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Author Guidelines

Overview

TACL invites paper submissions in all areas of computational linguistics and natural language processing.  Submissions must describe substantial, original, completed and unpublished work. Submissions will be judged on correctness, originality, technical strength, significance, and relevance to computational linguistics and natural language processing.

TACL has the goal of coverage of a broad range of topics. We invite papers in the following four broad categories: theoretical computational linguistics, empirical/data-driven approaches, resources/evaluation, and applications/tools. 

The next submission deadline for TACL is the first (1st) of the next month in the calendar, by 11:59pm Honolulu time. (Note that our server shows Eastern time, not Honolulu Time, so this deadline translates to a timestamp of  roughly 4:59am when it is not on our server.  Do not worry about being off by an hour for observance or non-observance of Daylight Savings Time.)  We assign new submissions to action editors in once-a-month batches in order to be able to load-balance reviewing loads, so there is no advantage to submitting on, say, the 3rd of the month vs. the 28th of the month.

Submission requires being registered on the submission site; if you are not already registered, click here to do so.

Once you have registered, you will be able to log in to the system and click on “New Submission” to submit your paper.

Submission Format

Papers that do not conform to the requirements below will be rejected without review.

Papers should be in pdf format, and consist of 7-10 letter-format (not A4) pages of content, with unlimited additional pages allowed for references. No appendices are permitted.  

Note that the maximum page length for submissions (10 pages) is slightly longer than the maximum length for submissions to the ACL main conference (generally 8 or 9 pages). The rationale for this is to allow authors more space in cases where this is needed, for example for details of an approach, for proofs, and so on. However, we strongly encourage authors to be concise, and we stress that we see expect to see varying page lengths depending on the nature of the paper (all papers in the range of 7-10 pages are welcome).

Papers should follow a two-column format. Submissions must conform to the official TACL style guidelines (based on the ACL 2012 guidelines), which are described in this pdf file: tacl.pdf. We thus strongly recommend the use of the ACL 2012 LaTeX .sty file and settings defined in the tacl.tex file,  or the styles and settings defined by the Microsoft Word files below.

LatexMS Word
tacl.tex (do not include author names in submissions)tacl.doc (do not include author names in submissions) 
acl2012.stytacl.dot
acl2012.bst 
tacl.bib  

For LaTeX users, when you have URLs that span more than one line, the link is often not properly resolved when one clicks on it in the pdf (the URL gets truncated).  Oscar Täckström kindly documented the following solution:

\makeatletter
\newcommand{\@BIBLABEL}{\@emptybiblabel}
\newcommand{\@emptybiblabel}[1]{}
\makeatother
\usepackage[hidelinks]{hyperref}
 
2. Use the latex command \url{http://long-example-url-spanning-multiple-lines.com} as usual to make a clickable url.
 
3. If you have a citation within a caption, you may need to add \protect in front of \cite and \newcite, e.g., \protect\cite{example-citation}

Anonymization requirements

As the reviewing will be double-blind (except that action editors know author identity and authors know action-editor identity), submissions must not include author names, affiliations, or identifying acknowledgments. Furthermore, self-references that reveal the author’s identity, e.g., “We previously showed (Smith, 1991) …”, must be avoided. Instead, rewrite such citations into a form like  “Smith (1991) previously showed …”.  To be clear: You should reference your prior work if it is relevant; but use the third person instead of the 1st person and in place of references like “(Anonymous) showed…”, since such anonymized references do not allow readers to examine relevant related work.  There is an exception for what TACL considers to be non-archival prior versions; see below.

Authors’ names should also be removed from the “Document Properties” display that can be viewed using Adobe Acrobat’s “File->Properties” menu.

If software or datasets will be released

To keep reviewing times down, we do not allow submission of supplementary material.  However,  the release of software or datasets is strongly encouraged.  We ask that authors include in their submission text that explains, in anonymous terms, whether the software or data will be released, and if so, in what fashion.  The review forms will prompt the referees to take this into account.

