Program Chair and General Chair Report

Slides from Business Meeting

Minutes from NAACL Board Meeting on June 9, 2013

  • Date: June 9, 2013
  • Location: NAACL-HLT 2013 in Atlanta, GA, USA


  • Emily Bender (Board member) – on the phone
  • Chris Callison-Burch (Chair)
  • Mona Diab (Board member)
  • Katrin Erk (Board member)
  • Graeme Hirst (ACL Representative)
  • Rebecca Hwa (Past Chair)
  • Julia Hirschberg (Board member)
  • Priscilla Rasmussen (ACL/NAACL)
  • Anoop Sarkar (Secretary)
  • Joel Tetreault (Treasurer)
  • Lucy Vanderwende (NAACL HLT 2013 General Chair)

NAACL HLT 2013 Report: Lucy Vanderwende

Firsts at NAACL HLT 2013

  • TACL papers presented.
    • 6 papers split up into 4 oral and 2 poster (same percent as NAACL papers). In the future, it may well be that all TACL papers will be oral. An alternative is for TACL reviewers to decide poster versus oral at time of acceptance.
    • Papers accepted to NAACL first, then TACL papers added to program. This does not scale.
    • The TACL website might be more explicit about the type of presentation TACL authors will have at ACL or NAACL. Right now there is no explicit mention that “presentation” may be poster as well as oral.
    • ACTION ITEM CCB will contact the TACL editors about revising their website.
  • Reviewer pool was unified across areas.
    • Area chairs chose reviewers and then the union of reviewers was sent a request to review.
    • Mark Dredze wrote the code that identified the numbers of reviewers required per area.
    • Total number of papers assigned to reviewers was across all tracks (not the sum of papers bid for over all tracks).
  • Policy issues decided by the general and program chairs
    • Must there be a best paper in each category? No best long paper was awarded this year.
    • Definition of previous publication. Is arxiv paper previously published or not? Can be identified but not reviewed. TBD.
    • Video recording. Where are the tutorial videos published, and where are the slides uploaded. TBD.
    • Poster versus oral. Only oral presentations are recorded, but not posters. Upload videos for posters? TBD.
    • Standardize when the general chair and program chairs are selected. TBD.
    • Publication chairs should be co-chairs for 2 years with overlapping terms.
    • NAACL publication chairs needed more interaction with *SEM publication chairs.
    • What should the target acceptance rate be?
    • Best 10 year retrospective award.
    • Invite papers from related areas?
    • Having ICML just after NAACL seems to be useful and may have increased attendance.
  • Websites going forward (Q from Anoop)
    • Should happen in the future, but who should do the groundwork? Pub chairs or the NAACL board?
    • ACTION ITEM discuss creating a long-term website for ACL/NAACL for ACL 2014 and so on.
  • Choosing the best paper award committee (Q from CCB)
    • Not chosen from the area chairs.
    • More senior members of the community were chosen.
    • Not blind. Based on camera ready copy (which also caused a delay in the program).
  • Workshop deadline dates for NAACL (Q from Joel)
    • Maybe the workshop deadlines are too late? Probably affected the number of submissions to workshops.
  • 3rd day of *SEM (Q from CCB)
    • *SEM is joint between SIGLEX and SIGSEM.
    • The 3rd day was because of SEMEVAL (comes from SIGLEX). SEMEVAL is 2 days. *SEM is 2 days. Total of 3 days.
    • ACTION ITEM The NAACL Board should ensure that conferences colocated with NAACL should not have their own workshops.
  • Registration Stats: Priscilla
    • Priscilla: 613 conference+workshop registered. 104 registered for workshop only.
    • Sponsorship: $26K-$28K only. ACL is almost $60K.

NOTE FOR ANOOP 2011 does not have the conference reports online.

Daniel Marcu is next year’s ACL 2014 general chair.

Treasurer’s Report: Joel Tetrault

  • Treasurer report by Joel Tetrault.
  • Discussion about registration fees and sponsorship expenses.
  • Suggestion to have a multi-year contract with a hotel chain to save money over multiple years.
    • Not enough bids, so we go to a system where Priscilla is the local arrangements chair.

ACTION ITEM Priscilla will look into places to do a two year contract with a hotel chain for 2015 and 2016. Likely will be East Coast and West Coast alternating.

Next Elections: Anoop Sarkar

From the NAACL constitution:

Elections shall be conducted annually as follows: the Nominating Committee shall by the first of September preceding the end of a term of office nominate at least one person for each position to be filled, including any necessary new Nominating Committee member. The Secretary shall send to the Chapter Members notice of the nominations by September 15, at the same time requesting additional nominations. Additional nominations, supported by at least three Chapter Members, may be submitted by the fifteenth of October; evidence must be presented that the nominee will serve if elected. If there is more than one nominee for any position, the Secretary shall send ballots for that position to the Members. A majority vote of the ballots received by the fifteenth of December shall determine the results of such contests. Those elected shall take office on the first of January following.


The Chair must have served on the Board for at least one year during the past five years.

