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our manuscript was accepted as a full paper at a new but what seems a quite respectable conference venue (indexed in Scopus, good papers in the previous years, quite critical peer review). The manuscript was already squeezed to fit the page limit of 10 pages. Although the paper was accepted, there are really a lot of reviewers comments from 3 reviewers, and i do not really think, that we can address even most of them, because there is not much text to cut, and much additional text, and figures would be required.

I am not very experienced, but I co-authored some journal papers, and there was the possibility for several major and minor revision iterations, but at this conference there apparently is no time for this, since they speak about "camera ready submission", together with a rebuttal letter, as the next step.

I agree with most of the reviewer comments, but many points they bring up have been omitted for the sake of brevity, in order to meet the page limit. It was our intention, to present the main idea as a conference paper, and submit an longer and extended manuscript to a journal in a later stage. In fact it was my impression, and that of my supervisors, that the conference paper can have some preliminary flavour to it.

What is the usual way to address such a situation, and in what perspective should i see the reviewers comments, for a conference. Are they required modifications (similar as in a journal review), or should they be interpreted as suggestions for follow up work, and does the acceptance means that in its present form it is accepted? Is it necessary to retract the paper, if we can not implement many of the comments? I also do not really understand, why they already mention that the paper is accepted, compared to journal papers, where it is only accepted after all reviewers are happy. Is this usual for conferences?

Any suggestions, or clarifications about the difference between reviews of journals and conferences would be very welcome.

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    "Due to space constraints, we defer discussion of these issues to the full version of this paper." – JeffE Jun 29 '17 at 20:27
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This can depend on the venue. You didn't mention field, so I'll discuss Computer Science, with which I'm familiar. Many conferences simply accept a paper, provide reviews, and expect "best effort" to address the comments. They don't really enforce them. Some have shepherds who receive an updated draft and comments on the reviews, and then "approve" the final version for the conference. In practice, most of these are also best effort, but the effort is greater, as multiple iterations may be needed. Only a very small number of conferences actually have shepherds who can truly stop a paper from being published -- usually this happens at those few conferences where the list of accepted papers is kept confidential until the shepherds approve. This prevents the embarrassment of having a discrepancy between the list of papers and the final program, and I don't know that I can point at an actual instance of this being done, though I've heard rumors.

In your case, it sounds like you have a very good case for limiting your changes to those that fit, and addressing them in an extended (journal) version in the near future. Your position here would be weakened if the conference allows extra pages after acceptance, with or without an explicit over-length fee, as some conferences do.

The one thing to watch for would be the tone of the reviews. If a reviewer says "I think the paper should also do X" you are free to not do X. If it says "this paper can really only be accepted if it does X" then there is greater pressure to address it. If in doubt, it is probably reasonable to ask the program chair(s) to weigh in.

  • It is about a computer science conference but, we are however not computer scientist. Hence probably the many reviewer comments. Your answer really made things a lot clearer to me. Thanks – Hjan Jul 1 '17 at 13:11

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