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This document contains a number of points that we hope will be useful for authors for preparing their submissions to MICCAI 2021, and should be read in conjunction with the MICCAI review process document:

  1. Call for Papers
  2. Submission Deadlines
  3. Manuscript Format
  4. Review Process
  5. Supplementary Material
  6. Rebuttal/Response Guide
  7. Reproducible Research

1. Call for Papers

MICCAI welcomes manuscripts that represent methodological innovations, from the level of fundamental mathematical formulation to the level of innovative integration, in the areas of interest to the Society. In addition, we encourage submission of performance evaluation on large datasets or first in-human feasibility studies that rigorously and reproducibly demonstrate clinical relevance/viability in clinical practice or research settings. Methodological manuscripts should highlight their progress beyond the state-of-the-art while evaluation/feasibility studies will be assessed by the appropriateness of their design, the soundness of their conclusions, and the existence of prior similar studies.

Topics of interest for MICCAI include, but are not limited to:

  • Computational (Integrative) Pathology
  • Computational Anatomy and Physiology
  • Computer Aided Diagnosis
  • Imaging Biomarkers
  • Image Reconstruction
  • Image Registration
  • Image Segmentation
  • Image-Guided Interventions and Surgery
  • Integration of Imaging with Non-Imaging Biomarkers
  • Interventional Simulation Systems
  • Interpretability and Explainability of Machine Learning
  • Label-efficient Machine Learning
  • Machine Learning for Biomedical Applications
  • Advances in Machine Learning Methods
  • Outcome/disease prediction
  • Population Imaging and Imaging Genetics
  • Surgical Data Science
  • Surgical Skill and Work Flow Analysis
  • Mixed, Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • Visualization in Biomedical Imaging

To promote equality and diversity, the MICCAI organizers encourage submissions from female researchers and other underrepresented groups.

2. Submission Deadlines

The submission process will comprise two phases:

  • You will register your intention-to-submit by 23:59, Pacific Time, 19th February 2021 22nd February 2021. This registration will require only the submission of the title, complete author list, paper subject areas, and abstract of the manuscript. You will NOT be able to submit your full manuscript without registering an intention-to-submit. Submissions can be edited until the deadline and the full paper is not required before the full manuscript submission deadline below.
  • The full manuscript submission deadline will be 23:59, Pacific Time, 3 March 2021. There will be no extension.

Please check the conference timeline on the website for further details on the review schedule.

You should submit using the Conference Management Toolkit (CMT) website. For both phases of the submission process, please see the CMT instructions for authors page for detailed instructions on how to register your intention-to-submit and how to navigate the CMT submission site. The paper submission system will open on 15th January, 2021.

3. Manuscript Format and Preparation

Papers should be submitted electronically in searchable pdf format following the guidelines for authors and LaTeX and MS Word templates available at Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Manuscripts should be up to 8-pages (text, figures and tables) plus up to 2 pages of references. No modifications to the templates are permitted. Failure to abide by the formatting guidelines will result in immediate rejection of the paper.

The MICCAI Conference review process will be double-blind, i.e. the names of the authors will be hidden from the Area Chairs and Reviewers, and the names of Reviewers and Area Chairs will not be revealed to the authors. To achieve this, papers must be properly anonymized before submission. At the discretion of the Program Chairs, a paper may be rejected without further review when it is in blatant breach of these anonymization rules.

To avoid conflict of interest between authors and reviewers, all co-author information and a complete and accurate list of domain conflicts must be entered in the submission form by the submission deadline. Your paper may be rejected if full authorship and domain conflicts are not disclosed.

For more information on how to avoid format, anonymity, plagiarism and other violation when preparing for your manuscripts, you are encouraged to read Submitting to MICCAI: Avoiding Desk Reject by the MICCAI submission platform manager.

Each paper must be submitted with Primary and Secondary areas selected from the CMT system. Authors also must identify to which stream the paper belongs, i.e., either MIC, CAI, or MICCAI. These areas, the stream, and the paper itself, will be used to generate suggested reviewers and Area Chair assignments using the automated TPMS paper matching system embedded in the CMT system (see Stages 5 and 6 in the MICCAI Review Process).

The papers will be evaluated by three external reviewers and 1-3 Area Chairs for potential inclusion in the scientific program of MICCAI.

4. Review Process

The MICCAI 2021 review process is described in more detail on the MICCAI website. In the following we focus on a number of important elements to assist authors with a smooth submission and review process.

Statement of Novelty/Impact: This statement, of up to 300 characters in length, should provide the main argument for the inclusion of the paper in the conference. It should clarify whether the main significance of the contribution is in the novelty of the proposed methodology or the scientific/clinical impact of the conclusions or results. Note that this statement will be visible to reviewers and area chairs and should not identify the authors or their institutions.

