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  The conference schedule is ready!
Posted by: Rachele - 07-17-2021, 11:37 AM - Forum: Announcement - No Replies

The program of the conference is available in attachment and at the following URL: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KSGKqmgrZJ1bKiUZOL7HQ-tzsg5Ta1sl/view

Attached Files
.pdf   ACL-IJCNAP 2021 Program.pdf (Size: 603.65 KB / Downloads: 316)
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  Call for Live Microblogging Volunteers // Author Option to Opt-Out
Posted by: Rachele - 07-06-2021, 07:30 AM - Forum: Announcement - No Replies

Call for Live Microblogging Volunteers // Author Option to Opt-Out

Call for Volunteers
We are seeking volunteers to live tweet/live microblog ACL-IJCNLP 2021 presentations with the goal of raising the visibility of ACL-IJCNLP 2021 talks, across platforms and across languages. Specifically, we envision live microblogging of pre-recorded presentations (between when they become available and the end of the conference) and the live plenary sessions. Recognizing that bilingual live microblogging (listening in one language, writing in another) is a more difficult task, we nonetheless hope that the pre-recorded format might make it possible. By coordinating community live microblogging, we hope to increase coverage of ACL-IJCNLP 2021 talks. In particular, we aim at highlighting the works coming from under-represented countries so as to broaden participation in ACL and our associated community. As an official microblogger for ACL-IJCNLP 2021 your posts will be shared/retweeted by the official conference accounts and you will gain visibility in the NLP community.

If you are interested in participating, please fill in the following online form by July 16: https://forms.office.com/r/REkQD1Fys5.

The form asks you:

  • Your name, surname, email address and country
  • The language(s) you’d like to microblog in
  • The platform(s) you’d like to use
  • Your handle in the platform(s) you’d like to use
  • The ACL-IJCNLP 2021 areas (at least 3) you are interested in microblogging about

Never tried live microblogging before? That’s fine! We plan to run a brief tutorial ahead of the conference, following this guide developed by Rachael Tatman.

Author Option to Opt-Out
If, for any reason, an ACL-IJCNLP 2021 author would prefer NOT to have their presentation live microblogged, we ask you to fill in the following online form by July 16: https://forms.office.com/r/dZ5MBFsDH6.
We will ask our live microbloggers to not cover your presentation.

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  ACL-IJCNLP 2021 Recording instructions
Posted by: Wenjie - 06-13-2021, 09:32 AM - Forum: Announcement - No Replies

See Attachment.

Attached Files
.pdf   ACL-IJCNLP_2021_Recording_instructions.pdf (Size: 903.86 KB / Downloads: 443)
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  2021-05-15: Decision on ACL Findings
Posted by: Fei - 05-15-2021, 05:05 PM - Forum: Announcement - No Replies

Hi, everyone,
We conducted a survey for the presentation mode for ACL Findings papers at https://forms.office.com/r/TpcVpFvuda. The announcement of the survey was sent to the ACL mailing list and all ACL-IJCNLP 2021 authors/reviewers/ACs/SACs; 28,277 emails sent in total.

We received 1,777 responses, and here are the results:
* 40.5% (720) prefer method 1 (i.e., 2-3 min video)
* 23.9% (424) prefer method 2 (EMNLP 2020 model, presenting at workshops)
* 35.6% (633) have no preference.

Based on the results, we will go with Method 1; that is, the authors of each Finding paper can, but are not required to, prepare a 2-3 minute video. A separate page at the conference website (https://2021.aclweb.org/)
or the virtual conference site (TBA) will be created to host the Finding papers, with links to the Finding papers and the videos.

More information about making and uploading videos will be sent to authors soon (by us or our virtual conference team).
Stay tuned.

p.s. May 25 is the deadline to withdraw your paper if you don't want it to be included in the main conference or the Findings.


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  2021-05-14: Instructions for camera-ready submission
Posted by: Fei - 05-15-2021, 03:36 AM - Forum: Announcement - No Replies

Dear authors,
 Attached is the instructions for camera-ready submissions, which will be posted to the conference site shortly.
If you cannot open the attachment, you can access it at

If GoogleDrive is blocked in your region, below is the plain text file (where the hyperlinks and graphs unfortunately have disappeared).


Instruction for Camera-Ready Submission

May 14, 2020

These instructions are adapted from the ones for ACL 2020, EMNLP 2020, and NAACL 2021.

To submit your camera-ready version, please go to the softconf site, click the submission id, and then click “Final Camera Ready Submission”. This document is organized based on the sections in the Final Submission Page. Please note that the following applies to the ACL-IJCNLP main conference papers and Findings of ACL papers. It will also apply to ACL-IJCNLP workshop papers unless the workshops have their own instructions.

