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Reviewer Guidelines


Please remember to:


Manuscript Submission and Peer Review System
The email invitation to review a paper should include a link to the journal manuscript submission site.

  • Go to Manuscript Central and click on "Referee Center." Under "Manuscripts Pending Review,"click on the article title to view the submission and to download it.
  • If the paper is a revision, access the previous reviews by clicking on “Scores Returned.” Next, in the drop down section, click on the “View Submitted Review” button.
  • To submit the review, return to the "Referee Center." Click on the "Review" button, and then "Score Manuscript." Complete the online reviewer form, and submit the review. If a review is left open for any reason, remember to hit Save.

ScholarOne tutorials for referees contain further information.


Decision Criteria

Typical points to look for in a paper and include in reviews, are relevance, originality/novelty, importance, technical soundness, and clarity. A review typically includes detailed expert feedback and
suggestions that help authors make significant improvements in subsequent versions.

Please consider the following:

  • What are the major contributions of the paper?
  • How relevant is the submission to the topics covered by the journal?
  • How innovative is the research being presented?
  • Is the submission significantly different or better than previously published material? (If the
  • research was previously published in a conference, does the submission include 25 percent new
  • material?)
  • What are its strengths and weaknesses?
  • Is the work technically sound?
  • Is the analysis adequate?
  • Is the treatment of the subject complete?
  • Does the paper cite and use appropriate references? (There should not be a high number of self-
  • references.)
  • Is the quality of the presentation adequate?
  • Is it well written?

The review form contains an area for confidential comments to the Editors. These remarks are strictly
confidential and are not forwarded to the author. This area is for you to provide any information about the paper that you believe will help the editor make a decision.

Decision Categories and Conditions

Decision recommendations are Accept, Minor Revision, Major Revision, and Reject.

In general, the following should be considered when suggesting a recommendation in your review:

  • Accept a paper when a submission is excellent, and there are no suggestions for improvement.
  • Choose Minor Revision when the paper should be accepted after slight revisions.
  • Choose Major Revision if a paper has real potential, but a large component should be redone and re-reviewed.
  • Reject a paper when the submission does not meet publication standards.



Reviewers have the responsibility to protect the confidentiality of the ideas represented in the submitted papers.


By policy, ACM reviewers must remain anonymous to authors of a manuscript.


Conflicts of Interest

Please inform the Associate Editor or Editor-in-Chief right away if you have a conflict of interest (COI)
with the paper you have been asked to review.

Possible COIs are:

  • The reviewer works at the same institution as one of the authors.
  • The reviewer has been directly involved in the work and will be receiving credit in some way. If the reviewer is a member of one of the authors’ thesis committee, and the paper is about his or her thesis work, then the reviewer is involved.
  • The reviewer suspects that others might see a conflict of interest in their involvement.
  • The reviewer collaborated with one of the authors in the past three (or other defined number) years. Define possible collaborations, such as having written a paper or a grant proposal together.
  • The reviewer was an advisor to, or advisee of, one of the authors.
  • The reviewer has unpublished work that would get scooped by the current submission.

General ACM policies

For more information on specific topics, see the ACM publications policies.


Reviewer Incentives

ACM offers free membership to non-acm members to those who do three reviews or more (across the board for all ACM journals) within a one-year time frame.

ACM is working on additional incentives for reviewers.

All ACM Journals | See Full Journal Index