Request for mentoring

Mentoring requests can no longer be accommodated.

The ACM Special Interest Group in Information Retrieval (ACM SIGIR) offers a mentoring program for papers being submitted to the ACM SIGIR 2009 conference. If you would like help with your submission, you may ask for a mentor: a person who will help you with your submission to the SIGIR audience through one-to-one advising, usually via e-mail. A mentor can also familiarize you with the standards and deadlines of SIGIR submissions. He or she will also help you understand how to align your paper with the expectations of the typical SIGIR reviewer. Mentors are volunteers familiar with successful submissions.

Mentors are primarily available for full papers. To request a mentor, please send an email to Mounia Lalmas (mounia at Requests can be sent at anytime between November 1, 2008 and November 17, 2008. No requests will be accepted after November 17th. Please include:

  • Your name and the names of your co-authors.
  • The name of your department or school, and institution.
  • A plain-text description of your work (a title and abstract is a minimum requirement).
  • Any specific questions or areas in which you would like help.
  • At this stage, please do not include your draft paper.

Reasonable expectations for a mentor include giving advice as to the most appropriate forum for your work, suggesting improvements to your submission, suggesting how to deal with language problems, or referring you to relevant research of which you might not have been aware. Typically, a mentor might spend 3-7 hours on a submission. We carefully match mentors to mentees, and wish to support you in developing your work into a high-quality submission with a good chance of being accepted and published.

Note the following:

  • People requesting mentoring must have an almost complete submission ready for the mentor to review by the date they request a mentor.
  • If there is an experienced information retrieval researcher in your department, a request for mentoring may be declined.
  • Reviewers will not be informed of whether a paper has been mentored. That is, the fact that a paper was mentored is not considered during the paper selection process.
  • A mentor will be assigned 2-3 days after the request has been made and approved.

Mentors can be requested starting November 1, 2008. The absolute deadline for mentoring requests is November 17, 2008.