2017Q3 Minutes (public version)

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ACL exec meeting (2017 summer)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Vancouver, Canada

Participants

  • ACL exec: Joakim Nivre, Marti Hearst, Pushpak Bhattacharyya (Skype), Ming Zhou, Shiqi Zhao, Graeme Hirst, Yejin Choi, Jing-Shin Chang, Jennifer Foster, Emily Bender, Walter Daelemans, Paola Merlo, and Priscilla Rasmussen.
  • AFNLP representative: Kam-Fai Wong
  • Conference organizers: (1) ACL2017: Chris Callison-Burch, Regina Barzilay, Min-Yen Kan, Anoop Sarkar; (2) ACL2018: Claire Cardie, Iryna Gurevych, Yusuke Miyao, Tim Baldwin, Karin Verspoor, Trevor Cohn
  • Kristina Toutanova, Lillian Lee (Skype)

Code of conduct

  • Points raised in the discussion:
    • Focus on narrow, practical things first.
    • Committee should discuss whether a document is needed and, if so, what its nature (guidelines or binding) and scope (narrow or broad) should be.
    • Make a survey among members about need, nature and scope.
  • Action:
    • Committee (chaired by Pushpak) will work out a proposal and present it to the Exec.

Anti-harassment procedures

  • Points raised in the discussion:
    • Set up a separate committee for anti-harassment issues.
    • Need to keep records of harassment cases.
  • Action:
    • Committee (chaired by Emily) will work out a proposal and present it to the Exec.

Promoting diversity

  • Publication of diversity statistics
    • Do diversity statistics for all conferences (which can cover 85% of all members) as well as on the ACL portal (for those who renew their membership on the portal).
    • The information of the members should be automatically imported to the portal, so that members needn’t to be asked multiple times.
  • Proposal for a diversity & inclusion BIG (Broad Interest Group)
    • Be supportive of creating a BIG.
    • Call for (multi-year) sponsorship from industry to support diverse students.
  • Actions:
    • We will organize annual publication of diversity statistics starting from January 2018.
    • We will communicate back to people behind the initiative to check if the current SIG model can work.
    • We will check the existing rules about SIGs and find out what should be changed for a BIG.

ACL2017 & ACL2018

  • General and local chairs 2017:
    • Childcare should be a multi-year experiment.
    • Consider extra charge for exhibitions. (The benefits of Platinum and gold sponsors now include exhibition.)
  • PC chairs 2017:
    • Should set up institutional memory about ACs and reviewers.
    • Encourage future ACL committees to consider building systematic format checker to fix the submission formatting problems.
    • Recommend to have secretarial support to the program chairs to help with operational support. It should be long-term support over multiple conferences.
    • It is better to have a mixed and more diverse program committee, with both senior and junior, male and female, well known and underrepresented.
    • ACL committee should generally consider having a longer discussion period during paper reviewing, which helps improve the review quality.
  • ACL-2018:
    • Deadlines of long and short papers: The worst agenda is putting the deadline of long papers ahead of the short papers, which may result in a lot of resubmissions of the rejected long papers.
  • Action:
    • We will initiate a discussion with PC chairs for NAACL and ACL 2018 about how to continue the work on improving paper-reviewer matching, area chair organization, institutional memory, administrative support and format checking.

Preprint publishing and paper reviewing

  • Points raised in the discussion:
    • In the short term, guidelines on preprint publishing, for both reviewers and authors, should be ready for the upcoming conferences, e.g., NAACL2018 and ACL2018.
  • Action:
    • We will appoint a working group to quickly work out guidelines and policies for the conferences in 2018 and to propose long-term strategies.

Journals

  • Actions:
    • We will move TACL to a professional publisher (MIT Press is preferred).
    • We will run an OJS server for both ACL and TACL. Ask SoftConf if they can do it.
    • We will develop an ACL-wide system for duplicate detection. Ask SoftConf to set up API or search facility.
    • We will set up search committees for new editors for both CL (1) and TACL (2) Deadline for committees to complete the work: end of 2017.

Growth of ACL in Asia

  • Action:
    • Convene a working group to discuss if ACL should create an Asian Chapter.

Regular reports

  • Points raised in the discussion:
    • SIG: We need a procedure to end a SIG if people think they no longer need it, or (better) make it dormant.
    • EACL: change the EACL conference cycle to the NAACL model, which will start from 2020.
    • NAACL: Consider the proposal to add an “Industry Track” at the NAACL conference.

Reward to the volunteers & next generation IT

  • Actions:
    • We should consider creating a service award.
    • We should recruit a pool of volunteers to do IT work.

Unethical use of the research results

  • Action:
    • Set up a website to communicate with the public about CL technology, including the “dark side”. Encourage ACL members to write the texts.