In order to train the next generation of program committee (PC) members and to expose early-career researchers (PhD students, postdocs, new faculty members, and industry practitioners) to the review process of the technical track, MSR 2021 is organizing a Shadow PC. A Shadow PC provides an opportunity for early-career researchers who are interested in being embedded in the community. This opportunity allows future PC members to learn first-hand about the peer-review process and gain experience as a reviewer and learn from the senior researchers on how to write a good review. The Shadow PC will provide reviews on a subset of submissions to the technical track of the conference (The authors will opt-in for their paper to be reviewed by the Shadow PC).
The Shadow PC will function much like an independent version of the regular PC of the technical track. Shadow PC members will not have any access to the real reviews, the names of the real reviewers, or any other data such as relative rankings. They will have to abide by the same rules and restrictions applicable to regular PC members. This includes, but is not limited to, conflict of interests, double-blind reviews, and rules against discussing the papers outside of the PC context, or using in any way results from reviewed papers before such papers have been published. Delegated reviews (i.e., external reviews) are not allowed for the Shadow PC. Shadow reviews for papers that are reviewed by the Shadow PC will be sent out after the actual review process.
Serving on a shadow PC is an excellent opportunity for early-career researchers (PhD students, postdocs, new faculty members, and industry practitioners) to be recognized and gain experience in community service, i.e., program committee practices. It is also worthwhile for a number of reasons, including:
- Getting to know how a PC is run and how it operates;
- Being mentored by Shadow PC advisors (i.e., the experienced PC members);
- Gaining experience reviewing papers and understand the challenges faced by reviewers reading multiple papers which may not always be in their area of expertise;
- Submitting high-quality reviews makes one a more likely candidate for future PCs of the technical track of MSR.
- Getting to see both strong and weak papers at the submission stage;
- Discovering what it takes to publish a paper in a reputable conference, such as MSR;
- Having a chance to read top-notch papers in your area of expertise before they are published;
- Networking with other early-career researchers who are also selected to the shadow PC and senior researchers (i.e., Shadow PC advisors)
Shadow PC members must commit themselves to write their own detailed and rigorous reviews for papers assigned to them by the allotted deadline. This timely review commitment is essential to the good functioning of the Shadow PC. Candidates who might be unable to fulfil their reviewing duties should refrain from applying. Shadow PC members will be expected to review a load of 2-3 papers per member, on-time review submissions and an online discussion.
Shadow PC members must follow the ethical standards of peer review, respect the anonymity of the review process and not share which papers they have reviewed or solicit sub-reviews. Shadow PC members who do not adhere to the ethical standards of peer-review will be excluded from the process. The shadow PC will follow roughly the same timeline as the technical track.
Shadow PC is open to PhD students, post-docs, new faculty members and industry practitioners working in software engineering research who have not yet served as a program committee of the technical research track (or the main track) of the premier SE conferences (i.e., ICSE, FSE, ASE, MSR, ICSME, SANER). If more applications are received than there is room, we will select the PC member based on motivation, research experience, etc. The Shadow PC selection process will also strive to ensure diversity.
If you are interested in participating, please complete the online application form for MSR 2021 Shadow PC by December 1, 2020, AoE. In case you cannot access the form, email the Shadow PC chairs with the following subject: “MSR 2021 Shadow PC Application” (with quotes). We will then email you a form to fill out which you can send to us by email.
- Shadow PC Self-Nomination Close: 10 December 2020 AoE
- Announcement of Shadow PC members: Late of December 2020 AoE
- Paper Bidding: 14-17 January 2021 AoE
- Review Submissions: 12 February 2021 AoE
- Online Discussions & Review Decisions: 16 - 20 February 2021 AoE
- Feedback on review by Advisory board: 22 - 28 February 2021 AoE
- Release Reviews to the Authors: 1 March 2021 AoE
AoE: Anywhere on Earth