In my field, conference submissions are usually scored by all reviewers during the review process (for example using the following scores: 2 = accept, 1 = weak accept, -1 = weak reject, -2 = reject). Many conferences includes the review scores in their notification mails, which makes a lot of sense, as the scores add a relevant piece of information to reviews. They communicate the actual assessment of the paper, even if the review's tone sounds more positive or negative than the reviewer desired (which might have all kinds of reasons, be it culture- or personality-specific). They also make the decision on a paper more comprehensible to its authors.

However, some conferences do not include the review scores in the notification. What are reasons for not including them?

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    Maybe they don’t actually score them? Not common in my field at all. – Jon Custer Jun 19 '19 at 13:49
  • @JonCuster In the case that inspired this question, reviews were actually scored. – lighthouse keeper Jun 19 '19 at 15:35
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    @SolarMike Gosh. Given that StackExchange doesn't allow me to silently downvote your comment, consider this comment as its equivalent. – lighthouse keeper Jun 19 '19 at 17:24
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    @SolarMike in a case where somebody asks "why is this thing done", responding with "I don't believe that it is done, show evidence" is not helpful. academia.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4471/… applies ;-) – Flyto Jun 21 '19 at 16:52
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    @SolarMike Protip: Ask for more context instead of evidence the next time. Also, don't put the word "actual" in quotation marks. These two send the signal "I don't believe". – lighthouse keeper Jun 22 '19 at 12:25

Conferences do not have a uniform system for how they select papers. Giving papers a score is a very odd concept in my field, and I am not aware of its ever having been done in any of the conferences at which I have presented or for which I have submitted proposals. Alternatively, it may be that scores were given but kept confidential.

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    I updated the question to make clearer that giving scores is the norm in my field. To follow up on your answer, my question would be what the point is for keeping the scores confidential. – lighthouse keeper Jun 21 '19 at 10:44

One possible reason for keeping scores confidential might be to avoid people who got a "weak accept" feeling that they don't belong there, and to avoid people who got a "strong accept" generating an unhelpful level of arrogance.

I don't work in a field where scoring is a thing, so I don't know if this is the reason - but ultimately, the only people who can tell you the reason for a given conference are probably the organising committee of that conference.

  • Would the downvoter like to explain why? It's not a big deal, but I'm curious... – Flyto Jun 24 '19 at 5:21

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