ACL-02 Workshops Chair Reports
(Walter Daelemans)

As a response to the Call for Workshop Proposals (distributed from
November 7, 2001), 13 proposals were received, for a total of 16
workshop days. All proposals were of excellent scientific and
organisational quality. Ten proposal were accepted for 12 workshop
days. Two proposals were unified into one workshop. The workshops
chair made the selection, with valuable feedback and advice from the
ACL organizers and ACL and NAACL execs. Later on, the EMNLP was added
to the list of ACL workshops. Of the organization committees of the
accepted workshops only 4 are uni-continental (1 Europe, 3 US), the
other 7 are mixed (6 Europe-US, 1 Europe-Asia). Four accepted
workshops are organized by ACL SIGs (SIGLEX, SIGDIAL, SIGPHON,
SIGDAT). At the request of the proposers, one workshop was scheduled
in parallel with the Tutorials Session (on tools for teaching CL).

All CFPs of the workshops were announced around mid-January 2002,
after a check by the workshops chair for consistency and uniformity,
and distributed on the ACL workshops website (via the webmaster) and
by email via Priscilla Rasmussen.

As the registration and programme information was distributed only
electronically this year, only electronic workshop descriptions and
programs are being made available.

A few workshops received external funding, one workshop was allocated
an amount of money for ACL registration waiver of the invited speaker,
workshop fees were waived for all invited speakers.

Relatively late appointment of a publications chair and some
unfortunate and accidental miscommunication between him and the
workshops chair caused some minor confusion about when, how and where
to deliver the camera-ready proceedings material (CD-ROM version,
paper version, and copyright release statements). The exact procedure
and timetable for this should preferably be worked out between
Omnipress, the publications chair, the workshops chair, and the
conference organizers at a much earlier stage than was the case this
year, and communicated to the workshop organizers as soon as
possible. The tools developed by David Yarowsky are an excellent way
of achieving uniformity and efficiency in this process, and should
preferably be distributed to the workshop organizers at an early stage
as well.

At the time of writing, no complete information is available yet about
number of workshop papers and number of registrations for the
different workshops.

Some issues which could be discussed within the ACL-exec are the
Finally, ACL needs workshops! I was surprised by some of the policies
of ACL regarding workshops, e.g. the fact that they are not allowed to
set their own registration fees and to use this money to fund invited
speakers, the fact that the organizers can't have their names on the
cover of the proceedings, restrictions on size of workshop papers, and
the fact that some members of the exec prefer a limited number of
workshops regardless of capacity. In my opinion, more is better, and
if possible, all scientifically and organisationally well-prepared
workshops should be accommodated, and maximum flexibility should be
allowed to the organizers to make organizing one as attractive as
possible. The reason is the following: (i) the ACL main conference
programme has room only for a limited number of papers; (ii) most
researchers can only travel with accepted papers; (iii) all workshop
attendees register for the main conference (and thereby start or
continue ACL membership). Hypothesis: without workshops, ACL
attendance would be half what it is now, and with more workshops, ACL
attendance will increase. Furthermore, workshops, even if limited in
scope, popularity or size, serve as an excellent tool to introduce new
topics into the mainstream.

Walter Daelemans
Antwerp, June 4, 2002