Find answers to common questions that may arise while you prepare the Artifact Description (AD) and Artifact Evaluation (AE) appendices for your paper submission. If your question is not addressed here, or by carefully reviewing the Reproducibility Initiative page, please contact the Reproducibility Initiative Committee.

AD/AE Requirements

Review Process

AD/AE Impact

Artifacts

ACM Reproducibility Badges

Author Kit


AD/AE Requirements

Are AD and AE appendices required to submit a paper to SC?

An AD appendix is required for all SC paper submissions. An AE appendix is optional but strongly encouraged.

Do I need to make my software open source in order to complete the AD appendix?

No. You are not asked to make any changes to your computing environment in order to complete the appendix. The AD appendix is meant to describe the computing environment in which you produced your results. Any author-created software DOES need to be open source, however, to be eligible for the ACM Artifacts Available badge.

Do I need to make my software open source in order to complete the AE appendix?

No. The AE appendix is meant to help reviewers evaluate the reproducibility of your key scientific claims. This could take the form of access credentials to a virtual machine or container that is only available to the review committee. Author-created software of accepted papers that supports the reproducibility of the key scientific claims makes the paper eligible for the ACM Evaluated – Functional badge.

How should I format my AD appendix?

You don’t need to worry about formatting the Appendices. You will be presented with an online form during the paper submission with questions that you will answer directly on the submission site. After answering the questions, the system will automatically generate a PDF of the Appendix for you.

What information do I need to provide in the AD/AE appendix online form?

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the questions in the sample form before writing your paper, and ideally before or while you are producing your results:

View a sample AD/AE Appendix Form (coming soon)

Review Process

Who will review my appendices?

The AD/AE appendices together with your paper will be visible to the Technical Program Committee, but the artifact URLs will be removed from the version they review, as a precaution in support of double-blind review. For accepted papers, the unredacted appendices will undergo a single-blind review by the AD/AE Appendices Committee which will check that artifacts are indeed available to them in the URLs provided (including any required non-public credentials), and whether the optional Artifact Evaluation is functional and supports the key claims of the paper.

How will review of appendices interact with the double-blind review process?

The AD/AE appendix should describe the data, software and hardware artifacts involved in producing the results. Reviewers of the Technical Program Committee could discover the author’s identity if they embark on an online search, but they will be asked not to, in support of double-blind review. Author-provided artifact URLs will be redacted from the appendices provided to the reviewers.

AD/AE Impact

What is the impact of an AD appendix on scientific reproducibility?

Reproducibility depends on, as a first step, sharing the provenance of results with transparency, and the AD appendix is an instrument of documentation and transparency. A good AD appendix helps researchers document their results, and helps other researchers build from them.

What is the impact of an AE appendix on scientific reproducibility?

An artifact-evaluation effort can increase the trustworthiness of computational results. It can be particularly effective in the case of results obtained using specialized computing platforms, not available to other researchers. Leadership computing platforms, novel testbeds, and experimental computing environments are of keen interest to the supercomputing community. Access to these systems is typically limited, however. Thus, most reviewers cannot independently check results, and the authors themselves may be unable to recompute their own results in the future, given the impact of irreversible changes in the environment (compilers, libraries, components, etc.). The various forms of Artifact Evaluation improve confidence that computational results from these special platforms are correct.

Why do I need to provide an AE appendix if my paper text explains why I believe my results are correct and they show all my work?

There are many good reasons for formalizing the artifact evaluation process. Standard practice varies across disciplines, and SC is an international, multi-disciplinary conference. Labeling the evaluation as such improves our ability to review the paper and improves reader confidence in the veracity of the results when approaching the work from a different background.

Artifacts

What are “author created” artifacts and why make the distinction?

Author created artifacts are the hardware, software, or data created by the paper’s authors. Only these artifacts need to be made available to facilitate reproducibility. Proprietary, closed source artifacts (e.g. commercial software and CPUs) will necessarily be part of many research studies. These proprietary artifacts should be described to the best of the author’s ability but do not need to be provided.

What about proprietary author-created artifacts?

The ideal case for reproducibility is to have all author created artifacts publicly available with a stable identifier. Papers involving proprietary, closed source author-created artifacts should indicate the availability of the artifacts and describe them as much as possible. Note that results dependent on closed source artifacts ineligible for most of the the ACM Artifacts Available badge.

Are the numbers used to draw out charts a data artifact?

Not necessarily. Data artifacts are the data (input or output) required to reproduce the results, not necessarily the results themselves. For example, if your paper presents a system that generates charts from datasets then providing an input dataset would facilitate reproducibility. However, if the paper merely uses charts to elucidate results then the input data to whatever tool you used to draw those charts isn’t required to reproduce the paper’s results. The tool which drew the chart isn’t part of the study, so the input data to that tool is not a data artifact of this work.

How do I make my data publicly with a stable identifier if it is huge?

Use Zenodo. Contact them for information on how to upload extremely large datasets. You can easily upload datasets of 50GB or less, have multiple datasets, and there is no size limit on communities.

ACM Reproducibility Badges

What is an ACM Artifacts Available badge?

This badge is applied to papers in which associated artifacts have been made permanently available for retrieval.

View ACM Badging Definitions

How do I apply for an ACM Artifacts Available badge?

The AD/AE Appendix form will automatically determine eligibility for an ACM Artifacts Available badge on the basis of the answers to questions about the availability of author-created software, hardware or data products. The conditions of eligibility are:

  • All author-created software artifacts are maintained in a public repository under an OSI- approved license.
  • All author-created hardware artifacts are available and comply with the Open Source Hardware Definition.
  • All author-created data artifacts are maintained in a public repository with a stable identifier, such as a DOI.

What is an ACM Artifacts Evaluated – Functional badge?

This badge is applied to papers whose associated artifacts have successfully completed an independent audit.

Author Kit

AD/AE Sample Form

Artifact Description (AD) appendices are required for all paper submissions to SC. Artifact Evaluation (AE) appendices are optional but encouraged.

The AD/AE Appendix will be automatically generated during submission time, after the authors respond to an online form. All authors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the questions in this form, with plenty of time before submission. 

View a sample AD/AE Appendix Form (coming soon)

Reproducibility Resources

Information regarding reproducibility resources will be forthcoming.

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