Please remember to use the template files for the conference and follow the instructions in this document. In addition, you need to run a tool called aclpub_check developed by the NAACL2021 publication chairs to automate the checking for some frequently encountered formatting issues. For details of the tool, see Section 3 and the Appendix. Camera-ready copies that fail to meet these instructions will be returned for re-submission.

1. Metadata (Part A in the final submission form)

Can I make changes to the author list in the camera-ready version?
No, you cannot change the author list, as explained in the FAQ at https://2021.aclweb.org/blog/faq-decision/
In fact, the authors’ field will not be editable in the final submission form.

How should I enter metadata on the START system?
The metadata (title, author, abstract) that you enter into START is very important, because it is used on the conference website, proceedings, handbook, mobile app, and the ACL Anthology (and propagates to Google Scholar, etc.).
Before the metadata is entered, please have all authors ensure that the name in their START profile (User Console, Update Profile) appears exactly the way that they want it to appear.
● Unicode (UTF-8) can be used for accented or special characters.
● Ordinarily, names are NOT written in all caps or all lowercase.
● The “Last Name” is the name(s) by which your paper is to be cited. It is usually a family name, even for authors from cultures where the family name is written first.
● The “First Name” is usually a given name or names, including middle names/initials.

The metadata should be written using Unicode (UTF-8) with LaTeX commands. Please try to follow these guidelines:
● In titles, please capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon (Smile, and all other words (including hyphenated words like Mixed-Case), except the function words: articles, pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions, particles, subordinating conjunctions, and the infinitive marker “to”.
● BibTeX (in many bibliography styles, including ACL’s) lowercases the titles of conference papers, and needs to be told which letters not to lowercase. So if your title has letters that should always be capitals, please protect them with curly braces, like this: {E}nglish, {C}homsky, {IBM}, {CFG}s, {HMM}s. Please also protect the first letter after a sentence-final punctuation mark. For example:
Can {LSTM} Learn to Capture Agreement? {T}he Case of {B}asque Named Entity Extraction from Noisy Input: {S}peech and {OCR}.
It is important to only protect those first letters that belong to the categories exhibited above, i.e., proper names (including language names), acronyms, abbreviations, the first letter after punctuation (such as a colon) and the first letter in a sentence. These curly braces will not appear in the online conference program or proceedings. They will only appear in the BibTeX file that others will use to cite your paper.
● If you need literal curly braces, please escape them like this: \{ \}
● Please don’t use any nonstandard LaTeX commands, and there should be no \footnote or citations using \cite or related commands.
● You can use LaTeX math mode where appropriate: An $O(n^2)$ Algorithm for $n$-gram Smoothing.
● You can use Unicode (UTF-8) for accented or special characters.
● If you copy-and-paste from your PDF file, please be sure to rejoin words broken by hyphenation.

2. Copyright (Part B in the form)

What about copyright?
When you submit the paper, you will be asked to sign the ACL Copyright Transfer Agreement on behalf of all authors, electronically (via the START Conference Manager). Authors retain many rights under this agreement and it is appropriate in the vast majority of cases. Please contact the publication chairs at acl2021publicationchairs@googlegroups.com, with any concerns regarding copyright.

Who should sign the copyright form?
Before signing this form, please confirm with your co-authors (and, if applicable, your and their employers) that they authorize you to sign on their behalf. Only the authorized representative needs to sign the copyright form. Please sign your full name (not just your first or last initials).

3. Main paper (Part C in the form)

What are the page limits?
For both long and short papers, ACL-IJCNLP 2021 allows one extra page to help address reviewer comments. Please use the extra space to help address reviewer comments. Long papers are permitted at most 9 pages of text and short papers may use up to 5 pages of text, plus unlimited space for references and the impact statement. Acknowledgements count toward the page limit.

What is the max size of the PDF file?
The max size of the PDF file (including the Appendices, see Section 4) should be no more than 20MB.

What is the format for the camera-ready copy?
The file must be in Portable Document Format (PDF) on A4 paper. We require the use of ACL LaTeX style files or Microsoft Word style files tailored for this year’s ACL conference. You can access the style files and detailed formatting instructions here: https://2021.aclweb.org/downloads/acl-ijcnlp2021-templates.zip or https://www.overleaf.com/latex/templates/instructions-for-acl-ijcnlp-2021-proceedings/mhxffkjdwymb.
If you are using LaTeX, please create the PDF file with pdflatex or xelatex. This ensures use of the proper Type 1 fonts and also takes advantage of other PDF features. You will have the best results using a modern LaTeX distribution, in particular, TeX live. Using the geometry package to set the A4 format is recommended.

How do I check the format of the camera-ready version before submitting?
You should check the paper format according to this instruction page and use the style template files with the links above. The NAACL2021 publication chairs have developed a package called aclpub_check to automate much of the format checking (See the Appendix for details). Please run this package before submitting your paper to softconf in order not to miss some subtle formatting details.

