ACM Student Research Competition Review Guidelines

Review Timeline

Reviewing Phase Start Date End Date
Reviewing Saturday, October 9, 2021 Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Discussion & Recommendations Thursday, October 28, 2021 Monday, November 1, 2021


The ACM Student Research Competition, sponsored by Microsoft Research, offers a unique opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to present their original research in any area of computer science at SIGCSE. There are two categories of competition, graduate and undergraduate, with prizes awarded based on judging during the conference. A submission to the Student Research Competition should describe recently completed or ongoing student research in any area of Computer Science. All graduate submissions must represent a student’s individual research contribution — neither supervisors nor other students are allowed as coauthors. Undergraduate submissions may represent either individual or team research contributions. Research completed while the student was an undergraduate may be submitted to the undergraduate category even if the student is now a first-year graduate student.

Students whose ACM SRC abstracts are accepted as a result of the review will be invited to make poster presentations at the conference. The top three to five poster presenters in each of the undergraduate and graduate levels, as determined by SRC judges, will then be invited to present their work orally. The top three in each category will be recognized at the Saturday plenary.

Single-Anonymous Review Process

Initial submissions to the ACM Student Research Competition track are reviewed with the single-anonymous review process, where the submissions are not anonymized but reviewers are anonymous to each other and to the authors. During the discussion of a submission in EasyChair, reviewers can refer to each other by their reviewer number on that submission’s review.

Review Guidelines

Keep in mind that ACM SRC submissions represent student work and they are meant to be a place to present and receive feedback on work by early researchers. Please provide constructive feedback and clearly justify your choice of rating to help the authors. A review that gives a low score with no written comments is not helpful to the authors since it simply tells the authors that they have been unsuccessful, with no indication of how or why.

Reviewers should evaluate student abstracts on the following criteria by providing a numeric score and summary of the contribution in each area:

  • Problem and motivation
  • Background and related work
  • Approach and uniqueness
  • Results and contribution

Additionally, reviewers will be asked to summarize the work, provide their familiarity with the submission topic, identify whether the research topic is an appropriate computer science subdiscipline, identify strengths and weaknesses of the submission, and provide an overall evaluation. Reviewers may provide confidential comments to the SRC Track Co-Chairs to address concerns about the submission. These comments will not be shared with submitting authors.

Here are some tips and good practices for reviewing gathered from the SIGCSE community during SIGCSE TS 2021.


The discussion and recommendation period provides the opportunity for the Track Chairs to discuss reviews and feedback so they can provide the best recommendation for acceptance or rejection to the Program Chairs and that the submission is given full consideration in the review process. We ask that Reviewers engage in discussion when prompted by other reviewers, the Track Chairs by using the Comments feature of EasyChair. During this period you will be able to revise your review based on the discussion, but you are not required to do so.

The Track Chairs will make a final recommendation to the Program Chairs from your feedback.

Recalcitrant Reviewers

Reviewers who don’t submit reviews, have reviews with limited constructive feedback, or who submit inappropriate reviews will be removed from the reviewer list (as per SIGCSE policy). Recalcitrant reviewers will be informed of their removal from the reviewer list. Reviewers with repeated offenses (two within a three year period) will be removed from SIGCSE reviewing for three years.