To provide an educational experience by introducing students to a review process and to subsequently train the next generation of program committee (PC) members, the TMA Conference 2018 TPC would like to make submitted papers available to a shadow PC. Shadow PCs allow students and others interested in future PC service to read submitted papers and go through the reviewing process, ultimately arriving at a shadow conference program. This opportunity allows future PC members to learn first-hand about the peer-review process and gain experience as a reviewer.

The shadow PC process is run on a different system and the shadow PC reviewers will not have any access to the real reviews, the names of the real reviewers, or any other data such as relative rankings. Shadow PC reviewers will have to abide by the same rules and restrictions applicable to regular PC members. This includes, but is not limited to, rules against discussing the papers outside of the PC context, or using in any way results from reviewed papers before such papers have been published. Delegated reviews (i.e., external reviews) are not allowed for the shadow PC.

A submitted paper is made available to the shadow PC by default; authors will have the opportunity to opt-out during the paper submission process. Shadow reviews for papers that are reviewed by the shadow PC will be sent out after the actual TMA review process. Authors who have participated in previous shadow PCs have found the additional reviews helpful; however, these reviews will have no bearing on acceptance to the technical program. You can directly contribute to a successful shadow PC and benefit from the additional feedback on your submission by making your paper available to the shadow PC with no extra overhead. Simply indicate your choice in the hotcrp submission site.

Call for Applications

Following a successful model used at other premier technical conferences such as SIGCOMM, CoNext, EuroSys, NSDI, and IMC, TMA will be organizing its first Shadow Program Committee in 2018. The Shadow PC will consist of PhD students, early-career academics, and junior researchers and will provide reviews on a subset of submissions to the conference. Paper authors can choose to opt-out for shadow reviews. The TMA Shadow PC will function much like an independent version of the official PC, including holding an in-person or online PC meeting and deciding the program of papers it would have selected (note that only authors will learn the “shadow” fate of their own papers, which will have no impact on the actual TMA PC process).

Shadow PC members will be expected to review a full load of 5-10 papers (depending on the number of submissions selected for the Shadow PC process) on time and participate in online discussion, as well as follow the ethical standards of peer review. Shadow PC members will also be required to do a small amount of reading about the PC process. Shadow PC members must respect the anonymity of the review process and not share which papers they have reviewed or solicit sub-reviews. Shadow PC members who do not adhere to the review deadlines will be excluded from the process. Shadow PC reviews will be made available (anonymized) to the authors.

The Shadow PC meeting will likely be held on March 28 in Berlin co-located with PAM (details TBD). Shadow PC members should attend in-person or online (some travel grants will be available to support attendance). Shadow PC members will not attend the Senior PC meeting, and the Shadow PC program acceptance decisions will not be made available publicly. However, some PC members might attend the shadow PC meeting to help with the discussions.

If you are interested in participating, please apply by uploading your application material to Your application should consist of a single PDF file which includes a CV and a brief (0.25-1 pg) motivation statement explaining why you’d like to participate in the shadow PC. Be sure to include your name, position/year of study, areas of research experience, publications (feel free to include tech reports, papers under submission/preparation, and unreviewed manuscripts, as long as you indicate them as such) or past reviewing experience (OK to have none).

Important dates

Deadline to Apply for Shadow PC: January 15 February 1, 2018
Notification of Acceptance to Shadow PC: February 1 February 8, 2018
Shadow Review Period: February 17 – March 21, 2018
Shadow Discussion Period: March 21 – March 27, 2018
Shadow PC Meeting: March 28, 2018

Shadow PC Chairs

  • Vaibhav Bajpai, Technische Universität München (Germany)
  • Andra Lutu, Simula Research Laboratory (Norway)
  • Oliver Hohlfeld, RWTH Aachen University (Germany)

Feel free to contact the Shadow PC co-chairs at