Best Time for NAACL?

69 February/March/April/May
53 during the summer
52 September/October/November
48 I have no preference

How Often Should NAACL Be Held?

215 every year that there is no (international) ACL or COLING in North America

Preferred Venue?

83 doesn’t matter
58 a university
47 hotel and university
35 a hotel

What Makes You Go?

123 distance from other conferences
70 low cost of venue

Conferences Attended

158 NAACL 2001 (Pittsburgh, June 2001)
127 ANLP/NAACL 2000 (Seattle, June 2000)
95 ACL 2001 (France, July 2001)
42 ACL 2000 (Hong Kong, October 2000)


Comments on Best Time for NAACL

  • For people depending on US Government funding, the Sept. - Nov. time frame is too difficult to arrange.
  • April/May would be best
  • don’t care
  • Definitely not in the November-February period.
  • Late summer
  • Actually, my choice is
  • all other times of hte year are full of conferences.
  • This would put the deadlines to some other times of the year.
  • I think the important thing is to stagger paper submission dates, so that they are not too close together (ie, the NAACL and the ACL submit dates.)
  • It would be nice to stagger the conferences so as not to be in direct competition. care must be take though to make sure two NAACL conferences are not too close together.
  • Fall is also good
  • As a student, it is easier for me to get away when the semester is not in session.
  • Have it somewhere warm in February, it won’t conflict with any other conferences.
  • I would prefer it if the deadline for submissions was pushed to be in January. I don’t see any reason to worry about clashes with the main ACL submission deadlines. This can only improve the quality and quantity of submissions, providing that there is still time for the review process. Holding the conference in the summer should improve attendance of the conference.
  • Spring break.
  • What really matters is when the submission deadline is.
  • Don’t have the submission deadline during the busiest time of the semester, like it is now.
  • The summer is the best time for academics… There are a few other
  • windows of opportunities such as spring break, but they aren’t nearly as good.
  • Conferences during the semester are very hard to schedule with teaching.
  • not a hugely strong preference
  • hold these two conferences far apart from each other.
  • With May as least preferred. Staggering the conferences in any way at all seems better than not at all.
  • Go for spring break!
  • My real preference would be either spring or fall, but I can’t check both. I’d like NAACL to be farther apart from the main ACL than next year.
  • Probably not adjacent to ACL – it’s difficult to be away for more than one meeting at a time.
  • During the school year is bad.
  • If it’s in the Spring, then paper submission deadlines are near the holidays. I’d rather have the conference in the fall, and paper submission deadlines in the spring.
  • Jewish Holidays take up a whole month in September/October.
  • Meetings during the academic year are difficult for me to attend,
  • and meetings that require more than two weekdays (e.g. Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday) are out of the question.
  • 6 months apart would be ideal.
  • For people at universities, it is difficult
  • to attend conferences during the academic year.
  • Another major factor is that the submission
  • deadline should be staggered with that of the other NLP conferences. They often tend to lump together…
  • I prefer May, when the semester has ended and the summer hasn’t begun yet.
  • Strong preference for avoiding the academic year.
  • I have no problem with having the two conferences occur close together or even conflict with each other.
  • As a grad student, I’m still taking and TAing classes all through the schoolyear; as a professor I will be teaching classes during the schoolyear. Holding this major conference other than during the summer would be a royal pain (as it was last year, when it fell smack in the middle of exams).
  • Mid to late May, after most university terms have finished, would be ideal.

