2013Q3 Reports: General Chair

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ACL 2013 General Chair Report

by Hinrich Schuetze

This is only an overview. Please refer to individual committee reports for details.

  1. 174 long papers and 154 short papers main conference papers
  2. 16 TACL papers
  3. CoNLL-2013 colocated
  4. 7 tutorials
  5. 15 workshops
  6. 34 system demonstrations
  7. 25 Student Research Workshop papers

Coordination between events

  1. ACL 2012 workshops were selected through a joint committee ACL-NAACL-EMNLP
  2. ACL and NAACL schedules were coordinated


The ACL conference and the ACL organization benefit greatly from the financial support of our sponsors. We thank the platinum level sponsor, Baidu; the three gold level sponsors; the three silver level sponsors; and five bronze level sponsors. Three other sponsors took advantage of more creative options to assist us: Facebook sponsored the Student Volunteers; IBM sponsored the Best Student Paper Award; and SDL sponsored the conference bags.

Some questions / issues to be considered by future General Chairs

I was not aware of the need of coordinating schedules with CL conferences taking place in the same year. This is probably the first thing general chair and program chairs should think about.

We should aim to make ACL conferences more consistent from year to year. For example, most ACL conferences treat posters and papers as being of equal value (based on the reasoning that the decision about presentation format should only be weakly correlated to the quality of the paper). This also means that there should be only one list of accepted papers, not differentiated according to presentation format. My call would be to do this consistently for all ACL conferences.

We tried to come up with a better approach to mentoring this year. We learned some valuable lessons, but I'm still not sure how we can do meaningful mentoring. Meaningful for me means: papers that otherwise would not have been accepted get accepted because of mentoring. See the report of the mentoring chair for discussion.

The poster session is becoming too big. Of the various alternative models that have been proposed I would favor to have two poster sessions, one replacing the dinner. I personally really enjoy the poster sessions (and would benefit less from posters during coffee breaks), so why not have two of them?

We allowed rejected long papers to be resubmitted as short papers. This increases the total number of submissions and attendance. I think this is a good thing and would recommend that future conferences adopt this part of our schedule (i.e., long paper rejection before short paper submission)

There were some area chairs this year that served as area chairs for their area at several conferences. I would like to see a policy that disallows this practice. There shouldn't be a single person who controls all conference publications in an area in a given year.