Guidelines for Referees
Papers must be of high quality and fall within the scope of the journal. There are four main ingredients to an acceptable paper:
- technical quality is high;
- relevance to significant computations is high;
- interest and novelty is high; and
- presentation is effective.
More specific criteria apply to papers presenting theoretical results, which has been a particular issue in distributed or parallel computing. ACM TOCS does not accept papers that belong in more theoretical journals (e.g. JACM, Springer-Verlag's "Distributed Computing", Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing). This does not imply that all theoretical papers are to be rejected; rather it implies that theoretical papers that cannot establish their direct relevance to current issues in the development of computer systems will generally be rejected. An acceptable paper of this type should contain:
- motivation and technical analysis of the method;
- evidence of effectiveness and practicality; and
- demonstration of superiority compared to alternative approaches.