How should the final copy differ from the original submission?
The camera-ready version of your paper should incorporate the comments of the reviewers as well as other changes you see fit to make. In addition, be sure to do all of the following:
● Ensure that your paper conforms to the provided styles, font and page size.
● Include the authors’ names and affiliations under the title. Note that the list of authors should be identical to the list specified when submitting the paper and should be in the same order.
● De-anonymize references to your own work in the body of the paper.
● Where appropriate, add acknowledgments for colleagues, reviewers, and grants. Do not number the Acknowledgements section. Please note that the acknowledgement section should fit within the allowed page limits (9 pages for long and 5 pages for short papers, plus unlimited pages for the impact statement and references) and be in the same font as the rest of the paper.
● Ensure that all tables, graphs, and figures are readable at standard resolutions.
● The Appendix (if exists) should appear after the references, as part of the same PDF file (see Section 4); in contrast, the supplemental materials should appear as a separate zip file (see Section 5).

What are the tips to make my final version more accessible?
As a central venue of publication for our community, please prioritise the accessibility of your final version. The Diversity & Inclusion committee for ACL 2020 has outlined some tips on how to do this: https://acl2020.org/blog/accessibility-for-camera-ready/

How do I ensure that my file is correctly formatted?
You need to run the aclpub_check package (see the Appendix), and pay special attention to things like the following:
● The paper size: Your paper needs to be formatted to A4. Here are a couple of ways to check this:
● Using pdfinfo. The pdfinfo command should include “Page size: 595.276 x 841.89 pts” in its output.
● Using Apple’s Preview.app. Open the PDF, and type Ctrl-I. It should report the correct page size.
● Using Adobe Acrobat. Open the PDF, navigate to File, Properties…, Description. The field labeled “Page Size” should read 8.27 × 11.69 inches in.
● Embedding fonts: You can check your final PDF with the command “pdffonts mypaper.pdf” and confirm that all the fonts say “yes” under “emb”. START will not let you upload your final PDF otherwise. If you are including graphics with the PDF extension, these files must also have embedded fonts. If your paper uses Asian fonts, they must be embedded in the PDF file so that they can be displayed by non-Asian versions of the PDF reader (Asian versions ship with a larger set of default fonts.)
● Long titles: The title should NOT exceed the left & right margins. Fold a long title into multiple lines if necessary.
● Margins: The margins of the text area must be reserved as specified in the style file.
● Page numbers: DO NOT provide page numbers for your PDF file. The page numbers will be generated automatically while compiling the proceedings.
● Consistent Author Names: The author names must be consistent everywhere and be the same as registered to the submission page(s), and have the same spelling style in all accepted papers. This can avoid generating non-unique Author Index entries for authors with more than one accepted paper. Be sure to ask your co-authors whether you enter their names correctly.

What if my paper includes graphics?
Remember that you are providing a camera-ready copy. Thus, artwork and photos should be included directly in the paper in their final positions. Ideally, you should use vector graphic formats (PDF, EPS), which allow the graphics to scale arbitrarily. Avoid GIF or JPEG images that are low resolution or highly compressed.
Your paper must look good both when printed (A4 size) and when viewed on screen as PDF (zoomable to any size, color okay). Thus, you may want to use color high-resolution graphics, allowing readers to zoom in on a graph and study it. However, please check that the same graph or photograph is legible when printed and in a PDF viewer at different resolutions. Don’t go overboard on resolution; keep file sizes manageable. Note that vector graphics (e.g., encapsulated PostScript) look good at any scale and take up little space (unless you are plotting many thousands of data points).

What if my paper’s title or abstract has changed?
In addition to edit the title/abstract in the main paper, please also remember to edit those metadata fields when you upload the camera-ready version, so that they will appear correctly in the table of contents, author index, conference schedule, etc. Please also note that your name will appear in conference metadata as you have configured it in START, so make sure that it is correct there (e.g., capitalization, full name, etc.). You can change this on the user settings page of the START conference manager, under “User” -> “Account Information” -> “Update Profile”.

4. The Appendices (As the last part of the pdf file for Part C in the form)

Appendices are for things such as lemmas, hyperparameters, formulas, proofs, and tables that are informative but not critical to the understanding of the paper.

Where do the Appendices go?
Appendices should be part of the PDF file uploaded to Part C in the form. It should appear at the end of the PDF file, after the references.

What’s the page limit of the Appendices?
The Appendices do not count towards the page limit of the main paper, but they need to be no more than 4 pages, as recommended by the publication chairs.

What template should the Appendices use?
The Appendices should use exactly the same template as the main paper (See Section 3).

