Bulk assignments

The bulk assignments page offers fine-grained control over review assignments, tags, leads, shepherds, and many other aspects of site operation. Users upload a CSV (comma-separated value file) to prepare an assignment. HotCRP will display the consequences of the requested assignment for confirmation and approval.

Assignment CSVs contain pid and action columns, where pid determines which papers are affected and action determines what kind of assignment is performed. The pid column can be a simple submission number, like “10”, or a search description, like “#manny OR #ramirez”. Other parameter columns depend on action. For instance, the tag action uses the tag column to determine what tag to add. Actions requiring a user locate that user via the email, name, first name, last name, and/or user columns.

This example file clears existing R1 review assignments for papers tagged #redo, then assigns two primary reviews for submission #1 and one secondary review for submission #2:


Errors will be reported if man@alice.org or slugger@manny.com aren’t PC members, or if they have conflicts with their assigned papers.

Assignment files are parsed from top to bottom, but applied as a unit. For example, if a file clears and then recreates a existing review assignment, HotCRP will leave the existing assignment alone.

Action overview

Action nameParameter columnsDescription
reviewpid, user, review type, [review round]Assign review
clearreviewpid, user, [review type], [review round]Remove review assignment
externalreviewpid, user, [review round]Assign external review
metareviewpid, user, [review round]Assign metareview
pcreviewpid, user, [review round]Assign optional PC review
primaryreviewpid, user, [review round]Assign primary review
secondaryreviewpid, user, [review round]Assign secondary review
administratorpid, userSet submission administrator
conflictpid, user, [conflict type]Set PC conflict status
contactpid, userAdd contact author relationship
clearcontactpid, userClear contact author relationship
decisionpid, decisionSet decision
followpid, user, followingFollow or block review and comment notifications
leadpid, userSet discussion lead
prefpid, user, preference, [expertise]Set reviewer preference
revivepidRevive (unwithdraw) submission
shepherdpid, userSet shepherd
submitpidMark submission as ready for review
tagpid, tag, [tag value]Set tag
cleartagpid, tag, [tag value]Remove tag
nexttagpid, tagAdd to tag order
seqnexttagpid, tagAdd to gapless tag order
unsubmitpidMark submission as not ready for review
unsubmitreviewpid, user, [review type], [review round]Unsubmit review
withdrawpidWithdraw submission

Notes: The user parameter can be replaced by a combination of email, name, first name, and last name. tag columns can contain a tag value, using “tag#value” syntax, or the value can be supplied separately.

review action

The review action assigns reviews. The review type column sets the review type; it can be primary, secondary, pcreview (optional PC review), meta, or external, or clear to unassign the review. The optional round or review round column sets the review round.

Only PC members can be assigned primary, secondary, meta-, and optional PC reviews. Accounts will be created for new external reviewers as necessary. The clear action doesn’t delete reviews that have already been entered.

The following file will create a primary review for drew@harvard.edu in review round R2, or, if Drew already has a review assignment for submission #1, modify that review’s type and round:


To avoid modifying an existing review, use this syntax, which means “ignore this assignment unless the current review type is ‘none’”:


To modify an existing review (the “any” review type only matches existing reviews):


To change an existing review from round R1 to round R2:


To change all round-R1 primary reviews to round R2:


The primary, secondary, pcreview, metareview, and external actions are shorthand for the corresponding review types.

conflict action

The conflict type column can be “yes”, “no”, or a conflict type, such as “advisor” or “institutional”.

follow action

The following column can be “yes” (to receive email notifications on updates to reviews and comments), “no” (to block notifications), or “default” (to revert to the default, which is based on the user’s site preferences).

tag action

The tag action controls tags. The tag column names the tag to add; it can contain a tag value, using “tag#value” syntax, or the value can be specified using the optional tag value column.

To clear a tag, use action cleartag or tag value none. For example, this file clears all #p tags with value less than 10:


To add to a tag order, use action nexttag; to add to a gapless tag order, use seqnexttag. For example, this file creates a tag order in tag #p containing submissions 4, 3, 2, 9, 10, and 6: