Delayed Conference Notifications

Today, I will talk about the delay for conference paper notifications. This topic idea came to me as I observed the reaction of some Twitter users to the AAAI 2022 paper notification. What happened? Briefly, I was looking at the AAAI 2022 website yesterday and found out that many tweets on the conference page were joking or complaining about the notifications being delayed. All these tweets appeared on the webpage because it automatically aggregates and display the tweets having the hashtag #AAAI2022.

Here is a screenshot of the webpage:

And here are a few tweets about the delay. Some people are complaining, while others are joking or just want to know what is happening, or share their emotions about having to wait.

Having said that, the notification is just late by a single day. This is not something uncommon in academia. So, personally, I would not complain about this. But I would like to talk a little bit about why a conference may be late in general. I think this is something interesting to talk about.

Why the notification of a conference may be late? The notifications of conferences are often late and there can be many reasons. Sometimes, it is by several days, and sometimes even by a week or more. It is understandable because some conferences have to deal with a large number of papers, and the reviewers may be late, or some other problems may occur. For example, a situation that happens quite often is that several reviewers are late or do not submit their reviews on time. In that case, the organizers have to quickly find some alternative reviewers to make sure that all papers have some mimimum number of reviews. In the case of a big conference, there are thousands of papers so this can be very difficul and time-consuming to manage. Other reasons are that organizing committees involve researchers from all over the world and it is sometimes hard for committee members to have discussion on the papers to be accepted due to the time difference. And also, all the organizers of conferences generally have a job, family, and some unexpected events may also happen.

What a conference organizer can do? If the delay is going to be short, often the organizers will not update the website. But if the delay is going to be long, it is a good idea to announce that there is a delay on the website because some researchers are eagerly waiting for the notification. This is generally the case of young researchers who need a paper to graduate. I remember that for my first papers, I was very anxious about receiving the decision, and I was reloading the website many times to see if the decision would come out.

What researchers who submitted papers can do? In general, there is not much to do beside waiting. Complaining will not change anything to that. So personally, I do not recommend to complain about this publicly. The best is just to do something else and try to stop thinking about this. Eventually, the decision will come…

Conclusion

This is just a short blog post to talk about why conference notifications are sometimes delayed. The idea for writing about this came to me from the tweets that I noticed on the conference webpage, yesterday. Hope this has been interesting

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