5. Additional document for conditionally accepted papers (Part D in the form)

Who needs to submit a document for Part D?
That depends on the status of your paper:
● If the status is Accept-P1-condition or Accept-P2-condition, you must submit an additional document (explained below).
● If the status is Accept-P1 or Accept-P2, please do NOT upload any documents to Part D even if your paper receives an EAC review and/or an EAC metareview. You can skip this section.

What should the document look like?
In this document, authors need to provide a short document that explains how they have made the changes requested by the EAC meta-reviews (which appears at the bottom of all other reviews and has a special heading). The document can be either a plain text file or a PDF file, and should list each of the concerns from the original EAC meta-review along with a short summary of what was done to remedy the concern.
To make this as straightforward as possible, we recommend copying and pasting the contents of the EAC meta-review into the document and then describing the action taken after each item in the EAC metareview. If there are additional issues mentioned in EAC reviews that were not included in the EAC metareview, authors may choose to address those points as well; however, only the points mentioned in the EAC meta-review will be the basis of whether the final version of the paper will be accepted. This explanatory document will not be made public; it is just to expedite the conditional acceptance workflow for the EAC’s review process.
The size of this document should be no more than 10MB.

What will happen after June 1?
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 final EAC 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 <acl-2021-ethics-chairs@googlegroups.com>. You can also check the Ethics FAQ at https://2021.aclweb.org/ethics/Ethics-FAQ/.

6. Supplementary material (Part E in the form)

Where do supplemental materials go?
Supplemental material contains material such as data, software, all other material and is uploaded separately as a zip file. The maximum size of the zip file is 20MB.

Do I need to submit latex source files?
No. Latex files will not be used in ACL Anthology, thus please do NOT submit them.

7. Deadlines

When and where do I send my final camera-ready paper?
You must submit the final version of your paper by June 1, 2021 (11:59pm, UTC-12 hours, “anywhere on Earth”) by navigating to the ACL 2021 START login page and following the internal links. This is a firm deadline, i.e., no change will be accepted after that.

8. Questions or Comments
If you have any questions about:
● the camera-ready version including running the aclpub_check package: please contact our publication chairs at acl2021publicationchairs@googlegroups.com.
● the EAC issues and additional document in Part D:  please contact the EAC chairs at acl-2021-ethics-chairs@googlegroups.com

Please do NOT contact ACL-IJCNLP PCs unless your questions cannot be answered by the publication chairs or the EAC committee.  
Appendix: Checking the format with the aclpub_check package

This appendix is modified from the document of the NAACL 2021 publication chairs at:

Following NAACL 2021, we are using a package called “aclpub_check” that automatically detects author formatting errors, margin violations as well as many other common formatting errors. Before submitting your paper to softconf, please run the package first and fix the detected errors.

A.1: Access the package

The package is written in Python and there are four steps to using it:
1: git clone https://github.com/yz-joey/ACLPUB.git
2: cd ACLPUB
3: pip install -e .
4: python3 aclpub_check/formatchecker.py --paper_type PAPER_TYPE PAPER_NAME.pdf

You should also be able to use it via:
1: pip3 install git+https://github.com/yz-joey/ACLPUB.git
2: python3 -m aclpub_check.formatchecker --paper_type PAPER_TYPE PAPER_NAME.pdf

PAPER_TYPE should be the word short or long. PAPER_NAME can be any valid file name.

Below, we are walking you through how to use the tool by considering three papers published by publication chairs at NAACL 2021.

A.2. Example 1

First, consider Josef Valvoda’s paper "What About the Precedent: An Information-Theoretic Analysis of Common Law"

> python3 aclpub_check/formatchecker.py --paper_type long precedent.pdf

Checking precedent.pdf
Error (Margin): An image on page 1 bleeds into the margin.

We detected 1 error and 0 warnings in your paper.

Thus, we see this paper has a margin violation. The script output a png called “errors-precedent-page-1.png” which you can see below:

It shows that Josef has to shrink the first-page picture to make the paper compliant with the NAACL formatting rules. This is easily remedied with the adjustbox https://www.ctan.org/pkg/adjustbox package or a similar bit of LaTeX.

A.3: Example 2

Next, consider Tiago Pimentel and Irene Nikkarinen's paper: “How (Non-)Optimal is the Lexicon?"

> python3 aclpub_check/formatchecker.py --paper_type long lexicon.pdf

Checking lexicon.pdf
Error (Margin): Text on page 13 bleeds into the margin.

This time, the automatically generated png shows me that the authors didn't keep some math equations out of the margin in a proof in the appendix.

Here, it’s likely that the equations have to be broken over two lines.

A.4: Example 3

Finally, consider Jennifer White’s paper "A Non-Linear Structural Probe"

> python3 aclpub_check/formatchecker.py --paper_type short structural.pdf

Checking structural.pdf
All Clear!