Comments on How Often NAACL Should Be Held

  • infrequently
  • every year
  • there may be too many CL-related conferences now - it’s hard to know which to go to, or who will be where. Maybe some scheme of making sure that no two years go by without a north american conference, but putting the NAACL one in an off-time so that there might be 1.5 years between conferences while there are annuals in Asia and Europe
  • There seem to be more conferences in CL than are warranted given the amount of forward movement in the field.
  • I think it should be held every year, regardless of when/where ACL itself is held. The reason for that is that the main ACL conference is so far away that I will never be able to attend, since I will generally not receive any reimbursement (unless by some miracle I actually have a paper submitted/accepted). So, I cannot afford to go anywhere outside of the US. Actually, I really can’t afford to go much of anywhere within the U.S. either. Travel and lodging expenses are generally so much that I cannot afford to continually cover my own costs on my meager stipend. So, my vote would be every year in the U.S. (which I do realize may not reflect the true makeup of NAACL….).
  • Better yet – have smaller regional meetings which people like me could afford to go to more often, like semiannually.
  • Nobody has the time or money to go to all of these.
  • But nobody wants to miss out on good research.
  • I think there are too many meetings. I would urge NAACL not to compete with ACL. We don’t need a meeting in North America every year. NAACL should do something different from the main ACL meeting, something more like the AAAI symposiums, for example. I could see an annual meeting of the SIGS which would be more like the workshops, but I don’t think it is right to have several ACL/Coling meetings every year on every continent. That will reduce the international flavor of those meetings.
  • the above plus ALL non-COLING years
  • Not much of a choice here!
  • I am generally unhappy with the ACL/NAACL split, assuming COLING is still active.
  • I would want to see COLING merged with ACL.
  • There is a plethora of conferences in the field.
  • The quality of the conferences suffers as a result.
  • Unless experience from the first several years shows there is not enough good papers submitted to justify it.
  • either biannually or annually - the decision should not be based on whether ACL is in NA or not (in other words, NAACL should fill a niche that is not the North American-based alternative to ACL).
  • Having NAACL plus ACL or COLING all in North America in one year would be too much.
  • I see the motivation behind having a conference in North America every year that ACL takes place somewhere else, namely to allow people to attend the conference if they wouldn’t be able to attend otherwise (because of distance and/or cost), but I also see the danger, namely that the community is split and only people with a large travel budget will be able to really participate in international exchange (by attending BOTH conferences). I would suggest monitoring how having yearly regional conferences affects attendance at the international ACL for a few years and then re-consider the whole idea of yearly regional conferences based on how attendance developed.
  • I think the current slate of ACL, NAACL, EACL, ANLP, EMNLP, etc. is much too full. This is too many conferences! I realize that many in the U.S. believe there simply must be an ACL conference in the U.S. each and every year, but I disagree.

Comments on Preferred Venue

  • I like the reasearch focus of ACL. Locating conferences at hotels drives up the price and makes them less accessible to students. if conference is in winter, perhaps no need for university (southern locations)
  • choose nice cities – I’ll only go to one of EACL, NAACL, ACL or COLING. I’ll choose based on city I want to visit.
  • I would like to see more inexpensive housing options for graduate students. I would also like to have some mechanism to help finding roommates, to save on housing costs (perhaps some sort of bulletin board on the conference web page).
  • Would be nice to keep costs to participants down and not be “hostage” to expensive hotels, e.g., at NAACL seattle, where memebers were urged to defray organization’s cost out of their pockets. It is important to provide at least some inexpensive options so that students with limited funding can attend. Well, if you get right down to it, I would certainly be way more comfortable in a hotel, especially if it was the conference hotel. But, I’ve heard that past ACL meetings had student housing available in nearby university settings.
  • I’m all for whatever will save students money so that we can better afford to attend these things.
  • a hotel gives us more options
  • The point should be to keep costs down. Hotels can be very expensive. We should also avoid universities that charge hotel-like prices. Be especially careful on things like coffee and AV equipment. Some places give away the obvious things but soak you on everything else.
  • prefer not to have the conference divided between different sites
  • had more fun at U Maryland than in Seattle, though both were well organized.
  • I would like there to be dorm-priced accomodations available at conferences to consider the less fortunate students or folks with limited budgets. Whether a university is involved to accomplish this doesn’t matter, presumably a university would be the best way to accomplish this, and most universities seem to have nice nearby hotels, not the other way around.
  • I say a university because it is usually cheaper, and ACL at least had a tradition of inexpensive conferneces. However, universities which are not near major airports are not good choices.
  • A university is fine, as long as there are good hotel accommodations nearby, and a hotel is fine as long as its near a campus. Even a resort area would be OK if there were good computing facilities available (internet, etc.).
  • The venue does not matter to me, but any site must consider student participation and thus provide reasonably economical accomodations.
  • I think the infrastructure of the location is very important. Ideally, both types of accomodation (dorms / hotel) should be within a reasonable distance from the location of the meetings, so that attendees have a choice as to where to stay.
  • I believe a priority should be making the conference accessible to students. But I also believe we need to start aiming for more industry visibility especially in the web technology community.
  • I find the university setting more conducive to academic conferences; they generally have nicer lecture halls with fold-out or permanent desks to take notes on. Also, they are more likely to have cheap accomodations (dorms) for grad students and undergrads, enabling a much stronger student presence at the conference, which I think is very important.
  • A hotel is more convenient for faculty, but then again a university is usually cheaper for grad students

Comments on What Makes You Go?

