Top NLP/CL Conferences and Journals

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I got this tips from the Research Methodology course that I took last year, which is mandatory for first year students in my PhD program: one of the first steps in the PhD study is knowing your community, i.e. the conferences and journals for your field, where people with the same interests gather and share the knowledge and their research.

For Natural Language Processing or Computational Linguistics field, Google Scholar computes the ranking of publications (including conferences, journals and workshops) in which the published papers are cited the most *with the assumption of good papers are usually cited a lot*, which looks like the following:

  1. Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
  2. Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)
  3. Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL)
  4. International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING)
  5. Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC)
  6. Journal of Computational Linguistics
  7. Journal of Computer Speech & Language
  8. Workshop on Statistical Machine Translation
  9. Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL)
  10. arXiv Computation and Language (cs.CL)
  11. International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (IJCNLP)
  12. IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing (ICSC)
  13. Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)
  14. Journal of Natural Language Engineering
  15. International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval)
  16. International Conference on Intelligent Text Processing and Computational Linguistics (CICLing)
  17. Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue (SIGDIAL)
  18. International Natural Language Generation Conference (INLG)
  19. International Conference on Natural Language Processing (TAL)
  20. Linguistic Annotation Workshop (LAW)

The ranking is estimated and determined automatically by a computer program so it doesn’t really tell much. There are several workshops in the list, and as far as I know: main conference > workshop, because it’s easier to get a paper accepted in workshops than in main conferences *although some workshop papers have high quality and are also better to read because they focus more on a subfield*.

I found this very useful article about the top NLP/CL conferences, which mentions that to put it simply, for NLP, consider only these six top conferences: ACL, EMNLP, NAACL, EACL, COLING and CoNLL. Also maybe several other conferences in related fields:

  • Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR)
  • Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
  • International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML)
  • International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM)

And relevant journals:

  • Journal of Computational Linguistics
  • Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics (TACL)
  • Journal of Information Retrieval
  • Journal of Machine Learning

Well, this is just an estimation, it’s not as simple as: these conferences are good, those are not good enough. In my opinion, sometimes what is considered as a ‘good’ conference is the popular one *and has a quite long history*, with so many submissions and hence a lower acceptance rate. The lower acceptance rate could mean that the papers published in that conference are high quality ones, given that they are more selective, choosing the bests out of the good ones. But of course it also depends on the quality of the submissions.

Sometimes papers are not peer-reviewed, and therefore the quality is questionable. Take LREC as an example, where the papers are reviewed by abstract only and they are published without further revision. But still, to get updates about available resources for NLP, LREC is the best place.

Now that you know your community, the next step is to watch for the deadlines *and venues :p* of those conferences*, then… start writing papers! ­čśÇ

*) I compiled a list of NLP/CL conference deadlines and other information (date, venue) for 2014, will try to keep it updated

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