[openstack-community] Proposal: remove voting on speaking proposals for Barcelona Summit

Nick Chase nchase at mirantis.com
Wed May 18 17:29:16 UTC 2016

On 5/18/2016 1:11 PM, Doug Hellmann wrote:
> Given the amount of spam we deal with in our other tools, I think you're
> underestimating the cost. See the -dev and -infra mailing lists for the
> discussions of locking down (or shutting down) the wiki, for example.

Remember, though, that the wiki has been around for a long time; this is 
a tool that will exist for just a week or so, and it takes spammers time 
to find it. And a Capcha can help there as well.

> A web form with a text box is only slightly more complicated to game
> than a voting link.

Not necessarily; the number of comments is irrelevant. The only comments 
that really will affect anything are those that are substantive with 
regards to the content of the proposal, and that's not something that 
you can automate.  In other words we can specify that we're looking for 
more than just "This is great"  or "I would go to this".

> Other conferences I'm involved with have a small program committee
> for each track. We did that for the Upstream Development track this
> last time around (maybe other tracks also have multiple chairs, I
> don't know). Having a group of informed people selecting talks based
> on the quality of the proposal and the subject matter included
> produced a track with good feedback from attendees. It seems like
> that should be able to work for other tracks, too, as long as we
> have a good balance in the chairs.

They were all like that.

We wrote about another suggestion here: 
(Look after "... and here's mine".) I know there there some plusses and 
minuses in the interviews we did about it, but here it is:

Borodaenko suggests a more radical change.  “I think we should go more 
in the direction used by the scientific community and more mature open 
source communities such as the linux kernel.”  The process, he 
explained, works like this:

 1. All submissions are made privately; they cannot be disclosed until
    after the selection process is over, so there’s no campaigning, and
    no biasing of the judges.
 2. The Peer Review panel is made up of a much larger number of people,
    and it’s known who they are, but not who reviewed what.  So instead
    of 3 people reviewing all 300 submissions for a single track, you
    might have 20 people for each track, each of whom review a set of
    randomly selected submissions.  So in this case, if each of those
    submissions was reviewed by 3 judges, that’s only 45 per person,
    rather than 300.
 3. Judges are randomly assigned proposals, which have all identifying
    information stripped out.  The system will know not to give a judge
    a proposal from his/her own company.
 4. Judges score each proposal on content (is it an interesting topic?),
    fit for the conference (should we cover this topic at the Summit?),
    and presentation (does it look like it’s been well thought out and
    will be presented well?).  These scores are used to determine which
    presentations get in.
 5. Proposal authors get back the scores, and the explanations. In an
    ideal world, authors have a chance to appeal and resubmit with
    improvements based on the comments to be rescored as in steps 3 and
    4, but even if there’s not enough time for that, authors will have a
    better idea of why they did or didn’t get in, and can use that
    feedback to create better submissions for next time.
 6. Scores determine which proposals get in, potentially with a final
    step where a set of publicly known individuals reviews the top
    scorers to make sure that we don’t wind up with 100 sessions on the
    same topic, but still, the scores should be the final arbiters
    between whether one proposal or the other is accepted.

“So in the end,” he explained, “it’s about the content of the proposal, 
and not who you work for or who knows you or doesn’t know you. 
  Scientific conferences have been doing it this way for many years, and 
it works very well.”

----  Nick

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