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The CL Processing Pipeline

Authors who submit papers to Computational Linguistics (or many other journals) sometimes wonder why it seems to take so long for their article to appear in print. This page aims to explain the various processes involved. We're always trying to make improvements in this process, so if you have a good idea, feel free to email the Editor.

The Steps in Processing a CL Article

1 The Review Process

The first decision on a CL submission is in most cases 'revise and resubmit'. It is extremely rare for an article to be accepted with no revisions whatsoever. Our review process includes a discussion stage where the editor and the reviewers aim to reach a consensus on what is required in a resubmission in order for it to 'get across the line'.

Step #DescriptionWhoInterval since Previous Step
1Article submitted. See the submission guidelines for instructions.Author---
2Submission assessed for completeness and appropriateness; if incomplete, sent back to Author for resubmission; if suspected inappropriate, sent to Editor for review; if okay, go to Step 3.Editorial Assistant48 hours
3Abstract sent out to Editorial Board to identify reviewers.Editorial Assistant0 days.
4Candidate reviewer list constructed.Editorial Assistant10-14 days.
5Preferred reviewers selected from candidate list.EditorWithin 24-72 hours.
6Preferred reviewers invited to review; if any refuse, go back to Step 4.Editorial AssistantWithin 72 hours.
7Full paper sent to reviewers.Editorial AssistantWithin 72 hours of agreeing to review.
8Reviews submitted.ReviewersVaries significantly, but the 2007 average was 63 days.
9Reviews collated and sent to Editor.Editorial AssistantWithin 48 hours.
10Reviews summarised and sent to all reviewers with points for discussion.EditorWithin one week.
11Final decision reached and sent to author.EditorWithin 1-2 weeks of the start of the discussion.

In the case of a 'revise and resubmit' decision, the above process is repeated from Step 7 when the revised submission is received. For articles submitted through the electronic submission system, see our help page for instructions on how to submit the revised article. Most articles go through one revision; many go through a second revision. Once a final revised version meeting the reviewers' concerns has been received, there are also usually some minor final changes required before the paper can be put into the publication process.

2 Publication

Once an article has been accepted for publication, the author is asked to provide a copy that meets the final submission guidelines.

Step #DescriptionWho
1Final version of article submitted by email to
2LaTeX sources recompiled locally; copyright forms obtained; PDF and source files sent to MIT Press.Editorial Assistant
3Text is copy edited.Copy Editor via MIT Press
4Copy-editing changes applied to the source LaTeX.Typesetter via MIT Press
5Revised PDF and author queries sent to author; this version also posted as the Early Access version on the MIT Press website.MIT Press
6Revised PDF checked for errors.Author and Editor
7Corrections applied to source LaTeX.Typesetter via MIT Press
8Final proofreading; if any errors found, repeat Step 7.MIT Press
9Final version of article published.MIT Press

Anything Above Not Clear?

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Last Modified: 14th June 2013