My university follows the conference ranking as per CORE. Specifically, the department (Computer Science) encourages the faculty members and the research students to submit to either CORE 'A' or CORE 'A*' conference (It must not be below CORE 'B', in the worst case).

However, I have a general conscience that the acceptance rate of a conference and the quality of the conference are highly related (Does a low acceptance rate imply quality?). Further, conference acceptance rate does influence the final decision on the number of quality papers to be selected for final proceedings (How does the acceptance rate affect papers decisions?).

We have an article and we were planning to submit to a conference ranked as CORE 'A', but it has an acceptance rate of as high as 60% (sometimes more than 61%). However, the conference is quite old (26 years to be precise). So, presently, we are confused whether should we submit the article to the conference and have following recurring questions in mind.

  • Can my department reject our conference funding because of this high acceptance rate?
  • Should we rather argue about the quality of the conference based on their ranking system as per CORE? (What if the department refute?)
  • Should we step back from submitting here? (But then, there is no better conference in the field in this year. We have to soak our paper for at least 7-8 months more.)
  • Distantly related: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/20133/… – Coder Jul 2 '17 at 9:50
  • CORE is old and erroneous! The way it was constructed was basically every academic tried listing all the conferences they have published in as 'A'. Those with little support dropped to 'B' or 'C', and those with support, got an 'A'. Hence, if everyone published in a crap conference, then they can band together to rank it 'A'. This is so that they can tell their respective university they are good. I'm surprised your university still uses an out dated ranking list. – Prof. Santa Claus Jul 2 '17 at 9:58
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    @Prof.SantaClaus Though it is old, the ranking is the latest (2017). Please see portal.core.edu.au/conf-ranks – Coder Jul 2 '17 at 10:00
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    At least in my particular subfield (computational linguistics), CORE is very reasonable. The indisputable top-tier conference is CORE A*, the other top-tier conferences are CORE A, and the rest are B and beyond. I know a couple of cases of B that I would rank as C and C that I would rank as B, but of course no ranking is perfect (and my particular opinions probably aren't either). It may vary per subfield, though. – Al-Khwarizmi Jul 2 '17 at 10:23
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    In my subfield (software engineering), CORE is clearly biased towards conferences with an application-oriented, rather than foundational focus. For example, one of the main conferences, deemed by many to be the no. 2 in our field, was recently downgraded to B. It happens to be foundational. Coincidentally, the ranking is done by an Australian institution, and Australian researchers tend to publish more in application-oriented conferences​. – lighthouse keeper Jul 2 '17 at 10:51

Acceptance rate has some correlation to conference quality, but I think it's far from being the most meaningful metric, and it isn't very informative in isolation.

There can be top-tier conferences that have the same, or even higher, acceptance rate than second-tier conferences. The reason is that people know how demanding they are, so they don't even bother to submit papers that they know will be very likely rejected, while the second-tier conference might get more submissions as people have higher hopes of getting their papers accepted.

I personally think CORE is rather trustworthy (at least as far as rankings go), as in my particular subfield it's accurate. But this may depend on each subfield. If you want more evidence for the quality (or lack of) of that conference, this website aggregates three different conference rankings. And if you prefer something more quantitative, there are the Google Scholar h5-index rankings, although they should be taken with a grain of salt because this metric is very influenced by size (number of articles published per year).

  • +1 for the convincing answer. My inference from the high acceptance rate is that "because many good quality papers are being submitted making the program committee to select 60% of those. This might not be always true for low ranked conferences in which some bogus papers are also submitted." Am I correct? – Coder Jul 2 '17 at 10:42
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    It depends on the conference. Some conferences have flexibility to select more or less papers depending on quality, others don't have much flexibility due to physical constraints (e.g. the venue can accomodate X number of talks and posters) so they may need to reject papers that they would like to accept based on quality. Anyway, in both cases submissions tend to self-regulate. People don't want to waste a lot of time with rejections so top-tier conferences don't get many crappy submissions, weaker conferences get more, and acceptance rates tend to a reasonable equilibrium. – Al-Khwarizmi Jul 2 '17 at 11:27
  • Acceptance rate has some correlation to conference quality — [citation needed] Almost all theoretical computer science conferences have an acceptance rate between 25% and 40%, independent of the quality of the papers. – JeffE Mar 6 '18 at 14:49

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