of how it works.
  • You should always verify the review after uploading (by inspecting it online).
  • We suggest that you use an XML editor to edit the file, for example: EditiX (Windows, Unix/Linux, Mac OS X) or XML Notepad (Windows only). (Remember to edit only fields currently filled with the phrase "REPLACE THIS WITH YOUR ANSWER".)
5. Participate in discussions with Area Chairs and other reviewers:
  • After the rebuttal period, reviewers will work with Area Chairs to clear up any confusions and attempt to reach consensus on papers.
  • The CMT site has an electronic bulletin board feature that allows Area Chairs to contact reviewers anonymously. Once the Area Chair posts a note, reviewers will be notified and asked to log in to see the post and respond. The identities of the reviewers will be hidden from each other.
6. Enter your Final Recommendation
  • After the rebuttal period you will enter your final recommendation on CMT. This may differ from your preliminary rating, and should reflect your judgment taking into account all the other reviews, the authors' rebuttal, and the discussion about the paper (if any).

Reviewer FAQs
  • Is there a minimum number of papers I should accept or reject?
    No. Each paper should be evaluated in its own right. If you feel that most of the papers assigned to you have value, you should accept them. It is unlikely that most papers are bad enough to justify rejecting them all. However, if that is the case, provide clear and very specific comments in each review. Do NOT assume that your stack of papers necessarily should have the same acceptance rate as the entire conference ultimately will.