COLING schedule construction: Next steps

We are proud to have sent out the acceptance notifications for COLING 2018 ahead of schedule! But, our work as chairs is not done. Here are our next steps:

Progam construction

We have prepared a schedule “frame”, with plenary sessions (opening, keynotes, best papers, closing), parallel sessions (talks and posters), all fit in around coffee breaks, lunch and the excursions. Our task now is to group the accepted papers into coherent talk and poster sessions. In doing so, we will consider:

  • Author preferences (as indicated in START)
  • Area chair recommendations
  • Thematic coherence of sessions
  • Suitability of each topic for each format

Our goal is to have the program constructed by June 13. That timing is partially dependent on the best paper award process, outlined below.

Planning ahead

In an event of this size, it is inevitable that some number of presenters may be unable to attend at the last minute. In that case, we hope that speakers will be able to arrange to present remotely (per the inclusion policy).  If that is not possible, and an oral presentation is being pulled, we will seek to replace it with the most thematically similar poster available.

Best paper awards

We have 10 award categories, the 9 listed in our previous post on this topic, plus ‘Best error analysis’, which we really should have thought of initially! We have 11 scholars who have agreed to be on this committee. And we have 41 papers which have been nominated, each for one of the specific awards.

We will shortly be creating subcommittees of the best paper committee to consider each award. Each award will be considered by two committee members and most committee members will be working on two award types. The exception is the “Best NLP engineering experiment” award, as that award type has the most nominations (being the most common paper type among our submissions). The committee members working on that type will focus only on it. We are open to the possibility that some awards may go unallocated (if this is warranted) and also that a paper may end up with a different award than the one it was nominated for.


May 17: Nominated papers to best paper committee
June 1: Each subcommittee reports to the whole BPC with their nomination and a handful of alternates; the BPC then discusses results
June 8: The committee confirms up to ten best paper awards for nomination to the PC co-chairs
June 13: Best papers confirmed, and authors notified


In order to preserve anonymity in the best paper award selection process, we will not post the list of accepted papers until the selection is done. Individual authors are of course free at this point to post their own information, but we trust our best paper committee won’t go hunting for it.


As mentioned in our requirements post, only papers that have made the resources/code publicly available by camera ready time will be considered for best paper awards; those that rely on code or data, but haven’t made it available, will be taken out of the running.

Best paper committee

Our responsive, expert committee members are:

Publication preparation

Going from drafts to papers in proceedings is a massive undertaking—for you and for us. Our hard-working publication chairs, Xiaodan Zhu and Zhiyuan Liu, are directing and supporting the process of getting hundreds of main-conference papers (and later, more hundreds of workshop papers) into a form where they can be easily and freely downloaded by anyone. This collection of published papers is a huge part of the output of COLING. Creating them involves getting the proceedings to compile properly, which as you may have experience of, is tough enough for one single paper—let alone 300+ in one volume. So please, support them in this critical, painstaking work by getting your paper as tight and well-formatted as possible.

2 thoughts on “COLING schedule construction: Next steps

  1. So is there a way that authors of papers that could be nominated for `Best paper’, know about it?Additional effort can be made towards releasing sharable code by camera ready time then. Also what if the work makes use of proprietary data, such as EHR data?

    • We encourage all COLING authors to publish everything necessary to reproduce the results in their paper by camera ready. This is best practice for several reasons, including double checking the numbers in your paper before you send it to press.

      We understand that there are circumstances where code and/or data cannot be released, for IP or privacy reasons. Such papers can of course be published at COLING but are not eligible for our best paper awards.

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