Conflict of Interest Rules for Authors

To ensure a fair and unbiased peer review process, you must specify the persons with whom you have a conflict of interest (COI), such that they are not assigned as reviewers. You must provide a complete and valid list of COI. You may not mark individuals as COI for the sole purpose of avoiding them as reviewers.

Conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) situations in which:

  • You work at the same institution.
  • You are collaborating or have collaborated with the person in the past three years. Collaboration is usually defined as having written a paper or grant proposal together. Being co-presenters in a course, co-authors of a survey paper, or co-chairs in a recent conference does not in itself lead to a conflict of interest.
  • You are or were the MS/PhD advisor or advisee of the person. Doctoral advisor/advisee represents a lifetime conflict of interest.
  • You have a close personal relationship with the person.
  • You suspect that others might see a conflict of interest if the person reviews your paper. For example, even though Microsoft Research in Seattle and Beijing are in some ways more distant than Berkeley and MIT, there is likely to be a perception that they are “both Microsoft,” so folks from one should not review papers from the other.