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October 16, 2017

The call for paper for STOC is up, see and  here. The deadline is November 3, 2017 4:59pm Eastern Daylight Time.

STOC 2018 will again be a Theory Fest and also celebrate the 50th anniversary of STOC. As part of the “retro” atmosphere, the STOC PC also asks submissions to be sent by mail in 20 printed copies at most 10 pages.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2017 10:43 am

    Once again, the committee would like us to butcher our papers so that they fit in the Procrustean bed of 10 pages. This means spending countless hours on secretarial work, deciding which proofs to keep and which to put in the appendix, fixing dangling references, maintaining several versions of the paper in parallel, and so on. What’s wrong with submitting the actual paper but only committing to read the introduction, which has to fit into 10 pages? Is it such a radical suggestion?

  2. October 17, 2017 2:24 pm

    At least this time they don’t ask to format the paper in strict proceedings format, or to prepare a separate 2-page summary. I won’t repeat my opinions on the matter (they can be found here except to say that it is a complete waste of resources. At the same time, journals like Discrete Analysis are moving in the obvious direction, by hosting all content in places like arxiv.

  3. October 18, 2017 8:01 am

    If this isn’t a model that encourages bad writing, it certainly caters to it. I think this is the idea: Assume that submitted manuscripts will be drafted entirely within a few days of the deadline. This policy suggests authors focus their attention on making ten pages that look decent. It’s not a bad idea under very pessimistic assumptions on the submitter.

    As a grad student entrenched in a culture of these unfortunate practices, the 10 page + appendix format was a fantastically easy way to BS the PC into believing they had a fully formed paper. It’s a simple recipe of “deferring details” to the appendix, and then making no effort whatsoever to clarify or refine those details. (Hopefully that came a year later.) “Here, you asked for it. 30 pages of inequalities.”

    The weird thing is that 10 pages is certainly not the right length. It’s probably fairly rare that I ever read the first 10 pages of a submission. The load is ~50 papers per PC member. If I’m a moderate expert, I might read the first few pages and then skip ahead. If an area is completely foreign to me, I likely won’t make it through ten pages. I’ll form an initial opinion and appeal to an expert (who will then skip to page 25 to see whether the authors address the “Tardos function obstruction”).

    All of these are fine with me. What’s not fine: Flipping and back and forth 30 pages over and over to read the proof of a lemma that’s after the references, but before the appendix, where the lemma relies on Corollaries 4.5 and 4.5 that are actually in Sections A.4.5 and A.4.5 which are before the references, but after the appendix.

    (The answer to this riddle is that there are two bibliographies: one for the abstract and one for the appendix.)

  4. tas permalink
    October 19, 2017 4:59 pm

    Hooray! I don’t have to write a complete paper for my STOC submission.

  5. danupon permalink
    October 26, 2017 8:37 am

    I’m not sure if I missed anything, but isn’t this pretty much the same as in, e.g., STOC’16 (

    As someone who has submitted to every STOC in the last few years, I feel no difference between having and not having a page limit, as long as the committee only promise to read the first 10 pages (as in, e.g., STOC’17 and FOCS’17) — I still saw many people trying to squeeze as much as possible in the first 10 pages.

    The format of FOCS’14 that Boaz was a chair was still my favorite. But the “10 page limit” (either in soft or hard forms) seems to came back already since STOC/FOCS’15.

    • October 26, 2017 8:41 am

      The difference is that if you submit, as usual, a longer paper which includes a 10 page introduction, then it will likely be summarily rejected this time, for not conforming to the rules. It’s an exercise in obedience, perhaps inspired by recent political events.

  6. November 6, 2017 12:17 am

    Great idea. I’d be happier if instead of 10 pages they specified the proceedings format and require submissions to be in the same format. I don’t mind the 10 page limit (or whatever limit they want; could be 8 or 15 too) so long as one doesn’t also need to do a second version for publication.

    Critics of this policy should remember that STOC is a conference, and the provision of an accessible 10p version is a good service provided by conferences. Conferences are not journals (it is a separate issue that our journals have problems too…)


  1. The Return of the Page Limit – Theory Dish

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