Toronto Paper Matching system: By submitting a paper to MICCAI, the authors agree to the review process and understand that papers are processed by the Toronto Paper Matching System to match each manuscript to the best possible Area Chairs and reviewers.

Double-blind Review: MICCAI reviewing is double blind, in that authors do not know the names of the Area Chair/reviewers of their papers, and Area Chairs/reviewers do not know the names of the authors. Authors should avoid providing information that may identify them in the acknowledgments (e.g., co-workers and grant IDs) or citations. Avoid providing links to websites that may identify any of the authors. Violation of any of these guidelines may lead to rejection without further review. If you need to cite a different paper of yours that is being submitted concurrently to MICCAI, you should (1) cite these papers (preserving anonymity), (2) argue in the body of your paper why your MICCAI paper is non-trivially different from those concurrent submissions, and (3) include anonymized versions of those papers in the supplementary material.

Publication of reviews: New in MICCAI 2021 is that we intend to make reviews and rebuttals of accepted papers publicly available (without disclosing the reviewers names) on the MICCAI website. By submitting a paper to MICCAI, the authors agree to the review process and understand that, if their paper is accepted for publication, the reviews of their paper will be published as well, including potentially negative comments.

arXiv/BioRxiv: We realize that with the increase in popularity of publishing technical reports and arXiv papers, sometimes the authors of a paper may be known to the reviewer. Reviewers are strongly discouraged to search arXiv for submissions they are responsible to review. Even if they come across this information accidentally, they are discouraged to use the information in formulating their review.

arXiv papers are not considered prior work since they have not been peer-reviewed. Therefore, citations to those papers are not required and reviewers are asked to not penalize a paper that fails to cite an arXiv submission.

Dual/Double Submissions: All MICCAI 2021 submissions must be original and cannot already be published or considered for publication elsewhere (with the explicit exception of arXiv.org as a form of prepublication of MICCAI contributions)

By submitting a manuscript to MICCAI, authors acknowledge that their work has not been previously published, has not been accepted for publication, and is not under review for publication in substantially similar form in any peer-reviewed venue including journal, conference, and workshop. Furthermore, no paper substantially similar in content has been or will be submitted to any other conference, workshop, or journal during the review period.

The authors also attest that they did not submit substantially similar submissions to MICCAI 2021. Violation of any of these conditions will lead to rejection. The goals of the dual submission policy are (i) to have exciting new work be published for the first time at MICCAI, and (ii) to avoid duplicating the effort of reviewers.

Our policy is based upon the following particular definition of "publication”, which for the purposes of the dual submission policy, is deemed to be a written work longer than three pages that was accepted for publication following peer review. In particular, this definition of publication does not depend upon whether such an accepted written work appears in formal proceedings or whether the organizers declare that such work "counts as a publication”. Note that such a definition does not consider university technical reports or arXiv pre-prints, which are typically not peer reviewed. Likewise, mention of the work under review in an oral presentation is NOT considered a prior publication.

This definition of a publication does however include peer-reviewed workshop papers, even if they do not appear in the workshop proceedings, if their length is more than 3 pages including citations. Given this definition, any submission to MICCAI should not have substantial overlap with prior publications or other concurrent submissions. As a rule of thumb, the MICCAI submission should contain less than 20 percent of material from previous publications.

Plagiarism: We will be actively checking for plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offence that consists of using wordings or results of someone else's publication without giving credit or providing appropriate referencing. Self-plagiarism, e.g. reuse of figures and sections of text from the authors' own previous publications, is also not permitted. Reviewers and Area Chairs can recognize such acts of plagiarism, and are asked to refer these to the MICCAI Organizing Committee who will investigate and in severe cases refer these cases to the MICCAI Society to determine further action.

Conflicts of interest: Conflicts of interest are inevitable in a community as networked as ours. To handle such conflicts, the MICCAI Program Chairs will rely on authors', reviewers' and Area Chairs' professional behaviour, augmented with automated means.
In previous conferences, situations have arisen when authors have modified the author list of papers at any stage from the final submission deadline all the way to the final camera ready or final journal submission in MICCAI-related special issues. While there may be justifiable reasons to do this (e.g., additional experiments requested that require additional clinical collaborators), any change in the author list should be justified in writing to the Program Chairs prior to submission. In particular, it is unacceptable to include anyone as co-author who has been directly or indirectly involved with the manuscript at any stage of the decision process either as a reviewer, Area Chair or as part of the organizing committee; this includes any direct follow-on publications (e.g., MICCAI special journal issues).

Publication: All accepted papers will be made available by Springer's Lecture Notes in Computer Science no earlier than two weeks prior to the conference. Authors wishing to submit a patent should understand that the paper's official public disclosure is two weeks before the conference or whenever the authors make it publicly available, whichever comes first. The conference considers papers confidential until publication two weeks prior to the conference, but notes that multiple organizations will have access during the review and production processes, so those seeking patents should discuss filing dates with their IP advisors. The conference assumes no liability for early disclosures.

