PC Blog Post on Author/Reviewer Profile

4 minute read

We have introduced a new sign-up process for authors and reviewers at ACL20, this blog post provides detailed instructions on how to sign up (Part 1) and answers some commonly asked questions (Part 2).

1. ACL2020 Instructions for Authors and Reviewers: Profile Setup

As our field has grown considerably over the last five years, it is important that our reviewing process scales accordingly. For the ACL2020 conference, we are creating a new review process with a goal to better manage conflict of interest (COI) and better match submissions with appropriate reviewers. It is important that you read this email carefully and follow the instructions if you are a) planning to submit a paper to ACL2020 and/or b) want to review for ACL2020.


The big picture is that we will ask all authors and reviewers to create or update a “Global” START profile and fill out the ACL2020 Reviewer/Author Information Form. Your profile information will allow the conference organizers to:

  1. Automatically detect conflicts of interest more effectively for ACL2020 and future ACL conferences.
  2. Automatically assign papers that fall into your expertise area if you serve as a reviewer for ACL2020. Essentially, we will more effectively match papers with the right reviewers.
  3. Help avoid the problem of scrambling for reviewers which can delay notifications and compromise review quality.

There are two important changes from prior conferences:

  1. By filling out the above, you are automatically entered into the ACL2020 candidate reviewing pool.
  2. All authors will be automatically added to the reviewer candidate pool. More details on this in Step 3 below.


Step 1: Create a START account (if you do not already have one).

For anyone who plans to submit a paper as an author or a co-author, and for anyone who is interested in reviewing for ACL conferences, you will need to have a START account. If you don’t already have one, please create one by following the “New user” link at: https://www.softconf.com/acl2020/papers/

Step 2: Create or update your Global Profile in the START system by December 9.

Log into your START account, go to “User” -> “Account information”-> “Update Profile”. At the bottom, click on “Please click here to update your global user information”. Please provide all the information requested on the form.

This is an important step. For all ACL2020 authors/co-authors, you will need to have Global Profile set up in order to submit your papers. The paper submission form will explicitly ask for a START username for each author/co-author and whether a global profile is completed. This step is not only for ACL2020, but also for future ACL conferences. Even if you do not plan to submit a paper to ACL2020, you should still fill out the Global Profile if you would like to be considered as a reviewer for the conference and/or plan to submit a paper to future conferences.

Step 3: Submit your ACL2020 Reviewer/Author Information Form by December 9.

As a final step, whether you are a reviewer or author, you must also fill out this ACL2020 conference-specific form:


Because we are anticipating a record number of submissions, all the authors will be automatically added to the reviewer candidate pool. We do understand that situations may arise that would prevent you from reviewing for ACL2020. In this case, please indicate that in the form. It’s important to note that your paper will be desk-rejected without review if the review form is not filled out for all authors.


As a reviewing committee member, you are expected to review up to 6 papers submissions.

Here are some key dates of the conference for your reference:

  • December 09, 2019: Completion of START Global Profile
  • December 09, 2019: Completion of ACL2020 Reviewer/Author Information Form
  • December 09, 2019: ACL Paper Submission Deadline (long and short papers)
  • January 17, 2020: Review Period starts
  • February 12, 2020: Author Response period starts
  • February 17, 2020: Author Response period ends
  • April 03, 2020: Accept / Reject Notifications
  • July 5, 2020: Conference starts

Your cooperation is critical to the success of ACL2020 and future ACL conferences. We appreciate your time and effort!

Commonly Asked Questions

1. Is it mandatory that all authors of a paper need to have a START ID/username?

Yes. It is mandatory. On the submission form, you can only add authors using their START usernames. All authors should have a START account by December 2. We encourage the lead/corresponding author to make sure this is the case before the submission deadline. The START ID and the global profile from all authors are critical for conference organizers to manage conflict of interest and match your papers to appropriate reviewers.

2. What if my co-author does not have a START account and is not in a position to create one (e.g., being ill)?

We do understand that extenuating circumstances may arise. In this case, please contact the Program Chairs over email.

3. I understand as an author, it’s only fair if I contribute to the review process. However, I do have a situation during the reviewing time window that will prevent me from participating. Is there an option for me to indicate this?

Yes. On the ACL2020 reviewer/author information form, Question 12, please select “Due to special circumstances I am unable to review this year”.

4. I have a START account, I do not plan to submit a paper, can I still review for ACL2020?

By all means! The more help we get from the community, the better program we can put together! In this case, please (1) update your global profile, and (2) fill the reviewer/author information form.