  • Depends more on my other committments (work, school) and is not affected by conflict with ACL or cost.
  • More important: low cost of venue - most of the program at a university.
  • Also not in conflict with other meetings that I must attend
  • Neihter make a difference
  • Neither. An interesting conference is most improtant.
  • dorm accomodations important (though not at present for me)
  • how about aiming for 6 months apart?
  • Content of the conference and
  • not a weekend in the summer and lack of overlap
  • with another conference
  • choose nice cities – I’ll only go to one
  • of EACL, NAACL, ACL or COLING. I’ll choose based on city I want to visit.
  • Travel distance matters more than low cost of venue.
  • Neither. Less statistical NLP would increase my interest.
  • A very high cost (such as a Manhattan hotel) might keep me away
  • actually, more than 2 months away. Ideally, on the “other side of the year”.
  • Neither of these has much influence, although as I mentioned above, having paper submission deadlines staggered is important.
  • NAACL should always be held during the summer to avoid conflicts with the academic year.
  • A more diverse range of papers
  • Since I sincerely doubt that I will ever be able to attend an international ACL meeting, unless it was held nearby, the timing of the international ACL meeting is irrelevant to me, at least at this point in my academic career.
  • have it in a warm place
  • in an interesting city (e.g. New Orleans, Austin, Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston, San Diego)
  • collocation with other major conferences (AAAI, ML, CHI, Cog sci …)
  • biggest cost is time and if both happen over
  • the summer, time away is time away.
  • I personally don’t have a problem with cost, but I very much approve of efforts to keep costs down so that others who do have a problem with cost can attend.
  • I also don’t like competing with other meetings, but I don’t think that a month or two here or there addresses that issue sufficiently. To avoid competition, the NAACL meeting has to be different from those other meetings in a substantial way, e.g., more like a collection of focused workshops than a standard ACL meeting.
  • None of the above. I will attend if I can afford the time away from work. Other costs are comparatively insignificant for me.
  • usually can’t go abroad anyway, since most of the time I’m funding myself
  • For now, the cost is still important. If these conferences were held far apart, that would help with budgeting for both.
  • I would not drop dorm accomodations, though.
  • The most important thing is if it’s nearby and doesn’t conflict with classes.
  • The assumption here seems to be that given the choice between NAACL and an international ACL meeting, the choice by default will be the latter. Yes, perhaps, but why? Because int’l ACL draws on a larger basin of researchers?
  • Proximity to Seattle.
  • Paper submission deadline at least 3 or more months apart is even more
  • important than the actual meeting schedule
  • The meeting schedule is getting very cluttered, but I’m not sure how to resolve priority
  • Two similar meetings shouldn’t be held close together.
  • I presume the real question here is “Given that providing dorm accomodations forces conferences to be in the summer and given that we would prefer the NAACL conference not be on top of ACL, which is more important to you?”
  • The deadlines for the papers for ACL is apart from the deadlines and dates of the ACL
  • Neither is a major factor. I attend other non-ACL non-COLING meetings (IEEE ICASSP, ICSLP) whose timing determines whether I go to NA/ACL or not.
  • Not during teaching semesters
  • If this is meant to be an NA meeting
  • when ACL is outside of NA, then it seems to me that it caters to those who will not go abroad for the ACL meeting. So it shouldn’t matter how close it falls to the date of ACL.
  • If it could be held in the same location as ACL, either just before or after, I’d be more likely to get funding to attend.
  • But note that I’m unlikely to attend both in the same year in any case. This year is an exception.
  • Having it scheduled away from ACL just makes it break up the year more nicely; it doesn’t really affect my going or not going. Cheaper venue certainly makes me more likely to go, although honestly I’d probably go regardless.
  • Neither.

Comments on Conferences Attended

  • Attended ACL/COLING ‘98 and ACL ‘99
  • Many researchers do not have international funds so it can be hard to attend international conferences…..
  • I plan to attend one of NAACL2001 or ACL2001, but haven’t yet decided which.
  • NAACL and ACL too close; may skip ACL
  • haven’t decided between NAACL/ACL in ‘01.
  • Going overseas is too expense and too exhausting.
  • I will most likely attend only one of the events in 2001, and have not yet decided which one.
  • Having conferences at an interesting site (e.g. Hong Kong, but not Milwaukee) always encourages me to attend.
  • I attend COLING this summer. Sometimes there are too many conferences and/or workshops
  • I have to go to. sometimes the length of the trip is too long (e.g., Hong Kong) and then I don’t go.
  • Wish I could afford the other two, but no way!
  • NAACL 2000 was not in June, it was in late
  • april early may (just before finals); hence my absence.
  • I am very unlikely to attend ACL gatherings outside of the USA due to the cost.
  • I haven’t decided about next year yet.
  • I may already be in Europe in July, in which case I will attend ACL-2001
  • The cost in time and money for traveling outside
  • the country is presently too rich for my blood for a general meeting.
  • COLING 2000
  • NAACL I will attend. ACL I hope to, depending on funding.
  • Not sure about ACL 2001 yet, maybe!
  • not sure about ACL 2001
  • I’m planning on attending one of NAACL 2001 and ACL 2001, but probably not both. Which one I attend will depend on the program.
  • Maybe on NAACL2001 – not quite sure yet.
  • I haven’t definitely decided yet whether I will attend the two events in 2001 or not.
  • Depends on employer’s approval & funding.
  • Maybe ACL 2001.
  • As for upcoming events: Depending also very much on my trael budget.
  • There was a COLING in France last year - so there were 3 major conferences.
  • I seldom go outside North America for conferences.
  • I missed the NAACL deadline, so I’ll submit to ACL instead.

