What being a PC Chair really feels like (by John Lennon)

Maybe it’s because the hypercriticality of our research area but if I had to summarize what I think it’s my main role as PC Chair, I´d say is the following:

John Lennon as a PC Chair

(if you don’t recognize the song the meme is paraphrasing, you’re too young to be doing research so get out of here! :-) )

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Explain me your research as if

Nice tweet by @AcademicsSay (a MUST twitter account to follow if you’re a researcher) summarizing in one sentence how to communicate your research work.

Explain your research to me as if I were a child. As if I have little knowledge of and absolutely no interest in your research.

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I’m now an ICREA Research Professor at IN3 (UOC)

This site has been so awfully quiet during the last two months that I even forget to announce here I was leaving my Inria / École des Mines de Nantes position and taking a new one as ICREA Research Professor at Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (research center of the UOC university). Some more details here.

In fact, I guess this is exactly the reason why I didn’t have time to be more active here :-). Promise more rants soon.

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WordPress research challenge – Show the world your research is relevant

Read my request for help to the members of the software reserach community to show to the huge community of WordPress users that our techniques/tools can actually be useful to improve any aspect of the WordPress project.

This is what I´ll try to “sell” in my upcoming talk on WordCamp Europe where my goal is to this little experiment of approaching our reserach work to a large community of practitioners and see if we can understand each other better.

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MetaScience – A tool to analyze research conferences

Announcing the release of our new MetaScience online service that we have developed to help on the critical matter of evaluating the quality of conferences using metrics that are not usually available (unless you take the time to calculate them yourself).

The current version relies on the database provided by DBLP, to derive some useful metrics for conferences and workshops. Such metrics show:

  • Conference activity. It provides the overall number of authors and papers for each conference edition.


  • Conference ratios. It presents the number of authors per paper and papers per author for each edition.


  • Community turnover. Following the popular expression publish or perish, it calculates the percentage of authors that survived/perished between the editions of the conference. In particular, the user can select a unit of time that spans between two consecutive editions or three.


  • Openness. It measures how much the community underlying a conference is open towards newcomers. Thus, for each edition it presents the ratio between papers coming from authors that have never published in the conference before (outsiders) as well as the papers with all authors having published there already (community member).


The service is still under development and we are currently working on many other visualizations/metrics. Feel free to have your saying by participating in our GitHub repository

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Negative Results in Empirical Software Engineering – EMSE Special Issue

emseSome time ago, we discussed the need for a Journal of Negative Results in Software Engineering . Well, today, we’re not yet announcing the creation of such journal but at least a first step towards increasing the awareness of the importance of publishing negative results: we are going to publish a Special Issue on “Negative Results in Empirical SE” in the Empirical Software Engineering Journal.

More details about the call for papers

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RR: Shit my reviewers say

Very funny (and sad at the same time) collection of reviewer’s comments on research papers on http://shitmyreviewerssay.tumblr.com/ (also on twitter at yourpapersucks).

The comments mix criticisms on what probably are really bad papers

The best thing about the paper in its current form is that is that it is [sic] short, so I did not waste a lot of time reading it;

This kind of prose simply borders on cruelty against the reader. And finally comes the conclusion, which is the intellectual equivalent of bubblegum.

Did all 5 authors say,“Yes, this is a piece of work I am proud to have my name on?”

together with comments that don’t say much about the quality of the reviewers themselves

The orgnization and writing of the paper need to improve. There are some grammar errors need to correct.

Can you explain this part a bit further, but without going into detail.

The reported mean of 7.7 is misleading because it appears that close to half of your participants are scoring below that mean

This paper reads like a woman’s diary, not like a scientific piece of work’

I don’t believe in simulations

and a few desperate cries for help of editors dealing with those reviewers

You will see that Reviewer 2 has slightly missed the point, so please don’t pay too much attention to their comments in your revision.

Feel free to share your worst reviews! (and submit them to this site if you wish)

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