NeurIPS 2020 FAQ for Authors

Last updated: May 30, 2020

We will update this page with questions (and answers) as they arise. Please check back regularly. If you do not find an answer to your question here, you are welcome to contact the NeurIPS 2020 program chairs at neurips2020pcs@gmail.com, but please make sure that you have read the call for papers and the author guidelines (as well as this document) first!

 

Submission Process

  • Can the author list be changed? Answer: Yes, but only until the full paper deadline. After that passes, changes to the author list will not be permitted for any reason, including for the camera-ready version.

  • What do my co-authors and I need to complete before the co-author registration deadline? Answer: Before the paper submission deadline, the submitting author needs to enter the co-author list making sure that email addresses used to identify co-authors match their CMT email addresses. Then, before the co-author registration deadline, every co-author needs to login and fill out the user-information form on the NeurIPS2020 CMT site to enable a smooth review process without conflicts of interest. The form will ask each co-author to enter a) the list of her/his email addresses used for publication and reviewing, b) the list of URL to relevant papers describing her/his area of expertise, c) domain and personal conflicts of interest, and information useful to assess their reviewing experience.

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

  • Will you extend the full paper deadline? Answer: No. The full paper deadline is firm. In the unfortunate event that there are technical problems with CMT before the deadline, please check https://neurips.cc and on twitter (@NeurIPSConf) for updates.

  • Is there a limit to the number of submissions I can be listed as an author on? Answer: No. But please make sure that your submissions are distinct and sufficiently substantial (‘slicing too thin’ is a type of dual submission violation; see the Call for Papers).

  • Can I submit supplementary material after the deadline? Answer: Yes. To avoid overloading CMT, 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 change any field in the submission form after the deadline? Answer: All fields can be changed before the actual paper submission deadline. After the paper deadline no changes may be made until the camera-ready version. Also note that changes to the author list will not be permitted for any reason after the deadline (including for the camera-ready version). Finally, note that title and abstract must not be changed substantially from the version entered by the abstract submission deadline, otherwise the paper may be desk rejected. Title and abstract entered after the abstract submission deadline will be used for bidding by reviewers. 

  • How do I submit supplementary material? Answer: First upload your submission. You will then be able to upload supplementary material from the author console.

  • I didn’t receive an email confirmation from CMT. Did I upload my submission successfully? Answer: CMT will not send you an email confirmation. If you can see your submission listed in the author console, then you uploaded it correctly. If you’re still worried, you can download the PDF and check that the file is the same as the file you uploaded.

  • Can I withdraw my submission? Answer: Yes. You can withdraw your submission at any point in the reviewing process. For statistical purposes, we will count a submission as “rejected” if it is withdrawn after reviews have been made available to authors.
     

Reviews

  • I can’t see the reviews for my submission in CMT anymore. Is this normal? Answer: During the discussion and decision period, yes this is normal. After the author response is closed, reviews are not available anymore to allow reviewers to update them based on the author feedback. Reviews will become available again when decisions are released.

  • Will reviewers see that my paper is a resubmission (was previously rejected)? Answer: ACs and SACs will be able to see the author resubmission disclosure, but only after the early reject phase is complete. They can choose to share the information with reviewers during the discussion phase if they feel it is relevant.
     

Author Response

  • Can I submit a revised version of my submission as part of my author response? Answer: No. You may only provide a 1-page PDF response, following the provided stylefile. If your paper is accepted, then you will be able to submit a revised and final version of your paper.

  • Can I change the margins or font size of the template? Answer: No. If you change the formatting of the given template to fit more content, or if it is longer than 1 page, ACs and reviewers will be directed to ignore your response.

  • Can I add an external link for any reason? How about code which I have opensourced? How about arXiv citations? Answer: You may not include any external links that unfairly give you extra content (e.g. links to additional writing, videos, proofs, code or anything else created by you) or that would potentially de-anonymize you (links to code are especially problematic so they are forbidden). External links can be added for the purpose of citing a paper (e.g. arXiv references) or identifying a resource used (e.g., a third-party library that you used).
     

