Some Holiday Reviewing Advice

Author: Nitin Madnani (Educational Testing Service)

When Heng and Amanda asked me if I wanted to write an invited post on the NAACL 2018 Chairs’ Blog on how to review well, my first thought was “do I really have any advice that people haven’t already heard?” But then I realized that I do have some advice that may be somewhat cheesy but is definitely in the holiday spirit.  And in verse to boot!

So begins the review season anew,
when we bid away our time for our peers.
It might increasingly seem like a burden,
but it’s more important than it appears.

Our field’s growing pains are plain to see,
“Interdisciplinary” is now more than just a buzzword.
It falls upon us to make room for everyone,
and to make sure everyone’s voices are heard.

My reviewing advice fits in this stanza,
Be an advisor, not an adversary.
Reward ideas, not just novelty.
Criticize constructively, not just to be contrary.

It’s not original or even that clever,
but it’s easy to recall.
And if most of us use it for our (NAACL) reviews,
may be we’ll all get along after all.

Happy holidays and happy reviewing!

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