PC Blog Post on Theme

2 minute read

Our field is growing fast! This is an exciting time to do NLP research. But at this pace of growth it’s only healthy as a community to take stock of where we’ve been and chart out where we should be going. So we made it a theme.

For the first time in the history of the ACL conference, next year’s edition will also have a special theme asking researchers to reflect on the progress of the field and what we as a community should be doing next. We wanted to provide some more details on the theme, what types of papers would be a good fit, the reviewing process for those papers, and other potential theme events. We hope this will give you clarity into the organization as well as get you excited to submit a paper!

What are the types of contributions?

We welcome contributions in various forms and scopes. It can be an opinion or discussion piece that reflects upon the progress made either in the broader area or in a specific topic area. It can be an empirical study that provides an in-depth look at SOTA approaches and enables a better understanding of the pros and cons of these approaches. It can also be a blue sky proposal that calls for new directions, methodologies, or evaluations to push the boundaries. These are just a few ideas! Any theme-related contribution you think is relevant and good for the community to know, we would like to see it!

What is the difference between a theme paper and a regular paper?

A regular paper also has discussions on the limitations of SOTA, but it often addresses a specific problem with detailed solutions and evaluations. A theme paper provides a better understanding of a class of related problems or approaches and provides a holistic analysis and view which may not be apparent by looking at each problem/solution individually. You do not need to present new solutions and results in a theme paper.

What is the review process?

We will have a theme track managed by one senior AC and several ACs (depending on the number of submissions). The authors are expected to self-claim the “special theme” track during submission. As a paper may address a specific topic area, the authors can also choose to specify a related topic area so that reviewers from that area can be drawn to review the paper. A separate review form and instructions will be given to the reviewers. The decision will be made based on the value added to help the community understand where we are and where we should be heading to.

What are the presentation forms?

Accepted papers will be presented either orally or as a poster. We anticipate having a special oral session dedicated to the theme.

Will there be other theme events at ACL20?

We are working on other theme-related events at the ACL20 conference. These may include a panel and/or invited speakers.