Keywords and their Role in the Reviewing Process (for PC members)

Hello VIS community,

Since IEEE VIS 2020 we use a new set of keywords in several submission processes. The purpose of this blog post is to explain how the keywords matter to program committee members and to offer a little help in choosing keywords. A first blog post already covered how keywords matter for paper authors.

Read this text if you have been selected as a PC member for IEEE VIS. You should be interested to get a good set of paper suggested to you that you are interested in and maybe even excited about reviewing.

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Keywords and their Role in the Reviewing Process (for Authors)

Hello VIS community,

Keyword selection has been a familiar fixture in the submission and review processes of IEEE VIS for decades. The primary use of keywords in the current PCS system is to create a “match score” between a paper and a potential reviewer. Such match scores are displayed in several stages during the review processes. For example, during the phase for program committee (PC) members to bid on papers, PC members can sort papers in the pool according to the match scores computed based on their individual expertise. When a PC member is looking for reviewers for a specific paper, match scores are automatically computed for the potential reviewers. The algorithm for allocating papers to PC members can be configured with different weighting of bidding information and match scores. Currently, the recommendation is to rely on the bidding information only. The VIS papers co-chairs often compute, visualize, and analyze the distribution of papers in relation to keywords. In the coming year, such information will be extremely useful to the Area Curation Committee (ACC) that reviews the VIS area model and the keyword set regularly.

One major task undertaken by the reVISe committee was to define a new set of keywords as part of the unification of the three conferences. In IEEE VIS 2020, this new set of keywords was deployed in the submission and review processes for several tracks including the full paper tracks of VAST, InfoVis, and SciVis, ahead of their unification in VIS 2021. The purpose of this blog post (Part 1) is to explain how the keywords matter to paper authors and to offer a little help in choosing keywords. This will be followed by a second blog post (Part 2) where we explain how the keywords matter to PC members.

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Designing the VIS Governance Model


The motivation for why the reVISe Committee was struck is to provide a unified and inclusive venue for the visualization community. It is a result of the growth of the community over the years, in terms of numbers, but also diversity of intellectual contribution types.

Previously, contribution types were neatly categorized into separate conferences or symposia at IEEE VIS (or even VisWeek prior to that). This required authors of the content to make decisions about which community to send specific papers to. However, through the growth of the visualization community, these boundaries became less clear. Further, the addition of new and emerging areas would further fragment the community. In response, reVISe proposed a unified governance model for visualization and visual analytics research.

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The VIS 2021 Area Model

Hello VIS community,

As you are probably aware, IEEE VIS will transition in 2021 from the current with the three sub-conferences VAST, InfoVis, and SciVis to a unified conference with an area model, with the major goals of allowing IEEE VIS to become more integrated and keeping the review process manageable in light of increasing submission numbers. In February 2019, the VIS Executive Committee (VEC) constituted the reVISe committee to work out (among other things) a specific area model proposal, which was ultimately accepted with minor changes by the VEC at the 2019 VIS conference.

The original proposal, including the amended changes, can be found here, and a good summary of the area model, including a detailed description of the areas and a list of frequently asked questions, is already published on Furthermore, this page also provides some insights on how the area model stands to affect you as an author, reviewer, or paper chair. The purpose of this post is therefore not to restate this information, but rather to provide additional context.

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Things are Changing in 2021: The New VIS Conference

Hello VIS Community!

We’re introducing a blog for IEEE VIS, and we’ll kick off the blog with a series of posts by the reVISe committee to highlight some of the things that will be different at IEEE VIS 2021 and beyond.

Regular attendees of VIS are aware that big changes are coming to VIS in 2021: VIS 2020 will be the last time we will have three separate conferences (VAST, InfoVis, and SciVis). Instead, going forward the content of these three conferences will be under one single conference: IEEE VIS: Visualization & Visual Analytics – or shortened to just IEEE VIS.

In this blog post we briefly introduce the main changes coming, after giving a bit of historical context and rationale and will point to future posts in this series.

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