So, there were no mistakes!

The script checks for many violations, e.g. page-limit violations, font and font size violations and even a few common typos. The script even makes recommendations about citing non-arXiv versions of papers. These, however, are simply warnings:

Warning (Bibliography): It appears you are using arXiv links more than you should (18/55). Consider using ACL Anthology DOIs instead.

Attached Files
.docx   6-ACL-IJCNLP 2021 Camera Ready Instructions.docx (Size: 961.64 KB / Downloads: 309)
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  2021-05-10: plain text version of the FAQ file
Posted by: Fei - 05-11-2021, 02:31 AM - Forum: Announcement - No Replies

Some people cannot open the attached file in the previous announcement, so here is the plain text file without the nice formatting.
The same file will be posted to the conference site soon.

- Fei

FAQ for the Decision Process, Camera-ready Version, and Findings

May 10, 2021

The whole review process is quite complicated, and may be mysterious to many authors. Thus, we want to explain the process a little bit in Section 1 before answering more specific questions.

Section 1: The Review Process
Below are the main steps in the review process, which is very similar to those from previous conferences:
1. 2/2-2/24: Paper check and AC/reviewer assignment
a. Papers are assigned to tracks by Program Chairs (PCs) and checked by Senior Area Chairs (SACs) and PCs. Let’s call these tracks the technical tracks, in contrast to the EAC track (see Step 3).
b. Three reviewers and one area chair (AC) are assigned to each paper.

2. 2/25-3/20: Reviewers review papers
a. Reviews include two parts: non-confident part (which was sent to authors on March 25), and confident part visible only to ACs/SACs/PCs.
b. If the reviewers or the AC had ethical concerns about the paper, they would “flag” the paper by clicking “yes” for the ethical question on the review form, and provide a justification for their concern.

3. 3/21-3/24: EAC check and reviewer assignment
a. PCs add the flagged papers to a special track for the Ethic Advisory Committee (EAC).
b. EAC chairs then read the paper to determine whether it needs a full EAC review. If so, one or more EAC reviewers are assigned to the paper, and the EAC reviews would be due in mid-April.

4. 4/1-4/7: Reviewer/AC discussion period
a. The AC and reviewers of technical tracks discuss the paper in softconf’s discussion board. The reviewers are asked to update their reviews in softconf if they change their opinions or have any new comments to add about the paper based on the discussion.

5. 4/8-4/14: The AC writes a meta review which has three parts:
a. AC recommendation, which uses one of four labels: 1-Accept, 2-Possible-Accept, 3-Possible-Reject, 4-Reject.
b. AC summary of reviews (including his/her own opinion) of the paper, which is visible to authors.
c. AC’s confidential comments to SACs/PCs.

6. 4/15-4/24: SAC recommendation which also has three parts:
a. SAC recommendation, which uses one of four labels: 1-Definite-Accept, 2-Possible-Accept-to-Main-Conference, 3-Possible-Accept-to-Findings, 4-Reject.
b. SACs provide a ranking of papers with the 2-Possible-Accept-to-Main-Conference or 3-Possible-Accept-to-Findings recommendations.
c. SACs’ comments to PCs

7. 3/25-4/24: EAC recommendation:
a. EAC reviews are due in Mid-April.
b. EAC chairs read the EAC reviews and inform PCs of their decisions, which include comments and one of three labels:
i. E1: The paper does not have serious ethical issues
ii. E2: The paper has some serious ethical issues and thus, if the paper is accepted, the camera-ready version needs to be checked by EAC to ensure ethical concern has been addressed in that version.
iii. E3: The paper should be rejected due to ethical concerns.

8. 4/25-5/5: PCs make final decisions:
a. Based on the input from the technical tracks (reviews, discussion board, AC recommendation, SAC recommendation, etc.), PCs use one of three labels for each paper:
i. P1: Accept-to-Main-Conference
ii. P2: Accept-to-Findings
iii. P3: Reject

b. For P1 or P2 papers (not P3 papers), EAC chairs write a meta review that highlights the changes that EAC recommends authors to make in the camera-ready version.

c. For P1 or P2 papers, PCs will use the following four labels for the final decisions:
i. If EAC recommendation is E1, the paper is accepted and the final label is Accept-P1 or Accept-P2.
ii. If EAC recommendation is E2, the paper is conditionally accepted, and the status is Accept-P1-condition or Accept-P2-condition.
iii. None of the papers get an E3 label from the EAC.

d. For P3 papers, PCs will mark them as Reject-P3.
e. PCs send out notifications to all authors.

