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

Nick Chase nchase at mirantis.com
Wed May 18 18:55:21 UTC 2016

On 5/18/2016 2:41 PM, Devananda van der Veen wrote:
> On 05/18/2016 10:29 AM, Nick Chase wrote:
>> We wrote about another suggestion here:
>> https://www.mirantis.com/blog/fixing-openstack-summit-submission-process/  (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.”
> Thanks for the summary and reposting here, Nick. I think this direction is good.
> Not that you're suggesting it, but just to be clear, I don't think we should
> simply copy what works for other communities. After all, those communities
> function differently than OpenStack in certain ways and with good reasons, so
> what works for them may be different than what works for us.
>> 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.
> +1
>>   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.
> -1
> As a former track chair, I value the collaboration with the other track chairs
> during the review process.
> Also, I would continue the practice of grouping track chairs with subject matter
> relevant to them. Don't ask me to review presentations on storage systems, for
> example, because I won't know what's relevant to that audience -- I'll probably
> find it all equally interesting and evaluate only based on how well the proposal
> is written.

Actually, since we published that, I have been a track chair as well, 
and I agree with you on that.

>>   3. Judges are randomly assigned proposals, which have all identifying
>>      information stripped out.
> -1 (see above)
> Also, -1 because I believe that speaker quality is important, as is the
> proximity of the speaker to the subject matter they're presenting. It is not
> possible to assess either of these from an anonymized abstract.
> Rather, I trust the Foundation to be selecting track chairs who are
> conscientious, aware of who the known (good and bad) actors are within a given
> subject matter, and will perform this duty respectfully and impartially.


> 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.
> Those first two criteria are fine, but the latter requires that the judges see
> the talk material (not just the abstract) ahead of time, and I do not want to
> require that. It would mean that I would never be able to give a talk at the
> summit -- there's no way I'm writing the slides 3 months in advance, and if I
> did, you won't want to attend my talk 'cause it would already be on
> slideshare/youtube/whatever. This applies to many of the speakers whose talks I
> want to attend, too.
> While I do think there is value in normalizing the criteria that track chairs
> use, and making that criteria visible to presenters, I feel like the Foundation
> has done a good job with this so far.
>>   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.
> A very big +1 to this
>>   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.”

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