Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
PLVDB has been initiated by the VLDB Endowment to improve the quality of reviewing and to shorten the turnround time for publication [of VLDB submissions]. Although it looks like a major step to us, it is in line with what is done in other disciplines. We will have to do some fine tuning, but we hope that in the long term everyone will be happier about our reviewing process.
The following FAQ attempts to address some questions about this move, and how it could impact you.
Q: What is PVLDB?
A: The Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment (PVLDB, for short) brings journal-style reviewing to conference-style papers and seeks to provide a shorter turnaround time than you find at both conferences and journals today.
Q: Is PVLDB a journal, then?
A: We want to bring the way we publish in the DB community into line with general scientific publishing. PVLDB is a fully refereed journal, with its own ISSN. You may include PVLDB publications in the "journal publications" section of your CV, if you split out your journal and conference publications. Note that the PVLDB journal is published only electronically.
Unlike in some journals, the size of the papers are limited, so typically long proofs as well as detailed system descriptions are not included. We intend to preserve -- or even increase -- the prestige you get when you publish in, or review for, the VLDB conference. The difference is that it will be done through a fully refereed journal dedicated -- as in other sciences -- to short publications.
Q: Does PVLDB have an ISSN?
A: Yes. The library of Congress issued Serial Number for PVLDB is ISSN 2150-8097. Each issue of PVLDB has its own ISBN, printed in the copyright block. Note that conference proceedings each have an ISBN, one per proceedings volume (e.g. separate ISBN for VLDB Conference proceedings from 2005 and 2006). However, only journals are eligible to have an ISSN.
Q: What will happen to the VLDB conference?
A: Papers accepted for PVLDB will be invited for presentation at the next VLDB conference. For 2010, there will continue to be the option of submitting to the conference through a traditional program committee. Beginning 2011, there will be no traditional program committee and a journal-style review will be required to obtain a VLDB presentation slot. Over time, it is possible that the structure of the conference may change to make it more interactive, but no such changes are being contemplated as yet.
Q: What is the benefit of the continuous-submission opportunity that PVLDB provides, compared to having a traditional conference deadline?
A: From an author's viewpoint, you can submit whenever your results are ready. If you miss the annual submission deadline, you can submit long before next year's deadline. Your paper is published as soon as it is accepted, possibly much earlier than if you submitted to the next conference. You will still be given the opportunity to present and advertise your results at the next VLDB conference. From a reviewer's viewpoint, the reviewing is spread across the year and the artificial bursts with conference deadlines are smoothed or entirely avoided.
Q: What will be the turnaround time for PVLDB?
A: We intend to conduct each round of review within approximately one month. With very few exceptions, we have come close to meeting this goal so far. But this one month is a goal, not a guarantee, and furthermore applies only to one round of review. If your paper requires revisions and goes through multiple rounds of review, you can count on a little over a month for each round plus however much you need to make your revisions. How much time you need to make revisions can vary a lot. We have seen some revisions made within a few days and one that took over 10 months. Most revisions seem to require 1-3 months.
Q: What is the cutoff date for making next year's VLDB Conference.
A: There is no cutoff submission date for PVLDB, but there is a cutoff acceptance date. In 2009, the cutoff date was May 29. For 2010, the cutoff date has been set to May 15. Papers accepted by the cutoff date will be presented at that year's conference. Papers still in process, whether being revised or under review, will continue through the revision and review cycle in a normal way, and be presented at the following year's conference if accepted.
For 2011 and 2012 only, as a part of the transition process, papers submitted for the Feb 1 and March 1 tracks will not be offered an opportunity for revision. In effect, this will render Mar 1 the effective *submission* cutoff for presentation at VLDB that year, with no separate acceptance cutoff.
Q: I just learned about the rejection of my paper for the ICDE conference. It got fairly positive comments, but did not quite make it. Is resubmitting to SIGMOD (or EDBT) the only option, as the VLDB conference is still 9 months away?
A: You may indeed consider submitting your work to SIGMOD (or EDBT). Alternatively, if you think that you meet the quality standards of PVLDB, you may submit to PVLDB (after addressing the comments that prevented your conference paper from being accepted) without waiting for the annual submission deadline. Of course, you should first take the time you need to improve your manuscript based on the comments of the ICDE reviewers. Note that PVLDB is published year round -- so even if conference presentation is delayed by several months, publication of your accepted manuscript will not be delayed.
Q: I hate having to squeeze my material into 8 pages. Why is PVLDB doing this?
A: Actually, this matter is orthogonal to the PVLDB publication model: it just happens to share in timing. Beginning April 2011, submissions is back to 12 pages, based upon feedback from the community.
Q: If PVLDB is a journal, can I still publish extended versions of PVLDB papers in traditional journals?
A: Yes! Most journals accept value-added extensions of previously published conference papers. What matters to them is not so much the nature of reviewing the earlier version underwent, but rather the style and length of the earlier publication. In these regards, PVLDB is conference-style, even if the papers undergo a more careful, journal-style review process. There is an explicitly stated policy permitting such submissions to VLDBJ of extended versions of PVLDB papers. TODS and TKDE also follow this policy and permit such submissions, though there is no explicit statement of this policy for them.
Q: How is The VLDB Journal different from PVLDB?
A: The VLDB Journal publishes research papers that are usually longer, more complete pieces of work. Some of those papers are extended versions of PVDLB papers. Indeed, traditionally one issue of The VLDB Journal is published every year with extended versions of the best papers from the VLDB Conference. We plan to continue that tradition with the transition to PVLDB. The VLDB Journal also publishes surveys and system retrospectives, which are currently not considered for PVLDB.
Q: What is the benefit of the journal-style reviewing of PVLDB, compared to traditional conference reviewing?
A: Many good papers have some technical shortcomings that prevent them from being accepted for conferences when submitted the first time. The author-reply phase of a conference can clarify misunderstandings, but it is limited regarding both the length and detail of the reply and the time for addressing reviewers' concerns.
When resubmitting an improved paper to a new conference, you are usually faced with a new set of reviewers who may raise different concerns. In contrast, the PVLDB journal-style reviewing allows for revision of your work within a reasonable timeframe and the opportunity for technical explanations on the reviews and the revision. Moreover and most importantly, revised papers are handled with memory of their first-round reviewing and are typically reviewed by the same reviewers who assessed the first-round version of the paper. Thus, there is consistency in the assessment of technical issues throughout the entire reviewing process.
Q: Isn't the journal-style reviewing of PVLDB similar to the roll-over option that the VLDB and SIGMOD conferences had offered to selected borderline papers in previous years?
A: Yes, the roll-over pursued similar ideas: memory of revised papers that would be considered in a resubmission (to a different conference) and consistent reviewing by the same reviewers across the two versions of the paper. However, the roll-over between VLDB and SIGMOD was only a field-trial at small scale. Although authors seemed to like it, it faced significant technical problems, for example, the long delay between VLDB notification and SIGMOD submission. Therefore, the roll-over option was terminated. The consistent two-round reviewing of PVLDB offers all these advantages without the technical problems. It can be scaled up, and avoids delays and other complications.
Q: What will happen to the VLDB program committee(s)?
A: A VLDB program committee will continue to exist, but it will be much smaller, and its function will be to organize the structure of the VLDB conference. We expect that the recognition of academic standing that attaches to membership of the VLDB PC will now attach to the PVLDB editorial board. Since the turnover of this board will be fairly rapid, there should be adequate opportunity to be appointed to this board.