What Else Should the NAACL Board Do?

  • local tours
  • I would like to see it continue to reach out to other disciplines and organizations within those disciplines (such as CHI, CALICO, AMTA).
  • I would like to see contests of NLP software, comparable to computer chess tournaments, where the programming project does not get to choose the demo text.
    1. Web Casting of computational linguistic meetings so those who can’t attend can view presentations remotely
    2. Web site promoting computational linguistic resources such as data sets and software
    3. Internet accessible membership directory featuring free hosting of member’s resumes and pointers to home pages, publications (perhaps in conjunction with NEC ResearchIndex)
  • computational linguistics courses at the summer LSA institute
  • workshop sponsorship
  • ?
  • what’s the deal with anlp? i think it should not exist as a separate conference, but always be folded into naacl (which could change its name to something more snappy than “nth Annual Conference of the North blablabla” – maybe “Language, Computation, Technology XXXX”). the 2-conference, one venue, two proceedings, one physical volume (with indepndently numbered pages!) approach at NAACL00 was confusing and bizarre. so what if anlp is easier to get a paper in to (or make it more difficult).
  • lines are blurry anyway.
  • North American educational activities.
  • Some recs on courses for Comp Ling, etc., would be nice.
  • Workshops on NLP
  • I’m under the impression that the (?NA)ACL helps pay, at least partially, for the LSA Summer Linguistics Institute. This is good thing, keep up the good work.
  • Maybe sponsorship of topical workshops or SIG activities perhaps regional, low cost get togethers, or liaisons between academic researchers, funders, industry, and consumers of NL technology
  • A Summer School in computational/formal linguistics
  • More funding for students to attend the conferences – even the ones that didn’t submit papers which were rejected. An interactive mailing list, similar to LINGUIST, might also be a good idea.
  • contacts with funding agencies
  • More 1-day tutorials or very short (2 day)
  • summer schools for people (non-students) new to NLP
  • I would like the NAACL board to stop sponsoring the NAACL conference in its current form. There are too many meetings. It isn’t fair to the internationalization of the ACL that the NAACL meeting undermine that very admirable goal. The NAACL should do something different that doesn’t undermine the efforts to internationalize the ACL, which the ACL has to do if it is going to grow beyond a small regional conference.
  • ballot design
  • I like meeting with tha ANLP Conference
  • A publication listing linguistic/NLP resources (e.g., parsers, taggers, lexicons, extractors) that are available to the research and development community. This should include both commercial and non-commercial resources.
  • Can’t think of any now.
  • sponsor a professionally organized web site for ACL/NAACL – the current one seems weak.
  • Perhaps thematic summer workshops, like the one on SMT
  • organized at JHU in summer of ‘99.
  • Student scholarships (if the Association is rolling in money)
  • I’m hard-pressed to think of things that would be appropriate for NAACL that aren’t also appropriate for ACL. Perhaps a “speaker bureau” of individuals ready to comment for the press on technology issues – CL visibility is growing.
  • More outreach: to the press, TV, the US and Canadian Governments
  • (NSF, etc.), etc. To do this, NAACL should set up a body of people qualified to present the various interests of the Association, to whom we can refer journalists, etc.
  • Some form of participation at the Summer Linguistics Institute
  • put on by LSA might be nice, in order to forma working relationship with LSA and achieve some exposure of NAACL to LSA attendees. a proper student session which is held concurrently with the main session (not a separate student session workshop which is held before the main session)
  • Not sure, but additional activities should be things that ACL doesn’t provide (or doesn’t provide adequately for North American members).
  • Perhaps hosting a more complelte website with information
  • about conferences, papers, academic departments, etc.
  • joint workshops with other societies
  • Workshops, annual symposia (similar to AAAI but of course, concentrating on language)
  • outreach to academic institutions – increasing awareness of computational linguistics as a field and the types of job opportunities available to people with these types of skills.
  • I would like the board to consider trying to keep the cost of activities during the conference as low as possible. In particular, the main event at NAACL 2000 (science center, I think?) was prohibitively expensive for students to attend (and probably researchers with small travel budgets, such as those at 4-yr colleges).
  • I think it’s very important to ensure that students are able and encouraged to participate in all NAACL/ACL events!
  • More intensive student workshops! I would like my students to learn parsing from Charniak, sense disambiguation from Yarowsky, statistical MT from Knight, … the student workshops are a good venue for achieving a first order approximation to this.
  • Annual NAACL beach party and barbecue on some summer weekend.
  • To offer student scholarships, eventually combined with a volunteer program (like AAAI does)
  • We are a community that is extremely relevant in today’s business world, yet most of them have never heard of us! We need much greater outreach.