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NeurIPS 2021 FAQ for Authors

We will update this page as new questions arise. Please check back regularly. If you do not find an answer to your question here, you are welcome to contact the NeurIPS 2021 program chairs at neurips2021pcs@gmail.com, but please make sure that you have read the call for papers and this document first. 

Accepted papers

  • Where can I find information on preparing the video of my talk? Authors of accepted papers should have received an email from SlidesLive with instructions for preparing and uploading the video.  These instructions were sent to your preferred email address from OpenReview.  If you did not receive instructions, please email the program chairs with the ID and name of your paper and we can pass your request along to SlidesLive support. 

  • How long are talks? For all papers (orals, spotlights, posters), recorded talks may be up to 15 minutes long.  Shorter is fine.

  • What is the deadline for submitting videos? Videos must be submitted by October 18. Unfortunately extensions are not possible as SlidesLive needs to process a very large number of talks between the deadline and the conference.

  • Where can I find the instructions for preparing camera-ready papers? These were also emailed to authors using your preferred email in OpenReview.  If you did not receive them, make sure your preferred email address is up to date and then send us a note and we can have them resent.

  • Can I change the title of my paper? If you would like to change the title of your paper, please send an email to the program chairs with your paper ID, old title, new title, and a description of the reasoning for the change.

  • How should I prepare my poster for the poster session? More information on this will be provided shortly.  The deadline for submitting posters will be December 1.

Author response period

  • Should I have received a notification about the author response period? Yes. An email was sent to all authors on Tuesday, August 3 with information about the author response period. The sender was noreply@openreview.net.  If you are an author and did not receive this email, please log into your OpenReview account and make sure that your preferred contact email is up to date. We have heard that some email servers are rejecting email from OpenReview. If you suspect this might apply to your email server, we recommend that you use a different email address.

  • If I did not receive the email, where can I find the relevant information? The following information was sent to authors:

    Preliminary reviews are now available in your Author Console.  You have between now and August 10 to read and respond to them by posting “Official Comments” under reviews in OpenReview.

    A quick link to your Author Console: http://openreview.net/group?id=NeurIPS.cc/2021/Conference/Authors

    Please keep in mind the following during this process:

    - Past experience suggests that effective responses focus on factual errors in the reviews and on responding to specific questions posed by the Reviewers. Your response is optional and should be reserved for cases when a response is called for.

    - You can respond to each review with a separate comment. Your response will become visible to the Reviewers/Area Chair assigned to your paper as soon as it is posted, so please think through your response carefully before you post it.

    - Your responses should not contain or link to any identifying information that may violate the double-blind reviewing policy.

    - No paper revisions may be submitted during the review process.  

    - At this time, over 99.65% of submissions have at least three reviews. However, despite our best efforts, a small number of papers still do not have three reviews.  Emergency reviews are being obtained for these papers, and will be added in the upcoming week.  We will step in for these papers ourselves, ensuring that they receive proper attention.

    - Area Chairs and Senior Area Chairs have been asked to read through reviews and work with Reviewers to ensure that they are high quality.  However, with a conference the scale of NeurIPS, it is unavoidable that some low quality preliminary reviews will slip through.  If you receive a review that is inaccurate, disrespectful, or does not provide a meaningful assessment of your work, please send a confidential comment to the Area Chair handling your paper.  You can do this by ensuring that the Readers field contains the Area Chair but not the Reviewers. (The readers field must also include the Senior Area Chair and Program Chairs.)

    - We will officially kick off the discussion period on August 10.  To minimize the chance of misunderstandings during the reviewing process, there will be a rolling discussion after the initial response period and you will be able to respond to any reviewer questions that arise during the discussion. If new reviews are added later on (including ethics reviews), you will have an opportunity to respond to those as well.

  • May I include a link in the author response?  External links are discouraged, but you may include a link if it is required to respond to a question from a reviewer. However, please remember that author responses may not contain any identifying information.  Violating the double-blind reviewing policy in the author response may be grounds for rejection.  Furthermore, if you are including links to any external material, it is your responsibility to guarantee anonymous browsing.  As with supplemental material, reviewers are not required to read linked material in full, but may do so at their discretion.

  • May I link to a revised version of my paper?  No. Revisions are not accepted during the review process. 

  • Should I respond using separate review-specific comments for each review or a single general comment? You are allowed to use either. We recommend using review-specific comments when you are responding to a specific reviewer. This makes it easier for the reviewers to see the comments and respond. But if you prefer, you may also use the "Official Comment" button higher up on the page to leave a comment that is not associated with a single review.

  • Who can see the responses I leave? In OpenReview, the "Readers" field for a comment tells you who can see that comment. Typically you should select Program Chairs, Senior Area Chairs, Area Chairs, Reviewers, and Authors. (You will get an error if you do not select Program Chairs and Senior Area Chairs.)  However, if you would like to leave a confidential comment that Reviewers do not see, you may select Program Chairs, Senior Area Chairs, Area Chairs, and Authors.

  • Is there a limit on how many response comments I can submit? No. However, keeping responses brief and to-the-point is usually most effective.

  • Can I edit a comment after I submit it? Yes. However, note that comments are available immediately to the Readers selected.

  • What time does the author response period close on August 10? We will kick off the reviewer discussion period in the afternoon ET on August 10, but the response period will not close. You can continue to respond to the reviews and any additional questions that reviewers may have after August 10. 

