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Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of this page is to describe the paper-selection process and give some advice about writing submissions to the conference. See the CRYPTO 2009 Call For Papers for information such as scope of the conference, dates, and formats.

Q1: Who chooses the papers to appear in the conference, and how?
A1: The program committee (which was selected by the program chair) chooses the papers. Each paper is assigned to at least three PC members who read it, write a report and give scores. (Some paper are assigned to more reviewers, for example papers that are authored by PC members.) Using the reports and scores as a starting point, the committee then deliberates (using online discussion boards and maybe also a face-to-face meeting), discussing the submissions at length and eventually choosing the ones that will appear at the conference.

PC members often ask people outside the committee for reviews of some submissions (e.g., when an expert on the subject matter is not a member of the committee, or to reduce the reviewing load). These "subreviewers" submit their reports to the PC members who asked for their help, but they do not participate directly in the deliberations of the committee. PC members are committed to keeping the submissions confidential (except for the purpose of external reviews), and subreviewers are bound by the same commitment of confidentiality. Subreviewers should not farm out the reviewing any further.

Q2: What should I do to increase the chances of my paper being accepted?
A2: The simple answer is have good results and present them well. Some online guides regarding writing scientific papers include this collection from Iowa State, as well as this essay by Oded Goldreich, and these tips by Shai Halevi. Also check out Jean-Sébastien Coron's list of Ten Reasons why a Paper is Rejected from a Crypto Conference. You should start writing long time in advance, so that you will have the time to read your own paper before you submit it. Make sure that you are explicit about the motivation for your work and its contributions. Also make sure that the submission includes all the important technical ideas. (For example, if there isn't sufficient space for proofs, then at least hint why they work in the main body, and use the appendix to give more details.)

Q3: Will there be a rebuttal process for the reviewers′ reports?
A3: There is no official processes of this nature. However, the committee may contact the authors and ask them questions or request comments. So be prepared and check the e-mail address that you gave when you submited the paper.

Q4: Will I receive comments on my submission?
A4: While reading and evaluating your submissions, the (sub)reviewers are expected to also provide comments that will help you improve it. As each submission is assigned to at least three reviewers, we hope that you will receive some helpful comments. However, the committee must evaluate a large number of submissions in a short time, so it is not always possible to provide good comments on all of them.

Q5: Are program committee members allowed to submit papers to the conference?
A5: PC members can submit a limited number of papers to the conference, normally only one submission per member. The only exception is that a PC member can submit two papers if both of them have student co-authors.

The reasons for limiting submissions by PC members is to increases the perception of fairness in the review process, and to reduce the reviewing load (as PC-member submissions are reviewed by more people than other submissions). The main drawbacks of this limitation are that we may be missing out on good papers, and that it puts an additional burden on PC members who must find other conferences to submit their work. The latter drawback is particularly acute for papers that are co-authored by students (who need the publication on their CV by the time they graduate), hence the exception for student-authored papers.

Q6: My paper was rejected from a previous IACR conference. Should I submit again, and if so how to re-write the paper?
A6: If your paper matches the criteria set in the call for papers, and if you believe that it contains an advance in the field, then submitting it to CRYPTO may be a good idea.

If you received comments from the committee on your previous submission, then it is extremely important to address these comments before submitting the paper again. Remember that we are a small community, and it is rather likely that the same person who wrote these comments will get to (sub)review your work again. Even if you think that the comments that you received are off the mark, they could still serve to demonstrate how people may mis-read your paper, and thus may be useful in improving the writeup. If you wish, you can also add an appendix to your submission, consisting of reviews′ comments from previous submissions of this paper and any rebuttal that you want to provide. (However, make sure that you also clarify the presentation in the main text, since reviewers are not required to read the appendices.)

Q7: May I submit a related paper to another conference simultaneously?
A7: If the papers are "substantially similar" then the answer is NO, as per the IACR's policy on irregular submissions. Note that "substantial similarity" will be judged by the respective program committees, if you are unsure then you should consult the program chair ahead of time.

Q8: My work was accepted to the EUROCRYPT 2009 poster session. Can I still submit it to CRYPTO 2009?
A8: Yes. The poster session presentations will not appear in the proceedings of EUROCRYPT 2009. So if you did not submit it anywhere else, there is no problem with submitting that work to CRYPTO 2009.

Q9: Will there be a best paper award?
A9: Yes, we intend to have one. The program committee is expected to select one of the accepted papers to receive the best paper award. This paper will be acknowledged in the preface of the conference proceedings, and also during the conference itself. The program committee is also expected to select 2-3 additional papers and solicit their submission (as well as the submission of the best paper) to the Journal of Cryptology.

The process for choosing the award recipient will be more or less as follows: After all the acceptance/rejection decisions were made, the program chair will choose the top ranked 5-8 papers and nominate them as candidates for the best paper award. The committee will then deliberate and vote on these candidates, resulting in a smaller set of 3-4 papers that the committee feels are the top papers in this conference. These papers will be solicited for submission to the Journal of Cryptology. Additional deliberations (and possibly an additional vote) will determine the top paper in this small set, which will be the recipient of the best paper award.

Revision history

July 2008: Written by Shai Halevi
Adapted from the Eurocrypt 2007 FAQ by Moni Naor.