2017Q3 Reports: Information Officer
The Information Officer (IO) portfolio includes integration of information dissemination for various ACL-wide activities, through the
- Website & Portal (now integrated)
Long-term goals for the IO include maintenance of the aclweb.org and mirroring of other conference sites, and to be cost-neutral through sponsorship by corporate interests or membership levies.
Plans include provide integration of logins (through OpenID and OAuth) and make our information services to be updated and professionally-designed with better UI for better UX.
New media, such as social media and Apps, might be future means for communications among members. The developing strategies of such new media are being investigated.
The Information Officer does not manage nor do the day-to-day operations for the Anthology, ACL Wiki or website, but has the purview to dictate policy for it.
The Anthology is managed separately by the Anthology Editor (Min-Yen Kan) and the primary ACL Wiki is managed by Peter Turney (till 2017/07) and Chunliang Lyu (since 2017/07, will serves at least 2 years).
For other information services (other Wikis, the website and the portal), the current webmaster is in charge, but needs to have strong direction set by the Information Officer.
Jing-Shin Chang took the responsibility of the information officer since Jan 2016. The past CIO, Min-Yen, helps a lot in the transition of the duty.
Recent Events (2017/02~2017/07)
- New Mailing Lists: Mailing lists for EACL Board (eacl-board@aclweb) and EACL Students Board (eacl-student-board@aclweb) were established.
- ACL Forwarder: ACL-2017 mail forwarder for email@example.com, to firstname.lastname@example.org, was established.
- ACL Wiki Editor: The ACL Wiki Editor was taken over by Dr. Chunliang Lyu [Resume] from Peter Turney, who contributed the management of the ACL general Wiki for nearly 11 years. Great thanks are sent to him for his significant contribution.
- Volunteers Selection: Policies on how to recruit volunteers for positions like ACL Wiki will be discussed in the ACL-2017 (Vancouver, Canada) executive committee meetings. There was no formal procedures and policies for rewarding such long-term volunteers, and thus requires discussion.
- Nomination System: The Fellow Nomination and Recommendation System is revised from a two-page static forms into a version that allows repeated posting and revision by nominator and recommenders (until the deadline of nomination). Future revisions are expected after this first revision. About tens of off-the-shelf general application management systems was surveyed before the revision. They were found to cost a lot (charged yearly, more expensive than the current website hosting costs) and does not easily tailored to our needs.
- Draft design of the revised version can be seen in the following files:
- [Application Tracking Systems Survey (letter to acl-exec-2017 mailing list) (2017/05/31)]
- [Draft Design & UI: in PDF/PPT nomination.recommendation.system.1.0.11.pdf (2017/06/20)]
- [Draft Proposal: in MS Word (2017/05/30)]
- (Some comments from executive members were not yet included in the above documents.)
- VPS Migration: VPS migration for porting the new anthology from independent domain to aclweb.org is under survey since the transition from shared host to VPS has some potential problems that may interfere current ACL web operations.
Recent Events (2016/08~2017/02)
- The old ACL website is officially backup and closed. It was merged into the ACL portal. The old website can however be re-opened if some old broken links need be re-constructed.
- Membership importing function of the member portal (from conference registration modules) is implemented. So member information of new members or renewed members who register near main ACL conference can be imported automatically with minimal manual entry. This is important since recent member registration or renewal was closely related to the main ACL conference, but the member portal and conference registration system are maintained independently for the past few years. Manual works were required to transfer the registration information to the member portal manually.
- Elections were run for ACL-2017 new Exec board members & Amendment to the ACL Constitution (Article V, Item 5).
- NAACL website was investigated to know whether its models can be adapted to ACL portal. Some difficulties were found: (1) It is based on github pages. So it is basically based on collaborator approach for maintaining their webpages and announcement. Posting announcement is just like submitting codes based on some templates. So maintainers need to be familiar with the development models of Github, and cannot use simple GUI like the ACL webmaster does based on the CMS for the portal. (2) It lakes functionalities that require database operations (like SQL for updating membership information.) So the NAACL models, so far, are only good for event announcement.
- Social media accounts for Facebook and twitter are created. Automatic mutual posting from one media to another was tested. Management strategy is being developed so ACL-owned social media & conference-owned media accounts can be integrated and controlled in a better way.
Recent Events (2016/01~07)
- ACL website is integrated with the ACL Portal to use the same CMS. They are under watching for further improvement.
