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I submitted a paper in a major machine learning conference two days ago, just before the paper submission deadline after the abstract submission deadline. I realized a few hours after the deadline that the .bib file didn't load correctly and that all of the citations are ?. I emailed the chairs with an updated copy, where the only change was the citations being attached, but they said the submission deadline is now passed and thus no changes can be accepted.

What are my options at this point? I imagine I'll get desk rejected without citations. Should I just withdraw and submit to another conference?

This question is somewhat similar but not the same

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There is probably nothing to do that will change the situation since the chairs rejected your appeal. I see two options, one you mention, which is withdrawal. But if there is no imminent deadline for other conferences, you might just wait to see what happens. It is possible that they will see it as an error and ask for a new copy. Not impossible, anyway.

Long term, though, don't submit at the last moment, so that there is time to clear up difficulties if they occur.

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  • There's a deadline in 2 weeks for a larger conference with lower probability of acceptance. Is it worth it to wait given low probability of acceptance in current conference (on the assumption that they misread/misunderstood the email I sent)? I generally don't submit last minute but was inspecting the submission before the deadline and realized it did not attach the PDF file the last time. I panicked and built/submitted quickly, but didn't realize the citation error until I went back to double check the submitted paper
    – anon
    Oct 18, 2023 at 19:17
  • I can't judge the risk. Sorry. Maybe the chairs of the first conference can give you some advice.
    – Buffy
    Oct 18, 2023 at 19:28
  • Would it be appropriate to write an email asking this (ex. "Given the citations are not visible in the submitted version, what are my options? I imagine the paper will not be accepted without citations. Should I withdraw or are there any options available?")?
    – anon
    Oct 18, 2023 at 19:44
  • Something like that seems right.
    – Buffy
    Oct 18, 2023 at 19:59
  • Would it be advised to attach citations/the new version as the supplement? The entire paper has ? so I'm unsure how I can attach just the citations. Would it be acceptable to wait for the reviewers to request citations and upload the new version during rebuttal?
    – anon
    Oct 19, 2023 at 7:06

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