Conference PapersEven a modest application gamification can have a measureable effect, the goal of this post is to share a small gamification implementation, its components and show the results.


Each year, HP has a global technical conference for its leading technologists. The only way to attend the conference is for individuals to submit a paper and have it reviewed and accepted into the conference by a committee of peers. About 1900 papers were submitted in 2013. Each paper is reviewed by at least 4 individuals so that a diverse perspective of its innovation can be developed. There were about 300 reviewers involved in performing these 7600 or so reviews. The process takes place over approximately a 5 week timeframe, in addition to the reviewer’s normal workload.

In recent years, there have been a negative trends in reviewer behavior directly impacting review quality. Since the only feedback provided to the authors about their paper (and how to make their work better in the future) came from the reviewers, addressing these trends was important to increasing the value of the process for the authors as well as the corporation as a whole. I led this effort and defined a gamification approach to meet some well-defined goals.

Understand the Goals

My view is that the first step for any gamification effort is to: Understand the goals. What change is needed and why. The two goals defined were:

  1. Increase the feedback per paper
  2. Increase the percentage of reviews that took place, as assigned, in the time available

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