MICCAI papers are subject to the standard LCNS Copyright Agreement. Papers submitted to MICCAI must not be discussed with the media until they have been officially accepted for publication. Violations of the embargo will result in the paper being removed from the conference and proceedings.

Attendance responsibilities: The authors agree that if the paper is accepted, at least one of the authors will register for the conference and present the paper there. At the time of paper acceptance, we will notify authors with respect to obtaining the necessary invitation letter for visa applications to help expedite this process. MICCAI 2021 will provide the opportunity to attend and present online. First authors can present multiple papers with a single registration only if they are first authors on all papers.

5. Supplementary Material

While the reviewers will have access to such supplementary material, they are under no obligation to review it, and the paper itself must contain all necessary information and illustrations by itself. Authors will be able to submit supplementary materials in the form of additional images, tables, and proof of equations at the time of paper submission in the MICCAI submission format. These materials must not exceed two pages and must NOT bear any identification markers. Authors should not submit text materials beyond figure and table captions, the definition of variables in equations, or detailed proof of a theorem. Captions should not exceed 100 words. Additionally, authors may submit code, with instructions on how to run it and without any identification markers. Additionally, authors may submit supplementary videos without any identification markers. We encourage authors to submit videos using an MP4 codec such as DivX contained in an AVI. Also, please submit a README text file with each video specifying the exact codec used and a URL where the codec can be downloaded. All supplementary material must be self-contained and zipped into a single file.

6. Rebuttal/Response Guide

New in MICCAI 2021 is that we intend to make reviews and rebuttals of accepted papers publicly available (without disclosing the reviewers names) on the MICCAI website. By submitting a paper to MICCAI, the authors agree to the review process and understand that, if their paper is accepted for publication, the reviews of their paper will be published as well, including potentially negative comments.

The goal of the rebuttal/response process is

  • For early accepted papers: for the authors to (optionally) respond to misinterpretations or inaccuracies in the reviewer's findings. This may help inform the selection of orals and awards The response will published alongside the reviewer comments.
  • For borderline papers: to provide authors the opportunity to highlight possible misinterpretations or inaccuracies in the reviewer's findings, and inform the Area Chair's final recommendation. Rebuttals will be published along with the reviewer comments if the paper is accepted.

An effective rebuttal focuses only on major critiques. It is not helpful to try to address every minor point in the reviews. By prioritizing and focusing on the major concerns, and by grouping multiple reviewer comments that generally pertain to the same issue into a few major categories, you are demonstrating to the Area Chairs that you understand the high-level messages that were provided in the reviews.

Please summarize or rephrase the criticism before you address it, and clarify to which comment(s) you are responding. While the room for rebuttal is limited, if properly utilized by condensing the response down to the essentials, this is an effective way to let the Area Chairs know that you understood the reviewer's concerns and have valid answers to the questions raised in the reviews, or to establish that certain reviewer comments were false or unsubstantiated.

An effective rebuttal addresses reviewers' criticisms by explaining where in the paper you had provided the requisite information, perhaps further clarifying it.

Do not promise to expand your paper to address all the questions raised by the reviewers, as you will not be able to change your article substantially, and in all likelihood you don't have sufficient room to add to the paper. These promises are likely not to be taken seriously.

A good rebuttal is polite; being confrontational does not bring any added value to the paper. However, if you feel you have received a review that was not courteous, or made false or unsubstantiated arguments that you can succinctly refute, you should point this out.

7. Reproducible Research

MICCAI is committed to reproducible research. In MICCAI 2021, we strongly encourage authors to improve the reproducibility of their research along three directions: open data, open implementations, and appropriate evaluation design and reporting. Where possible, we invite authors to use open data or to make their data and code available for open access by other researchers. Upon submission, authors will be asked to fill out a reproducibility checklist indicating to what extent their submission fulfills these criteria. We encourage reviewers and Area Chairs to take reproducibility of the work into account when assessing a submission.

MICCAI welcomes manuscripts on highly innovative and ground-breaking methods, systems or technologies for which evaluation and performance assessment is potentially limited to proof of concepts or small-size validation studies. Authors and reviewers are encouraged to consider, argue and justify whether a particular paper falls in this category.

MICCAI also welcomes translational manuscripts whose main contribution is to demonstrate the (relative) impact or clinical value of one or more existing techniques, or to adapt/adopt state-of-the-art methods to a new problem or context. These manuscripts should be underpinned by an appropriate evaluation design and protocol representing best practices in image analysis, machine learning, and statistical design.

(NEW) Authors are required to complete a questionnaire on reproducibility on the submission form at the time of submission.