What computational linguists do during global pandemics

It has been a real satisfaction to see the flow of sometimes quite good papers about how our field can be brought to bear against the current global plague. 

Dear Mandelbrot,

We’re writing to request that you review 1-5 papers on a 3-day turnaround for the Association for Computational Linguistics’s workshop on natural language processing for COVID-19.  This is the Association for Computational Linguistics’s first “emergency workshop.”  As such, we have been experimenting with accepting rolling admissions.  We had a very steady stream up to the deadline–definitely enough to keep our pool of reviewers (and chairs) busy.  Then, at the submission deadline, we got completely inundated with new submissions, and now we are trying to deal with that flood of papers to be reviewed.  Can you help?

We are aware that reviewing on a 3-day turnaround is a big ask.  It has been a real satisfaction to see the flow of sometimes quite good papers about how our field can be brought to bear against the current global plague.  We hope that you will get the same satisfaction from joining us from this all-hands-on-deck call for reviewers.  Can we count on you to join the crew?

Best wishes, 

Zipf and Karin, for the organizing committee


The good news: it’s satisfying to look at something that you wrote in a panic at 2 AM in your native language and see that there is some sort of coherence to it.  If you spend as much time as I do trying just to spell correctly in a language that’s not natively yours, it is a real relief to have stuff just flow sometimes.

The bad news: I can’t see any connection between the aquatic lexical field here and the topic of recruiting reviewers.  The lexical field brings into focus the weight of the recruiting burden that the workshop has generated, but other than that, I can’t see any real rhetorical relation.

 

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