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Call for Tiny Papers, a DEI initiative

Thank you to all our volunteers who helped review, organize, and generally contribute to this intiative!



Accepted conference papers at ICLR represent a high level of scientific quality. The other side of the coin is that they can be out of reach for those starting out, or from different backgrounds. We want paper publishing to be not only a showcase of achievements, but also a marker for valuable learning experiences made accessible to beginners and outsiders. Devising more ways to mark milestones and measure growth in an individual, or community’s maturity, is greatly conducive to both continually pushing the frontiers of science, and lifting people up in this process.

Researchers from underrepresented backgrounds are not necessarily equipped with the same resources to publish full papers from the start of their scientific journeys. To create a more inclusive ICLR community, we as organizers need to create more pathways, and reasons for people from various backgrounds to enter, stay, and grow in the machine learning community. 

To that end, we are launching a more approachable format to publish, kick-start, and collaborate on ideas, “Tiny Papers,” as part of the DEI initiative of ICLR 2023, with the hope to attract more underrepresented, under-resourced, and budding researchers to join the community in a meaningful way. Not only will this additional, and different, venue to publish usher in new researchers, it will also serve as an efficient platform for disseminating ideas, findings, and opinions.

The objective of the new “Tiny Papers” track at ICLR is threefold:

  1. Creating alternative, complementary, and diverse entry points to research. And in particular, creating approachable avenues for beginners to enter and enjoy the ICLR community.
  2. Celebrating intermediate breakthroughs in machine learning.
  3. Efficiently disseminating ideas, findings, and opinions.

As the Tiny Papers track is a Diveristy, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiative, orgnized by the DEI Chairs of ICLR 2023, we require every submission to have at least one key author that meets the underrepresented minority (URM) criteria.

We acknowledge that there's no perfect definition of an underrepresented minority (URM). Two people with the same immutable characteristics or backgrounds but living and working in different contexts or with different histories may have vastly different experiences and thereby experience the ICLR and wider research community in different ways. We therefore rely on an honorary (self-identify) system and ask that submitters consider the philosophy and objectives of this track when choosing whether or not they wish to submit. We offer some examples of characteristics or backgrounds which we particularly encourage to apply, although this list is by no means exhaustive.

Despite the wide range of topics that could benefit from the Tiny Papers format, we focus the type of submissions to be the following:

  • An implementation and experimentation of a novel (not published elsewhere) yet simple idea, or a modest and self-contained theoretical result
  • A follow-up experiment to or re-analysis of a previously published paper
  • A new perspective on a previously published paper


Key Dates


  • Submission portal opens: February 1st, 2023

  • Submission deadline: February 28th, 2023 AoE

  • Notification of acceptance: April 10th, 2023

  • Tiny Papers Showcase Day: May 5th, 2023

  • Camera-ready deadline (for archival): May 31st, 2023


Submission Guidelines


Underrepresented minority (URM) criteria

Each Tiny Paper needs its first or last author to qualify as an underrepresented minority (URM). Authors don't have to reveal how they qualify, and may just self-identify that they qualify.

There’s no perfect definition of an URM. Typically it refers to someone whose age, gender, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic makeup, or identity is far from the majority members in the community. Based on our past demographics survey, here is a (non-exhaustive) list of examples of author characteristics which were typically underrepresented:

  • Age: outside the range of 30-50 years
  • Gender: does not identify as cis-male
  • Sexual orientation: does not identify as heterosexual
  • Geographical: not located in North America, Western Europe and UK, or East Asia
  • Race: non-White
  • Person with a disability

In addition, underprivileged researchers and first-time submitters also qualify:

  • Underprivileged: not affiliated with a funded organization or team whose primary goal is research
  • First-time submitters: have never submitted to ICLR or similar conferences

Submissions have to include a "URM Statement" section which acklnowledges meeting the URM criteria. See the corresponding section in our provided LaTex teamplate for examples. The URM Statement section does not count into the page limit.


Formatting and author guidelines

The guidelines and restrictions for this Tiny Papers track are:

  • Write a paper with the same structure as seen in full papers, but with at most 2 pages of main text. References, Appendices, and URM Stement sections do not count towards the page limit, but we do not recommend dissecting a regular length paper into a tiny paper by moving the majority of the content into appendices.
  • It is recommended to have 1-2 figures, 1 table, and 4-5 sections. But authors are free to use their own structure.
  • The submission portal, hosted at OpenReivew, opens Feb 1st, 2023. Please check back on this page, or watch @iclr_conf on Twitter.

All Tiny Papers should comply with the conference paper formatting requirements. We provide a slightly edited LaTeX template for authors to use. Authors should submit their Tiny Paper with the authors names and affiliations anonymised, as in the conference paper track.


