A conflict of interest is limited to the following categories:
- Family member or close friend.
- Ph.D. advisor or advisee (no time limit), or postdoctoral or undergraduate mentor or mentee within the past five years.
- Person with the same affiliation.
- Involved in an alleged incident of harassment. (It is not required that the incident be reported.)
- Reviewer owes author a favor (e.g., recently requested a reference letter).
- Frequent or recent collaborator whom you believe cannot objectively review your work.
If an author believes that they have a valid reason for a conflict of interest not listed above, then he or she can contact the PC chair or a ToC advocate directly. Note that if the program chair has reason to doubt the validity of the claim of conflict of interest, then he may request that a ToC advocate confidentially verify the reason for the conflict. Falsely declared conflicts (i.e., do not satisfy one of the listed reasons) risk rejection without consideration of merit. If authors are uncertain, they should email the PC chair or a ToC advocate. An author can contact the PC chair directly if he or she has a conflict with an individual who is likely to be asked to serve as a subreviewer for the paper.