I have submitted a messy manuscript to a conference due to the urgent deadline. After a period of revision, I corrected some mistakes and tidied the manuscript. Is it okay to send an email to the conference chair or somebody else asking to resubmit the manuscript? Or are there any other ways to resubmit?


I might have a slightly different take than @PsySp in his answer on this issue, but I think fundamentally we agree.

In my view, it's probably fair to email and ask the chair whether you can submit an updated version. But it's also fair for the chair to say no: like @PsySp says, deadlines exist for a reason and you can't assume that you're exempt from them. Get your house in order and build your paper in publishable form before the deadline comes up.

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  • I see your point but the real question is this: does the OP wants to gain an unfair advantage by emailing the conference chair? The latter can, for whatever reason, give the requested extension but does anyone feel comfortable asking and using that? On the other hand, asking the conference chair might have more risks than benefits (imagine an angry response from the chair of the PC) – PsySp Mar 8 '18 at 16:11
  • @PsySp Deadline extensions happen all the time, especially in small conferences. If there was an extension that OP is not aware about, then it puts them at a disadvantage compared to those who are aware. – Alexey B. Mar 8 '18 at 16:56
  • @AlexeyB. OP clearly mentions that missed the deadline, and after a period of revisions has a stable version. – PsySp Mar 8 '18 at 17:01
  • @PsySp: Most of the time, people are not vindictive. If the chair does not want to grant the extension, then he/she will say so. For most people, this does not prejudice their decision about the originally submitted paper. But I can think of any number of reasons why a chair might actually want to grant the extension. – Wolfgang Bangerth Mar 9 '18 at 3:28
  • @WolfgangBangerth Sure. Few days ago I got a very nasty mail because I declined to review a conference paper (although it's my right to decline). My point is that there is a risk (not big but still non-zero). Also you should not exclude the possibility that other authors might protest if they learn that PC granted exceptional extension. – PsySp Mar 9 '18 at 8:26

Deadlines exist for a reason. Asking for resubmission refutes the concept of deadline and gives you an unfair advantage over other submissions. If your article was not in a good shape you should consider make a stable version first and then submit it to the appropriate venue, not the other way around.

To answer your question: NO, do not ask the PC for resubmission. If your submission is messy, the most appropriate action is to retract your paper. This will save valuable time from the PC members and potential reviewers and will give you a good chance to work on the paper and submit it to an appropriate venue that would maximize your chances of a fair assessment.

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  • I don't think retraction is reasonable in this situation. – Alexey B. Mar 8 '18 at 16:29
  • @AlexeyB. If you can live with the risk and consequences of submitting messy papers, then you can certainly consider not retracting it. – PsySp Mar 8 '18 at 16:55

Depends on how the submission system works and what your goal is. If it hasn't been long since the official deadline, there's a chance that the review process has not started yet, and the submission is still open. If you upload your manuscript via some website, you should just try and see if it allows you to upload a new version. I'm also sure nothing bad will happen if you ask the organizers if they would allow to submit a new version, again, assuming that you're just a few days late.

Now, if you're worried that your messy manuscript will be published somewhere, then you should not. In this case, you'll normally get a chance to prepare a new version.

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  • Not worrying about submitting a messy manuscript is a really bad advice especially for someone younger. – PsySp Mar 8 '18 at 16:54

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