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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.

  • Be sure the submission filename is does not use author identifiers. We encourage authors to use the TACL submission number (XXXX.pdf) or similar (original.pdf, revision.pdf, etc.). Do not use author identifiers in the submission file name (e.g. "Smith.submission") in the file name. The submission will be rejected).
  • You have carefully reviewed the following instructions, etc.: full submission instructions, including the tacl2021v1-submission-formatting-instructions.pdf document, and verified that your file is compliant. Please pay particular attention to the first section in the formatting instructions, as it lists common rules violations for which papers have been rejected without review in the past.

    TACL requires complete profile information on all primary and co-authors. Your paper will NOT proceed to review without this information; incomplete submissions are at risk of automatic desk rejection. Take care to provide complete profiles (first, last, email, affiliation and country) when you register authors under "Contributors".

  • Please provide a list of *all* of the authors and their affiliations for submissions: You can enter the list in the "Comments for the Editor" section.

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

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is the material in it under for review by another journal or conference. Further, no material in it will be submitted for review at another conference or journal while under review by TACL.

  • No preprint or declared-archival workshop version of the paper has been posted within the one-month window before submission to TACL, and none will be posted by any author of the paper while the paper is under consideration by TACL.
  • The submission is not a version of a paper that was reviewed by the  ACL, AACL,EACL, NAACL, or EMNLP conferences within the last 9 months. Note that papers that were withdrawn before receiving a decision but nonetheless received reviews are thus not TACL-eligible during the 9-month window.

  • If there is a preprint or workshop version already publicly available (this is only allowed if it was made available more than a month before submission to TACL), you will declare this  in  the  "Comments  for  the  editors" (listing  the  place  where  the  preprint is hosted, the URL,  the  title of  the preprint, and the date the preprint was made available).
  • 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've removed author names from the included decision letter.

  • C-decision Resubmissions: please email: After the resubmission is finalized: please notify with the following information:
    a) Subject line: current TACL number: (C)-RESUBMISSION
    b) provide the name of the original submission number, action editor(s) & a list of the authors and their affiliations in the message section.

  • 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 number and don't upload it to the systemInstead, make sure you've created a pdf file concatenating the three requested files together.  Then, send an email to 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.  Attach the pdf bundle to the email. Ensure that author names have been removed from the included original decision letter. 

  • The submission has not been rejected by TACL (that is, received a decision of  category "(d)") in the past 12 months.
  • The submission does not contain any instances of research fabrication or plagiarism --- the use of the ideas or language of others without attribution.

    Note that rephrasing the language or wording of others without acknowledgment of the original source is still plagiarism, that is, plagiarism extends beyond word-for-word copying. 

    TACL actively checks for plagiarism.  By uploading your submission, you consent to having your paper submitted for software-based textual overlap checks with submissions submitted (whether accepted or rejected) to  *ACL conferences and workshops.

    Also note that a determination of plagiarism or research fabrication may result in TACL contacting the author's or authors' institution(s), funding agencies, and potential victims, as outlined by flowchart guidance given by the Committee on Publication Ethics,  As per COPE guidelines, clear evidence of violation, either through misconduct or honest error, may result in rejection of a submission or retraction of a published article.

  • Please provide 5-10 key words related to your paper; you can enter them in the "Comments for the Editor" section (optional).

Author Guidelines

Aims and Scope

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.  We follow ACL Policies for Submission, Review and Citation.

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. 

Deadlines and Registration Requirements

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 US Pacific time, not Honolulu Time, so this deadline translates to a timestamp of roughly 2:59am when it is on our server.  Do not worry about being off by an hour for observance or non-observance of Daylight Savings Time.) 

Submissions Require Registration  To register: contact: with the following information:
On the Subject Line: Registration Request
In the message: Requesting registration:
• First/Given Name:
• Last/Family Name:
• Preferred Email:
• Affiliation(s):
• Country currently affiliation with/working from:
• Areas of Interest: (optional)
• Reason for registration

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

Submission Format

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.

Moreover, the ACL has, as of October 2017, implemented an anonymity window: no non-anonymous preprint or workshop versions of submissions can have been or be posted by the authors(s) within the period starting a month before submission to TACL and ending when the paper is no longer under consideration by TACL.  

If software or datasets will be released

To keep reviewing times down, we do not allow submission of supplementary material. (Furthermore, we disallow links to such supplementary material, anonymized or not, to avoid the possibility of tracking analytics compromising the anonymity of the reviewers.) However,  the release of software or datasets is strongly encouraged.  We ask that authors include in their submission some 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.

Formatting requirements

Submissions must conform to the official TACL style requirements (revised December 2021), which are described in this pdf file:

Formatting Instructions for TACL Submissions (dated December 15, 2021).
Note that there may be formatting changes for final versions that are sent to MIT Press for typesetting.
That document begins with a list of common errors that have caused us to reject papers without review in the past. Consult the instructions carefully to avoid making the same mistakes.
As noted in that document, at publication time, authors must supply their LaTeX source. We thus strongly recommend the use of following style and template files.

