Special Interest Groups

List of Current SIGs

  • SIGANN - Linguistic Annotation
  • SIGBIOMED - Biomedical Natural Language Processing
  • SIGDAT - Linguistic data and corpus-based approaches to NLP
  • SIGDIAL - ACL/ISCA Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue
  • SIGEDU - Building Educational Applications
  • SIGFSM - SIG on Finite-State Methods
  • SIGGEN - Natural Language Generation
  • SIGHAN - Chinese Language Processing
  • SIGHUM - Language Technologies for the Socio-Economic Sciences and the Humanities
  • SIGLEX - Lexicon
  • SIGMOL - Mathematics of Language
  • SIGMT - Machine Translation
  • SIGNLL - Natural Language Learning
  • SIGPARSE - Natural Language Parsing
  • SIGMORPHON - Computational Phonology
  • SIGSEM - Computational Semantics
  • SEMITIC - Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages
  • SIGSLAV - Slavic Languages
  • SIGSLPAT - Speech & Language Processing for Assistive Technologies
  • SIGWAC - Web as Corpus

Additional Information

Creation Guidelines

  1. The function of a SIG is to encourage interest and activity in specific areas within the ACL’s field, including linking with related areas by such means as workshops, newsletters, etc.

  2. Proposals for a SIG shall be approved by the ACL Executive. (A note on the proposing procedure appears below.)

  3. A SIG shall have a statement of purpose and constitution approved by the Executive, and be designated as an ACL SIG.

  4. A SIG shall have at least two elected offices, Chair and Secretary, and hold elections for these positions at least every three years. The initial SIG organizer(s) may serve as the de facto officers for the first year, while a nomination/election process is being established; official elections must be held within the first year after approval of the SIG. These two officers must be members of the ACL. The election procedure must be specified in the constitution. A SIG shall have a Liaison Representative (who may be an officer) responsible for communication with members and with the Executive.

  5. A SIG shall provide a written report to the Executive each year before the ACL Annual Meeting.

  6. A SIG must have at least twenty-five members. It shall maintain a list of its members and supply this to the Executive along with its annual report.

  7. The Executive may close a SIG on such grounds as: failure to meet required procedures, inactivity over a period of years, or divergence from the interests of the ACL.

  8. A SIG’s statement of purpose, current officer information, and annual report shall be published by the ACL. In addition, SIG leaders must create a webpage with the statement of purpose, constitution, and current officer information (including e-mail addresses, appropriately spam-protected) prominently displayed, either directly or through a single-level link, on the first page.

  9. A SIG may hold workshops in conjunction with ACL meetings, under the normal arrangements for workshops associated with such meetings (independent of other workshops it may hold).

  10. A SIG may have access to the ACL membership list, and SIG announcements may be included in normal ACL publicity.

  11. A SIG must request Executive approval for any activities jointly sponsored with any other non-ACL organizations.

  12. The ACL will not provide any automatic financial support for a SIG beyond that implicitly covered by the means already mentioned, such as publicity. A SIG must cover its own running costs, and any significant proposed expenditures must be approved by the Executive. A SIG may request support for a Workshop according to the normal ACL workshop guidelines, but funding for such a workshop is not guaranteed. A SIG is not required to have subscriptions from its members. Any proposal to support a SIG via member subscriptions must be explicitly approved by the Executive.

  13. Formal approval must be obtained for ALL workshops held as an official workshop of an ACL-affiliated meeting, including SIG-related workshops. To obtain formal approval, proposals for such meetings must be submitted by the official deadline—generally April 1st—specified in the single ACL Call for Workshop Proposals (which applies simultaneously to all ACL Chapter Meetings) of the year PRIOR to the year for which the workshop is requested.

  14. To enable appropriate planning and load balancing across all ACL’s conferences, pre-approval must be requested for larger SIG-related workshops (those with a demonstrated track record 100 or more participants) in order to be held with an ACL affiliated meeting. Such pre-approval requests must be emailed to the ACL Exec Committee by February 1st of the year PRIOR to the year for which the workshop is requested (see email address at http://www.aclweb.org/index.php?option=com_contact&Itemid=3). Pre-approval requests must include a preference ranking for the location of a requested workshop (ACL, EACL, NAACL HLT, ACL-IJCNLP, etc.); the requests will be reviewed by both the ACL Exec and the workshop chairs of all ACL-related meetings, to ensure that space and funding constraints are taken into consideration at all ACL-related meetings. Although first-choice locations cannot be guaranteed, every effort will be made to take such preferences into account.

Proposing a new SIG

A group interested in becoming a SIG should submit a written proposal to the Secretary for consideration by the Executive. The proposal should satisfy relevant guidelines above and should also explicitly state why it would be desirable for there to be such a SIG for the ACL, list initial interested people, and identify a liaison representative.

Constitution Template

Below is an example template for a SIG. [[ ... ]] denote slots that need to be filled out. Some notes are also included where necessary.


The purpose of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) Special Interest Group on [[TOPIC]] (the SIG) shall be to promote interest in [[TOPIC]]; to provide members of the ACL with a special interest in [[TOPIC]] with a means of exchanging news of recent research developments and other matters of interest in [[TOPIC]]; and to sponsor meetings and workshops in [[TOPIC]] that appear to be timely and worthwile, operating within the framework of the ACL’s general guidelines for SIGs.

Note: This, naturally, may be different for different SIGs. This is just an example.


The elected officers of the SIG shall consist of a President, a Secretary and ``[[OTHER OFFICERS]]`. The President and Secretary shall be members in good standing of the ACL.

Note: Include any other officers deemed necessary to carry out the duties of the SIG.

The term of all elected officers of the SIG shall be [[TERM]] years.

Note: Generally, the term should not be longer than 2 years.

The duties of the President shall be: (1) To have primary executive authority over actions and activities of the SIG. (2) To prepare a written report on the activities of the SIG for the Executive Committee of the ACL, for presentation to the ACL at its Annual Business Meeting. (3) To designate a Liaison Representative for the SIG, who shall be primarily responsible for communication with members of the SIG, answering inquiries about the SIG, and communication with the Executive Committee of the ACL.

The duties of the Secretary shall be: (1) To maintain a membership roster of the SIG. (2) To be responsible for any moneys awarded to the SIG by the ACL; to collect and manage any dues that may be required by the organization; and to present a written annual report on the SIG finances to the Executive Committee of the ACL. (3) To act as a Liaison Representative, who shall be primarily responsible for communication with members of the SIG, answering inquiries about the SIG, and communication with the Executive Committee of the ACL.

Note: Each SIG must list an explicit point of contact (the liaison representative) that will serve as the main point of communiation for the SIG. While one of the officers may fulfill this duty, the President can also appoint a separate LR if so desired.


All officers of the SIG shall be elected by a vote of the membership. The vote shall take place at least before the expiration of the terms of the officers to be elected, with at least 4 weeks’ notice of nominations to SIG members.

Note: Each SIG can establish procedures for conducting elections, subject to approval by the executive committee. SIGGEN conducts elections via electronic mail. The main idea is to come up with something definite that is fair, reaches all the members, and is reasonably easy to administer, and to write it down here.


List any dues here.


- Subject to the approval of the Executive Committee of the ACL, the SIG may levy annual membership dues, where the rate could be determined in different ways: small SIGs may make this a matter for their President and Secretary, others may want to put it to a vote; there is flexibility here.

- Not all SIGs may want to charge dues. However, if it is desired that the SIG produce mailings (a newsletter, etc.) it may be necessary to charge some amount to defray the expenses.