- The Anthology Steering Committee (ASC) held a teleconference on 7/14, discussing important to-do items of the Anthology, and their priorities. Current members of the ASC include Min-Yen Kan, Paola Merlo and Jing-Shin Chang.
(This report is under revision for 2017Q3. Some of the following data might be aged.)
Budget. The IO has a budget to oversee part-time manpower allocated to help improve our association's websites, which includes maintenance, upgrading, migrating and backup.
Thompson Reuters Web of Knowledge / Elsevier Scopus Indexing: We know a good portion of our membership relies on impact assessment for promotion, ranking and tenure. We are trying to tackle this problem by investigating whether our materials can be indexed by major citation indices, namely Thompson Reuter's Web of Knowledge (Wok) and Elsevier's Scopus. We have initiated discussions and provided materials since Oct 2014 to WoK, but they have not been forthcoming with any status or updates with respect to our queries. We continue to attempt to remind them on a monthly basis, but unfortunately, we have not be able to get any response.
Elsevier requires that journals have an ISSN (largely reserved for serials / journals), an issue we are currently investigating.
Note that the onus of journal indexing (both CL and TACL) is the responsibility of the respective journals. Currently, CL is indexed by Elsevier, but TACL is not indexed by either service.
We would appreciate help from our membership who have been successful at approaching either indexing service in helping to get the agencies to index our conference proceedings.
Since the Anthology Editor is not necessarily the same as the Information Officer since 2016, the major updates on the Anthology management will be referred to the Anthology Editor's recent reports at: [2017 Q3 Reports ACL Anthology] [2016 Q3 Reports ACL Anthology]
Our current hosting provider is Bluehost, on their shared Pro hosting (about $20 per month), which has seen fairly good response times. Due to the nature of shared hosting, the custom installation of the ACL Anthology cannot share this host, and one of the plans this year is to move the ACL Anthology to a VPS provider that can accommodate the service for a reasonable price. Static information from the Anthology will still likely be put on Bluehost, since the hosting can hold unlimited files.
Website and Portal
The main ACL information services were divided into a main website and a member portal. These two had been merged into one as of this report. 
The ACL website serves as the primary online resource for the organization, and is a Drupal 7 installation. It contains the main ACL site, an ACL Wiki which serves as a resource to the general computational linguistics community, an ACL Admin wiki used to store and maintain ACL specific resources such as reports, handbooks, and policies as well as an Exec wiki reserved for the use of ACL Exec officers. We also maintain mirrors of individual ACL conference websites, membership email lists for ACL announcements (via the webhosts' installation of Mailman) and a listing of resolutions of the ACL Exec Committee (within the ACL Wiki).
The ACL Portal was created to provide a web-based platform to house facilities for the benefit of members. The Portal currently serves little function other than maintaining a list of current members and a payment gateway for membership. The Portal was therefore integrated into the website's functionality, now that both systems are run on a common platform (Drupal 7). Integration involved upgrading existing custom modules developed by Ben Phelan (the previous developer) for the Portal to Drupal 7. Pranav, our current webmaster, was working towards these goals. As of this report, the integration had been completed. And so far, the integrated system works fine. But we will continue to watch whether any potential issues might arise.
We still need to manage spam registrations on a weekly basis as the Portal allows anyone to register an account (and get a webpage listing their profile, a target for spammers to get an "endorsed" hyperlink from the Portal). An open issue will be to lock down new registrations to the Portal in effort to combat spam.
We hope to resume our work on the establishment of a central login for ACL services (something akin to a "ACL Account" a la Google or Facebook). We are planning to use OpenID and OAuth, which would allow members to link their ACL account with other (i.e., Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Microsoft/Hotmail) services; such that one could use login credentials from those services for ACL use.
Election and Volunteers Recruitment
The Information Officer is a position linked with one of the At-Large positions on the ACL Executive board. It is up for the 2015 election for the standard At-Large executive officer term (3 years). The new information officer, Jing-Shin Chang, took this position since January 2016. And the initial Information Officer, Min-Yen Kan, continue to provide useful information to make the information services better.
We also have our senior ACL Wiki master, Peter Turney, running for 11 years in his position. And his jobs were transferred to Chunliang Lyu from July, 2017. Since the contents of the information service are changing over time, and the work load of our webmaster and wiki master will become heavier, the current information officer is considering to recruit more volunteers to help maintain the whole ACL information service system. The recruitment procedure and criteria will be discussed later with the executive committee members.