Accptance Decision

4 minute read

Notes about the Accept/Reject Notifications

1. ACL Findings:

To continue the success of Findings at EMNLP 2020, the ACL-IJCNLP 2021 reviewing committee has selected papers that are not accepted for publication in the main conference, but nonetheless have been assessed by the Program Committee as solid work with sufficient substance, quality and novelty to Findings. Therefore, the ACL decisions will have the following three basic types : Accept-to-Main-Conference, Accept-to-Findings, and Reject. Some accepted papers are conditional. Please refer to Sections 2 and 3 below for more information.

The conference received 3350 full-paper submissions, and the acceptance rates of the first two types are 21.3% and 14.9%, respectively.

2. EAC Reviews:

The consideration of the ethical impact of our research, use of data, and potential applications of our work has always been an important consideration and, as artificial intelligence is becoming more mainstream, these issues are increasingly pertinent. This year, a new Ethics Advisory Committee (EAC) was formed to look into the submissions flagged for ethical concerns by the reviewing committee (reviewers, area chairs, and senior area chairs of technical tracks).

For any paper that the technical reviewing committee expressed ethical concerns, the paper was sent to the EAC. The EAC chairs went over the papers to determine whether a full EAC review would be required. If so, the paper received one or two ethics reviews in addition to the reviews from the technical tracks. The ethics reviews can be distinguished from technical reviews as they do NOT have a score for Overall Recommendation.

For any paper that is accepted into the main conference or Findings based on technical reviews and that had been referred to the EAC, the EAC chairs have recommended one of the following to the Program Chairs (PCs): (a) accept, (b) conditional accept (the ethical issues must be addressed in the camera-ready version), and (c) reject due to ethical issues.

3. Five Categories for Accept/Reject Decisions:

The PCs combine the EAC recommendations with the recommendations from technical tracks, and use the following five categories for the accept/reject decisions:

  1. Accept-to-Main-Conference
  2. Conditional-Accept-to-Main-Conference
  3. Accept-to-Findings
  4. Conditional-Accept-to-Findings
  5. Reject

Notice that the decisions are not based on the review scores alone. PCs also consider author rebuttal, area chair (AC) recommendations, senior area chair (SAC) recommendations, reviewer discussion, EAC recommendations, and so on. Thus, it is possible that some accepted papers’ review scores are lower than those of some rejected papers.

4. What will happen to the conditionally accepted papers?

All conditionally accepted papers have an ethics meta-review which appears at the bottom of all other reviews and has a special heading. This meta-review states the changes needed to be made by the authors in the camera-ready version. The authors need to submit the camera-ready version by June 1, 2021, the same deadline for the papers without conditions. In addition, the authors need to provide a short document that explains how they have made the changes requested by the EAC meta-reviews. The document can be either a plain text file or a pdf file, and needs to be uploaded to Part D in the Final Submission Page. To be clear, this explanatory document will not be made public; it is just to expedite the conditional acceptance workflow for the EAC’s review process.

The EAC chairs will go over this document and check the camera-ready version to determine whether the required changes have been included in the camera-ready version. If so, the condition will be removed, the paper will be accepted to the main conference or Findings, and the status of having been conditionally accepted will not be publicly visible. If not, the paper will be rejected.

The PCs will inform the authors of the decisions by June 7, 2021.

If you have any questions about EAC reviews or the changes required by EAC, you can contact the ACL-IJCNLP 2021 Ethics Chairs You can also check the Ethics FAQ at

5. The Deadlines:

If your paper belongs to the first four categories, here are the upcoming deadlines for authors and PCs:

  • May 14, 2021: The Final Submission Page will be open for authors to start uploading their camera-ready version. Before that deadline, the authors will NOT be able to see a link at softconf for uploading the final version.
  • May 16, 2021: PCs will determine and inform authors how the Finding papers will be presented, after conducting a survey and discussing that with ACL execs, the conference general chair and workshop chairs. The details of the survey will be sent to the ACL mailing list and all the authors and the reviewing committee of this conference in the next few days.
  • May 25, 2021: The deadline for turning down the “offer”:
    • For all the four Accept* categories, should you wish to turn down the offer, you will need to withdraw your paper in the START system by May 25, 2021. If you do not, we will assume that you accept the “offer”.
    • If you want to keep your paper in the main conference or Findings, but you have double submitted it to ACL-IJCNLP 2021 workshops, you need to withdraw your paper from the workshops by the same deadline.
  • June 1, 2021: The camera-ready version is due.
    • In addition to the camera-ready paper, the conditionally accepted papers need to submit a separate document that explains how the authors have made the changes required in the EAC meta reviews (see Section 4).
  • June 7, 2021: PCs will inform the authors of conditionally accepted papers whether the condition on their papers has been removed, based on EAC recommendations.
  • June 10, 2021: If a paper is accepted to the main conference, the authors will receive an email informing them of the presentation mode of their papers (oral vs. poster) and the details for each mode.
  • June 24, 2021: The deadline for uploading your presentation videos for accepted papers. More detail about this will be sent out soon by PCs or our virtual conference committee chairs.
  • August 2-4, 2021: The Main Conference takes place!