Now, if you go to softconf, you can see your papers in one of five categories:
● Accept-P1: accepted to the main conference
● Accept-P1-condition: conditionally accepted to the main conference
● Accept-P2: accepted to Findings
● Accept-P2-condition: conditionally accepted to Findings
● Reject-P3: reject

In summary, the final decision is based on the input from all the steps mentioned above:
● The submission itself and the author responses
● Reviews from 3+ reviewers: including the part visible to authors and confidential comments to ACs/SACs/PCs.
● AC recommendation: including a recommendation label, AC summary, and confidential comments to SACs/PCs.
● Reviewers/AC discussion messages in the softconf discussion board.
● SAC recommendation: including a recommendation label, rank of the papers in the area, and comments to PCs.
● EAC recommendation: including an EAC label (E1, E2, E3), EAC comments confidential to PCs, one or two EAC reviews, and an EAC meta review for accepted or conditionally accepted papers.
In addition, we target an acceptance rate of the main conference and the Findings to be around 21-24% and 15%, respectively.

Section 2: Questions about the review process

This section includes questions that may be relevant to more than one category.

Q1: How does the review process work?
A1: See Section 1.

Q2: The AC recommends Accept. Why is my paper still rejected?
A2: As explained in Section 1, AC recommendation is just one of many factors used in the final decision. For instance, some ACs disagree with reviewers: they may recommend Accept when some reviewers insist on the paper being rejected, or the other way around. PCs also look at other factors such as author rebuttal, three reviews, the discussion in the discussion board, SAC recommendations, EAC recommendations (for flagged papers), and the submission itself.

Q3: My overall recommendation scores are 4, 3.5, 3.5. Why is my paper still rejected (or accepted to Findings, but not to the main conference)?
A3: Just like in Q2, review scores are just one of many factors considered by PCs. For instance, some ACs point out that in some reviews, the overall recommendation scores do not match the reviews (e.g., a largely negative review with a score of 3.5), but reviewers do not want to change their reviews or overall recommendation scores for various reasons, even when prompted by ACs. In that case, PCs read reviews, AC recommendation and SAC recommendation in order to reach a final decision.

Q4: My reviews are largely positive but the paper is rejected due to an EAC review. Does EAC have the one-vote veto right?
A4: No. EAC recommendation is only one piece of information used in the final decision, as explained in Section 1.

Q5: Where can we see revised reviews (or comments to our rebuttal)?
A5: The reviews sent to authors on May 5 are the revised reviews. If reviewers had some comments to the rebuttal that they wanted the authors to see, they would include that in their revised reviews.

Q6: How come the reviews remain the same after we spent so much time writing the rebuttal?
A6: Many reviewers were discussing the papers in the discussion board at softconf, and, after the reviewer/AC discussion, they decided to keep their original reviews because they were not convinced by the authors’ rebuttal. In that case, the new reviews will be identical to the original ones.

Q7: Some reviewers (or the AC) misunderstood our paper. Please reconsider.
A7: If some (but not all) reviewers or the AC misunderstood your paper, the overall recommendation scores tended to vary a lot among reviewers or AC’s meta review would disagree with the three reviews. SACs and PCs paid special attention to such papers, and the final decision is the result of considering all the input including AC and SAC recommendations and the discussion board.

Q8: Can we find out whether the reviewers of my paper had read my rebuttal?
A8: The review form contains a question asking reviewers whether they have read the rebuttal. We are collecting the statistics on that question and can release that statistics later if needed. However, we do not plan to release that information for individual papers for two reasons:
● Some reviewers read the rebuttal, discussed the paper in the discussion board, but for some reasons did not answer that question in the review form. Thus, the answer for an individual paper might not be very accurate.
● When PCs created the review form in Jan 2021, this question was marked as visible to ACs/SACs/PCs only. Thus, PCs should not change the visibility setting of the question after the fact.

Q9: I have questions about EAC review or meta review. How can I get some clarification?
A9: Please read the Ethics FAQ first at https://2021.aclweb.org/ethics/Ethics-FAQ/. If you still have questions, contact the EAC chairs at acl-2021-ethics-chairs@googlegroups.com directly.

Q10: After the rebuttal, some overall recommendation scores decreased. Why?
A10: This is likely to be due to the reviewer/AC discussion. Some reviewers’ opinions could change due to the discussion or after reading authors’ rebuttal, so the scores can go up or down in the revised reviews. The change of the scores shows that the reviewers have read the author rebuttal.
Reviewers were asked to revise their reviews to reflect their new opinion of the paper, but that might not always happen. Unfortunately, we cannot make the information in the discussion board available to the authors due to the nature of double-blind reviews.

Q11: The AC raised some issues that were not found in the three reviews, which we could not address in the rebuttal period. We disagree with those points.
A11: ACs can point out issues that were not identified by the reviewers. That is why AC recommendation was one of the factors for the final decision. As for your disagreement with AC’s opinion, please see A7 above.

