I recently came across reviewing policies which make it a requirement for authors submitting a paper to a conference to also accept reviewing for it. Here is an example:
In order to submit paper(s) to EMNLP, you must nominate at least one author to serve as a reviewer, (usually the most senior author) and for that author to take on a full load (of up to 6 reviews).
I completely understand the rationale behind such decisions: the ratio submissions/reviewers cannot grow infinitely while maintaining a proper review process. Yet I'm concerned about the implications for the quality of the reviews, since people who are forced to do it might not be as careful as voluntary reviewers. This also feels like a step down from the traditional "community service" philosophy of the peer-review process.
Is this a general trend in the research community, i.e. is this happening in other domains as well?
- If yes, does this imply a change in the peer-review paradigm? For instance, as a researcher should I stop doing "free reviews" in order to keep my reviewing time for mandatory reviews?
- If no, are there other solutions being tested to the problem of ever-increasing papers/reviewers ratio?