2012Q3 Reports: Mentoring Chairs

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We received 10 long papers and 3 short papers for mentoring service this year.

General Comments:

1. Many submissions (70%) did not conform to the ACL submission requirements in terms of the style or length limitations. I had to ask them to reformat their papers (this took a couple extra days) before sending their papers out to the mentors.

2. None of the mentored papers was accepted at the conference. From my observation, most papers seemed to have some weakness in technical content. Even if those papers were perfectly written in English, the chance for them to get accepted remains small. Since the mentoring service is designed to improve paper presentation/organization and English usage (not technical strength), it is not clear how much this effort will lead to eventual publication of the mentored paper. But on the other hand, the mentoring service may help authors improve their general writing skills. So this really depends on the goal of the service.

3. In this year's practice, authors who needed the mentoring service were requested to submit an intent (with a title and an abstract) two weeks (for long papers) or one week (for short papers) before the deadline of submission. This would allow me to recruit appropriate mentors. In fact this did give enough time to recruit mentors. However, a few papers did not follow this step. I had to recruit a few more mentors after submissions were received. It took much more effort to find mentors for those submissions at the last minute. Two weeks actually made a big difference.

4. At SIGDIAL, the mentoring service is provided to papers after the review process. If a paper has a good technical content but it's not very good in writing/organization/presentation, a reviewer can recommend acceptance with the mentoring service. The goal of the mentoring service is to improve the quality of the final publication. Not sure if this goal is aligned with the ACL's goal. Just thought to mention it here in case there is something interesting to ACL.