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Formal Review of Articles in the BULLETIN

Austin Lobo

September 1996

This document describes the process for the adjudication of submissions to the Formally Reviewed Articles section of the SIGSAM BULLETIN. The policies laid out here do not apply to other sections of the BULLETIN such as the Timely Communications section (which will continue to publish unreviewed articles) or the News or Book Reviews sections.

For a discussion on the role of formal review and refereeing in the Electronic Publishing Plan of the ACM, we refer the reader to [1]. For convenience, we include definitions of these terms and others in Appendix A.

The BULLETIN's aim for the Formally Reviewed Articles section is to present, in a timely fashion, reports on new developments and original research results in all areas of symbolic mathematical computation.

A significant volume of research literature is being generated annually in the research centers of North America, Europe, Japan, and other parts of the world. The potential outlets for this material are the proceedings of annual conferences and a very small number of journals. In certain instances, missing the deadline for submissions to a conference could cause a delay of as many as eighteen months from the completion of a research effort to the appearance of the report in print. In such cases, particularly, the Formally Reviewed Articles section is an appropriate vehicle for the swift dissemination of research reports.

Topics of interest to the BULLETIN fall into three broad categories: Algorithms and Mathematics, Theoretical and Experimental Computer Science in Symbolic Computation, and Applications.

The first category comprises symbolic, algebraic, and symbolic-numeric algorithms in all areas of mathematics.

The second category covers algorithm analysis, complexity of computer algebra algorithms, and benchmarking; computer algebra systems, user interfaces, and environments; data structures, programming languages, and software architectures; automatic differentiation and code generation; approaches employing artificial intelligence; and distributed and parallel aspects of symbolic mathematical computation.

The third category covers the application, in a novel and significant way, of techniques from symbolic, algebraic, and symbolic-numeric computation to problems in the disciplines of engineering, computer science, the physical and biological sciences, economics and finance, statistics, mathematics, and education.

The categories are meant to be as broad as possible, and the BULLETIN does not limit its selection of papers solely to the topics mentioned above.

Papers describing new and original work may be submitted to any of the editors, preferably by electronic mail, in the form of a source file written with and the acmconf.cls style macros. The length is not to exceed eight pages. A list of current electronic and postal addresses of the editors can be found in the BULLETIN.

Papers should be written in English. Authors are urged to make a strong attempt to remove spelling and grammatical errors that might confuse the reviewers.

Papers will be reviewed by a panel of specialists who will make assessments of the originality of the ideas; the importance, interest and value of the contribution; logical and formal correctness of the results; difficulty of the problem; clarity, structure and style of presentation; proper citation and appropriate use of the literature; and clarity and conformity of the title and abstract to the material presented. A copy of the review form is available upon request to the editors, and will also be available on the BULLETIN web page.

Reviewers will assign numerical grades in the above categories, and each reviewer will submit a written report to the editors. To be accepted, papers must receive strongly favorable reviews. Reviewers will work independently of one another and their identities will be kept confidential.

Although the reviewers will be asked to recommend acceptance or rejection for a particular paper, the final decision will be made by the editors.

To the extent that it is possible, authors will be notified by electronic mail. Authors will receive verbatim the non-confidential portion of each reviewer's report, containing comments of a constructive nature. Authors whose papers are accepted will be required to address any issues and suggestions, in an appropriate fashion.

Changes to the text, if any, must be documented and submitted in a written statement along with the revised manuscript. If an author decides that no change needs to be made in response to a particular comment from a reviewer, the reason for this action must be given in the statement.

Upon receipt of the statement and revised draft, the editors will decide whether the reviewers' concerns have been satisfactorily dealt with, or whether further revision is necessary. If required, another round of reviewing may be initiated.

This review process is modeled on that of the Journal of Symbolic Computation. However, since the goal of the Formally Reviewed Articles section is to provide quick turnaround and throughput, some mechanisms have been modified and certain procedures have been added so that the overall process is unique to the BULLETIN.

This copy of the document and of the review form is from the homepage of the BULLETIN of the SIGSAM, on the World Wide Web. The editors reserve the right to make changes as needed.

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generated by Robert Corless from the original by Austin Lobo.
Fri Nov 8 13:32:16 EST 1996