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Submissions to CL may be made in any of the following categories: Papers, Survey Articles, Squibs and Discussions, and Last Words. We also publish Book Reviews.

We have recently begun to receive an increasing number of submissions which fall outside the scope of the journal. Although the boundaries of what counts as appropriate for publication in Computational Linguistics do change over time, a general guideline is that we only carry material that makes a substantive contribution to the computational processing of language, generally from a natural language processing perspective. A good diagnostic here is whether a significant proportion of the references in your paper are to publications in that area: see the lists of Journals, Conferences and Workshops at the ACL Wiki. If your research is not situated with respect to this work, then you are probably talking to the wrong audience, and should submit your paper elsewhere.

Please also take note of the information on paper length below. A 6-8 page double-column conference paper in the standard ACL style, which translates to 10-12 pages in our journal style, typically does not contain sufficient content to warrant publication as a CL journal paper. If this describes your paper, it is probably best to first submit it to a conference or workshop to get feedback, and to subsequently develop the work into a more substantial report.


Papers report significant new research results in computational linguistics. Submissions under this category are typically between 30 and 40 journal pages in length; short papers of at least 15 and up to 25 journal pages in length are also welcomed, and may be reviewed more quickly. Longer papers might, for example, describe the results of a large research project or dissertation; shorter papers might contain a description of a single experiment, algorithm, or other technical result. Each paper is reviewed by at least two experts in the field; all submissions, regardless of length, will be held to the same standards of technical and presentation quality.

By submitting an article to CL for review, you are guaranteeing that it has not been copyrighted, has not been published in or submitted for publication to another refereed archival publication, and has not appeared in any conference or workshop proceedings. If a submission is found to contravene these requirements, it will be rejected without review. Substantially extended versions of conference papers are acceptable as submissions; in such cases, the paper itself must state clearly how the work reported in the paper goes beyond the work reported in the earlier publication, so that both reviewers and readers can easily establish the novelty of the work reported. The submitted manuscript must be available for peer review without restriction. If any version of the paper has appeared, or will appear, in any other publication, the details of such publication must be made known to the Editor at the time of submission. The final version of a paper tentatively accepted for publication must be accompanied by a Copyright Transfer Agreement signed by all of the authors or, in the case of a "work for hire," by the employer. This written transfer is necessary under the 1978 U.S. Copyright law.

Manuscripts for Computational Linguistics should be submitted electronically in the form of a PDF file, formatted single-spaced in accordance with our Style Guidelines, and beginning with an informative abstract of approximately 150-250 words. Manuscripts must be written in English. Please note that Computational Linguistics does not do double-blind review: authorship of submissions is known to the editorial board and the reviewers. As such, it is not necessary to anonymise the manuscript.

Paper submissions should be made through our electronic submission system. You will first need to register for a user account unless you have previously submitted to or reviewed for the journal. Remember to tick the "Author" box at the bottom of the form. If you already have an account, please log in to submit an article. Further instructions and help can be found here. If you have any problems not addressed by the above help page, you are welcome to email for help.

When submitting an article, select "long paper" or "short paper" (as appropriate) for the "journal section" prompt on the first page, unless you are submitting to a special issue. In the latter case you should select the name of the special issue.

Computational Linguistics does not charge processing or publication charges.

Survey Articles

Survey Articles either provide a survey of the state of the art in a subfield of computational linguistics, allowing researchers to keep abreast of areas outside their main focus, and providing good starting points for those such as new doctoral students; or survey literature at the interfaces of the CL community, but not well represented in the CL journal, thus introducing relevant peripheral research to the journal's readership.

Prospective authors of survey articles should first submit a summary proposal: see our Guidelines for Submission of Survey Articles for more details. The proposal should be submitted through the electronic submission system. Follow the instructions as for submitting an article, but select "survey article" at the "journal section" prompt. If the proposal is accepted, the article itself will be submitted as a revised version of the same submission.

Squibs and Discussions

This category is reserved for very short articles that constitute more than programmatic versions of regular papers. Squibs should possess at least one of the following attributes: a) unexpectedness, as for example a demonstration that a commonly accepted idea or method is flawed; b) genuine novelty, as for example thus-far unnoticed language data that challenges current methods; and c) being targeted to a large segment of our readership. Papers about language resources may be acceptable provided the relevant resources are truly novel and of general interest.

Submissions must not exceed eight pages of content (with unlimited pages for references) and should be submitted through the electronic submission system.

Please note: the electronic submission system is used for submissions of long and short research articles, survey articles ad squibs and discussions. See below for Last Words submissions.

Last Words

In each issue of the journal we reserve a small number of pages for a personal opinion or provocative perspective on some aspect of the field of computational linguistics. You can see all previous Last Words pieces here. Contact the Editor directly if you are interested in submitting such a piece.

Book Reviews

Anyone interested in reviewing a book, or in suggesting a book for review, should contact the Book Review Editor:

Aline Villavicencio
Department of Computer Science
University of Sheffield
Regent Court (DCS)
211 Portobello
S1 4DP
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 114 222 1860

Contacting the Editor-in-Chief

Hwee Tou Ng, CL Editor
Department of Computer Science
School of Computing
National University of Singapore
13 Computing Drive
Singapore 117417
Tel: +65 6516 8951

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Last Modified: 11 July 2021