Guidelines for the TPC and Reviews

Presentation slides from the INFOCOM 2017 TPC Informational Meeting, San Francisco, held during INFOCOM 2016.

All Area Chairs, regular and advisory TPC members are strongly encouraged to attend the TPC meeting to be held in Orlando, FL, on University of Central Florida campus, on November 5, 2016.


Review Quality  Area Chairs  Regular TPC Members  Advisory TPC Members

Guidelines on the quality of INFOCOM reviews

Reviews with high quality is of utmost importance to IEEE INFOCOM, and the most important contributions that a member of the TPC can make to INFOCOM. Please avoid submitting very short, unsubstantiated reviews, and do not cut and paste words and sentences across different categories. If any of the papers are reviewed with the help of graduate students, we expect a TPC member to provide sufficient guidance and oversight, and personally submit the reviews to EDAS.

In the TPC meeting and during the discussion phase, a review with a high score but with a short unsubstantiated review will be discounted. Try not to be overly negative, as any research paper has its advantages and drawbacks. Please write a review with the quality that you would expect for your own papers. Keep a fair and open minded approach, favoring selection of breakthrough papers that can open new areas and new research directions. Please also follow a distribution curve (based on the definition for each rating on the review form) when rating the papers assigned to you. This is particularly important as each TPC member perceives the quality of a paper differently if the paper is rated in isolation. The Area TPC Chairs and the TPC co-chairs will read the submitted reviews, and monitor their quality.


Responsibilities of the Area Chairs

As an Area Chair, you are a member of a distinguished group of experts who are essential to maintaining the high quality of INFOCOM 2017. You are responsible for overseeing the review process of the papers assigned to you.

Step 1. Suggest Early Rejects to TPC Chairs.

The first step is for you to check the papers assigned to you, and identify papers that are (i) clearly out of scope for INFOCOM, or (ii) violate the double-blind submission policy.


Step 2. Oversee the discussion phase and intervene if the TPC Lead is not effective.

During discussion phase, please ensure an active and fair technical discussion is ongoing. Discussions such as “let’s just discuss at the TPC meeting” should be avoided. Add additional reviewers when necessary either from advisory TPC members (preferred solution) or from external reviewers. You can enter your own review and/or ask reviewers to modify their reviews/scores to be consistent with the discussions among TPC members during the online discussion phase, the in-person TPC meeting, and in the final recommendation.

Step 3. Provide your recommendations to the TPC co-chairs. 

There are three options: accept, reject, and discuss at the TPC meeting. Make sure the TPC-Lead summary is consistent with TPC reviews and online discussions.

Step 4. Participate in the TPC meeting and lead group discussions.

 Responsibilities of the Regular TPC Members

All reviews are automatically assigned by the review assignment system, based on the result of globally optimizing the sum of similarity scores across all review assignments. The similarity scores are computed by comparing, pair-wise, the full text of the submitted paper and TPC authored papers.

A regular TPC member at INFOCOM 2017 is responsible for providing high quality reviews to the assigned papers (around 8-10) by October 7, 2016. Each regular TPC member will also serve as the TPC-lead for about 3 papers, and should actively participate in both the online discussions and discussions at the TPC meeting.

For papers for which you are the TPC Lead, in your EDAS screen (after you login, select "My TPCs" and INFOCOM 2017 from the list of conferences), you will see both a link to tpc as well as review under the "Type" column. For those papers for which you are a regular reviewer, you will only see the review link under the "Type" column.


First, you need to provide a review for each of the papers in your list by using the "review" link and filling out the review form by September 25, 2016. You may delegate up to 3 regular reviews to external reviewers (who are not students) with sufficient expertise. Delegations need to be completed by August 28, 2016. You must follow up with their delegates to finish their reviews, and oversee the review quality.


Starting September 25, 2016, there will be an online discussion phase, during which you should actively discuss with other reviewers/TPC leads the outcome of each paper that has been assigned to you for review. The delegates are also responsible for actively participating in the online discussion phase. The messages exchanged during the online discussion phase will not be made available to the authors.

Once the discussion phase is over, for those papers that you serve as the TPC lead, you will need to provide a summary of the discussions in the form of a meta review. Please click on the tpc link under the "Type" column for your TPC lead papers, fill out the TPC summary form, and choose one of four categories for each paper: accept, discuss, needs additional review, reject. The TPC lead recommendations (meta reviews) should be completed before October 22, 2016. They will not be made available to the authors.


Responsibilities of the Advisory TPC Members

An advisory TPC member of INFOCOM 2017 will be assigned papers by the TPC co-chairs and the Area Chairs. Advisory TPC members play a critical role in the review process, by providing high quality reviews in a very short time span. These reviews are typically requested due to inconsistency in existing reviews. Advisory TPC members should also actively participate in the online discussions after submitting the review and discussions at the TPC meeting.