Q12: My paper is marked as accepted to the main conference (or the Findings), but it includes an EAC review and a EAC meta review. Does that mean my paper is conditionally accepted instead?
A12: If a flagged paper was determined by the EAC that a full EAC review was necessary, the paper would get one or EAC reviews. If such a paper was accepted to the main conference or Findings, an EAC meta review would be added. Thus, having those reviews does not mean that the paper is conditionally accepted. If you want PCs to double check for you, please email PCs with your submission ID.

Q13: Some reviewers raised new issues in the revised reviews which we have no chance to respond to. Had they mentioned that in their original reviews, we could have addressed their concern.
A13: It is not uncommon for new issues to be raised during the reviewers/AC discussion period, and reviewers can include such issues in their revised reviews. Given the short review cycle, it is impossible to have another round of author rebuttal after the discussion period. Nevertheless, as mentioned in Section 1, reviews are just one of many factors considered in the final decision.

Q14: Now that my paper has been accepted to the Findings, can I post it to arXiv.org now?
A14: Yes, that should be fine.

Q15: For some reasons I have not received an accept/reject notification from you. What’s the status of my paper?
A15: Please go to the softconf site, click on your paper, you should be able to see the status and reviews of your paper.

Section 3. Questions about the camera-ready version

Q16: Can I make minor changes to the title in the camera-ready version?
A16: Yes, minor changes to the title are allowed.

Q17: Can I make any changes to the author list in the camera-ready version?
A17: No, you cannot make any changes to the author list. The authors’ information was used for COI (conflict-of-interest) detection, and COI is a factor that affects many stages in the review process (e.g., AC/reviewer assignment). Thus, no changes to the author list is allowed in the camera-ready version. In fact, in the final submission form, the author field is not editable.

Q18: Where can we find the templates for the camera-ready version?
A18: We are working with publication chairs on this, and will contact authors above this once the templates are available.

Q19: I don’t see the final submission page. Why?
A19: The Final Submission Page will be open by May 14, 2021 for authors to start uploading their camera-ready version. Before that deadline, the authors will NOT be able to see the camera-ready submission link at softconf.

Q20: What is the page limit for the camera-ready version of the paper?
A20: You will have one extra page for that, 9 pages for long, and 5 pages for short papers, plus unlimited space for references and the impact statement.

Q21: Should the appendix be part of the main paper? What’s the page limit for the appendix? What style file should I use for the appendix?
A21: We are checking with our publication chairs on this. Stay tuned.

(We leave some space for Q22-Q25 here, which will be added once we hear back from publication chairs)

Section 4. Questions for Findings

This section is modified from the Finding FAQ from EMNLP 2020 at https://2020.emnlp.org/blog/2020-04-19-findings-of-emnlp

Q26: What criteria are used to determine whether a paper should be accepted to the main conference or Findings?
A26: The low acceptance rate for the ACL-IJCNLP 2021 main conference means many high-quality work would have to be rejected without the Findings category. That’s the main motivation for us to have this category. Thus, Finding papers are ones with solid work but cannot make it to the main conference due to the low acceptance rate.

Q27: Does Finding have its own ISBN or DOI?
A27: We expect that Findings will grow with future conferences (e.g., having a new volume associated with each conference), and become a recognised and respected publication venue within the field. Initially, we will not be seeking to have Findings indexed in Scopus and Web-of-Science etc. - this is a complex process, and TACL is only now applying after 7 years of operation - but this is a natural option we might consider in future years.

Q28: Why might you want your paper to appear in Findings?
A28: Those with papers accepted to Findings will have the option of having the work accepted largely as-is (with the exception of Accept-P2-condition papers), and being made available online promptly. This will be an attractive option for work that is particularly time-critical, e.g., the novelty of the work would be diminished if publication were delayed by being rejected from ACL. This will also help for papers caught by overlapping anonymity periods between conferences, which can preclude public release for a long period. In this case, Findings can offer the option of a quick publication. Note that authors whose papers are accepted for publication in Findings can, of course, opt out, by withdrawing or simply not submitting a camera-ready copy of the paper.
Many papers languish on arXiv without ever being published in a peer-reviewed venue because they were overtaken by the accelerating pace of NLP research. This new publication option will give more authors the chance to publish papers that are good and decent contributions at a given point in time, even if their long-term impact may be modest. This will also reduce the amount of unreviewed work in our field, and thereby increase quality.

Q29: Is there any advantage of publishing in Findings versus an ACL workshop?
A29: This depends on the publication prestige, which we would expect to be higher for Findings than for most workshops. Moreover, workshops increasingly tend to move to non-archival format.

