SSC 2016: the games

The SSC 2016 webapp contains two small applications, that we call “the games.” We ask all participants to play! These very simple games about the conference are aimed to help us understand better the relations in the community and the validity of our peer review process.

Data from the games will only be used in anonymised, aggregated form and for research purposes (apart from personal feedback on your choice). By playing the games, you give consensus to such use.

Let’s now see in more detail the workings of our games:

The sorting game.

In the sorting game, you are given a list of contributions that are going to be presented at the conference. You are asked to sort them so that the best ones are on top.

The sorting criterion should be the same that you would use for peer review: is the contribution sound? Is it interesting?

After the conference, we will compare the results from the sorting game with the ones we have from peer review. In a sense, the sorting game is a kind of post-presentation, light-form (one-dimensional) peer review. The results will be discussed in the PEERE cost action.

The funding game.

A large percentage of research funding is absorbed by the selection process itself, up to 10%. The resources consumed by the whole process, including the writing of proposals that do not get funding, are enormous. While writing a project could in itself be a creative moment and constitute an advancement of research, it is seen by many researchers as an unwelcome duty.

Collective allocation of science funding has been proposed as an alternative to peer review. How would it work in our community?

We are asking you to play the funding game in a fictitious allocation of resources. The rules are simple:

  1. each researcher is allocated a fixed amount of money (10KEU in this game).
  2. nobody can keep the money; it must be given away, in any amount, to other researchers.
  3. money left unassigned at the end of the conference gets lost.

Please play the funding game with the spirit of furthering research. While funding direct connections could be a good strategy, aiming to reciprocation, because assignment will be made public, one would find it harder to collaborate with people that hasn’t been funded. You should also consider the need to fund useful projects, for example simulation platforms you need for your work.


Why we did it? Because a conference should be many things at once – a place to exchange ideas, to meet people, and to experiment with new things. This was our bit of experimentation.

Why should you participate? Because it is a fun thing to do, sorting stuff and giving away money. We also promise to give you feedback – your distance from other’s rating, a classification of your funding schema, a measure (or a few) of your network position.

Thank you for reading this far. Please play the SSC 2016 games!

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