Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The ICC Deadline Fiasco

ICC is one of ComSoc's "flagship" conferences, and I try to submit something every year. It is more or less an annual tradition that the submission deadline is extended at least once. And although extensions are widely expected, they are never certain -- the conference organizers use the magic words (see here):
The Conference TPC has set realistic deadline dates and these may be rigorously adhered to.
This year, the original deadline was on Tuesday, September 6. Late in the evening of September 6, the first extension was officially announced by email, to September 19. And this morning, after working late into the night to get our paper finished, I noticed (not by email -- there has been no official announcement as yet -- but by logging in to EDAS) that the deadline has again been extended to September 28.

To be fair, the extensions have been useful.  We were having trouble getting good results out of our simulations, and without the first extension, we wouldn't have had a paper. But it is really annoying that the extensions were announced with only a few hours to go before the deadline. In the most recent case, I spent the weekend working late, and cleared my Monday schedule to make extra time to hit the deadline. For people like me with families and busy jobs, that causes a lot of tension.

I've never served any high-up role on a large TPC, so I don't know how extension decisions are made. But I don't think it's too much to ask that the extensions be announced with 48 hours' notice. It's not nice to let people ruin their weekends for no reason.


Christian Timmerer said...

AFAIK, this is decided by the general chairs (but don't know for ICC). In general, I know that announcements for deadline extensions shouldn't go out too early but I agree with you that 48 hours is reasonable. Having the deadline extension on the same day as the actual deadline or even the after is probably not a good idea. Conference organizers need to consider that authors live in different time zones...

Yaroslav Bulatov said...

If it's an annual tradition, maybe it would be even better to announce all of the planned extensions at the same time as the call for papers (ie, just have a different deadline)

Anonymous said...

It is obvious that deadline extensions are made for (1) friends who plan to submit but don't have yet (2) or if number if paper submitted are not enough in order for organizers to brag about it thanks to very low acceptance rate.