As we noted in a previous post, the acceptance rate is an important metric of competitiveness for authors with accepted papers.
… for individual researchers, especially those employed in or hoping to be employed in academia, acceptance of papers to COLING and similar venues is very important for job prospects/promotion/etc. Furthermore, it isn’t simply a matter of publishing in peer-reviewed venues, but in high-prestige, competitive venues. Where the validation view of peer review would view it as binary question (does this paper make a validatable contribution or not?), the prestige view instead speaks to ranking—where we end up with best papers, strong papers, borderline papers that get in, borderline papers that don’t get in, and papers that were easy to decide to reject. (And, for full disclosure, it is in the interest of a conference to strive to become and maintain status as a high-prestige, competitive venue.)
Not surprisingly, we’ve received several requests for the acceptance rate for COLING 2018. It turns out that determining that number is not straightforward. We initially had 1017 submissions, but some of those (129) were withdrawn, either early in the process (the authors never in fact completed the paper) or later, usually in light of acceptance at another venue, per the COLING 2018 dual submission policy. The denominator for our acceptance rate excludes these papers as it hardly seems fair to include papers that either weren’t reviewed, or were withdrawn because they were accepted elsewhere. Conversely, we decided to include the papers desk rejected (n=33) in the denominator.
With a total of 332 papers accepted for publication, that gives an acceptance rate of 37.4%.