Monday, August 01, 2011

Fun Links, via Google+

One fun aspect of being on Google+ is occasionally a link comes along worth further notice.

The first, from David Karger, is a link to a report (by Democrats, says David) refuting a previous report (by Republicans) that had argued that the NSF was wasting a bunch of money on frivolous research.  The link is here.  Jon Kleinberg was one of the listed "frivolous" projects -- apparently studying pictures on social networks isn't considered important by those with an agenda -- and he has a brief response in the report.

The second is an editorial by S. Keshav, about the "hyper-critical attitude of paper reviewers",  spurred by the fact that CCR had no technical articles, because all the submissions were rejected.  I certainly have something to say on the issue (having, for example, recently had a conference rejection where 3 knowledgeable reviewers said the paper should be accepted, one unknowledgeable reviewer said the paper was too theoretically challenging for the systems audience, and apparently decided to take an uninformed stand at the PC meeting...).  But rather than tell a long story here, I'll just point you to the editorial....

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

On CCR, it's been a long time coming. Back when I was a student, I used to respect CCR. However, in the last few years, it has become an airy fairy magazine, at best.

In fact, the Australian Research Council (NSF equiv) has ranked it 'C' (scale: C/B/A/A*). This means CCR is on par with journals such as Intl. Journal of Computer Networks and Communications, where papers are 'reviewed' by a secretary. So you wonder why it doesn't get any more 'good' papers.

Brighten Godfrey said...

I have a very different impression of CCR. It doesn't get big top-tier papers like SIGCOMM, but I find interesting items in each issue. They publish a public review for each technical paper, and have a mix of opinion pieces / editorials and technical papers, and make everything freely available online, and those are all positive things. I would say CCR serves a useful and complementary function to top-tier conferences. In fact, based on informally talking with people, CCR papers get more exposure than Transactions on Networking, which is the top networking journal. So I don't know how ARC produces its ranking (would be curious to find out), but there seem to be practical benefits to CCR for authors.

My guess is that this happened to CCR because it is rather small (13 technical submissions) so there is going to be more variance in what gets submitted, combined with perhaps some general tendency towards overly pessimistic reviewing.