AI Conference

ACL 2019 Reports Record-High Paper Submissions; Begins Notifying Accepted Authors

The annual meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) is world-leading conference in the field of natural language processing, Yesterday, conference organizers sent out author notifications on accepted papers for the 57th ACL gathering, which will take place in Florence, Italy from July 28 to August 2.

The annual meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) is world-leading conference in the field of natural language processing, Yesterday, conference organizers sent out author notifications on accepted papers for the 57th ACL gathering, which will take place in Florence, Italy from July 28 to August 2.

Reflecting the increasing popularity of NLP and machine learning, the ACL reported a record-breaking submission total of 2,906 papers, almost doubling last year’s 1,544 submissions.

ACL organizers had warned that the huge number of submissions could cause delays in the paper review and selection process, and for the thousands of hopeful paper authors the wait was as stressful as ever. Researchers with accepted papers were finally notified early May 15, after a nine-hour delay caused by “technical problems with the START system.” Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University Graham Neubig nicely quipped regarding the extended uncertainty: “This year #ACL2019nlp has added a new acceptance category ‘Schrödinger’s cat’ ”

Release of the paper reviews was met with a flurry of questions from the AI community regarding the review process. Rising paper submission counts at all global AI conferences have challenged organizers to recruit enough experienced paper reviewers. The ACL announced in its blog that it was setting up a Senior Program Committee alongside the Program Committee in an attempt to boost the number of reviewers: “For the Senior PC, we recruited a relatively large number of Senior Area Chairs (46, 2-4 to head each area) and Area Chairs (184, 3-15 per area).” The number of ACL reviewers increased from 1,610 in 2018 to 2,281 this year.

Other changes in this year’s paper review process include:

  • The ACL dropped the paper bidding phase
  • Like NAACL 2019, ACL did not include an author response phase
  • The ACL used a much simpler, streamlined review form (adapted from EMNLP 2018)

The official list of ACL 2019 accepted papers has not yet been published, Synced will update readers when this information becomes available.


Journalist: Fangyu Cai | Editor: Michael Sarazen

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