Lifetime Achievement Award

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Procedure for Determining ACL LTA Recipient

The purpose of the these Principles and Procedure is to ensure a) due diligence; b) continuity; and c) confidentiality.


The ACL Lifetime Achievement award is, as its name indicates, a recognition for widely recognized, sustained, and enduring contributions to our field over a long period. It is not awarded merely for outstanding recent contributions to a currently hot topic.

Candidates for the award will generally be senior, with a working lifetime of contributions, even though they will often be active in research. There may be issues of timeliness.

These considerations make the decison to make an award highly sensitive. It is important that the award be seen by the membership as appropriate and timely. There may be issues of representation. Above all, there should not be any widespread perception that a deserving candidate has been passed over.

It follows that there is a responsibility on the executive to not merely seek advocacy, but also maintain a consistent and continuous collective wisdom concerning people in the field who should be considered by the current Executive and future ones. It should not be possible for someone to be passed over by accident.

We do not have to make an award every year.


  1. There will be an LTA nominating committee (LTANC), which will carry out its work during the fall of the year preceding the ACL conference. LTANC will consist of the current ACL vice-president (who will chair), the vice-president elect, the president, and the previous two presidents. LTANC is charged with coming up with a single candidate under the above principles.
  2. The LTANC will call for nominations from the executive together with updates of any nominations carried forward from previous years. New recommendations and updates should take the form of a written case addressing eligibility under the criteria for the award.
  3. The LTANC will strive to converge on unanimous support for a candidate for the current year. The LTANC will seek advice from respected impartial senior figures in the field, such as previous recipients of the award.
  4. The LTANC will propose the candidate for the approval of the ACL executive, providing whatever explanations and supporting documentation the Executive requires, and commenting on other cases that should be carried forward for future consideration.
  5. The ACL secretary will be responsible for confidential safe-keeping of dossiers that are carried over in this way, and for passing them to the next LTA nominating committee.

Further steps:

  1. The chair of the committee will call the awardee to convey the news [travel support etc?]
  2. Once the awardee has been informed, the Journal editor will contact the awardee to make arrangements for publishing his/her talk in the Journal. Publication processing times mean that the awardee needs to provide the editor with the manuscript for publication typically within a few weeks of the conference at which the talk is presented, so the awardee needs to be informed of this several months before the conference to allow sufficient time for preparation.