I am experiencing the joys of being on a Program Committee (in this case SWAT'08).
- famous person A submits a paper claiming an interesting result. The writing is bad.
- famous person B, tricked by yours truly into refereeing the paper, claims said result is wrong.
- my principle for (in)correctness claims is to contact the author directly.
- A responds (retaliates?) with a link to a 40-page full version.
- B reads the full version (I guess it's personal by now), and sends back a detailed meta-argument for why the proof is wrong.
I am told to write a negative comment based on the paper being poorly written, and not mention anything about correctness. But somehow, washing my hands of the paper is not quite my style...
The politically-correct (PC?) alternative is to convince the authors that the result is too hard/long/etc for the conference, and they should submit it to a journal where complete refereeing is feasible
Oddly, this reminds me of freshman year, when I was starting in theory. When I heard of conferences and journals, my natural assumption was that papers would just be published in journals, and the best would be invited to conferences (soon after publication), as a label of quality, and to allow quick dissemination of important ideas. I remember a very confused Alex saying "I really mean, they do it the other way around."