Detailed style guide
Each year we accompany the Latex and Word style files with a PDF
document that describes how ACL papers are to be formatted. While
helpful and necessary, this document does not spell out all the
detailed rules that publication chairs will apply when deciding
whether a given paper conforms to the style guide or not.
As a publication chair, you face a trade-off between enforcing the
style rules strictly and controlling the amount of time you are
willing to invest into this. This page collects some of the detailed
rules that earlier publication chairs have followed. You should feel
free to adopt them as you see fit.
It is probably a good idea to communicate the exact rules you are
following to your book chairs, for a consistent look of the entire
Detailed style decisions:
- Font size in abstract: The abstract should be written in a 10pt font.
- Do not tolerate any deviation in page margins.
- Tolerate narrower line spacing up to a baselinestretch of 0.95 or
higher. This is because a large fraction of papers use a
baselinestretch of a little less than one.
- Do not tolerate deviations from the citation style. However, it’s
fine if people use the hyperref package or similar and all the
citations and references become hyperlinks (and are rendered in
a color other than black).
- When email is missing completely from the titlebox, ask author
whether this was intentional (and tolerate it if it is).
- Tolerate unusual formatting and placement of author names and email
addresses; sometimes it is just infeasible to make them nice.
- Do not tolerate abstract and acknowledgments in tiny fonts.
- Do not tolerate formatting of titles and author names if they
obviously violate the style guide; in particular, author names can’t
be spelled in all uppercase or all lowercase letters. This applies
both to the title page of the PDF and to the metadata from which the
author index is generated.
- Tolerate tiny fonts in tables if text is legible on paper.
- Tolerate inconsistencies in the bibliography with respect to whether
first names are spelled out or abbreviated by initials.
- Tolerate small amounts of stuff that cross into margins (e.g. author
- Tolerate papers with appendices whose total length exceeds the page
limit. Be sure to check this with your program chairs.
- Prefer appendices that come after the references, but tolerate
appendices that come before.
- Enforce uniform citation style, i.e. (Smith 1990), not [Smith, 1990]
- Papers should be written in Times font if at all possible; tolerate
Computer Modern only when authors say Times can’t be done for some