SITE conference submissions are subject to a double-blind peer review process by a minimum of three reviewers. Reviewers are members the conference’s international Program Committee of experts in fields specifically matching the conference topics.
Program Committee members provide the vital link with the profession that makes the conference a success. The reviews help the Executive Committee select which papers to accept and reject. Additionally, your reviews help the authors of papers make their papers and presentations stronger. Finally, your suggestions help the Program Chairs select the outstanding papers.
SITE receives a large number of papers, typically 500 full paper submissions and 500 short paper submissions.
When you volunteer to review for SITE, you select areas of specialization. Whenever possible, you will be assigned papers within that area of specialization. These reviews are assigned a week or so after the conference deadline. Each paper is assigned to a minimum of three reviewers. Each reviewer is assigned approximately ten papers.
At the Executive Committee meeting, the members scan the ratings and pick an appropriate cut-off value for average rating (usually between 3.5 and 4.0). Most papers above that value are accepted; most papers below that value are rejected. Papers near that value may be re-reviewed. The Executive Committee members also identify papers with inconsistent reviews for re-review.
Once the final decisions have been made, AACE notifies the authors, who also receive copies of your reviews. AACE also notifies the Program Committee members that decisions have been made so that you may check the final disposition of papers using the AACE Online Reviewing System.
Authors whose papers are rejected have the opportunity to submit short papers for the second call for papers. In some cases, you may find it appropriate to recommend to authors that they consider revising their full or short papers and resubmit short versions for the second call.
To put concisely: We want you to help us select papers that provide new ideas that others can both understand and benefit from. To that effect, we ask you to review papers on six (6) basic criteria.
- Relevance to conference – SITE’s sole focus the integration of instructional technologies into teacher education programs. SITE promotes the development and dissemination of theoretical knowledge, conceptual research, and professional practice knowledge. While there are many related issues, papers on those issues should really only be included if they have some relevance to educational technology. Please review the conference Scope & Topics.
- Originality – Too often people simply redo work that has been done elsewhere, at times because they are not aware of previous work. We place an emphasis on new work (although a good survey paper is certainly acceptable).
- Clarity/Quality of English – Even the best ideas provide little benefit if no one can understand them because of the way in which they are presented. We look for papers that are well organized and well written.
- References – Papers show their value and their originality by grounding themselves in the literature. Ensure that the paper includes references appropriate for the kind of work. Major theoretical studies should have larger reference lists. Small case studies might only need references to their theoretical underpinnings and one or two related studies.
- Length of Paper – Conference papers have particular limits and benefits. You should consider whether the ideas are appropriate for the length.
- Potential Value – We hope that others will benefit from the ideas they hear about or read about at SITE. Hence, we make that benefit one of the key evaluation criteria.
The custom SITE Review system has been designed specifically for reviewing conference papers. Please view the short instructional video, outlining instructions for:
- Accessing the New Review System
- Accessing Your Papers
- Managing Papers: Reviewing, Scoring, Commenting & Recommendations
Many authors (and their advisors) rely on your critique to improve their papers. Please take the time to provide written suggestions for improvement. You should address global issues: organization, suggested references the authors may not have known about, and such. Ideally, you should provide a few paragraphs of comments for each paper. Minimally, you should provide at least a few sentences of comments for each paper.
You need not correct individual spelling or grammatical errors. If there are many such errors, suggest that the author take more care (and perhaps use a grammar or spelling checker). Papers with many grammatical or spelling errors should not be rated as acceptable unless they include a particularly compelling idea or particularly valuable results. For papers with particularly bad writing, you might suggest that they have a native English speaker review the next version.
Please remember that many of those submitting to SITE are not native English speakers or are early in their careers. Please be supportive in your critique, even for weaker papers. Use a voice that you’d like others to use when critiquing your students or colleagues.
- What should I do about a paper that lacks a key component (e.g., an evaluation of the results or a conclusion)?
- Reject the paper. Include a note to the authors that they might want to consider submitting a Brief Paper that includes the missing component for the second call and a Full Paper for the following year’s SITE.
- Can I recommend that a paper be accepted conditional on certain changes?
- No. Because SITE includes so many papers, if a paper is accepted, it is not possible to check whether author’s have made all the recommended changes. We hope that authors will make recommended changes, but not all do. You must decide whether the changes are significant enough to warrant rejection.
- What’s the difference between a Full Paper and a Brief Paper?
- The obvious answer is the length. A Brief Paper can be up to 6 pages long. A Full Paper can be up to 8 pages long. However, there are other differences. A Full Paper should be much more complete; you should be very exacting in your reviews of long papers. A Full Paper can represent the earlier stages of a work; you should be generous in your reviews of short papers.
- I’ve gotten stuck with a paper that is much too short (long). What should I do?
- Reject the paper and include a note to the author. Many Program Committee members use something like: While I found many interesting aspects of your paper, it is clearly much too short for a Full Paper, which the guidelines state should be between 4 and 8 pages long. I’d suggest that you consider resubmitting this as a short paper for the second call. I hope you’ll also consider submitting a longer version next year. When you write the longer paper, you might address the following issues …
- My question about reviewing is not addressed in this document. To whom should I write?
- Send your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org