An Update on the Double Blind Review Process for KDD 2019

One of the changes in this year’s Research Track is the introduction of a double-blind review process. Double-blind reviewing has been adopted by many conferences in our field, and SIGKDD’s Executive Committee (EC) along with the KDD 2019’s General Chairs and PC Chairs felt that the time has come for KDD to also embrace this review process. Double-blind reviewing is a tool that attempts to eliminate implicit biases that all of us possess and can influence our reviews in imperceptible ways.

In determining how double-blind reviewing will work, one of the decisions that we struggled with had to do with how to deal with non-anonymous pre-prints that are already available online, and in particular with preprints that have been posted in arXiv, which has become the primary place in which a lot of the pre-prints written by our community are being posted. Our initial decision, taken after a long deliberation and driven by our desire to safeguard the double-blind review process, led us to adopt a policy that made such papers ineligible for submission to KDD 2019.

We received a lot of feedback about this policy and the hardships that it has created, as it represented a significant change from prior KDD conferences. As a result, SIGKDD’s EC and KDD 2019’s General and PC Chairs decided to relax its restrictions and modify its policy to be the following:

Because of the double-blind review process, non-anonymous papers that have been issued as technical reports or similar cannot be considered for KDD 2019. An exception to this rule applies to arXiv papers that were published in arXiv at least a month prior to KDD’s submission deadline (January 3, 2019). Authors can submit these arXiv papers to KDD provided that the submitted paper’s title and abstract is different from the one appearing on arXiv. Papers that appear in arXiv from January 3, 2019 until the review process has ended, are not allowed.”

The updated Call For Papers for the Research Track can be found at

We hope that this is a first step towards improving the reviewing process and that this initial attempt will stimulate further discussions and allow SIGKDD to design a permanent policy for double-blind reviewing.

George Karypis and Evimaria Terzi

Research Track PC co-Chairs

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