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I have a question about the conferences with rebuttal phase. I know we can see the reviewers comments on our paper and we need to feedback properly according to them. But do they make any decision on "accept/reject" prior the rebuttal phase, and can we see it in the rebuttal phase?

I mean do we have to guess their decision based on their comments or we can see whether they already have decided to "accept/reject" based on the current state of the paper?

For example does anyone know how is it for the CVPR conference?

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In general, the program chairs want to know early which papers should be rejected directly without a rebuttal. To this end, the reviewers provide preliminary decisions with their review. These preliminary decisions are often changed later, based on the additional clarifications from the rebuttal.

Whether the preliminary decisions are visible to the authors depends on the conference - in some they are, in some they are not.

[Update] In the earlier version of this answer, I wrote "The preliminary decisions are usually not visible for the authors". Five years later, I would say it's more of a 50:50 thing.

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  • For example the CVPR conference!
    – Bob
    Nov 23, 2016 at 13:04
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    I don't know about that one. In my area (another subfield of CS), I have been involved in three conferences with a rebuttal phase. The preliminary decisions were never visible to the authors. Nov 23, 2016 at 13:07
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    But usually the preliminary decision can be more or less clearly inferred from the review, since reviews are normally written in a way to support the decision. Nov 23, 2016 at 13:10

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