“*I never get the good papers for review.*“

If this thought has ever crossed your mind, you are probably not alone. Good conferences in the HCI field typically accept only 20-25% of the papers submitted for review.

## So how many papers to accept for review

… to review at least one good one?

It may seem obvious: the number should depend on the acceptance rate of the conference: 4 papers for 25%, 5 papers for 20%, 6 papers for 16.6%.

So, you are doing this already, and you still seem to get only the to-be-rejected ones?

This is, because probability computation does not always follow the intuitive approach.

## Compute by rejection rate

The key is to compute by rejection rates and multiply them per paper.

If you review **one paper** from a conference with 20% acceptance rate, it’s likelihood to be rejected is **80%**.

For **two papers** from the same conference, the likelihood that both are rejected is 80% * 80% = **64%**. (not 60%, as what our intuition might tell us)

The row continues:

**three papers**=**51.2**%**four papers**=**41.0**%**five papers**=**32.8**%

So, even if you review five papers in this conference, the likelihood is 32.8% that all of them will be rejected.

See the diagram below for different acceptance rates (25%, 20%, 15%).

## So, how many papers to accept for review?

If you want to have a ** 20% 80% chance of reviewing at least one accepted paper**, you have to

**accept the following number of papers for review**:

**6 papers**for a venue with a**25%**acceptance rate**7-8 papers**for a venue with a**20%**acceptance rate**10 papers**for a venue with a**15%**acceptance rate

Your conclusion is flipped. It should have read “If you want to have a 80% chance of reviewing at least one accepted paper”.

Thank you for noting, David!