I’m an MSc student in Computer Science in the last month of my program. A few months ago, my advisors and I completed an article that I then submitted to a conference. The notifications of acceptance were supposed to come out in early December, so we were a bit perplexed when we had yet to receive them even in mid-December. We thought this may be due to logistical problems related to the pandemic, so we weren’t too irritated.
I recently sent the organizers a polite email that we had not received a decision notification, and I was shocked to receive the reply that stated that they had no record of my submission. I replied quickly with my submission number and the (automated) notification of receipt I had obtained from their submission system. It’s been two days and I have not received a reply to this email.
Upon scrolling through the webpage for this conference, I realize they had two ways to different links for submitting an article. I selected the one that apparently goes to some submission platform that they do not even monitor, and had not checked that the other link was to a different platform.
While it’s upsetting that our submission will not even be reviewed let alone accepted, I’m even more dismayed by the thought of how my advisors will take this bad news. We worked on this article for some time and underwent a rather intense crunch to get it completed before the deadline. They’re going to write me reference letters for a PhD program application this month, and I’m very worried that this submission mistake will reflect badly in those letters. My question is: should I break the bad news to them now? Should I wait until I finish my program here (in 3 weeks)?