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I am a Ph.D. student in computer science and still in my first year. My professor just assigned a review task of a A-ranked conference to me in order to review research papers submitted by original authors (almost 8 papers).

So far, he wants me to take over the coordination with my fellow Ph.D. colleagues in my department to finish this task asap. So I have to distribute the papers with the right colleague according to his/her research interest and experience.

But, since I am still in the first year (even I am doing well 'as my colleagues say' and published two research paper in peer-reviewed conferences), I want to ask if is it common and normal thing in academia to let junior researchers review high-quality A-ranked conferences research papers, and whether the conference editorial chairs know about this conduct from assigned committee members as external reviewers.

  • 3
    In my academic field of information systems, this would be fishy. But in computer science, where there are maybe at least 10 times as many researchers (and maybe 10 times as many article submissions), instititutional pressures might make this more acceptable, with professoral oversight on the final submitted reviews. I don't know; I'm speculating. – Tripartio Oct 12 '17 at 4:58
  • In my field it is normal, and expected, and considered great for the CV. – user86178 Jan 19 '18 at 21:52
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Yes, this is pretty normal. Many conferences even have a "sub-reviewer" field in the submission form where the professor can note which of their students actually did the review.

The professor should conduct some quality assurance however. In my previous group we had a meeting to talk over our reviews, in my current group the professor takes our comments and checks them over before submitting them himself.

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    Professors appointing PhD students as sub-reviewers is normal, indeed. The specifics of OP's situation sound a little extreme, though: 8 papers, first-year student, A conference. – lighthouse keeper Oct 11 '17 at 19:08
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    I thought OP was given the task of distributing some of these 8 papers among their colleagues as well, not reviewing all 8 themselves? That would be a lot. OP has already published 2 papers, so I would assume that they have a decent grasp of the field even if it's still their first year. – nengel Oct 11 '17 at 23:57
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I think you did not do a review from what I read in your question. you just classify the papers based on the reviewers' interest. However, there is no risk in your task because if you classify the paper incorrectly that mean you did not understand the topic so the reviewer will return it back for a second shot. Definitely, you will get benefit by helping your colleagues with the revision process.

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