Submission format and content

  • Can I include an appendix in my main submission file? Answer: 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? Answer: No. The Microsoft Word template has been discontinued. Authors must use the NeurIPS 2020 LaTeX style file.

  • Does the eight-page limit include references? Answer: No. The page limit refers to content pages only; additional pages containing the impact statement and references are allowed. Acknowledgements and funding disclosure should also be included here, but only for the camera-ready submission.

  • Does the eight-page limit include the Broader Impact section? Answer: No. The Broader Impact section can go on the additional pages, before the references.

  • Do I have to complete the Broader Impact section? Answer: Yes, please include the section in the submission for review. However, if your work is very theoretical or is general enough that there is no particular application foreseen, then you are free to write that a Broader Impact discussion is not applicable.

  • How should I write the Broader Impact section? Answer: For additional motivation and general guidance, read Brent Hecht et al.’s white paper and blogpost, as well as this blogpost from the Centre for Governance of AI. For an example of such a discussion, see sec. 4 in this paper from Gillick et al. 

  • Can my submission be rejected solely on the basis of the Broader Impact Section? Answer: No. Reviewers will be asked to rate a submission based on the evaluation criteria. They will also be asked to check whether the Broader Impact is adequately addressed. In general, if a paper presents theoretical work without any foreseeable impact in the society, authors can simply state “This work does not present any foreseeable societal consequence”. If a paper presents a method or an application that might have reasonable chances to have some broader impact, authors can discuss along the following lines: “This work has the following potential positive impact in the society…. At the same time, this work may have some negative consequences because… Furthermore, we should be cautious of the result of failure of the system which could cause...” 

  • Can I use wrapfigure to allow both text and a figure on the same line? Answer: This is not prohibited, however it should be used sparingly as reviewers tend to dislike the more crowded formatting that can result.
     

Dual submissions

  • Can I submit work to NeurIPS that is currently in submission to another archival venue? Answer: No. 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 an abstract to NeurIPS which belongs to a work that is currently in submission to another archival venue? Answer: Yes. The NeurIPS policy on dual submissions applies from the full paper submission deadline to the notification date, so the abstract can be submitted. However the dual submission needs to be resolved (either by withdrawing or being rejected from the other venue) before submitting a full paper 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? Answer: No. 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)? Answer: 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? Answer: Yes, as long as this does not violate the other venue's policy on dual submissions (if it has one).

  • Can I put my NeurIPS submission on arXiv? Answer: Yes. Note that reviewers will be instructed not to actively look for such preprints (as they compromise double-blind reviewing) but encountering them will not constitute a conflict of interest. 
     

Resubmissions 

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

  • Will reviewers see that my paper is a resubmission (was previously rejected)? Answer: ACs will be able to see the author resubmission disclosure, but only after the early reject phase is complete. They can choose to share the information with reviewers during the discussion phase if they consider it to be relevant.

  • If my paper was withdrawn from another conference, rather than rejected, does it still need to be declared as a resubmission? Answer: 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? Answer: 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? Answer: 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? Answer: 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 (no more than a couple of paragraphs).
     

CMT problems

  • Help! I can’t log into CMT! Answer: First make sure that you are using the correct email address. You need to log in using the email address that is associated with your submission. (If your submission was uploaded by one of your co-authors, please ask them which email address they used for you in CMT.) If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it by clicking “Forgot your password?” on the NeurIPS 2020 CMT log-in page.

  • My CMT account has been locked due to too many failed login attempts. Can you unlock it? Answer: No, but CMT can. Please contact the CMT support team (support@msr-cmt.org) directly and provide your email address.

  • CMT seems to be very slow. What should I do? Answer: Sometimes CMT is very slow. We suggest you to try again at another time. If you continue to experience technical problems with CMT, please contact the CMT support team (support@msr-cmt.org) directly.

  • Oops! I misspelled the name of my co-author when uploading our submission and now they are grumpy at me. How can I correct their name? Answer: You need to ask your co-author to log in their CMT account (which is associated with their email address) and change it themselves by clicking on their name in the top-right corner of the screen.