Workshop format

NOTE: this page refers to a previous edition of BDIM

Goals for the Workshop format

The BDIM Workshop aims at:

  • Fostering highly interactive discussions, but with clear rules, focus and timeframes
  • Including innovative elements without fully abandoning approved and established procedures
  • Providing different workshop elements as platforms for different kinds of works/presentations

As a result, the workshop will consist of traditional session types (keynote, short or full paper presentations, posters, etc.) as well as on innovative elements such as an in-depth discussion for selected papers.

In-Depth Paper Discussion

The format of the afternoon session aims to be a particularly effective method to review, evaluate, and improve papers. The format is as follows (borrowed and adapted from http://www.cs.wustl.edu/~schmidt/writersworkshop.html):

  1. Among the accepted papers, 3 papers will be chosen for further in-depth discussion. Where possible, papers written by PhD students will be chosen in the hope that contributions will help to improve the student’s research and PhD thesis.
  2. A panel of 3 reviewers and a moderator will be chosen prior to the workshop. The reviewers will read the papers carefully before the session.
  3. During the workshop, each paper will be thoroughly discussed for the period of approximately 1 hour. The reviewers examine the strengths and weaknesses of each paper, stressing positive aspects and suggesting improvements in content and style.
  4. Although the author is present, he or she remains “invisible” during most of the discussion. The author is expected to take notes and/or have someone take notes for them during the discussion (so they can concentrate on the discussion). The reviewers may also give their marked-up copy of the paper to the authors with further written comments. These comments are intended to help the author improve the paper, but the author is not obliged to follow all the suggestions.

The discussion can be structured as follows:

ROUND 1

The author presents the paper in 25 minutes, at the most.

ROUND 2

One or two reviewers summarize the paper from their personal viewpoint. The goal is to identify what the reviewer(s) thought were the key points of the paper. Since the other participants should already have read the work, the summaries should be concise. In particular, it’s best to avoid debating any inconsistencies between different reviewer’s interpretations of the paper at this point.

ROUND 3

The group then discusses what they liked about the paper, first in terms of content and then in terms of style. The goal is to identify and praise the strengths of the work.

ROUND 4

After presenting the positive aspects of the paper, the group discusses how to improve the content and style of the paper. The goal here is not to criticise the paper per se, but rather to give the author constructive suggestions on how to make the paper better. In general, the style for critical comments is to first state the problem followed by a suggestion on how to solve the problem.

ROUND 5

After this discussion, the author of the paper may ask questions of the reviewers to clarify their statements. The goal is to give the author a chance to better understand certain comments, rather than to defend the paper.
Finally, comments are invited from the workshop audience.

The session closes with the audience thanking the author for writing the paper. Note that, during rounds 2, 3, and 4 the author of the paper is only “virtually” present. He or she does not actively participate in the discussion. Moreover, the reviewers do not address him or her directly, i.e., the reviewers discuss the paper as if its author is not present. In particular, the reviewers should refer to “the author” in the third person and should not look at the author when making comments.

The main objective of the format is to help steer the author in a direction that will increase the quality and impact of the research.

Best Paper Award

At the end of the in-depth session, a paper is chosen by the audience to receive the Best Paper Award. A certificate will be provided by the workshop organizers.