Monday, January 7, 2008

Referee request

Today I got a request to referee a paper for a conference (which will remain unnamed). Usually a request is polite and friendly. However, this request was more demanding:

"You have been assigned as a reviewer for the paper XXXXX submitted to XXXXXX'08."

Thus not even asking me if I would like to be a reviewer. Further down in the mail it says:

"The review is due by Jan 26, 2008 10:00 PM, and it is very important that the review be turned in before this deadline."

It then continues:

"If you are unable to complete this review assignment for any reason, please send an email to the TPC chairs indicating the reasons for which you are unable to do this assignment."

So if I won't accept the kind invitation I have to motivate my decision? Can it be that the TPC won't accept my motivation? If so, do I have to referee the paper? What annoys me the most is that I actually sent a polite reply containing a short explanation why I couldn't referee the paper.


  1. Well, you replied to the organizers' request, so the system actually worked! (Honest, now: you were this close to actually reviewing the paper, weren't you?)

    Since you are the PC chair for SWAT 2008 I'm not sure the theory community is happy that you learned about the efficiency of sending intimidating referee requests.

  2. I promise to be long as you return the referee reports on time.