Conference reviewers procrastinate?

Today, I will  write about the work of reviewers for scientific conferences. As you probably know, when a researcher submit a paper to a conference, the paper is assigned to usually three or more reviewers. The program chair of the conference usually give one or two months to the reviewers to perform the reviews.

Recently, I had access to data about the number of reviews submitted by reviewers per day for a computer science conference. I have put this data on a chart that you can see below:

reviewing trend

reviewing trend

It is interesting to see that reviewers seem to procrastinate.  As it can be seen on the chart, during a reviewing period of one month, most reviews were submitted during the last few days, just before the deadline.  Therefore, this raise the question of how much time does a reviewer really needs to perform review?  If a typical reviewer would be given two months or three months instead of one month, would s/he also wait to submit the reviews during the last few days?

I have to say that reviewers are usually very busy and have to review several papers. A reason for late review may be that reviewers prefer to submit all of their reviews at the same time or are just too busy!

I just wanted to share this interesting observation.  If you like this blog, you can tweet about it and/or subscribe to my twitter account @philfv to get notified about new posts.

Philippe Fournier-Viger is the founder of the open-source data mining software SPMF, offering more than 50 data mining algorithms.

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2 Responses to Conference reviewers procrastinate?

  1. Pingback: Conference reviewers procrastinate? - The Data ...

  2. Jonas says:

    it might also be the case that reviewers use the flexibility in terms of doing their reviews to attend to more urgent matters/matters that are more pressing. As the time for submission gets closer, the urgency of submitting the review rises and the number of reviews going in too.

    Time discounts in a way 😉
    If I remember correctly, there should be some classical psychological paper on the effect of time on the evaluation of consequences which would apply here..

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