Updates for Area Chairs

Dear Area Chairs:

We are writing this email to further clarify the process of inviting reviewers in routing them to particular areas. Please note there are some action items that you need to do, these are marked with [ACTION NEEDED].


1) [ACTION NEEDED] Many of you may be wondering who your fellow area chairs are. We have published a blog post detailing the full current role of area chairs: http://wp.me/p819z9-4G . The same list, complete with email contact information (left out of the public post) is attached.

We will shortly complete the assignment of meta area chairs for each area. Meta area chairs should take steps to organise their area and delegate responsibilities accordingly.

2) [ACTION NEEDED] We ask that you subscribe to the posts or monitor the RSS feed of our blog: https://chairs-blog.acl2017.org/ . The blog is our central means of communicating with you for non-sensitive information. While a few area chairs have subscribed to the blog, some of you may not be receiving the posted information in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, we understand that a subscription does not automatically forward new comments to you unless you have already previously commented on the post. In light of this, we may periodically circulate the posts and comments by email via START’s mailing tool. Please do review the other posts when you have time.

3) [ACTION NEEDED] We will be adding some email aliases to make it easier to communicate among all area chairs. We will be putting together a mailing list for each area’s area chairs and another for all area chairs. You may receive a few confirmation requests from Gmail that you wish to be added as if forwarding destination for those aliases. Kindly accept those invitations when you see them.


3) [ACTION NEEDED] As previously mentioned we will be sending out the initial invitations to reviewers centrally. With the help of all of area chairs for your area, you will collectively need to assemble additional reviewers beyond the list of 1200+ previous reviewers (available at the shared Google Sheet at [URL removed] ; but also attached in .xls format). We note that a few areas have already assembled their initial list (as instructed earlier); but no worries if you haven’t, as there will be another round of recruitment in approximately 1 week’s time to deal with the expected shortfall as some reviewers will have to decline our invitation. At that time, we will do another round of recruiting; so for this week, please hold off sending additional invites until we have a better estimation of the shortfall that we need to make up for the areas collectively. You may monitor acceptance / rejection decisions in the Google Sheet (though it is static, we will import the information from START periodically). [Summary: collect more reviewer names, but don’t send out invites]

4) We will be sending the invitation soon. A draft will be circulated for your reference, which will emphasise the shortened 2 week reviewing timeline and the reduced load of 3-4 submissions for review. We will also emphasise the dialogue aspect that we would like to promote in discussing submissions. As in other prior ACL conferences, we will ask reviewers to state their preferences for the areas via a survey ( [URL removed] ). We will ask them to rank up to three different areas that they feel qualified to review for and ask them for keywords related to their expertise.

5) [ACTION NEEDED] The Toronto Paper Matching System (TPMS) is now operational again. Please test the new available system at http://torontopapermatching.org/webapp/profileBrowser/login/, as you will need to be familiar with its working to help any reviewers who are having trouble in your area. If all goes well, for each submission, the top matching reviewers with the highest TPMS matching score will be shown to you when you need to assign reviewers to submissions.


6) Assignments of reviewers to areas will be hard assignments, to ease the communication burden between areas. The full list of accepted reviewers along with their preferences and ultimate area assignment will be available to all ACs on a central spreadsheet. To keep your load low, we will centrally assign reviewers according to their preferences and expected area load.


7) Information Extraction and Retrieval, Question Answering, Text Mining, Document Analysis and NLP Applications – we have decided to consolidate several related areas in this one area. Due to the overwhelming size of this area, we have an unprecedented
number of area chairs, and also selected two meta area chairs in different time zones. Zornitsa and Alessandro, as Meta ACs for the area, will need to work out how to coordinate your area; we suggest that it might be done with respect to time zone.

As always we welcome your feedback about our process.  You are welcome to make comments on this publicly on the blog (the post may come out a bit out of sync than this email), or in confidence to the AC mailing lists that will be set up or directly to us as the PC co-chairs.  Thank you so much and we are looking forward to working with you to make ACL 2017 a success.

– Regina and Min

One thought on “Updates for Area Chairs

  1. Hi Min and Regina,

    Really appreciate your effort in putting up this detailed email!

    As I have finished reading this email (I skimmed through it earlier but didn’t get all the details), I was wondering how many area chairs did manage to read all of them (since it is a bit long) and I guess you two might wonder that as well 🙂

    One way to improve things is to send only a Google form, which means the email will be super short! Then, area chairs can acknowledge each task / action they have done (even give comments) & finally submit the form. In this way, you will have perfect information on whether your messages get to area chairs 🙂



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