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The reviewers have already commented on our article and the conference management system shows us each of their comments. Based on the comments, we know that the article will definitely be rejected. The final verdict is scheduled on 15 days from today.

We are interested in improving (based on the presently seen reviews) the manuscript and submitting it to another venue.

Will it be called duplicate submission in the new venue, if we submit now?

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    I've never heard of a conference that reveals reviewer comments before revealing an accept/reject decision. Especially two weeks before.That's just bizarre. – JeffE Aug 30 '17 at 11:36
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    @JeffE. This conference uses CMT, and I can see 3 reviews by (probably) three different reviewers. Their summary reads 1. Reject, 2. Strong Reject, 3. Fair – Coder Aug 30 '17 at 11:39
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    @JeffE Venues with a rebuttal / discussion phase do that, which is the default at least in machine learning conferences. – Dougal Aug 30 '17 at 13:29
  • Based on @JeffE s comment (which I do agree with). Neither I have seen anyone having gotten review feedback before decision on conference submissions. ___ This could very well be someone impersonating the deciders to try and make you disqualify yourself by resubmitting the manuscript elsewhere before you get the real non-forged communication from the venue which could be an accept unless react on the forged mail too fast and get disqualified for sending the same manuscript to more than one. ___ If it is possible for you: Carefully check that the communication really is from the source of the c – mathreadler Aug 31 '17 at 10:08
  • @Coder: well the CMT and it's source can be faked. – mathreadler Aug 31 '17 at 10:13
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Formally, yes. Until you have actually received the accept/reject decision, your paper is still under submission and cannot be submitted elsewhere.

On the other hand, you can avoid this conflict (at least in principle) by formally withdrawing your original submission. Normally I would advise against withdrawing so late, since you'd arguably be wasting the PC's time. But if the work has already been done and the outcome is clear, the PC is just wasting your time by making you wait two weeks for the official decision.

If you do withdraw and submit elsewhere before results of the first conference are announced, you should make the situation very clear to the new PC chair. In particular, you should forward the formal acknowledgment of your withdrawal. There is a nontrivial chance that the two PCs overlap, and that someone will flag the "dual submission" without realizing that it was withdrawn.

Finally: If the reviews are so obviously negative, you might consider giving yourself more than 15 days to improve the paper before submitting again.

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    +1. It is truly not a good time to withdraw, already too late. The results are not negative in the sense that it focuses on rigorous experimentation of two different existing theories, which shows good performance on various problems. – Coder Aug 30 '17 at 12:05
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    +1 for the last paragraph alone. I suppose it's possible that the rejections were for being out of scope rather than because there's something wrong with the paper per se. – David Richerby Aug 30 '17 at 12:30
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This question is bound to come up more frequently with the advent of rebuttal phases in major conferences. In such a system, authors get the comments, and sometimes the preliminary accept / reject votes, a little in advance to allow them to write an answer to the reviews, which is then - at least in theory - taken into account for the final decision. In such a system, it's fairly obvious when a paper is dead, and waiting for the final verdict is a waste of time in that case.

I don't think there is already a generally-understood moral code on whether you need to wait for the final rejection before submitting again. Formally withdrawing, as JeffE proposes, is a possibility, but given that the paper is, for all practical purposes, dead, a withdrawal seems to only add overhead at this point. Personally, I suspect a busy PC chair will just ignore your mail at this point.

Hence, I would not consider it a double-submission to immediately resubmit the paper. Just think of the paper as rejected and carry on. Note that this advice only holds if it is glaringly obvious that the paper will be rejected. Don't interpret this as permission to speculate if the reviews could still go either way, especially if the conference only gives you the textual comments but not the verdicts. Further, should your paper miraculously be accepted in the first conference anyway, you need to immediately withdraw from the second review process.

  • +1. Yes, I strongly agree that if by change the paper gets accepted in present venue, we must withdraw formally from the new venue. – Coder Aug 30 '17 at 12:43
  • I had a small question: Is it a must to participate in rebuttal phase? For example, I know that the paper will be rejected, then I feel that there is no point in writing a rebuttal. Is it better to go ahead with a different venue? – Coder Aug 30 '17 at 12:45
  • No, we generally do not write a rebuttal if it is clear that a decision is made. – xLeitix Aug 30 '17 at 13:13
  • I would not consider it a double-submission to immediately resubmit the paper — Neither would I, but the new PC chair might. – JeffE Aug 31 '17 at 1:09

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