CommunityData:Critique and Feedback Session

From CommunityData


We're expecting everybody who wants to participate to submit (a) something in writing (e.g., a paper, a Matsuzaki outline, an extended abstract) and (b) a list of questions or types of feedback you want. Please only submit something you want feedback on!

You will also need to email your submission to by the end of day on the Monday before the weekend of the C&F session. Not everybody needs to participate but anybody who does participate should only submit one thing.

We're expecting that everyone attending will have read all the material submitted and will bring notes to the meeting. When we meet, everyone who has submitted something will get at least half an hour (more if possible).

When we meet, these sessions will be run with no presentations and no formal introductions. The plan to just jump in and start answering the questions and talking about thing we've all already read.

Feedback on Submissions[edit]

Please give the appropriate amount of feedback you feel is necessary given your familiarity in the topic or method for each submission you're reviewing. Skimming work that you're not comfortable giving feedback on is completely fine. Please send your feedback back to the author, either directly in a marked up PDF or in notes on the Etherpad / Riseup Pad during the C&F session.

Below are some of the norms we try to follow when giving feedback on other peoples' submissions:

  • Take the entire group as an audience: the best feedback is beneficial or thought-provoking to the group as a whole, prompts group discussion/consideration, asks a question, etc.
  • If the author is your only audience, be practical and actionable for the project's current stage. Early-stage work is expected to be a little unpolished and crunchy, and proposing a large new branch of analysis for a nearly-complete work should be approached with a scoping statement (Must this be done for the work to be valid? Or are you proposing a follow-up line of inquiry to be stated in the Future Work section?)
  • Don't dogpile -- time is short, so even positive plus-ones should be brief: don't repeat what others have said, don't feel the need to chime in or pile on a critique: it is assumed that you read the paper and are supportive of the author.
  • Avoid vaguebooking. "Framework needs some work" or "Lacking some flow" isn't as useful as "I don't think you're getting a lot out of using Foucault, Latour, and Habermas here, and explaining them is pretty heavy -- maybe you can get away with just invoking Benkler and moving on" and experience-grounded comments like "When you transitioned from section 2 to section 3, and half-way through section 4, I ended up flipping back to the abstract to figure out what was going on".
  • Don't narrate the typo you found on line 156: feedback best conveyed via a marked-up draft should be delivered via a marked-up draft.

jitsi / teleconference procedures and tips[edit]

  • If you want to voice feedback, please type your initials in the chat. The moderator will call on people to speak on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Mute your microphone unless you've been called on to speak by the moderator.
  • If you're having connectivity issues, consider directly connecting to your router and / or turning off your video feed.
  • Use the etherpad / shared document to give feedback if we run out of time and don't get to your feedback.
  • Please be mindful of your own time when you have the mic. Make your points quickly and point to examples.


Organizers should poll the group several weeks in advance to find a good day and time to hold the C&F session. WhenIsGood has been used in the past for this, but feel free to use whatever schedule polling tool you prefer. Once a date and time have been selected, please send an email to with an announcement of the session date and time, the link to the Etherpad, and to remind people submitting to respond with their submission. Please remind people who signed up to respond with their submissions before by the end of the day, around a week before the scheduled C&F session (e.g., due Monday if the C&F session is Saturday).

We will meet over jitsi for virtual C&F sessions. You will need to assign either yourself or someone else to moderate the session on jitsi and call on people to speak so that we're not all talking over each other. The moderator will need to watch the chat in jitsi and call on people in the order in which they reply. It's also helpful to assign two people to help with taking notes in the etherpad during the C&F session. Note taking can be exhausting, so possibly have one note taker assigned for the first half of the session and assign the other note taker to the last half of the session.

Session format example:

Opening words 2 minutes
1st submission 25 minutes
2st submission 25 minutes
Break 10 minutes
3rd submission 25 minutes
4th submission 25 minutes
Break 10 minutes
5th submission 25 minutes
6th submission 25 minutes
Closing words 2 minutes