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Is it ethical to withdraw a conference long version paper after being accepted as a short paper?

Just recently we got an accepted short paper at a decent Computer Science conference. However, we submitted as a long paper and there is not a single instruction cautioning us that the PC could demote the paper.

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Is this CS? (CS conferences are different to most other fields. idk if it would make a difference to answers) – Oxinabox Mar 7 at 7:57
    
Yes. Conferences play very a big role in our field. That is why some of them follow double-blind review, include author rebuttal and so on... – Klerisson Mar 7 at 15:24
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And for this reason, when you ask a question about conferences on Academia Stack Exchange, you should always mention that you are talking about a CS conference (In the main post, not just in a comment, as comments are ephemeral) – Oxinabox Mar 7 at 15:57
    
Edited. Even I don't think it will make any difference. – Klerisson Mar 7 at 17:28
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Given the anachronism of short-paper page limits (largely a consequence of the anachronsim of publishers pricing policies) I think you should even withdraw then; and emphasizenthat you would prefer a "PDF oriented" publishing process instead of a "print oriented". Also encourage conferences to move away from overpriced print publishers towards e.g. ACM and green open access. – Anony-Mousse Mar 7 at 21:20
up vote 16 down vote accepted

Yes.

Publication requires both the consent of the publisher (via the editor or program committee) and the consent of the authors. If you do not consent to publish under the conditions imposed by the publisher, you can just say no.

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It is up to you to withdraw.

But consider that if the conference asked for a major revision (cutback, in this case), they'll have their reasons (sure, space is an issue, but they are telling you it is not worth a full paper as it stands). I think it is unlikely you'll be able to publish the full version elsewhere, at least not without significant further work. Perhaps the best course of action is to shorten this, and rework into a full version for elsewhere.

[Note that the above is just from what OP tells us, not even knowing the area. Further details could change my assessment radically.]

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Very good points! Thanks! – Klerisson Mar 6 at 20:34

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