Information for Submitters

General information on submitting proceedings to the ACL Anthology (for event chairs)

May 8, 2019

This page contains general information about how to submit proceedings to the ACL Anthology. If you are a chair whose job it is to submit your conference proceedings, this page should be helpful to you.

Overview of the Submission Process

Please contact the Anthology Director as soon as possible to register your intention to submit your proceedings. We will work with you to

Early notification will help us with our planning.

The actual ingestion is a two-step process:

  1. The volume data is laid out in our ingestion format, with BibTeX files, PDFs, and other data. It is then transformed into our authoritative XML format.
  2. We apply tools that perform services such as adding case protection and resolving ambiguous author names.

Step 1 is handled by the ACLPUB package, whose output is a minimally compliant XML file that can be ingested into the Anthology’s authoritative XML format. Step 2 is handled by Anthology staff and uses Anthology tools.

You are responsible only for the first step: producting a minimally compliant XML file along with the associated PDFs and optionally other data (such as software).

If you are using Softconf’s STARTv2 system to manage your conference, you are in luck, because it incorporates the ACLPUB package, and directly exports to the Anthology ingestion format. (In May of 2019, it will also support Easychair). For other conference management soures, the ingestion format is described in the ACLPUB package, and should not be too difficult to generate.

The ingestion process is manual and requires time to execute and proofcheck, and as such, it’s very helpful to ensure that your proceedings are in good order before sending the link. Redoing the ingestion costs approximately the same time as the original ingestion and thus incurs significant additional expense for the volunteer staff.

Canonical IDs and URLs

Currently, we assign each paper in the ACL Anthology a unique 8-character identifier, so that we can easily locate papers and reference them. The identifier is assigned by the current is in the form of a letter, a two digit year, and a 4 digit paper ID (e.g., P18-1024). The paper ID decomposes into a volume ID and a paper ID. For large or prominent events related to ACL or its sister organizations that recur on a yearly basis, we use a separate lettered prefix (e.g., ACL, which is ‘P’), the volume ID is 1 digit and the paper ID is 3 digits. For all other smaller events, we use the ‘W’ prefix. Here, the volume ID is 2 digits, and the paper ID 2 digits. These events therefore accommodate up to 99 papers. If there are more than 99 papers, they need to be broken out into two separate volume IDs. Both paper and volume IDs are zero-padded to ensure that filenames have a fixed width.

Historically, the file names fit within the 8.3 DOS naming constraint for maximum portability, as recommended by Adobe. PDF filenames are globally unique, to support subsetting (saving an ad hoc collection of papers to a single directory). This format will likely be generalized in 2019 or 2020.

The canonical URLs for the Anthology are formed by appending the ACL ID to the Anthology URL. For example,

will return the PDF of this paper. Note that the canonical URL does not include the .pdf extension (though that URL will also resolve).

Workshop chairs should contact the ACL Anthology Editor to receive their workshop number offset (the ‘xx’ portion of the ACL Anthology ID). If your workshop is attached to a conference as a satellite event, please contact the proceedings chair for the main conference to receive the offset ID, as it is easiest to allocate offsets as a whole block. Conversely, if you are the proceedings chair for a conference that has satellite workshops, please contact the ACL Anthology Editor with the final list of titles of the workshops (make certain the workshops will actually be run) so that the editor can allocate a suitable block of offsets to the workshops. The current list of ingestion prefixes is publicly visible (but read-only).

Paper numbering

A key notion in file naming is the paper number. The general rule is that papers will be numbered consecutively within the bound volume in which they appear. When a proceedings is divided into multiple volumes, paper number will begin from number ‘1’, with each new volume. When multiple proceedings are bound into a single volume (e.g., N18), they will be treated as multiple volumes (e.g., N18-1, N18-2, and so on).

Any front matter is given the paper number ‘0’, padded to the ACL ID length (e.g., N18-1000). Any back matter is given the number one more than the last paper in the volume. Front and back matter that appears internally to a volume (e.g., in N18) will be counted just like an ordinary paper.

Authoritative XML format

The Anthology site is generated from an authoritative XML file format containing information about volumes, paper titles, and authors. This data is stored in the official repository on Github. Here is a fragment of a complete XML file (P18.xml), to give you the idea. The full file contains much more information.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<volume id="P18">
  <paper id="3000">
    <title>Proceedings of <fixed-case>ACL</fixed-case> 2018, Student Research Workshop</title>
    <!-- ... -->
  <paper id="3001">
    <title>Towards Opinion Summarization of Customer Reviews</title>
    <!-- ... -->
  <paper id="3002">
    <title>Sampling Informative Training Data for <fixed-case>RNN</fixed-case> Language Models</title>
    <!-- ... -->
  <paper id="3003">
    <title>Learning-based Composite Metrics for Improved Caption Evaluation</title>
    <author><first>Syed Afaq</first><last>Ali Shah</last></author>
    <!-- ... -->
  <!-- ...  -->

You need not necessarily concern yourself with this format, but it may be useful to know. This format is generated from

Submitting to the Anthology

To submit to the Anthology, please use the ACLPUB package. The top-level README there includes a pointer information about the required data formats.

Notes about Softconf’s START

If you are using START, the process is easier for you. You need only supply the proceedings tarball (named proceedings.tgz) for each of the volumes and workshops that are part of your conference. You can download this from START and send it directly to your publication chair. If you are the publication chair, you can collect these and coordinate with the Anthology Director.

Please be aware of the following:

For copyright transfers, you can use the default form at:

Ask authors to sign the form, scan a B/W copy at 150 to 200 DPI for you as a .pdf (or .jpg or .png if otherwise not possible). Name the forms using the ACL Anthology identifiers, and send me a separate .zip or .tgz archive as you would for the proceedings of your event (e.g., a file in the archive might be copyright-transfers/P11-1001.pdf). These copyrights should be delivered in bulk to the Anthology Editor when submitting the proceedings.

Note that if you are using the START system (, there is a digital form of this copyright transfer form, so you may not have to ask the authors to print, sign and submit to you. You may be able to simply download the .zip or .tgz version of the archived forms and submit them to me. Please note this when submitting.

For both current and legacy events, it is good practice for the organizers to attempt to obtain copyright transfers for their materials, but we will ingest materials even if no copyright transfers are on file.

ISBN Numbers

If you need to assign ISBN numbers, please provide the exact titles of each volume to be assigned an ISBN and forward this information to Priscilla Rasmussen, ACL Business Manager.

Publication Date

By default, the publication of papers associated with a current event in the Anthology will be on the first day of the event (inclusive of workshops or tutorials). If you prefer to have it published on a different date, please inform us.

Errata and Corrections

If you get requests from authors needing to post errata or revised versions of the papers, or supplemental attachments after the publication of the proceedings, please ask them to submit revisions to the current ACL Anthology editor directly (see Corrections). Note that after the publiation date, corrections can only be applied to individual papers; the full proceedings volumes will not be replaced or revised.