ACL-02 PUBLICATIONS CHAIR Report for 2002
REPORT by Dragomir Radev
It is a pleasure to be publications chair when everyone else involved
in the process is friendly, timely, and reasonable. This list includes
the editors of the individual proceedings, the conference chair, the
printers at OmniPress, the local organizers, the CD-ROM editor, as
well as Priscilla Rasmussen, David Yarowsky, and Jason Eisner, For the
record, the most timely person to answer my emails was the general
chair, Pierre Isabelle, which is amazing given the tons of other
things that he had to do for this conference!
Early on, I created a mail alias at aclweb.org that includes all
people involved in the publications cycle. This mailing list proved to
be quite valuable.
From a logistical point of view, a problem that haunted us until the
very end and which could have been avoided was due to a violation of
an important principle of data replication. To create the CD-ROM we
needed a copy of the metadata for each paper (in Yarowsky "db"
format). It turned out that these "db" files were maintained by each
individual proceeding chair but also automatically generated by a
program at Alberta using data typed by the authors themselves. As a
result, the two versions were sometimes quite different, e.g., with
authors in different orders, incorrect titles, varying numbers of
pages, etc. For the future, I would like to recommend that all
metadata for the papers be created in one central location (e.g., on
the conference Web site) and then used by the individual chairs to
prepare their proceedings.
The style files for the conference and proceedings were adapted from
previous years' versions by Dekang Lin. In general, authors were quite
good about following the guidelines for the papers.
The set of tools developed by David Yarowsky for the CD-ROM and the
individual proceedings was used with very few modifications. This is
the third year that this software has shown to be invaluable!
The CD-ROM was made possible only after a number of sleepless nights
spent by Jahna Otterbacher in order to get every single page, every
singly link and figure in order. Fantastic job, Jahna!
For the record: Jahna ended up spending 93 hours on the CD-ROM. In the
future, I recommend that the position of CD-ROM chair should be
created as the amount of work involved is way too much for the
publications chair alone. I ended up spending a similar amount of time
on the rest of the duties of publications chair.
One of the innovations in this year's CD-ROM is adding reference
information for each paper in the margins of the PDF files. Thanks,
Jason Eisner, for the idea and for helping make it possible.
Some additional suggestions for the future:
- there should be a uniform page order for all front matter in a
- there should be a standard taxonomy of ACL topics that can be used
to classify each submitted papers
- a standard for archival metadata should be agreed upon and
followed. This standard should also address the inclusion of fonts
in the soft copies of the papers
- the position of publications chair should be for two years. I
learned a lot of useful things this year while doing this job which
I should have been aware of earlier.