Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on submissions

Dear all:

We received a few queries about the submission process that we would like to share with you (with our answers), since we believe many may share the same concerns.  As a friendly reminder, please do not change the LaTeX and Word templates, and do check the length of your submission. We would hate to reject papers for such violations.

We encourage you to send other questions via this blog as comments, so that other can see both the questions and answers.

– Regina and Min

  1. Q: Can you put an example of such “author-blinded cover page” on the website? (This is regarding “Papers that have been or will be submitted to other meetings or publications must indicate this at submission time in an author-blinded cover page”) Will reviewers be aware that the paper is double submitted? If not, why not just request this info in START?

    A: Yes, the reviewers will have access to your cover letter (if submitted). It is an attachment (similar to the dataset and software attachments) in the submission form. We find that using a cover letter is an easier device for reviewers to be alerted to than a text field as an alternative and allows more freedom of expression since there can be varying circumstances that may require more than what a textbox allows.

  2. Q: In the submission page there is a Title Page section. Since I only submit my paper to ACL2017, is it still necessary to upload the title page?

    A: The call for papers describe the circumstances (see the section on “Multiple Submission Policy”) for which you need to include a cover page. If your work has not been cross submitted elsewhere, you probably do not need to include one.

  3. Q: (What happened to the XXX track? Then, how would I decide to choose the IE & NLP applications track over another track AAA?) I’ve noticed the ACL 2017 site omits XXX from the areas.  Was this a decision to exclude XXX research from the ACL community?  It’s problematic for those of us who did XXX research.
    Is there an area where ACs and reviewers will appropriately consider XXX work?  Practically speaking, in the short term I need to select a track for my work.

    A: We do not mean to exclude area XXX, and we think this is a very valuable part of the NLP community.  However, for many application areas of NLP it’s difficult to exactly pin down where the topic falls to.

    If you feel that the techniques, data are similar to track AAA, that track would fit well.

    However, if the nature of the work in XXX is more similar to IE, IR, or other general document analysis modeling techniques (topic models, just an example), the IE and NLP applications track would be appropriate.

  4. Q: I have a question about appendices, namely: are they allowed?

    In the Call For Papers they are not mentioned at all, yet in the “Instructions for ACL-2017 Proceedings” it says: For both long and short papers, all illustrations and tables that are part of the main text must be accommodated within these page limits, observing the formatting instructions given in the present document. Supplementary material in the form of appendices does not count towards the page limit.

    I want to include extra visualizations in an Appendix (2 pages) and I just want to be absolutely 100% sure that this is allowed and that my paper will not be rejected right away, simply because of this.

    A: Yes, appendices are allowed, but for supplemental material only.

    ACL had prior problems with prospective authors that relegated important figures and tables to the appendix to save space in the main paper limit.  This is not allowed; i.e., your extra visualizations should really be extra, not needed to properly interpret the paper.
  5. Q: In the submission instructions (, it states:
    When you first create your submission on softconf, please fill in your submitted paper ID 
    where *** appears in the \aclpaperid{***} definition at the top.

    … but the question is at first submission, the paper ID is unknown. Should I submit twice, the I can get the paper ID then after filling it in the paper, submit the second time?

    A: Yes, you may revise your first submission, to add in the required field.  Please do not submit duplicate papers, instead, use the received passcode from START to resubmit any revisions (inclusive of any to include the paper ID.

  6. Q: We would like to ask a question about an ACL submission we are about to make. In the paper we employ an algorithm from another work of ours that is now under submission to XXX. … Our question is how we should state in the ACL submission that the algorithm has already been described elsewhere without violating the blind review requirements.  We considered making an anonymous reference but realized that the acl2017.pdf guidelines file instructs authors not to do that. We also thought of citing the paper with our names and, instead of stating the venue name, write down: “to appear”. But again, we are not sure this is not a violation of the rules.

    A: As you state, anonymous citations are not preferred.
    We would advise you to do as you suggested in the second option: cite the paper with our names and, instead of stating the venue name, write down: “to appear”.  This is for work that has been accepted, as you imply.
    For work under review, we suggest that you do not cite it, as it is not published work.
    You should include this information in the cover letter accompanying your submission as per the “multiple submission policy” section in the call for papers.

11 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on submissions

    1. If you are using an appendix, you can leave it as part of the main PDF document. Supplemental material are meant for longer materials that would not fit within appendices. Please read the instructions in the acl2017.pdf sample document that is provided with the style guides carefully for the distinction.


    1. I’m not sure that I understand what you mean by anonymized links. I interpret this to mean that the URL of the link and the content of the link does not reveal the author’s identity or affiliation.

      Yes, this is allowed and deemed similar to supplemental material. You may only use such links in a supplemental sense and not to acquire addition space towards describing the work at hand.

      Please ask again if this does not answer your question!


  1. I’ve had a few questions about the cover page policy and would like to clarify.

    In many cases, at the time of the ACL submission deadline authors don’t have any concrete plans for double submission (to EMNLP, workshops, arXiv, etc.), but later decide to submit somewhere. In this case what is the proper policy to follow? Should we just go ahead and submit? Or should we take some additional action such as contacting area or program chairs with a revised title page?

    Conversely, how strictly should area chairs enforce the cover page policy? For example, if we find a paper on arXiv that does not have a cover page, should the paper be automatically rejected without review?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Graham, all:

      It’s best to inform your reviewers of your intentions or actions with regard to potential conflicts with multiple submissions. Of course, you should inform the later party (e.g., EMNLP 2017 if you also submitted to ACL 2017) about it, but the earlier party should be informed (in our case, through the respective Area Chairs that have made contact with the reviewing teams). This way, the reviewing teams can be notified what has happened and the reviewers can understand that the authoring team has been responsible and tried to inform the reviewers about the potential conflict.

      How you publish and disseminate your intellectual property is clearly your decision (and thus you can exercise your right to submit elsewhere later), but we hope authors will make the conscientious decision to attempt to inform the reviewing parties so that both the potential difficulties with anonymity and plagiarism are made clear.

      Thanks for your comment and if that doesn’t answer your question, please ask again!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have made a mistake. I forget to write the submission paper ID to the top of my submitted paper. Will my paper be rejected anyway? Will I have a change to revise it?


    1. Hi Ives,

      Thanks for your question. No, your paper won’t be rejected for not having your ID at the top. This piece of information is to help the reviewer to keep track of the submission ID of your paper when they write their reviews. It is not crucial, and will not count against your submission. Hope that helps! -M


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