RTAS 2020 is using a double-blind peer-reviewing process. Concretely, this means:
- Author identities and affiliations are not disclosed to reviewers during the review process.
- Authors prepare and submit suitably blinded manuscripts that do not reveal author information. Specific requirements to this end are discussed below.
- Authors and reviewers alike make an honest effort to avoid accidentally de-blinding any submission.
Submitted papers must comply with all of the below rules. Any violation may result in editorial desk rejection without further review.
Additionally, it should be noted that a double-blind peer-reviewing policy can only succeed if authors strive to comply with the spirit of the policy. Authors are thus requested to carefully review these instructions and the double-blind policy FAQ, and to do their best to ensure that submitted documents are suitably blinded.
- Authors must submit PDFs without author names and affiliations. Submitted PDFs must also not contain any metadata that could reveal author identities or affiliations.
- Authors should refrain from copy&pasting significant amounts of text from prior publications (even their own), as such text blocks may be readily recognized by experts familiar with the state of the art and recent papers in the area.
- Similarly, authors should not directly reuse figures from their own prior publications without attribution. Ideally, “fresh” figures should be prepared and used whenever possible. If that is not a viable option, that is, if a figure must be reused, then a citation should be included giving credit to the original paper from which the illustration has been adapted.
- Authors must refrain from using any specific formatting tricks, linguistic mannerisms, figure styles, or other stylistic idioms that could hint at or disclose author identity or affiliation.
- Submitted papers should not include an acknowledgements section or funding acknowledgements (even when blinded) since it can indicate the country of residence of (some of) the authors. (Such acknowledgements of course may be added to the camera-ready version.)
Own Prior Work, Well-Known Projects, and Research Artifacts
- When discussing their own prior work, authors must refer to the relevant publications as if they were discussing prior work of other authors (i.e., do not use “we” or “our” when referring to own prior work).
- No reference should be blinded, that is, the title and authors of all references must be present, to ensure that reviewers can obtain and consult all cited publications.
- If a paper depends on or extends a significant software project, dataset, or other research artifact that is well known to the community (i.e., which is easily recognizable), then the paper must plausibly explain how the software/dataset/artifact was obtained without giving away author identities or affiliations. Specifically:
- ideally, in case of an open-source project (or if the artifact freely obtainable), the paper can plausibly claim to be extending or using the public version;
- alternatively, if the paper relies on software or a research artifact from own prior work that is not publicly available, then the authors should include a statement thanking the original authors for making the software, dataset, or research artifact available to the authors of the present paper. (This statement should obviously be removed prior to publication.)
- As an exception to the prior rule, if a paper depends on custom hardware or software that cannot be plausibly obtained by a third party (e.g., a prototype processor or SoC of a major chip vendor), then all identifying strings (e.g., processor model number and name, architecture, manufacturer, etc.) should be consistently replaced by anonymous placeholders.
- Finally, in rare cases where a project or system that could not plausibly have been obtained by a third party can also not be reasonably blinded by using placeholder names, or if doing so would elide essential information, then the authors should contact the PC chair prior to submission to obtain case-specific instructions (e.g., permission to submit the paper without blinding the underlying system or project).
Preprints, Paper Announcements, and Prior Workshop Papers
- Authors should not upload their manuscript to preprint servers (such as arXiv) or their personal websites while the paper is under review, or otherwise publicly reveal their authorship of the manuscript under review.
- As an exception to the previous rule, if a prior version of the manuscript has already been uploaded to a public preprint server prior to submission (e.g., if the paper is a re-submission of a paper previously rejected at another single-blind conference), then the paper may still be submitted to RTAS 2020.
- In exceptional circumstances that force a violation of the above two rules (e.g., a tech report must be filed in order for a student to graduate), the authors should contact the PC chair prior to publicizing their manuscript to avoid misunderstandings.
- When extending a prior workshop publication, the workshop paper is treated like an online preprint for the purpose of the double-blind peer reviewing process. However, authors must proactively disclose the existence of a prior workshop version of a submitted paper. The paper submission form provides a text field for this purpose. Failure to disclose a prior workshop publication is considered self-plagiarism.
- As an exception to the double-blind policy, if an extended version of a workshop paper is marked for acceptance (i.e., after a paper has been reviewed and discussed), the track chair will de-blind the paper, point out the prior workshop version, and ask the reviewers to verify that there is a sufficient amount of substantially new material in the extended version to warrant publication at RTAS. (See the submission guidelines for details.)
Online Appendices and Supplemental Materials
- Authors who seek to refer to an online appendix or to supplemental materials (e.g., source code, videos, etc.) may still do so. However, instead of directly providing a URL or tech report number, authors should include a note that the appendices and/or supplemental materials in question are available from the track chair upon request.
- Authors must provide all supplemental materials and appendices that a submission refers to in blinded form and prior to the submission deadline. The paper submission form provides an additional upload field for this purpose.
- The track chair will retain a copy of all submitted materials for the duration of the reviewing process. Any such provided appendices or supplemental materials are not subject to review and may be consulted by the reviewers at their own discretion.