Report from the ACL 2004 Workshop Chair Srinivas Bangalore In response to the call for workshop proposals sent out in October 2003, a total of 18 proposals were received by the deadline on December 8, 2003. The workshop proposals were reviewed over a period of two weeks by the ACL 2004 Workshop committee. The committee constituted of members from USA, Europe and Asia with representation from academic and research institutions (Srinivas Bangalore (AT&T, USA), Marcello Frederico (IRIST, Italy), Christopher Manning (Stanford Univ,USA), and Helen Meng (CUHK, Hong Kong)). Based on the room availability, a limit of 11 workshops was placed by the local organizers. The committee selected the 11 workshops based on the following criteria: - Does the topic have a broad community of interest? - Is the workshop one of Research/Application/Technology/Resource and how important is to have a workshop forum for that topic? - All SIG workshops were accepted. - Interdisciplinary workshop proposals got a preference. Four two-day workshops and seven one-day workshops made up the eleven selected workshops. Three of the eleven workshops were Special Interest Group (SIG) sponsored workshops -- SIGHAN, SIGLEX, and SIGPHON. The SIGDAT sponsored EMNLP conference was not treated as a workshop from the very outset. It was only in May 2004, it became clear that due to the lack of sufficient number of quality paper submissions one of the workshops had to be cancelled. The workshop chairs were informed about the acceptance decision on December 23, 2003 and were asked to prepare a call-for-papers by the second week of January, 2004 for circulation. The workshop chairs were free to set their own schedule for paper submission, review and camera-ready version, although the workshop committee suggested a reasonable set of dates for these deadlines. The only constraint was that the camera-ready papers would have to be submitted to the publication chair by June 1, 2004. The chairs were also required to set up a web-page for their workshop and a HTML template file was provided to ease this process. With the help of local organizers, an e-mail alias was set up to communicate with all the workshop chairs which proved to be very useful to discuss issues related to workshop organization and publications. Barring a glitch in e-mail delivery to one of the workshop chairs, the process progressed smoothly. Issues: - At the current time, a workshop proposal requires an individual organizer as a point-of-contact for communication. Instead, workshop organizers should be required to set up an e-mail alias that includes the e-mail addresses of all the workshop organizers. This would eliminate the problem of dropped e-mails due to the absence of the point-of-contact as well as provide the necessary redundancy in case an e-mail is not delivered to the point-of-contact. This will also obviate the need for the point-of-contact to forward e-mails to other co-organizers. - Given the appeal of EMNLP to a large subset of the ACL community, organizing it in parallel against the workshops might affect the workshop registrations. However, if the ACL community does not want to add another conference to the list of conferences in a year, then it might be a better choice to run EMNLP in parallel to the tutorials. This option was not explored this year. - Conflict-of-interest Issue: The ACL policies and procedures handbook might want to explicitly lay out the procedure for handling the review of a workshop proposal which involve one of the members of the workshop committee in an organizational role in the workshop. This year we had such a situation for one workshop and an independent review from the General Chair was solicited for deciding the acceptance of that workshop. - It is a bit awkward that the workshop organizers have to pay registration fees to attend their own workshop. Furthermore, the invited speaker for a workshop is required to pay the registration fees for the workshop that they have been invited to. It might be more appropriate if the registration fees for the organizers and invited speaker is waived and if necessary, the fee for the workshop be set suitably to recover this cost.