acm Transactions on
Knowledge Discovery from Data
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Referee Rights

ACM TKDD recognizes that reviewing is a service to the profession. The Rights and Responsibilities in ACM Publishing lists an extensive collection of rights that ACM provides its reviewers, underscoring ACM's commitment to those who play a critical role in ensuring quality in its publications. ACM TKDD guarantees all of those rights, and extends some of them. Specifically, reviewers can expect ACM TKDD to do the following:

  • Not ask the referees to provide reviews for submissions that do not satisfy stated publication requirements, or are obviously inappropriate for the publication. The TKDD Editor-in-Chief checks every submission to ensure that it satisfies the stated publication requirements and is appropriate, and desk rejects those that are inappropriate.
  • Request the referees to review only submissions for which the editor feels they have expertise.
  • Strive to not overload referees with TKDD reviews. 
  • Not expect the referees to make up for delays introduced by other participants in the reviewing cycle.
  • Ask the referees if they are willing to review before the submission is sent to them. The paper's abstract and the deadline for the review will accompany this request.
  • Recognize that the reviewers have the right to decline a requested review, both before and after they have been sent a manuscript.
  • Allow a reasonable time for a review, at least two months for an initial formal review.
  • Maintain anonymity of reviews. TKDD employs single-blind reviewing. The identity of reviewers will not be revealed to the authors or to the other reviewers.
  • Acknowledge their efforts in the publication process, while maintaining confidentiality of which submissions they reviewed.
  • Inform them of the editorial decisions for the submission, including the author-visible portion of reviews. Sending reviewers all the reviews allows them to see what the other reviewers thought of the manuscript and allows them to calibrate future reviews.
  • Tell them who will see the reviews.  The author-visible portion of reviews as well as the final editorial decision will be provided to the contact author as well as to the reviewers once an editorial decision has been made. No one else will be shown the reviews.
  • Recognize that reviewers own the copyright for their reviews.

There are some provisos and exceptions for these policies. Informal reviews and reviews of revised manuscripts can be quicker than two months. Revised papers should be reviewed by the same referees, and this review will probably occur within the twelve months, but that will just extend the required interval before the next review.

Referee Guidelines

ACM TKDD recognizes that reviewing is a service to the profession; this publication endeavors to treat reviewers with courtesy and respect. The TKDD web site lists many guarantees that TKDD provides reviewers.

Papers for the ACM Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from Data (TKDD) must be of high quality and fall within the scope of the journal. There are four main ingredients to an acceptable paper.

  1. The technical quality is high.
  2. The relevance to significant computations is high.
  3. Interest and novelty is high.
  4. The presentation is effective.

Few papers excel in all of these, but a substandard level in any is sufficient ground for rejection. Many papers require substantial revisions before acceptance, and reviewers should not hesitate to recommend that a paper be rejected pending changes that are required for completeness, correctness, or to substantially improve clarity.

The following is a list of other considerations to be taken into account when reviewing a submission.

  1. TKDD will publish outstanding papers which are "major value-added extensions" of papers previously published in conferences; that is, TKDD will not automatically reject papers that are substantial extensions of previously published conference papers. These papers will go through the normal review process.

The submitted manuscript should thoroughly consolidate the material, should extend it to be broader, and should more carefully cover related research. It should have at least 30% new material. The new material should be content material, not just the addition of proofs or a few more performance figures. This provides an opportunity to describe the novel approach in more depth, to consider the alternatives more comprehensively, and to delve into some of the issues listed in the other paper as future work.

  1. TKDD will support a closer fusion of theory and systems by strongly encouraging the authors of theory papers to indicate applications and implementation considerations/ consequences, and the authors of systems papers to indicate the use of existing theoretical results and to point to possible theoretical research issues.  Please determine if the paper you review satisfies this criterion, and, if it does not, make notes for the authors and editor as to how the paper may be revised to include this aspect in the scope of discussion.
  2. TKDD would like to make papers it publishes easier to read. TKDD strongly encourages authors to include examples where appropriate and to make greater efforts to target their presentation to a broader audience than research specialists working in the topical areas of the papers.  Please determine if the paper is readable.  If it is not, suggest how it may be improved (e.g., by requesting illustrative examples, expanded discussions on key points that are not clear, etc.)
  3. TKDD would like to discourage excessively long papers (longer than 50 double-spaced pages including figures, references, etc.) and unnecessary digressions, even in shorter papers.  This is to help the authors focus on the most important aspects of their submission, to make it easier for the reviewers and readers, and to allow more papers to be published in any given issue.  Please determine if the paper you review can be shortened without compromising the detail and merit of the paper's material and content.
  4. Similarly, TKDD encourages shorter submissions, even very short (say, five page submissions). The primary focus of review is a significant improvement on the state-of-the-art, not the number pages the manuscript fills.
  5. TKDD also publishes focused surveys. These should be deeply focused and will sometimes be quite narrow, but would make a contribution to our understanding of an important area or subarea of databases, broadly defined.  More general surveys that are intended for a broad-based Computer Science audience or surveys that may influence other areas of computing research should continue to go to ACM Computing Surveys.  Brief surveys on recent developments in data mining research are more appropriate for ACM SIGKDD ExplorationsTKDD surveys should be educational to data mining audiences by presenting a relatively well-established body of data mining research. Surveys can summarize prior literature on a theoretical or systems research topic, or can explain approaches implemented in commercial systems. A survey of the former type summarizes a literature on a particular subject, presenting a new way of understanding how the papers in this literature fit together.  A survey of the latter type summarizes the best industrial art, and can be acceptable even if it represents no new contribution over what has been used in industry for years, if the paper's content is not to be found in the published literature.
  6. Consistent with the ACM Policy on Reviewer Anonymity, reviewers must maintain the confidentiality of reviewer identities, as well as the reviews themselves, that are communicated to them at any time.


TKDD Review Forms

Please use the ACM's manuscript tracking system for entering reviews (the papers will have been submitted using that system). 

For regular survey papers, the links listed below provide the same review form in different formats.

The TKDD review form for surveys is also available in several formats.



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