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Early Reject Policy

Submitting work to CHI produces a lot of work for many people, and thus must be seen as a serious endeavor. We have implemented an early reject policy to decrease the work pressure for both ACs, reviewers, and authors in cases where the submitted paper is likely to be rejected after external review due to fundamental issues (see below). Basically, the early reject policy is for ACs and SCs to exercise their editorial authority to make fair decisions that conserve time and other resources. If ACs/SCs don’t think a submission is ready or is out of our field’s interest, they may reject it without external reviewers. ACs/SCs may give the author a few encouraging words and a clear reason. ACs collectively write a short review to support their decision, if necessary. Such “Early Rejections” keep our operations efficient, don’t hurt as much as  late ones, and let authors move on quickly to a more suitable venue.

Early Rejects Definitions & Criteria

Desk rejects (DR): Desk-reject papers are submissions that AC/SC believe have clear reasons to be rejected without further review. This happens at the very beginning of the review process. The criteria include:

  • Incomplete submissions.
  • Not written in English.
  • Clearly out of scope for the conference (e.g., formal methods for interstellar microcontrollers).
  • Something is broken in the paper that makes it impossible to review.
  • Submission that is under 4 pages or over 10 pages in the required templates (not counting references). Note that if it’s just appendices or acknowledgments that are on the 11th page, this is not automatically a desk reject.
    • Due to the confusion we had with templates last year, for 2020, as long as the paper is submitted with a CHI paper template in 2018, 2019, or 2020’s format, it is not a reason for desk-rejecting the paper.  
  • Lacking anonymization: either leaving author names in the submission, or having an acknowledgments section that reveals authors or institution, e.g., specific supporting grant information); if the acknowledgments thank a particular person for helping them with their paper, or thank their participants, that should be okay in most cases.
  • Submission has ethical issues (plagiarism, double submission, fake data, etc.).

Quick rejects (QR): Quick reject papers are submissions for which there is nothing that immediately disqualifies them, but that AC/SC believe after a close inspection will be a waste of reviewer resources to put through the full review process. The criteria include:

  • Grossly insufficient detail to replicate the apparatus or the experiment
  • Grossly insufficient data to validate the analysis to support the claim 
  • Grossly insufficient literature review to contextualize and/or evaluate the proposed novelty/contribution to HCI in particular
  • HCI contribution is much too small given the length of the submitted paper 
  • Paper is very sloppy: lots of typos, missing references, formatting issues (including large white spaces)

Contributors to writing the early reject policy: Anind Dey, Shengdong Zhao, Pernille Bjørn, Andy Cockburn, and Joanna McGrenere