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Thank you for agreeing to review a paper for ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation. The editorial board of TOMACS is committed to publishing the most interesting and stimulating papers in computer modeling and simulation. We do this by reviewing papers with great care and expertise, and carrying out that reviewing and publishing efficiently and rapidly.
Efficient reviewing is essential to the success of TOMACS. To publish papers in a timely fashion, we allow 42 days from receipt of the paper to prepare a TOMACS review. It is important that you commit to this timeframe. Otherwise the entire publication pipeline begins to slow down.
Review compassionately and you can make the difference between a mediocre paper lost forever and one that is revised to publication quality and contributes to the field. Please write reviews that are meaningful for the author. Speak in particulars, not generalities. Never characterize the authors. Give constructive criticism when discussing a problem. If there are major flaws, identify them as clearly as possible.
Be positive in order to make the best impact; consider each paper in its best possible sense. Look for the most useful and interesting ideas. Try to make suggestions to the author that will make the paper as good as it can be, whether it is already wonderful or in great need of help.
TOMACS aims at improving the reproducibility in modeling and simulation research. Therefore, please also check whether the paper (incl. the supplemental material) contains sufficiently information to understand and replicate the results presented in the paper (see the TOMACS reproducibility initiative).
As a TOMACS reviewer, you have the responsibility to protect the confidentiality of the ideas represented in the submitted papers. TOMACS submissions are by their very nature not published documents. The work is considered new or proprietary by the authors; otherwise they would not have submitted it. Protection of the ideas in the paper you receive means:
Do not show the paper to anyone else, including colleagues or students, unless you have asked them to write a review, or to help with your review.
Even though you would, of course, act impartially on any paper, there should be absolutely no question about the impartiality of review. Thus, if you are assigned a paper where your review would create a possible conflict of interest, you should return the paper and not submit a review. Conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) situations in which:
All reviewers are expected to maintain anonymity forever. In particular, it is never appropriate for a reviewer to reveal himself or herself to the authors of an accepted paper, as this could be perceived as an attempt to curry favor. Requesting citations primarily to one's own work may thwart anonymity, so should be carefully considered.
Belittling or sarcastic comments may help display one's wit, but they are unnecessary in the reviewing process. The most valuable comments in a review are those that help the authors understand the shortcomings of their work and how they might improve it.
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