  • What should I expect during the discussion period? Most discussion will take place among the Reviewers and Area Chair assigned to your paper and you will not see this discussion. However, if questions arise, they will have the ability to post a comment that you can see and respond to. You will also be notified if new reviews are added (including ethics reviews, if applicable) and given the opportunity to respond. The discussion period closes at the start of September.
  • If paper revisions cannot be submitted during the review process, will authors of accepted papers still have a chance to revise their paper before it is published? Yes. Authors of an accepted paper will be able to revise the paper for the camera-ready deadline (October 26).

Submission process

  • Can the author list be changed? Changes may be made to the author list until the full paper deadline. After that, authors may be reordered, but any additions or removals must be justified in writing and approved on a case-by-case basis by the program chairs. 

  • Do my co-authors need to create an OpenReview account? Yes. Before the full paper deadline, every co-author needs to create (or update) an OpenReview profile. The information entered in the profile is used for conflict resolution, as discussed in this document.

  • I missed the abstract submission deadline. Can I still submit a full paper? No. The abstract submission deadline is firm.

  • Can I submit supplementary material after the deadline? Yes. The deadline for supplementary material (including appendix and source code) is one week after the paper deadline. Check the call for papers for the exact day and time.

  • Can I withdraw my submission? Yes. You can withdraw your submission at any point in the reviewing process.
      

Submission format and content

  • Can I include an appendix in my main submission file? No. You can include an appendix, but it must be submitted in a separate file, with the supplementary material.

  • I would like to write my paper using Microsoft Word, but I don’t see a template. Can you provide one? No. The Microsoft Word template has been discontinued. Authors must use the NeurIPS 2021 LaTeX style file.

  • Is there guidance for filling out the NeurIPS paper checklist? Yes! See this document, which is linked from the CFP: https://neurips.cc/Conferences/2021/PaperInformation/PaperChecklist.  You may also be interested in our blog post, which explains the motivation behind the checklist and how it was created.

  • Is a broader impact statement required and must it fit within the page limit? Different from last year, you are not required to include a section titied broader impacts in your paper. However, you should still consider any potential negative societal impacts of your work. You may include a discussion of these potential negative societal impacts anywhere in the paper (in the intro, in the conclusion, as a stand-alone section, in the supplemental material if appropriate, etc.), but unlike last year, this discussion may not exceed the page limit. See the checklist guidance and blog post for more information.

  • What material is allowed beyond the nine-page limit? The main body of your paper must be contained in the first nine pages of your submission. References and the paper checklist are not included in this page limit. You may not include an appendix that exceeds the page limit in your submitted PDF, but may include one in a separate document as part of your supplemental material.

  • What is the policy on comparisons to recent work? Papers appearing less than two months before the submission deadline
    are generally considered concurrent to NeurIPS submissions.  Authors are not expected to compare to work that appeared only a month or two before the deadline.

Dual submissions

  • Can I submit work to NeurIPS that is currently in submission to another archival venue? The NeurIPS policy on dual submissions explicitly prohibits this. You need to withdraw your submission from the other venue before submitting to NeurIPS.

  • Can I submit work to NeurIPS and then later submit the same work to another archival venue while it is still under review at NeurIPS? The NeurIPS policy on dual submissions explicitly prohibits this. You need to withdraw your submission from NeurIPS first.

  • Can I submit work that is in submission to, has been accepted to, or has been published in a non-archival venue (e.g. arXiv or a workshop without any official proceedings)? Yes, as long as this does not violate the other venue's policy on dual submissions (if it has one).

  • Can I submit work to NeurIPS and then later submit the same work to a non-archival venue while it is still under review at NeurIPS? Yes, as long as this does not violate the other venue's policy on dual submissions (if it has one).

Resubmissions 

  • If my paper was previously submitted to a non-publishing (non-archival) workshop, do I need to declare it as a resubmission? No, only declare papers that were previously submitted to peer-reviewed, archival venues such as conferences or journals.

  • If my paper was withdrawn from another conference, rather than rejected, does it still need to be declared as a resubmission? Yes, if it has received reviews.

  • If my paper was desk-rejected from a conference or journal and I received no reviewer feedback, does it still need to be declared as a resubmission? Yes, it should still be declared and you should still describe any changes that have been made to the current version.

  • If my paper has been substantially rewritten, do I need to declare that it was previously rejected? Yes, you will need to declare that it is a resubmission and describe the changes since the last time it was peer-reviewed.

  • Will I need to share the actual reviews? How much information should be given in the declaration? No, you do not need to share or copy the previous reviews. Please summarize the reasons for rejection and then explain the changes that have been made to the current version.
     

Questions related to OpenReview

  • Why haven't I received any emails about my submission? All emails are sent from noreply@openreview.net.  If you are an author and not receiving email, please log into your OpenReview account and make sure that your preferred contact email is up to date. We have heard that some email servers are rejecting email from OpenReview. If you suspect this might apply to your email server, we recommend that you use a different email address.

  • Please visit https://openreview.net/faq for general questions related to OpenReview.  If you experience any technical issues, please contact the OpenReview support team at neurips2021@openreview.net directly.

Miscellaneous

  • Using different versions of latex can yield PDFs of different lengths. What should I do?  This is documented here.  You can use any version of latex, as long as your PDF obeys the page limit.