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Short Papers

Approved December 19, 2001

The discussion and consensus can be summarized as follows.

  • It would be useful to be able to consider (much) shorter papers for TODS.
  • A paper of 30 pages is a reasonable length. In fact, TODS papers have gotten longer over the years, and this is probably not a desirable trend.
  • A concise paper is problematic if it was originally submitted as a longer paper but then trimmed down as a compromise (which is indeed what I think happens a lot in TKDE).
  • A very short paper is easier to write when it is theoretical, but less so for systems papers (though I might add that my one IPL paper is a systems paper, with performance graphs and everything).
  • It seems that having a separate category is problematic.
  • Short technical comments are also problematic, because we need to be cautious. Notes seem to be relevant for SIGMOD Record.

After this extensive email discussion, it is best not to have a separate section, for the many good reasons given. Rather, we should be open to submissions of any length, as long as they improve on the state-of-the-art in some significant way, perhaps as the iceberg paper may do.

The challenge then is to get the word out that such shorter papers are relevant to TODS. We can do this in two ways,

  1. by example by processing and accepting (some of the) short submissions and
  2. by emphasizing this in the editorial guidelines.

After item 6 in Authors

  • 6. TODS will discourage excessively long papers (longer than 50 double-spaced pages including figures, references, etc.), and unnecessary digressions even in shorter papers. This is to motivate the authors to bring out the essence of their papers more clearly, to make it easier for the reviewers and readers, and to allow TODS to publish more papers in any given issue.

the following item should be added.

  • 7. In a similar vein, TODS encourages shorter submissions, including even very short (say, 5 page) submissions. The primary criterion for acceptance is improving on the state-of-the-art in some significant way.

The questions of "archival-ness" and "self-containedness" should be left to the editor and referees. It might be useful though in this transition period to emphasize to referees that we now have an explicit policy allowing short submissions.

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