The First Call for Papers is Out!

2 minute read

Researchers may have just arrived home from a fantastic ACL conference in Florence, but it is already time to start thinking about Seattle 2020. The First Call for Papers is now out! And your paper is due on Monday, December 9! This first in a series of ACL 2020 PC blog posts is meant to inform you about a couple of key changes to look out for in this year’s call.

Yes, it’s a December 9th deadline

The ACL 2020 paper submission deadline is earlier than previous years. The door opened to do this, because there is no NAACL conflict this year. But we ultimately decided to adopt an earlier deadline in order to solve some pressing issues:

  • The Paper Review Period needs to scale to the size of the conference. We anticipate continued growth in the number of ACL submissions for 2020. This partly means that we need more reviewers, area chairs, and senior area chairs, but ultimately, we also need more time for each phase of the reviewing process.
  • Review rebuttals are back due to overwhelming demand. You get 5 days to have your say.
  • All work and no break makes for an exhausted PC. We have prepared our timeline around holiday and weekend periods for reviewers, ACs and SACs to the extent possible.
  • Having an earlier submission and notification deadline will avoid review period overlap with all other major NLP conferences. It also provides an opportunity for the ACL rejected papers to be resubmitted to future venues in substantially improved condition. No more reading the same thing twice!
  • Participants for US conferences this year experienced major visa issues, some entire groups having visas granted too late. To counter this and increase the inclusivity of the conference, the notification deadline is now set to three months prior to the start of the conference and we have adjusted the submission date accordingly.
  • On the other hand, we are also in talks for setting the paper publication date back some weeks, so people can read your papers faster–well before the start of the conference.

We hope we are setting a precedent that will be adopted for future ACL conferences to accommodate scaling and inclusivity.

Taking Stock of Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

We’ve got a new conference theme! ACL 2020 will feature a special thematic session and award reflecting on and relating pearls of the past in NLP to today’s advances, and showing us just how we are pushing the boundaries as a field. More on the theme in a later post.

Let’s face it. It’s a track now.

In addition to the expected tracks, we’ve included a couple of newcomers, two of which we’ll quickly mention here.

  • Ethics and NLP: It’s been a session. It’s been a workshop. Let’s get responsible and make it clear that technical papers on Ethics within NLP are welcome. We’ll find the right reviewers.
  • Interpretability and Analysis of Models for NLP: We’re pushing performance boundaries. Let’s get smarter from it. Your papers that show us how to interpret and analyse models get a home at ACL 2020.

We’re looking forward to embarking on this ACL 2020 adventure with you!

Your ACL 2020 Program Co-Chairs

Joyce Chai (University of Michigan, USA)
Natalie Schluter (IT University, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Joel Tetreault (Dataminr, USA)