MSR 2023
Dates to be announced Melbourne, Australia
co-located with ICSE 2023

Junior PC (New for 2023)

Following two successful editions of the MSR Shadow PC in 2021 and 2022 (see also this paper and this presentation for more context), MSR 2023 will 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 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 PC in 2021 and 2022, 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.

Why Join the MSR Junior PC?

Serving on the Junior PC is an excellent opportunity for early-career researchers (PhD students, postdocs, new faculty members, industry practitioners, etc) to be recognized and gain experience in community service, i.e., being part of a major conference program committee. It is also worthwhile for a number of reasons, including:

  • (New) Seeing examples of actual reviews for the same papers, written by the regular PC members, gaining more experience as a reviewer and learning from the senior researchers how to write better reviews.
  • (New) Participating in the real process and having a share in the final outcome of the paper, increasing the motivation and engagement of the junior reviewers throughout the process.
  • Getting to know how a PC is run and how it operates.
  • Being mentored by experienced PC members.
  • Gaining experience reviewing papers and understanding the challenges faced by reviewers reading multiple papers which may not always be in their area of expertise.
  • Submitting high-quality reviews makes one a more likely candidate for future PCs of the technical track of MSR or otherwise.
  • Getting to see both strong and weak papers at the submission stage.
  • Discovering what it takes to publish a paper in a reputable conference, such as MSR.
  • Having a chance to read top-notch papers in your area of expertise before they are published.

What is Required of Junior PC Members?

Junior PC members must commit themselves to write their own detailed and rigorous reviews for papers assigned to them by the allotted deadline. This timely review commitment is essential to the good functioning of the Junior PC. Candidates who might be unable to fulfil their reviewing duties should refrain from applying. Junior PC members will be expected to review a load of 2-3 papers per member, submit on-time reviews, and participate in the online discussion of their assigned papers. Junior PC members must follow the ethical standards of peer review, respect the anonymity of the review process and not share which papers they have reviewed or solicit sub-reviews. Junior PC members who do not adhere to the ethical standards of peer-review will be excluded from the process.

Who Can Participate in the Junior PC?

The Junior PC is open to PhD students, post-docs, new faculty members and industry practitioners interested in software engineering or mining software repositories research, especially, those who have not yet served as a program committee of the technical research track (or the main track) of the international SE conferences (e.g., ICSE, FSE, ASE, MSR, ICSME, SANER). We will select the Junior PC members based on research experience for joining the Junior PC. The Junior PC selection process will also strive to ensure diversity.

How to Apply?

If you are interested in participating, please complete the online application form for MSR 2023 Junior PC by November 20, 2022, AoE. ( In case you cannot access the form, please email the Junior PC co-chairs with the following subject: “MSR 2023 Junior PC Application” (without quotes). We will then email you a form to fill out, which you can send to us by email.

Important Dates

AoE: Anywhere on Earth

  • Junior PC Self-Nomination Deadline: November 20th, 2022 AoE
  • Announcement of Junior PC members: December 1st, 2022 AoE

MSR 2023 Junior PC Training Information Session

Title: Dear Reviewer 2: Go F’ Yourself (not)

Time: Friday 25th November 2022, 11 AM-12 PM (EST)



Abstract: The hatred of reviewer2 is almost universal [1,2](but perhaps not totally justified [3]). But, be honest, are you reviewer2? Can you stop doing that? How should we review papers for MSR? Like ICSE [4] or SSBSE [5]? Or using the Ralph Empirical Guidelines [6,7]? Let’s talk about that.


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Biography: Tim Menzies (IEEE Fellow, Ph.D., UNSW, 1995) is a full Professor in CS at North Carolina State University where he teaches software engineering, automated software engineering, and foundations of software science. He is the director of the RAISE lab (real-world AI for SE) and the author of over 280 referred publications. In his career, he has been a lead researcher on projects for NSF, NIJ, DoD, NASA, USDA (funding totaling over 13 million dollars) as well as joint research work with private companies. Prof. Menzies is the editor-in-chief of the Automated Software Engineering journal and associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (and other leading SE journals). For more, please visit his website

MSR 2023 Junior PC Training Information Session

Title: Tips for SE Paper Reviewers

Time: Monday 28th November 2022, at 12PM-1PM (GMT+11)



Abstract: I will discuss my experiences reviewing SE papers and being on SE editorial boards and programm committees the past 30 years. This includes positive and negative patterns around assigning papers for review, reviewing papers, reading reviews, re-reviewing revisions and handling review appeals (!). I will try and keep it very practical and hands-on.

Biography: John Grundy is Australian Laureate Fellow and Professor of Software Engineering in the Faculty of IT, Monash University. He has been an academic leader for nearly 20 years and had various leadership roles at University of Auckland, Swinburne University of Technology, Deakin University and Monash University. He teaches in the area of software engineering, his research focuses on automated software engineering and human-centric software engineering, and he has a number of industry R&D and consulting projects. He is Fellow of Automated Software Engineering, Fellow of Engineers Australia, Chartered Professional Engineer, Engineering Executive and Senior Member of the IEEE and the ACM. He has been Associate EiC of IEEE TSE, AE for TSE, ASEJ, COLA and IEEE Software, PC chair for ASE, VLHCC, General Chair for ASE (3 times!), and is General Chair for ICSE 2023.