An early/mid career perspective
Posted by: brentwaters
Date: 20 November 2013 16:31
I wanted to give my perspective to this discussion as someone from the early to mid career range and who just went through the tenure process.
Like everyone else, I had a certain amount of anxiety attached to tenure evaluation. During the process, I discovered that it was very helpful that the IACR conferences of CRYPTO, Eurocrypt, and Asiacrypt were well recognized and had established strong reputations in the broader community. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the reputation of our conferences and workshops had reached colleagues that worked in very different areas. Clearly, the credit for the excellent standing of our conferences and workshops belongs to the foundations built by researchers and IACR members over many years.
I appreciate the efforts by people to continue to improve our publication process and I think that there are multiple good ideas out there. However, I have a significant amount of concern about the most far reaching proposals to remove (and replace) our established conferences. While I understand many of the thoughts behind this, I believe it is very important to not undervalue what we already have. In practice, the reputation of publication venues is what people in other areas depend upon in tenure and other evaluations. Having conferences of the stature of ours is not easy to come by and requires a long investment of time. I believe that there would be significant downsides to abandoning them, especially to young researchers.
On a more personal note, I have enjoyed each of the experiences of submission, review, and attending attached to our conferences. While nothing is perfect, I found our conference culture to be very helpful and welcoming when I began as a researcher.