LINGUIST List 4.347

Thu 06 May 1993

Disc: Restrictions on Abstract Submissions

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  1. NELS 24 at UMass, Re: 4.337 Restrictions on Abstract Submissions
  2. Alex Monaghan, Re: 4.337 Restrictions on Abstract Submissions

Message 1: Re: 4.337 Restrictions on Abstract Submissions

Date: 04 May 1993 22:19:38 -0400Re: 4.337 Restrictions on Abstract Submissions
From: NELS 24 at UMass <nels24linguist.umass.edu>
Subject: Re: 4.337 Restrictions on Abstract Submissions

This is a reply to Munn's posting in volume 4-337.

>Two recent conference announcements (NELS and BU Conference
>on Language Acquisition) have limited abstract submissions
>two one per author, *including joint authors*. This is a
>break with what seems to be quite a tradition in the field,
>including the LSA Annual Meeting, and previous meetings of
>NELS and the BU Conference, which allowed one joint abstract
>in addition to one single paper.

>I was wondering if the conference organisers would care to
>post brief statements about why they chose to change their
>policy. Were the policy changes discussed at the business
>meetings of the conferences?

This is the policy that we adopted for NELS 24. It was not
discussed at the business meeting last year and does not
necessarily represent a permanent change in policy at NELS.

Our decision to restrict submissions to one abstract per
person is based on the desire to offer as many people as
possible the opportunity to present at NELS 24 without
having to resort to parallel sessions. The issue of whether
to have parallel sessions has been discusssed at past
business meetings of NELS, including the one at NELS 23 in
Ottawa last October. To our knowledge, in all cases it has
been strongly opposed.

The number of abstracts submitted to NELS in the past few
years has been growing. Last year 227 abstracts were
received (vying for 37 slots) and we expect a high number
this year, even with the restriction. We believe that
limiting submission to one abstract per person will not
reduce the caliber of the conference, but it will make our
job a little easier since it will reduce the submission rate
to some extent.

Comments are welcome.

The NELS Organizing Committee
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Message 2: Re: 4.337 Restrictions on Abstract Submissions

Date: Tue, 4 May 93 09:40:05 BSTRe: 4.337 Restrictions on Abstract Submissions
From: Alex Monaghan <amcstr.edinburgh.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: 4.337 Restrictions on Abstract Submissions

i too am opposed to the restriction to a single submission. i can see the
sense in restricting submissions to one single-author and one (or two)
joint papers for administrative reasons (after all, somebody has to read
and grade all these abstracts!), but even this restriction seems undesirable.
further restrictions seem to me to be unjustifiable on practical grounds, and
positively unhelpful to potential authors.

if the conferences at issue are not selective in their acceptance of papers,
accepting all submissions regardless of quality or relevance, then they
should set an attendance limit on a first-come basis. if the abstracts are
subject to review, then it is up to the organisers to take the best papers
regardless of who wrote them. i really don't see a problem here.

of course, there is the problem of the conferences where the number of
registration fees is more important than the quality of submissions ...!

on the whole, i feel that there are quite enough workshop-style conferences
to cater for less-polished work or for those who wish to meet distant
colleagues: i fully appreciate that some of us (including me) can't get
funding for conferences unless we are presenting our work, but there are
plenty of open conferences which cater for such people.

on the other hand, there are far too many "major" conferences where one
can hear the same old papers rehashed, meet the same 200+ people, and
pay another few hundred pounds to a gleeful conference-organising company.
in my area alone, there are annual ACL and EACL conferences, bi-annual
CoLing, ICASSP, ICSLP and Eurospeech conferences, plus all the main-stream
AI and linguistics ones, and so it goes on! maybe it's time the conference
situation was rationalised.
 alex.
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