ICSA 2022 Technical Track Guidelines for Reviewers

The following instructions cover the main aspects of writing reviews as part of the ICSA 2022 Technical Track evaluation process. We provide these instructions to create a common ground for decision making, and to support reviewers in delivering a high-quality evaluation of the submissions.


All technical track submissions will be reviewed using a double-blind review process described under the Instructions for Authors. Eligible submissions will be reviewed by at least three members of the Program Committee (PC). The final decisions discussion will happen online and will be moderated by PC co-chairs.

Submission Quality Criteria

Technical track submissions shall be evaluated based on the following criteria (inspired by criteria used by ICSE 2018):

  • Relevance: The submissions need to respond to one or more topics listed in ICSA 2022 Technical Track Call for Papers. In 2022, we especially welcome submissions responding to the theme of the conference, which is “Software Architecture and Recovery.
  • Soundness: Are all claimed contributions supported by the rigorous application of appropriate research methods? The claims should be scoped to what can be supported, and limitations should be discussed.
  • Significance: Are contributions evaluated for their importance and impact with respect to the existing body of knowledge? The authors are expected to explicitly argue for the relevance and usefulness of the research, and discuss the novelty of the claimed contributions through a comparison with pertinent related work.
  • Novelty: Is there sufficient originality in the contribution, and is it clearly and correctly explained with respect to the state of the art?
  • Replicability: Is there sufficient information in the paper for the results to be independently replicated? The evaluation of submissions will take into account the extent to which sufficient information is available to support the full or partial independent replication of the claimed findings.
  • Presentation Quality: Are results clearly presented? Submissions are expected to meet high standards of presentation, including adequate use of the English language, absence of major ambiguity, clearly readable figures and tables, and respects the formatting instructions provided in the ICSA 2022 Technical Track Call for Papers.

Review Quality Criteria

ICSA not only emphasizes high quality of accepted papers, but also high quality of reviews. All reviews are therefore expected to meet the following review quality criteria, which will be used when rating the quality of reviews as an input for the Best Reviewer Award. The quality evaluation dimensions are included below.

1. Aspect: “Helpfulness for Authors”

This aspect is solely interested in how well the review aids the authors for improving their work and/or writing.

“Is constructive”

  • The review offers suggestions or ideas for how to make the actual improvements for all or nearly all points of substantial criticism.

“Provides evidence”

  • The review provides good justification and explanation for all or nearly all points of substantial criticism.

“Uses a friendly tone”

  • The review uses a friendly/polite tone throughout and phrases all its criticism gently.

“Cites related work”

  • The review provides actionable citations whenever relevant.
  • Refrain from referring to your own work as related work in the review feedback to authors. Instead, provide this suggestion to PC chairs as “confidential remarks”

2. Aspect “Helpfulness for Decision”

This aspect is solely interested in how well the PC chairs and/or the co-reviewers of the same article will be aided in making a good, balanced acceptance/rejection decision.

“Is thorough in breadth”

  • The review discusses all aspects of the article worth discussing, all across the paper.

“Criticism is specific”

  • The review explains where exactly a criticism applies.

“Criticism is justified”

  • For its criticism, the review always provides reasoning or argumentation why a particular point is problematic and how: incomplete, illogical, inappropriate for the purpose, etc.

“Provides criticism and praise”

  • The review mentions several non-trivial points of both criticism and of praise.

Other Guidelines

Double-Blind Review Process
ISCA 2022 is following a double-blind review process for the Technical Track. Please see reviewer guidelines under Author Instructions. Any evidence of violation of the double-blind review process should be reported to the PC co-chairs.

Review Authorship
We ask PC members to personally author each review. Reviewers can ask students and/or colleagues for feedback (and indicate them as sub-reviewers), but their input should be integrated into the PC member’s own review.

Empty Reviews
Submitting an empty or near-empty review will void a reviewer’s eligibility to review the paper in question, requiring the assignment of a different reviewer to the paper. We ask reviewers to be extremely careful not to submit an empty review.

Ethical Issues
Any evidence of professional misconduct related to a submission or its evaluation (plagiarism, concurrent submissions, conflict of interest, etc.) should be reported directly to the PC co-chairs.