Can “Tiny” Papers Be Good?


Some may be skeptical that it is really possible to say something meaningful in just two pages. To quote Alexander Soifer:

“[We] respectfully disagree that a short paper in general … merely due to its size must be “a bit too short to be a good … article.” Is there a connection between quantity and quality?” [source]

For inspiration and as examples of exemplary short papers from a range of disciplines, we provide the following list:

  • Conway, J. and Soifer A., “Can unit equilateral triangle cover an equilateral triangle of side , say ?, link
  • Nash, J. F., “Equilibrium points in n-person games”, PNAS, 36 (1) 48-49, 1950, link
  • Watson, J., Crick, F., “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid”, Nature 171, 737–738, 1953, link
  • Gettier, E.L., “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” Analysis, 23, 6, 121-123, 1963, link
  • Weinberg, S., “A Model of Leptons”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 19, 1264, 1967, link
  • Lander, J. and Parkin, T. R., “Counterexample to Euler’s Conjecture On Sums of Like Powers”, Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 72, 1079, 1966, link
  • Streitwieser, A., “Chlorination of Fluorene with Sulfuryl Chloride”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1944, 66, 12, 2127, link
  • Malmasi, S., “Discriminating Similar Languages: Persian and Dari”, Tiny ToCS Vol. 4, link


Reviewing Instructions

Tiny Papers should be clear, correct, and reproducible. It is not necessary that submissions be “significant”, “impactful”, “novel”, or reach a new state-of-the-art on benchmarks. In this way, our reviewing philosophy is inspired by venues like eLife and TMLR.


Reviewers of Tiny Paper submissions are asked to evaluate Tiny Papers according to the following criteria.


Reviewing criteria

  • Clarity

Are the findings communicated clearly and effectively?

Does the paper include appropriate discussion of other relevant literature?

  • Correctness

Are the claims and conclusions justified by the findings?

  • Reproducibility

Does the paper describe its methods in such detail that a reader could independently reproduce the findings?

e.g., for empirical findings, are code and/or data provided?

e.g., for theoretical findings, are assumptions stated and proofs provided?

  • Follows basic requirements

Does the submission adhere to formatting requirements and the page limit?

Does the submission follow the ICLR code of conduct?


Format for reviews

  • Summary of contributions
    A short (2-3 sentence) description of the contributions presented in the submission.
  • Strengths and weaknesses
    A list of strong and weak (if any) aspects of the submission with respect to the reviewing criteria.
  • Suggested changes
    A list of suggested changes (if any) the author(s) should consider making, including justifications for how suggested changes will improve the submission with respect to the reviewing criteria.
  • Rating recommendation
    • High Impact (HI): a submission which meets the reviewing criteria and is predicted to make an impact on the field.
    • High Potential (HP): a submission which meets the reviewing criteria and has potential to make an impact on the field.
    • Clear, Correct, and Reproducible (CCR): a submission which meets the reviewing criteria.
    • Great Start (GS): a submission which meets some of the reviewing criteria but has room for improvement.
    • Needs Clarification (NC): a submission which does not meet the reviewing criteria and needs clarification for its described problem or solution.


Frequently Asked Questions

Will Tiny Papers be published in proceedings?

For authors who are offered archival and opt-in, yes. Please see They will be marked as a "ICLR 2023, Tiny Papers" publication, different from other publications. All reviewed submissions will also be available via OpenReview.

Can I submit an extended version of my Tiny Paper to other venues?

Since Tiny Papers will be considered archival, you should not expect to make the exact same submission elsewhere. An extended version submitted elsewhere with a different length will probably need to contain new material to be eligible for submission in other venues. You should refer to the requirements of the venue to which you are submitting.

Does the two page limit include figures and tables?

Yes. You may also add figures and tables to your appendices, if you wish. However, as a guiding rule: reviewers/readers shouldn't have to go to the appendix to get the main message. We expect most Tiny Papers will opt to include at least one figure or table in the main text.

Will selected authors be given an opportunity to present at the conference?

Yes, our Tiny Papers Showcase Day is on May 5th at Kigali, Rwanda. Upon acceptance you are welcome to present your work in person. As ICLR 2023 is a hybrid conference, you may also opt to present virtually — which amounts to making a video recording. Instructions on how to present will be given closer to the date. In-person presenters will also be asked make a video recording for virtual participants to view.

Is travel support provided?

In general, there are travel grants associated with every ICLR, favoring applicants with published papers, volunteers, reviewers, etc.. A published Tiny Paper would count favorably to one's application. Please stay tuned for the opening of our grant application.


ICLR 2023 DEI Chairs 

Krystal Maughan (University of Vermont)

Rosanne Liu (ML Collective, Google Brain)

Thomas F Burns (OIST)