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ACL-2000 Call for Theme Proposals

ACL-2000 Conference:
The 38th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Hong Kong
October 3--6, 2000

The Association for Computational Linguistics would like to encourage the submission of papers on substantial, original, and unpublished research on all aspects of computational linguistics. To broaden both the thematic coverage and geographical origin of submissions, we are continuing the special theme sessions format introduced in the 1999 ACL conference. Some proportion of the conference will be given over to special sessions, somewhat like a special issue of a journal, organized around themes proposed by members of the NLP community. The aim is to incorporate some of the intensity and excitement of the traditional pre/post-conference workshops, without replacing those workshops---we expect, as has become traditional, that there will also be a set of workshops that will remain separate from the main meeting. This call invites proposals for thematic sessions in accordance with the considerations below; a final Call For Papers, that includes the list of selected themes will be sent out in mid-January.

What is a Thematic Session?

We are soliciting proposals for themes that will provide a sufficient number of quality papers to form one or two sessions (3-4 papers per session) in the main conference. Proposers of accepted themes, who will become the chairs of those sessions, will have similar responsibilities to those of workshop organizers in terms of arranging reviewing and the delivery of camera ready copy. However, the papers will be scheduled as part of the main sessions and will be published as part of the main conference proceedings. The quality of theme papers is expected to be equal to that of the papers in the general sessions of the conference. In terms of subject area coverage, we expect thematic sessions will be closer to workshop topic areas in focus.

Format of Theme Proposals

The theme proposals should be approximately two pages in length and should be divided into the following headings.

  • Chair Details: Name, address, email, telephone number, fax
  • Theme Title:
  • List of Topics: This should include some keywords describing the topics to be covered by the theme. This information will be used primarily to check for overlap with other proposed themes.
  • Summary: A brief description of the proposed subject area, and summary of why the inclusion of the proposed theme would meet the aims of theme sessions.
  • Viability of Theme: Given the number of papers that can populate one or two sessions at the conference and the typical ACL acceptance rates, to be viable a theme should receive 10--30 submissions. In this section, proposers of the theme should provide evidence that sufficient number of submissions can be expected. Such evidence for the viability of the theme might include the citation of workshops, symposia, special journal issues etc. in the theme topic. In situations of emerging fields, such evidence may not be available. In lieu of such evidence, proposers might provide evidence for an existing community interested in the topic by providing a list of people who have indicated interest in the theme. Of course, proposers can offer other types of evidence to show that a sufficient number of submissions can be expected.
  • Proposed Review Committee: Each paper submitted should be reviewed by at least three people. As part of the proposal, proposers should suggest a potential review committee who are likely to serve on the committee if the proposal is accepted. The list would also demonstrate the spread of interest in the area in the community, encouraging both international participation and the participation of a broad range of researchers, including both senior members of the community and graduate students.
  • Summary: A brief description of the proposed subject area, and summary of why the inclusion of the proposed theme would meet the aims of theme sessions.

Theme proposals should be submitted to the email address provided below. Proposers of themes are encouraged to indicate their plans in advance of the submission date by sending email to this address. Informal enquiries as to what might work as a theme can also be directed to this address. Possible themes might be topics like: NLP and Information Retrieval (or topics that include a community in the periphery of language technology); Methods for Asian Language Processing; Computational Linguistic Issues in Alternate/Augmentative Communication; Spoken Dialog Systems; Multi-lingual Language Processing. These examples are provided only as indications of the variety of topic areas that will be considered. A list of theme topics included in ACL 1999 conference can be found by following appropriate links from

Important Dates
This call issued: December 3, 1999
Theme submissions deadline: January 7, 2000
Notification of selected themes: January 17, 2000
Call for papers: January 20, 2000
Paper submissions deadline: March 31, 2000 (approx. date)
Notification of acceptance: June 15, 2000 (approx. date)

General Submission Questions

Co-chairs for the ACL-00 program are Chang-Ning Huang and K. Vijay-Shanker. All queries regarding the program should be sent to; this forwards to both co-chairs.

Submission Format

Theme proposals should ideally submitted in ascii by email to with the subject: "ACL99 THEME PROPOSAL". PostScript, PDF and Word files will be accepted if they print on the first try. Hardcopy proposals should be faxed or mailed to both of the chairs, clearly labeled "ACL99 THEME PROPOSAL". Proposals should be received by 5pm GMT on January 7, 2000.
Chang-Ning Huang (Co-Chair) K. Vijay-Shanker (Co-Chair)
Microsoft Research,China 103 Smith Hall
5F, Beijing Sigma Center Dept. of Computer Science
No.49, Zhichun Road University of Delaware
Beijing 100080, P.R.C Newark, DE 19716, USA
Tel: (86-10)6261-7711/5760 Tel: +1 302 831 1952
Fax: (86-10)8809-7305 Fax: +1 302 831 8458
Hitoshi Iida (General Chair) Aravind K. Joshi (Honorary Chair)
Speech and Language Information Processing Lab Department of Computer and Information Sciences
SONY Computer Science Labs, Inc. University of Pennsylvania
Tokyo 141-0022, Japan Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA
Tel: +81 3 5448 4380 Tel: +1 215 898 0359
Fax: +81 3 5447 1942 Fax: +1 215 573 9247

For any comments or questions, email: