Shadow PC Reviewing

The COMPASS Academy welcomes you to take part in this year’s Shadow Programme Committee (SPC-2023) review experience. Shadow PC allows early career researchers (PhD students, Postdocs and junior researchers) interested in engaging with the COMPASS community but have little to no previous reviewing experience. 

Junior academics will “shadow” the review process followed by conference program committee members (PCs). This opportunity prepares them to serve in the conference program committee in the future, as they learn first-hand about the peer-review process and gain experience as a reviewer. 

The COMPASS Academy team: 

  • Hafeni Mthoko (Namibia)
  • Delvin Varghese (Monash University, Australia)
  • Mohammad Rashidujjaman Rifat (University of Toronto, Canada)
  • Vikram Kamath Cannanure (Carnegie Mellon, USA) 
  • Pranav Kulkarni (Monash University, Australia)
  • Adnan Islam (Monash University, Australia)
  • Joy Ming (Cornell, USA)
  • Tasdik Hasan (Monash University, Australia)

If you are interested in participating, please apply by filling out the Google Form here by Friday 10th of March, 2023 (see below for instructions).

For any queries, please contact the academy chairs Hafeni Mthoko and Delvin Varghese at academy@compass.acm.org 

Frequently asked questions

Q. What is a Shadow PC? 

A. The Shadow PC program is intended primarily to be an educational and mentorship experience. The Shadow PC member will write reviews of the “real” submissions to ACM COMPASS during the conference review period and will have a virtual Shadow PC meeting that closely simulates a full PC meeting. Full training will be provided on writing good reviews and being an effective PC member. 

Q. Why should I participate?

A. While being a member of a Shadow PC is a significant time commitment (~27 hours in total spread over 15 weeks; see below for more details), we expect it will be rewarding for a number of reasons, including:

  • Gain experience reviewing papers and understand the challenges faced by reviewers reading multiple papers which may not always be in their area of expertise.
  • Experience how a review process operates and how a PC meeting is run.
  • See good quality papers as well as bad ones and see how they are viewed during a PC meeting.
  • Submitting high-quality reviews makes one a more likely candidate for future senior PCs.
  • Network with fellow junior researchers at the PC meeting and gain access to qualified mentors.
  • Become a part of the COMPASS community.

Q. Who can participate in the Shadow PC program?

A. The Shadow PC is open to early-career researchers such as:

  • PhD students, 
  • Post-Docs
  • Junior researchers 

You must also: 

If more applications are received than there is room, applicants will be given priority based on an assessment of their needs and access to opportunities.

Q. What is expected of Shadow PC members?

A. Shadow PC member expectations are similar to those of senior PC members. If selected, you will be expected to: 

  • review 1-2 papers on time and participate in online discussions. Shadow PC members who do not adhere to the review deadlines will be excluded from the process.
  • attend the virtual Shadow PC orientation and subsequent workshops. 
  • follow the ethical standards of peer review, respect the anonymity of the review process and not share which papers they have reviewed or solicit sub-reviews. 
  • maintain confidentiality and not discuss the papers outside of the PC context.
  • maintain academic integrity and are strictly forbidden to use results from reviewed papers before such papers have been published. 
  • assist in reviewing their peer’s reviews and providing constructive feedback to improve the quality of the reviews.
  • not participate  as sub-reviewers for the senior PC.
  • perform the reviewing work yourself i.e. delegated reviews (from external reviewers) are not allowed for the Shadow PC.

Q. What is the time commitment required?

A. There will be four zoom meetings including 2x 1hr orientation meetings and 2x 2hr PC meetings (6 hours of meetings). In addition, Shadow PC members will spend time engaging with training materials (3 hours) and time spent reviewing papers (approx. 18 hours). Thus, a total of 27 hours (spread over 15 weeks) commitment is expected from every participant.

Q. How can I apply?

A. If you are interested in participating, please apply by filling out the Google Form here by Friday, 10th of March, 2023. The following information is asked for:

  • Name, position, expected graduation year (if applicable), and institution
  • A brief (max 300 words) motivation statement explaining why you would like to participate in the Shadow PC program.
  • Areas of research experience and expertise and any relevant publications. It is okay if you have no publications yet.
  • A brief note on your past review experience (such as writing sub-reviews or serving on a workshop PC). It is okay if you have none.
  • Confirmation that you will be able to attend the Shadow PC workshops.
  • Your commitment to the above expectations of the Shadow PC program.

Important dates

All deadlines are 23:59:59 AOE (any place on earth)

  • Deadline to apply for Shadow PC: 10 March, 2023 (Friday)
  • Shadow PC membership notification: 10 March, 2023 (Friday)
  • Shadow PC online orientation session 1: 22 March, 2023 (Wednesday)
  • Shadow PC online orientation session 2: 5 April, 2023 (Wednesday)
  • Review deadline: 31 May, 2023 (Wednesday) 
  • Paper discussion meeting: week of 19 – 23 June, 2023 (Tentative)
  • Debrief of Shadow PC process: 5 July, 2023 (Wednesday)