Presentation of Accepted TACL Papers at Conferences

TACL has an acceptance deadline for presentation at the ACL, NAACL, EACL and EMNLP main conferences. A paper must receive a decision of type (a): “fully” (i.e., not conditionally) accepted for publication by the given acceptance deadline for it to be eligible to appear at the next ACL/NAACL/EACL/EMNLP main conference.  For EMNLP 2014 and NAACL 2015, the TACL acceptance deadline was approximately a week before the conference's acceptance-notification deadline.

To be clear:  conditional acceptance —  "acceptance subject to revisions to be completed within two months", a type (b) decision   —  does not make a paper eligible for the conference presentation, since a next round of changes needs to be approved. Having been accepted as is — decision (a) —- by the deadline but not yet having submitted the camera-ready does mean the paper is eligible for conference presentation. Conference acceptance deadlines, when set, will be posted on the main TACL webpage.

We do not have submission deadlines for appearance at the various conferences: that is, we will not guarantee that if a paper is submitted to TACL by a certain date (e.g., Jan 15th 2013), it can be presented at relevant conference if accepted. This is an important difference from regular conference paper submissions, where there is a submission deadline. 

The editors-in-chief will contact eligible authors asking these authors about their intent for each conference the authors are eligible for.  Note that presentation of a TACL paper at a conference is optional. Authors may decide to wait for a later conference, and there is no obligation to present a TACL paper at any of the potential conferences at all.

Note that the conference chairs make the final choice as to whether the presentation of an accepted TACL paper will be oral or poster format, and this decision is not guaranteed to be made before TACL authors have to decide on a given conference.

Dual Submission Policy

TACL does not allow dual submissions: no material in any paper submitted to TACL may be under review at another conference or journal at any time while it is under consideration by TACL (i.e., starting from the time the submission is uploaded to the TACL server).

Papers with a Previous or Imminent Workshop or Preprint Version 

Preprint servers such as arXiv.org and ACL-related workshops are not considered archival for purposes of submission to TACL. However, authors must state in the “Comments to the Editor” field the name of the workshop or preprint server and title of the non-archival version. The submitted version should be suitably anonymized and not contain references to the prior or upcoming non-archival version. Reviewers will be told: “The author(s) have notified the editors that there exists a non-archival previous version of this paper with significantly overlapping text. The editors have approved submission under these circumstances, but to preserve the spirit of blind review, the current submission does not reference the non-archival version. Reviewers are free to do what they like with this information.”  

Questions about whether a venue other than those listed above can be considered non-archival must be cleared with the editors-in-chief in advance of submission.

Revision and Resubmission Policy for TACL Submissions

  • If the original version received a decision of type (b) (conditional acceptance) or type (c) (rejection with encouragement to revise resubmit), then the resubmission should consist of a single pdf that "bundles" three files together: (1) An anonymized cover letter describing what the original submission number(s) were,  who the original action editor(s) were, and how the authors addressed the changes requested; (2) an anonymized version of the original decision letter, together with the original reviews, and (3) the revision itself. Here is a latex skeleton that can help in creating this single pdf bundle: resubmission-pkg.tex
  • In the case where the original decision was of type (b) (acceptance subject to specific changes),  send an email to editors-in-chief@transacl.org with subject line "reactivate TACL <number>" where <number> is the original submission number.  In the text, please mention the name and number of the submission,  the name of the action editor who gave the (b) decision, and the name of the handling editor-in-chief.  Attach the pdf bundle to the email (do not upload it onto the system). The Editors-in-Chief will then manually reactivate the old submission, which will set up some important bookkeeping mechanisms.   
  • In the case where the original decision was of type (c) (rejection with encouragement to revise and resubmit), submit the bundled pdf under a new number.  Also, fill in the “Comments to the Editor”  field as follows.  Begin the comment with the words "(C) RESUBMISSION:", and then list the original submission number, and the name of the original action editor(s).
  • Papers rejected from TACL will not be eligible for resubmission to TACL for a 12 month period, unless significant revisions are made (to the point where the paper is basically a new paper) or in the case of an explicit decision of rejection with encouragement to resubmit within 3-6 months (i.e., type (c)). 

