2013Q3 Reports: Mentoring Chairs

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In the light of the fact that the last years' mentoring did not lead to a clearly positive outcome in terms of the acceptance rate of the mentored submissions, the ACL 2013 chairs decided to launch for ACL 2013 an experimental run of a new mentoring procedure. Thus, instead of opening a general call for mentoring prior to the paper submission deadline, the reviewers were asked to suggest during the reviewing period papers with novel and promising technical content but poor presentation, organization or writing for mentoring.

From the pool of submissions proposed for mentoring, we have chosen five. The authors of one of the papers rejected being mentored, such that at the end four papers underwent mentoring during the author answering period in that the mentors got in touch with the authors and coached them through the revision. Two of the four submissions have been finally accepted and two rejected.

Resumé and general recommendations:

1. At the first glance, we might say that the new mentoring procedure led to a positive outcome. However, although we believe that the procedure is promising, the number of mentored submissions was too small to draw any conclusions in this respect. Our suggestion would be to continue with this procedure on a larger scale for ACL 2014 and/or EACL 2014.

2. When suggesting a submission for mentoring, the reviewers should provide a short justification why they think this submission should be mentored (this would ensure that the reviewers do not tick the mentoring option by default).

3. The submission confirmation letter should draw the authors' attention to the possibility that their submission might be selected for mentoring during the author answering period.