Following two successful editions of the MSR Shadow PC in 2021 and 2022 (see also this paper and this presentation for more context), and the success of the Junior PC in MSR 2023, MSR 2024 will once again integrate the junior reviewers into the main technical track program committee!
The main goal remains unchanged: to train the next generation of MSR (and, more broadly, SE) reviewers and program committee members, in response to a widely-recognized challenge of scaling peer review capacity as the research community and volume of submissions grows over time. As with the previous Shadow and Junior PC, the primary audience for the Junior PC is early-career researchers (PhD students, postdocs, new faculty members, and industry practitioners) who are keen to get more involved in the academic peer-review process but have not yet served on a technical research track program committee at big international SE conferences (e.g., ICSE, ESEC/FSE, ASE, MSR, ICSME, SANER).
Prior to the MSR submission deadline, all PC members, including the junior reviewers, will receive guidance on review quality, confidentiality, and ethics standards, how to write good reviews, and how to participate in discussions (see ACM reviewers’ responsibilities). Junior reviewers will then serve alongside regular PC members on the main technical track PC, participating fully in the review process, including author responses and PC discussions to reach consensus. In addition, Junior PC members will receive feedback on how to improve their reviews throughout the process.
All submissions to the MSR research track will be reviewed jointly by both regular and junior PC members, as part of the same process. We expect that each paper will receive three reviews from regular PC members and two additional reviews from Junior PC members. The final decisions will be made by consensus among all reviewers, as always. Based on our experience with the MSR Shadow and Junior PC, we expect that the addition of junior reviewers to each paper will increase the overall quality of reviews the authors receive, since junior reviewers will typically have a deep understanding of recent topics, and can thus provide deep technical feedback on the subject.