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How Not to Get Your Paper Rejected Mainak Chaudhuri Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

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Presentation on theme: "How Not to Get Your Paper Rejected Mainak Chaudhuri Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur."— Presentation transcript:

1 How Not to Get Your Paper Rejected Mainak Chaudhuri Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

2 Prolog: Why Publishing is important – Must tell your ideas to others – Improves the chance of converging to a better idea (hundreds of brains working vs. tens) – Helps the community to push the frontline in the right direction – Inspire others to think smart by showing them how to think smart – Let the coming generation(s) remember you for what you accomplished – Caveat: publishing is often overhyped (this is where the counting game takes over)

3 Searching for Ideas Selling a good idea is far easier than selling a not so good idea – Truth be told, there aren’t too many good ideas out there – Read a lot of papers to stay abreast with what people around the globe are thinking – Identify the top conferences and journals in your area and browse the proceedings and periodicals in regular intervals Reserve time for this from your weekly/monthly plan Summary: reading good papers holds the key to writing good papers

4 Idea-Execution Cycle The cycle of idea-(execute-improve) + continues until the results are satisfactory or further gains are marginal – Understand what is satisfactory by the publishing standards – Depending on the standard of results, decide where to publish – Top tier conferences and journals usually demand high standard ideas and results These are usually medium to highly influential ideas – Be realistic and decide how good your idea is – Sending a not-so-good result to a top conference/journal is a non-starter

5 Draw up an Outline Think about a good story to tell – Draw up the sections and subsections – At every step put yourself in the position of a reader and ask if the story plot is interesting – Put enough time to write a good abstract and introduction First impression is the final impression Motivate the problem and summarize your solutions in introduction If your contribution is building on top of several other prior work, include a related work subsection at the end of introduction; otherwise move the related work section to the end of the paper

6 Give Credit to Others Not acknowledging closely related studies is the biggest sin in research – Know the related work well and review them generously – Importantly, point out how your idea improves previous state-of-the-art – In the evaluation section, compare your proposal quantitatively with a few best known prior arts Implement them in your infra-structure and evaluate impartially

7 Mid-game (1/3) The middle of the paper goes in explaining your contribution – Crux of the matter – Polish the writing well and make sure that you highlight the major contributions – Usually, this part is easy to write because this is your work – Make sure to show how you got to your end- design step by step Motivate every addition to your design and tell a good story

8 Mid-game (2/3) Once you have talked about the central ideas, it is time for quantitative evaluation – Furnish enough information about your simulation/evaluation infra-structure so that others can reproduce the results Very important for the contribution to be useful – Provide exact values of the important parameters that you have used – If you are using some non-conventional/new methodology for evaluating your idea, justify why it makes sense – Use publicly available benchmark suites and furnish enough details about them

9 Mid-game (3/3) Once the infra-structure is conveyed, proceed to present your results – Explain the results carefully highlighting your contributions – Spend time to explain any outliers This opens up further trains of research – Compare your proposal with a few closely related studies Explain why you are better Explain any outliers with more care – Overall, the evaluation should make a convincing story and tell readers that you have spent time to carefully design your experiments

10 Read-Think-Update Read the complete manuscript several times (not back-to-back) – Reserve at least seven days for final polishing – Challenge yourself with hard questions that a reader may ask; see if you have answers to them in the paper – While reading imagine that you know nothing about the work; see if you can follow the train of thoughts described in the paper – Come up with a list of negatives about your paper which may lead to rejection Address them carefully – Ask colleagues to read and give feedback

11 Typical Outline Abstract Introduction, Motivation, Related Work Background Your Design Proposal Evaluation Methodology Results and Analysis Summary References Appendices (if any)

12 Epilog: Rejection Can Help The world is highly competitive – Too many smart people out there – Probability of getting rejected is fairly high (top tier CS conferences have one in ten to one in five acceptance rates) – If your paper is rejected, take the reviews seriously and try to address the concerns Most reviews are usually good if you tried a top tier conference/journal Some reviews may be unreasonably critical; don’t get dejected – Revise well and try again

13 How Not to Get Your Paper Rejected Thank you Mainak Chaudhuri Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

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