These files are also available on Overleaf.

Code of Ethics

Authors are required to honor the ethical code set out in the ACM Code of Ethics, which has been adopted by ACL as a whole. Language processing is applied to numerous tasks with real-life applications and considerable potential for societal impact, both good and bad. As researchers we are responsible for clearly articulating the impact of our research, use of data and potential applications of our work, as well as the limitations of the work when deployed in real-world scenarios.

We ask that all authors read the ethics code linked to above, and ensure that their work conforms to it. Where a paper may raise ethical issues, we ask that you include in the paper an explicit discussion of these issues, which will be taken into account in the review process. We reserve the right to reject papers on ethical grounds, where the authors are judged to have operated counter to the code of ethics, or have inadequately addressed legitimate ethical concerns with their work or have not clearly articulated limitations of the proposed approach, task or dataset.

Note on Survey Papers

There is no special category for survey papers at TACL, hence such papers must meet the same bar of originality, significance, technical strength and relevance to computational linguistics and NLP as regular submissions.  They must also keep to the same length limit as regular submissions, hence survey topics must be suitably circumscribed to allow for appropriate coverage within the 10-page limit.  To meet the bar of originality and significance, surveys should be such that even experts in the domain covered will say “I learned something interesting from this paper."  They should thus not simply be a descriptive enumeration of the contents of papers, but draw broad themes and (importantly) provide new insights on the topic.  These insights should be major contributions of the submission.

Resubmission Policy for ACL, AACL, EACL, NAACL, EMNLP and ARR Conference Submissions

Papers or revised versions of papers that have been rejected from or reviewed by [*]  the ACL, AACL, EACL, NAACL, EMNLP conferences (or the ACL rolling review system, ARR) 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.).

Please see our August 24th, 2017 announcement for reasons why even substantial revisions to a conference version do not qualify for an exception to this rule.

For ACL rolling review (ARR) submissions, the 9 month period begins at the beginning of the month it was submitted for review at ARR. So, for example, if the paper was submitted to the ARR for the October batch of reviews, and received a review, that paper would be eligible to be submitted to TACL 9 months from October 1, i.e., July 1 of the following year.  Note that this same policy applies to resubmissions to ARR, i.e., rejected resubmissions must wait 9 months from the resubmission month to submit to TACL.

[*] 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. 

Papers For Which a Preprint Version Was Posted Outside The Anonymity Window

Preprint servers such as and (tracks of) ACL-related workshops that have not been declared to be archival 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 
  • the title of the non-archival version
  • URL for it
  • date it was made available.

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.  It is a good idea to read the paper and draft an initial review before you carry out any online searches that risk discovering authorship.  If you do become aware of the authors' identity, and/or come across a paper with significant text overlap with this submission, please let me know.”  

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.

As stated in the "Anonymization requirements" section above, TACL disallows authors from posting non-anonymous preprints during the anonymity window (the period starting one month before TACL submission and ending when the submission is no longer under consideration by TACL.)  Anonymous preprint versions  --- is one server that provides this option ---  are permissable during the anonymity period.

Dual/Multiple Submission Policy

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

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.v1,1.tex

  • In the case where the original decision was of type (b) (acceptance subject to specific changes),  send an email to 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.  After the resubmission is finalized, please send an email to notify of the resubmission: in the subject line, write  "(C) RESUBMISSION: <the original submission number >; in the message, provide the name of the original action editor(s), along with a list of the authors and their affiliations.
  • Papers rejected from TACL (d)  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)).

Presentation of Accepted TACL Papers at Conferences

TACL has an acceptance deadline for presentation at the AACL, 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/AACL/NAACL/EACL/EMNLP main conference. As of ACL 2019 onwards, in addition, TACL also has a final-version completion and approval deadline to complete the steps given at This policy is to help conference organizers manage TACL papers at their conferences; authors that do not comply with the final-version completion/approval deadline may have their conference presentation revoked.  Exact deadlines, when set, will be posted on the main TACL webpage; a typical TACL acceptance deadline is a few weeks before the conference notification deadline.

To be clear, type B-decision: conditional acceptance —  "acceptance subject to revisions to be completed within two months" —  does not make a paper eligible for the conference presentation, since a next round of changes needs to be approved.  

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, 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.

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. However, a paper can only be presented in the calendar year in which it was accepted or the following calendar year, so authors should not defer choosing which conference to present in indefinitely.

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. 

Final-Version Format

Authors whose papers have been accepted (received a decision of (a)) can find the instructions for preparing final versions at
Final Versions Sent to MIT Press - what to expect
*MIT Press does not allow for figures on the first page/article opener.
*Please adhere to MIT-preferred author/affiliation guideline layouts. *Note that there may also be small adjustments in typesetting at the publication phase through MIT Press.

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 mention Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 instead.



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Application and Tools

Empirical and Data-Driven Methods

Resource and Evaluation

Theoretical Research


"Archived" (via Decline feature) when C-decisions rendered

This is the only way to archive papers that have come to conclusion (usually C-decision papers). Decline is not the correct term, but that's the only means of closing papers out.