Area Chairs

We thank our phenomenal group of Area Chairs for their willingness to serve in this role!

As your submissions come in, they will be assigned to an area chair using a combination of factors: the area(s) you specify in the submission form, any conflicts of interest with the corresponding area chairs, the match between your submission and the individual area chairs’ interests, and the overall load across chairs in the area.

Here is what our area chairs will be doing over the next few months:

Initial Review

After the submission deadline, your area chair will look over your submission using a checklist that asks:

The area chair will bring any issues to our attention and violations of the guidelines may lead to rejection without review.

Reviewer Assignment

Your submissions will be automatically assigned an initial set of reviewers using the match between your submission and the reviewer interests as determined through the Toronto Paper Matching System, the reviewer bids, and the overall reviewer load. The area chair for your submission will make a final assignment of reviewers.

Review Tracking

The area chair for your submission will track review progress. If a review is missing, incomplete, or has significant issues of quality, the area chair will communicate with the reviewers. If reviewers disagree (in the case of long paper submissions, after the author response period), the area chair will encourage discussion.

Decision Making

The area chair will coordinate with other chairs in their area to make accept/reject suggestions. For papers that are controversial or do not fall clearly into “accept” or “reject”, the area chair will write a meta-review that you will receive with final notification. The program co-chairs are ultimately responsible for all decisions regarding your submission and communications should be addressed to us at

Relation to our goals

In our program chairs’ introduction, we talked about our goals as program chairs for NAACL HLT 2018.

As part of our goal to construct a great program, we are giving area chairs more structured views of submissions. Authors and reviewers separately will categorize the contributions of each submission, and the area chairs will weigh these multifaceted views in making accept/reject suggestions. Our area chairs have also contributed suggestions for keynote speakers and suggestions for program committee members. We will continue to rely on them to provide input on other aspects of the research program.

As part of our goal to manage the integrity and quality of the publication process, we have recruited enough area chairs so that each area chair should be assigned no more than 30 submissions even if submissions to NAACL HLT break the records set by ACL 2017 and EMNLP 2017. We hope that the close attention area chairs will pay to their assigned papers, along with structured guidelines for assessing submissions, will lead to substantial and informative reviews for your submission. As part of our goal to ensure broad participation, we have recruited area chairs from across academia and industry, including both experienced area chairs and younger researchers. Here are some statistics about this year’s group of Area Chairs[1]:

[1] Any errors in the compilation of these statistics are ours; we welcome corrections.