Outgoing members:

  • Chris Callison-Burch (Chair)
  • Anoop Sarkar (Secretary)
  • Emily Bender (Board member)
  • Mona Diab (Board member)

Nomination committee for 2013 elections:

  • Chris Brew
  • Ted Pedersen
  • Kristina Toutanova
  • Owen Rambow
  • Christopher Manning
  • David Chiang
  • Dan Gildea

The previous nominating committee already got many names to run in the 2012 elections.

ACTION ITEM CCB will email the nominating committee to get started. Nominations will be sent to the membership by September 15th, 2013.

Acceptance Rates: Question from Ted Pedersen

Two requests from Ted:

  • Report per-area acceptance for NAACL.
    • This is already done during the business meeting of NAACL. Perhaps can be posted online as well.
    • ACTION ITEM CCB to see if the per area acceptance rates can be posted online. Perhaps the general chair report can just include these stats and we would put that online as a matter of course.
  • The influence of *SEM on NAACL.
    • This was discussed in the previous point about co-located conferences and workshops.
    • See previous ACTION ITEM on conferences co-located with NAACL.

Anti-Harassment Policy: Julia

Discussion on the adoption of the SIGPLAN Conference Anti-Harassment Policy by the NAACL conferences.

  • Graeme shared the discussion at the ACL exec on this matter.

ACTION ITEM The NAACL Board voted to accept a suitably modified version of the SIGPLAN policy and change it to ask anyone who thinks they are affected by the actions covered by this policy to contact any person of the NAACL board or Priscilla Rasmussen.

LSA strategic planning: CCB

LSA sent us an email with survey questions to get the perspective of computational linguists to NAACL.

ACTION ITEM CCB will email the questions to the board. CCB and Emily will answer the questions (including feedback from members of the board).

Post conference survey: CCB

A survey collecting information from NAACL attendees will be sent out. The results will help us plan for future NAACLs.

Example survey by CCB

Emerging Regions fund: Anoop

ACTION ITEM Ask for a budget of $1000 max. Total budget of $2000.

Discuss GC/PC Chairs for NAACL 2015

Discussion about picking general chair and program chairs for NAACL 2015.

Decisions made over email

Apr 30, 2013

The NAACL board unanimously voted to approve funding of $5000 for NACLO in 2013 as in previous years.

Mar 14, 2013

Matt Post, the publications co-chair for NAACL 2013 proposed the creation of a digital version of the program handbook for NAACL 2013. This would be a mobile app that would allow conference goers to view and organize their schedules, see which talks are being held where, and provide the information that a hard copy program handbook usually provides. The chair (Chris Callison-Burch) called for discussion on this proposal on Mar 11, 2013.

There was a discussion among the board members. The issue of cost came up. There is a savings of $10K from discontinuing thumb drives for distributing the proceedings. We cannot save money on printing fewer hard copy program hanbooks as there is a contract in place with Omnipress to have handbooks printed this year for all attendees of NAACL 2013 (at a cost of around $3,800, about $4.50 per book). So, this year, we cannot give the option to either have the mobile app or the hardcopy program handbook. But in future conferences, there is the potential to save on printing costs if most people will use the app version of the program handbook. The development of the app for NAACL 2013 was priced at $6900 from CrowdCompass.

The board unanimously approved the expenditure for the development of the program handbook app for NAACL 2013 (only Rebecca Hwa abstained but she was away from her email). Chris Callison-Burch negotiated a better price than the earlier quote with the price for two conferences (this year’s NAACL and the next year’s) for $5K each. The board hopes to recover $7K extra this year, either from registration fees or from increased sponsorships to cover the additional cost.

Feb 4, 2013

Chris Callison-Burch called for a discussion and subsequent vote on discontinuing thumb drives at NAACL conferences.

Matt Post, one of this year’s publications co-chairs has been in contact with our publisher (Omnipress) about producing the thumb drives. He provided them with an initial estimate of 850 USB thumb drives, based on previous years’ attendance. The estimate for producing and shipping the drives is $8,580 ($10.09 per drive).

Matt suggested that we should consider discontinuing the thumb drive or making it an optional extra that could be added at the time of registration, and that the savings could be re-directed to other distribution means (e.g. better WiFi on-site, or an App for interacting with the proceedings and conference schedule).

This matter discussed with the NAACL-HLT 2013 Program Chairs and General Chair. It was pointed out that when Hal Daume was the publication chair for ICML, they disbanded the memory sticks. There were few complaints and the saved a lot of money.

The vote was taken by email and the following members voted YES.

Votes in favor:

  • Emily Bender
  • Chris Callison-Burch
  • Mona Diab
  • Katrin Erk
  • Julia Hirschberg
  • Rebecca Hwa
  • Anoop Sarkar
  • Joel Tetreault


  • Graeme Hirst

There were no NO votes, so NAACL is going to implement this motion.

A few points arose during the discussion.

  • We hope to have a few thumb drives in the registration desk for people to make copies into their devices.
  • We hope there will be a possibility to cache the proceedings on the local network obviating large fees for downloading the proceedings over the hotel wifi network.