I have a little bit of a weird situation. In a submission to conference (which is anonymous), I marked a member from the PC as conflict of interest (COI) due to personal reasons (rivalry). The chairs reached out for clarification, I provided the context and the chairs agreed that it is a conflict.

However, the PC, after been informed, has reached out directly to me in an accusatory tone and asked for an in-person meeting, and threaten action if not agreed to do so. What should I do?

  • 12
    Save that threatening email for your next COI disclosure.
    – Ian
    Feb 21 at 22:07
  • 1
    Hard to say without more information (which you perhaps shouldn't provide). I suggest contacting the "chairs" who you have spoken with. Feb 21 at 22:08
  • How did the PC reach out? Phone? Email?
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 21 at 22:18
  • 1
    There is a lot wrong here. I agree with @EthanBolker about speaking to those chairs. But did you say something accusatory or negative about that PC?
    – Buffy
    Feb 21 at 22:40
  • 1
    @Buffy no, I stuck to the facts and remain as neutral as possible when context was asked. Feb 21 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


To me this seems sufficiently inappropriate behavior by this committee member that I would contact the chairs about the email you received. I think an understated or strictly factual tone is best; you might write that you were disappointed to receive this communication, or just say that you received it. They can use their own judgment from there.

There is no legitimate action for this person to take, you're not required to meet with them. It's normal for competitors to exclude each other in peer review; so far it sounds to me like this person has confirmed that you were correct to list them as conflicted. If you feel you are in any physical danger you might contact the appropriate local authorities, but that depends on the disposition of the local authorities.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .