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I've received the reviewer reports for a paper I submitted to AAAI (the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence). I found their scoring method a bit confusing and I would like some help understanding their review of my work.

Each aspect is followed by a number and some plus and minus signs. For instance:

8(+++)

Can any experienced reviewers/authors explain the meaning of these signs and the range of scores?

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    Clarified slightly, including focus on AAAI (EasyChair allows many ranking systems) – jakebeal Oct 23 '14 at 14:58
  • So each reviewer gave a score and couple of signs for each aspect? I would guess 8(+++) means three reviewers evaluate this aspect to 8 – seteropere Oct 23 '14 at 18:12
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I dug up my AAAI reviews from two years ago, and it looks like they've been tinkering with their scoring system, so I can't tell you a precise answer. I can give the general principle, however:

EasyChair allows the chairs of a conference to configure a set of "attributes" for scoring. Each attribute gets both a numerical value and a descriptor. Some examples from AAAI two years ago:

Individual attributes:

5: (ground-breaking (top 15%), a sufficient basis for accepting the paper)

4: (positive, a factor in accepting the paper)

2: (problematic, a factor in rejecting the paper)

Overall ratings:

2: (Strong acceptance. A 5 or 6 in some category, no 1 in any category.)

-2: (Strong rejection. A 1 in some category, no 5 or 6 in any category.)

So as you can see, then they were using a 1-6 scale and a -2 to 2 scale.

From the sample you gave, my guess is that they're currently using a 1-10 scale, with 5 being neutral. Thus

8 (+++)

Would translate approximately to "8 out of 10 (a very good score, three positive steps above neutral)."

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