Guidelines for Area Chairs

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Workflow

Technical Commission Presidents (TCP) assign every paper to a single AC. AC review themselves the abstracts while reviewers are involved for full papers.

AC are responsible for fast checking the full papers, assigning reviewers and collecting the reviews for papers assigned to them, and for making a preliminary decision. The AC do not make full paper reviews themselves: they make their decision based on the collected reviews, and their own opinion on the quality of a paper. In this decision making, the AC officers can ignore reviews of a poor quality (e.g., missing motivation for negative assessments, sparse comments). They are asked to take position if reviewers expressed contradicting views on the quality of a paper. In such a case, they can even ask for emergency reviews.

AC should report any conflict of interest as soon as possible, so that PC can transfer papers to another AC.

TCP check the preliminary decisions of the AC and make the final decision. TCP can involve another AC for decision taking if necessary.

 

Initial fast checks

Some authors may have selected the wrong session or Technical Commission. Therefore, AC and TCP check if the paper topic is appropriate. If not, it should be reassigned by the Program Chairs (PC). If the TCP considers the paper inappropriate for a specific topic, he/she assigns the paper to another Commission or Working Group (WG).

TCP and AC also check whether the full paper is anonymous. If not, they urgently ask the author to upload an anonymized version. TCP/AC eventually briefly check whether the paper was edited based on the ISPRS template and are that it is readable (encoding, corrupted PDF). If the paper is not readable or obviously not correctly formatted (e.g. one-column format, wrong reference style, over-length), they ask the author to upload a corrected version in good time. Papers presenting a conflict of interest are re-assigned to another PC/AC. If an incorrect TC was provided, both TCP of the most adequate commission and the Program Chairs should agree on the transfer.

 

Reviewer assignment

We target 3 reviews per paper. This number cannot be guaranteed (due to missing reviews in particular). This number depends on the length of the papers and the size of the program committee of the Congress.

We suggest assigning up to 4 full papers to a reviewer. Please remember many reviewers are shared among several topics and Technical Commissions. Conftool indicated the current number of assignments (1) per paper and (2) per reviewer.

AC then assign reviewers for every paper. AC do not review the full papers of their topic themselves. They are supposed to read the papers on which they need to make a preliminary decision. 

AC monitor the reviewing progress and timely invite additional reviewers if reviews are expected to be late or unavailable. If a submitted review has a very low quality, AC can invite additional reviewers. AC can be a reviewer for papers of other topics, but should consider whether they can complete the reviews in time along with the work for their own WG.

 

Decision

The AC make their decision based on the careful inspection of the collected reviews and their own opinion on the quality of a paper. In this decision making, AC can ignore reviews of a poor quality and can be asked to take position if reviewers expressed contradicting views on the quality of a paper. Three decisions are possible:

  •         Accept for Annals (limited to the best rated full papers),
  •         Accept for Archives (full papers and abstracts),
  •         Reject.

Whether an accepted paper will be presented in a long oral, short oral or interactive session is decided later by the International Program Committee. However, AC and TCP are strongly encouraged to give their point of view.

Authors are notified by the Program Chairs

 

Conflicts of interest

To avoid any conflict of interest and to preserve the double blind review process of full papers, papers co-authored by Technical Commission Presidents and Vice President are handled out of their TC. Similarly, papers co-authored by AC are not handled by the AC.