Paper Commentary Outline
The following is a set of guidelines that can help you read research
papers effectively and write commentaries about them. First, some
general guidelines are presented followed by an example of the
review criteria by which papers get evaluated for
acceptance or rejection at the NIPS conference.
Team Commentaries are due every Thursday, starting on Week 3.
Commentaries for each paper should be 1/2-1 page long.
General Paper Commentary Outline
- What is the research goal?
What question(s) is the author trying to answer?
- What methods are being applied?
What methods is the author applying to answer the question?
- What are the research results?
A paper can contain many different kinds of results
(E.g.: applied results (efficiency or accuracy), theoretical
results (a theorem was proven), etc.)
- What claims are made in the paper?
For theoretical papers, what results are proven?
- How are these claims supported?
- What reasonable claims and results are missing from the paper?
- What would be reasonable next steps for the research?
Specific Example: NIPS Review Criteria
- Quality -- Is the paper technically sound? Are claims well-supported?
Is this a complete piece of work, or merely a ``position paper''? Are
the authors careful (and honest) about evaluating both the strengths
and weaknesses of the work.
- Clarity -- Is the paper clearly written? Is it well-organized
(if not, feel free to make suggestions to improve the manuscript)?
Does it adequately inform the reader? (A superbly written paper
provides enough information for the expert reader to reproduce the
- Originality -- Are the problems or approaches new? Is this
a novel combination of familiar techniques? Is it clear how this
work differs from previous contributions? Is related work adequately
- Significance -- Are the results important? Does the
paper address a difficult problem in a better way than previous
research? Does it advance the state of the art? Does it
provide unique data, unique conclusions on existing data,
or a unique theoretical or pragmatic approach?