Making Your Submission Reviewer Friendly

Hello VIS Community,

It’s that time of the year: the VIS deadline is approaching fast. If you’re submitting a paper, we want to give you some guidelines on how to choose keywords on the submission form. A much more detailed overview is given in this post, and a list of keyword descriptions and example papers here. Here are some tips for selecting submission keywords:

  1. Use keywords to describe the expertise needed to review your submission. Try not to use keywords to summarize the content of your submission. Reviewers use these keywords to describe their expertise. Your submission keywords will be matched with how reviewers rated their expertise on the same keywords.
  2. Prioritize the main contribution of your paper instead of an exhaustive description. Say your paper introduces an interesting new idea as a secondary contribution. If you use a keyword that highlights this secondary contribution, a reviewer with that expertise might emphasize that aspect. This might not be what you intended.
  3. Don’t use too many keywords. Keep it simple: providing too many keywords makes it harder to match your paper with reviewers that cover all keywords. Instead, consider selecting one or two keywords from each high-level category that characterizes a major aspect of your submission.
  4. Don’t select just one keyword. Consider selecting one or two per high-level category, as selecting just a single keyword likely doesn’t help reviewers in understanding your paper.

Keywords are used by PCS to generate a match score between reviewer expertise and submissions. When keywords are not chosen carefully, it is harder for qualified reviewers to find them and bid on them for review. This can happen if you provide no keywords, or too many. Finally, don’t forget: a descriptive title and a clear, concise abstract are also important to interest reviewers in your work. Don’t wait until the last minute and pick keywords that are “good enough”. Think about all the time you’ve spent on this research, and the paper – it’s worth your time to consider the best keywords!

I’d like a new keyword! Help!

The keywords available to submissions and reviewers were carefully redesigned by the reVISe committee. Still, VIS is a thriving, fast-changing field, and your submission might not be a great match to the available keywords. For these situations, the submission form contains a free-form feedback field; use this to indicate any problems or improvements such as difficulties applying a keyword, difficulties finding a keyword for your paper, suggestions on high-level categories, etc. If you’ve found it necessary to use “Other Contribution“, “Domain Agnostic”, or “Other Application” keywords, please use this field to explain your decision. This information will be collected by the conference organization and taken into account in the future.

This post was written by members of the Area Curation Committee (ACC). The charter of the ACC includes ensuring that the submission areas (new in 2021) are appropriate for the work that appears at VIS, as well as the submission keywords.