Q30: Why should the authors agree to publish in Findings if they know the paper was only narrowly rejected from ACL, and so might get into another conference?
A30: This is a judgement call to be made by the authors. Some authors may want to take the acceptance, rather than risk another rejection. This might be more pertinent if the paper has already been rejected from another publication venue, or if the author needs to fill out their CV, e.g., a PhD student wanting to secure a postdoc or faculty position. Other reasons might be that the importance of the work may diminish with time, and the work needs to be published quickly to have an impact.

Q31: Will Findings papers have some form of presentation / poster session in the main conference?
A31: A decision about this will be announced at the conference forum by May 16 and at the conference website shortly after. We are conducting a survey on this, which closes on May 13. An email about the survey was sent to all ACL-IJCNLP authors, the reviewing committee and the ACL mailing list on May 10.

Q32: Were the going-to-Findings decisions biased by factors such as mainstream vs. controversial?
A32: Going-to-finding decisions are made by SACs and PCs, not by reviewers/ACs. The review form does not have any mentioning of Findings.

Q33: Will the Findings affect ACL workshops?
A33: We allow double submissions to the ACL main conference and workshops. If the authors take up the Findings offers, they should withdraw their workshop submissions. In this case, it could potentially reduce the submissions to workshops.

Q34: Will Finding papers be included in the proceedings of the main conference?
A34: No. There will be a separate volume for Findings papers, which will be included in the ACL anthology under “Findings of ACL”.

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  2021-05-10: FAQ for decision process, camera-ready version and Findings
Posted by: Fei - 05-10-2021, 10:03 PM - Forum: Announcement - No Replies

Hi, everyone,
 Attached is a long FAQ that explains the decision process, the camera-ready version and Findings.

If you cannot open the attached file, please read the plain text version at

 If you have any question about those topics, please read the FAQ first.

 Have a great day.


Attached Files
.pdf   5-Accept-reject decision FAQ.pdf (Size: 90.94 KB / Downloads: 712)
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  2021-05-06: reviews and status are available at softconf now
Posted by: Fei - 05-06-2021, 09:20 AM - Forum: Announcement - No Replies

To all the authors:

We have sent out the accept/reject notifications to all authors (contact authors and all the co-authors) in the past four hours:

(1) If you have not received an email from softconf, please make sure that the email address you use in softconf is valid, AND your mail server does not block softconf. We have received hundreds of bounced emails, and it is impossible for us to re-send the emails to you.

(2) Based on our request, softconf has added a new functionality: Now if you go to https://www.softconf.com/acl2021/papers/ and click on your submission id, you will be able to see the "Review" link there. Click that link, you will see the reviews and the status of the submission.

Here are the meanings of the status:
Accept-P1: accept-to-the-main conference
Accept-P2: accept-to-Findings
Reject-P3: reject after full reviews

If you see -condition suffix for Accept-P1 or Accept-P2, that means it is conditional acceptance.

If the status in softconf does not match the notification email, please let us know ASAP.

(3) In some notification emails, the review part is incomplete. We have fixed the problem. You can go to softconf directly to see the complete reviews.

(4) There are more than 17,500 authors and co-authors. It is impossible for us to reply to all the emails from authors. Instead, we will collect common questions and put the FAQ in this forum and at the conference website. You can check the FAQ, and please do not take it personally if you do not receive a response from us directly.

(5) The camera-ready form is not ready yet. It should be available by May 14, 2021.

Thank you very much for submitting to ACL, and we hope that we will see you at the virtual conference.


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  2021-05-05: Notes about the accept/reject decisions
Posted by: Fei - 05-06-2021, 05:30 AM - Forum: Announcement - Replies (1)

Hi, everyone,
Attached is some note about accept/rejection decisions. It will be posted to the conference site soon, which might take some time.


Attached Files
.pdf   ACL-IJCNLP2021-decision-note.pdf (Size: 81.42 KB / Downloads: 305)
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  2021-04-06: We will NOT release updated review scores until May 5
Posted by: Fei - 04-07-2021, 05:28 AM - Forum: Announcement - No Replies

Hi, everyone,
After discussion with EMNLP 2021 PCs, we decide that we will NOT release updated review scores until May 5, which is the date of acceptance notification for both the ACL main conference and the ACL findings. The reason that we do not want to release the scores after April 7 is that the scores can still change after April 7 as ACs and SACs are going over the reviewers' reviews.

Notice that NAACL 2021 released the updated review scores before the ACL submission deadline, not before the start of the anonymity period of ACL 2021. In this case, we will release the final scores before EMNLP 2021's submission deadline.

Thus, authors will need to decide whether they want to withdraw their ACL submissions before the start date of the anonymity period of EMNLP or wait until May 5.

Also, authors do not need to do anything for their submissions to be considered for ACL findings. We will make the decisions and notify the authors by May 5. The authors can then decide whether they want to accept the offer for their papers to be included in the findings.

PC Chairs

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