Referee Rights and Responsibilities


ACM TSLP recognizes that reviewing is a service to the profession. The Rights and Responsibilities in ACM Publishing lists an extensive collection of rights that ACM provides its reviewers, underscoring ACM's commitment to those who play a critical role in ensuring quality in its publications. ACM TSLP guarantees all of those rights, and extends some of them. Specifically, reviewers can expect ACM TSLP to do the following.

  • Not ask them to provide reviews for submissions that do not satisfy either stated publications requirements or which are obviously inappropriate for the publication. A TSLP Editor-in-Chief checks every submission to ensure that it satisfies the stated publication requirements and is appropriate, and desk rejects those that are inappropriate.
  • Request them to review only submissions for which the editor feels they have expertise.
  • Strive to not overload referees with TSLP reviews. Specifically, TSLP will not expect referees to formally review more than one TSLP paper in any six-month period.
  • Not routinely ask them to make up for delays introduced by other participants in the reviewing cycle.
  • Ask them if they are willing to review before the submission is sent to them. The paper's abstract and the deadline for the review will accompany this request.
  • Recognize that they have the right to decline a requested review, both before and after they have been sent a manuscript.
  • Allow a reasonable time for a review.
  • Maintain anonymity of reviews. TSLP employs single-blind reviewing. The identity of reviewers will not be revealed to the authors or to the other reviewers.
  • Acknowledge their efforts in the publication process, while maintaining confidentiality of which submissions they reviewed.
  • Inform them of the editorial decisions for the submission, including the author-visible portion of reviews. Sending reviewers all the reviews allows them to see what the other reviewers thought of the manuscript and allows them to calibrate future reviews.
  • Tell them who will see the reviews. The author-visible portion of reviews as well as the final editorial decision will be provided to the contact author as well as to the reviewers once an editorial decision has been made. No one else will be shown the reviews.
  • Recognize that reviewers own the copyright for their reviews.

There are some provisos and exceptions for these policies. Informal reviews and reviews of revised manuscripts can be quicker than two months. Revised papers should be reviewed by the same referees, and this review will probably occur within the twelve months, but that will just extend the required interval before the next review. And referees are welcome to volunteer for more reviewing than the maximum of one formal review per year, if they wish.

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