Resubmission Policy for ACL, EACL, NAACL, EMNLP Conference Submissions

  • Papers that have been rejected from or reviewed by [*]  the ACL, EACL, NAACL, or EMNLP conferences will not be eligible for submission to TACL for a 9-month period beginning at the submission deadline for the conference in question. (For example, the ACL 2012 submission deadline was January 15th, 2012; papers rejected  from ACL 2012 were not eligible for submission to TACL until October 15th, 2012 --- i.e., the November 2012 round.)
     
    [*] The phrase "rejected from or reviewed by" refers to the questions similar to: "If we saw our reviews during the author response period of conference X and decided to withdraw our paper, can we still submit it to TACL?" In other words, TACL considers papers that were reviewed by a conference and not accepted, such as papers that were withdrawn during an author response period before an official decision was received, to have been rejected from the conference.
  • The exception to this rule is when major revisions have been made to the original conference submission. For a paper to qualify as having major revisions, it must either: 1) have significant new experiments or theoretical results over the original conference submission; or 2) have a very significant rewrite over the original conference submission, to the point where it is a very different paper. 
     
    In either case, the resubmission should consist of a single pdf that "bundles" three files together: (1) An anonymized cover letter detailing the revisions made to the original paper, (2) the original (anonymized) submission; and  (3) the revision itself. Please make it very clear which part of the "bundle" is the submission to be reviewed versus which is the original, rejected version.  Here is a latex skeleton that can help in creating this single pdf bundle: resubmission-pkg-conferencerevised.tex .
    Also mention in the comments to the editor what conference the original version was rejected from.  

 

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. You have carefully reviewed the full submission instructions and verified that your file is compliant with them.  

    Please pay particular attention to the anonymization requirements, as we have had to reject a number of papers without review for violation of these rules.

  2. The paper is ready to be reviewed --- this is not a "stub" or "test" submission.

    The paper is in PDF and formatted using the TACL style files.

    The submitted PDF files cannot be overwritten with a re-submission, and there is no way for authors to delete a submission; deletion must be done manually by the editors-in-chief.  Therefore, please only upload your paper when it is ready to be reviewed.

  3. The submission has not been previously published, nor is the material in it under for review by another journal or conference.

    Futher, no material in it will later be submitted for review at another conference or journal while under review by TACL.

  4. The submission has not been rejected by TACL (that is, received a decision of  category "(d)") in the past 12 months.
  5. The submission has not been submitted to the ACL, EACL, NAACL, or EMNLP conferences within the past 9 months. (See full submission instructions URL above for acceptable exceptions.)

     

  6. If you are resubmitting a (c)-decision paper (rejection with encouragement to resubmit), the submission contains the three parts requested in a single pdf file.

    You'll also fill in the “Comments to the Editor”  field as follows.  Begin the comment with the words  "(C) RESUBMISSION:", and then list the original submission number and the name of the original action editor(s).

  7. If the paper is a resubmission of a type (b) paper  (acceptance subject-to/conditional-on specified changes),  don't submit it under a new numberInstead, make sure you've created a pdf file concatenating the three requested files together.  Then, send an email to editors-in-chief@transacl.org with subject line "reactivate TACL <number>" where <number> is the original submission number. In the text, please mention the name and number of the submission, the name of the action editor who gave the (b) decision, and the name of the handling editor-in-chief, and await further instructions.

  8. If you are submitting a revision of a paper rejected from a conference with a submission deadline in the last nine months, the submission contains a bundle of three parts following the template of resubmission-pkg-conferencerevised.tex .
    Also fill in the "Comments to the Editor" field to include the name of the conference that the original version was rejected from.
 

Copyright Notice

Copyright for TACL papers is held by the Association for Computational Linguistics, and articles are distributed under Creative Commons License CC-BY.

However, for TACL papers published in volumes 1 or 2 or in volume 3 up to and including page 403, the original published pdfs may not include a note about licensing or may mentioned Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 instead.

 

 

 

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