Reviewer Guidelines

Reviewer Guidelines

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. We realize that with the increase in popularity of publishing technical reports and ArXiv papers, sometimes the authors of a paper may be known to the reviewer. In line with common practice in the community, ArXiv papers are not considered prior work since they have not been peer reviewed. Therefore, you should review your ECCV papers independently as if the ArXiv papers didn’t exist. Citations to these papers are not required and failing to cite or beat performance of arXiv papers are not grounds for rejection. Please read the FAQ below for guidelines on handling ArXiv papers. An important general guideline is to make every effort to treat papers fairly whether or not they know (or suspect) who wrote them. There are some specific examples in the Reviewer FAQs below. Reviewers should not search for the authors of a paper, and complain that the paper is not anonymous if they happen to find them.

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. ECCV 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.

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.

Be Careful

Please think carefully about your reviews. In particular, it’s a good idea to avoid ad-hoc policy innovations, which can occur with the best of intentions. Here is an example. Author submits a paper relying on a dataset that cannot be public. Reviewer takes the position that this means the results cannot be trusted, and rejects on these grounds. The problem with this review is that it’s clearly about a matter of ECCV policy, rather than about the paper’s content. We have clear policies about double submission and plagiarism. ECCV doesn’t have a policy about non-public datasets, and it’s unfair for reviewers to invent one of their own.

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.
  • Citations to papers that have only been published without review (e.g. ArXiv or Technical reports) are not required. Therefore, missing these citations is not grounds for rejecting a paper.
  • If you think the paper is out of scope for ECCV’s subject areas, clearly explain why in the review. You may find the Call for Papers here. 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 ECCV, you have the responsibility to protect the confidentiality of the ideas represented in the papers you review. ECCV 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 ECCV 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 ECCV next year. Sometimes the work is still considered confidential by the authors’ employers. These organizations do not consider sending a paper to ECCV 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 ECCV 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. ECCV 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 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.

Can I review a paper I already saw on arXiv and hence know who the authors are?

Yes. See next bullet below for guidelines.

How should I treat papers for which I know the authors?

Reviewers should make every effort to treat each paper fairly, whether or not they know who wrote the paper. For example: It is Not OK for a reviewer to read a paper, think “I know who wrote this; it’s on arXiv; they’re usually quite good” and accept paper based on that reasoning. Conversely, it is also Not OK for a reviewer to read a paper, think “I know who wrote this; it’s on arXiv; they’re no good” and reject paper based on that reasoning.

How should I treat arXiv papers?

ArXiv papers are not considered prior work since they have not been peer reviewed. Therefore, you should review your ECCV papers independently as if the ArXiv papers didn’t exist. Citations to these papers are not required and failing to cite or beat performance of arXiv papers are not grounds for rejection. For example:

  • It is Not OK for a reviewer to suggest rejection for not citing an arXiv paper or not being better than something on arXiv.
  • It is Not OK to accept a paper solely because it performs better than something on arXiv.
  • It is Not OK to reject a paper solely because it performs worse than something on arXiv.
  • It is Not OK to regard arXiv as a standard for the state of the art, because it is not reviewed. This applies *whoever* wrote the arXiv paper.
  • It is Not OK for a reviewer to reject a paper solely because another paper with a similar idea has already appeared on arXiv. If the reviewer is worried about plagiarism they should bring this up in confidential comments to the AC.
  • It is OK for a reviewer to suggest an author should acknowledge and be aware of something on arXiv.
  • It is OK for an author to decline to acknowledge something on arXiv (because it has not been reviewed and so may not be right).

Dual/Double Submissions: see the author guidelines for a definition of dual/double submission.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is a regular nuisance in publication. Plagiarism consists of appropriating the words or results of another, without credit. Generally, reviewers can recognize plagiarism when they see it; it is unlikely that a reviewer will be uncertain whether plagiarism has occurred. ECCV 2018’s policy on plagiarism is to refer suspected cases to the IEEE Intellectual Property office, which has an established mechanism for dealing with plagiarism and wide powers of excluding offending authors from future conferences and from IEEE journals. You can find information on this office, their procedures, and their definitions of five levels of plagiarism at this webpage.