Call for Papers – NLP COVID @ EMNLP 2020

Call for Papers

Lives all around the world have been dramatically impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The global research community has mobilized to respond with timely research and scientific analysis that can contribute to our understanding and management of the virus. This workshop will specifically focus on the use of natural language processing (NLP) to address COVID-19 and/or its collateral impacts.


The ACL community can play a unique role in supporting research to combat COVID-19. Many valuable insights and information may be contained in vast quantities of text and speech data. Thousands of previously published research articles (and those being published on a daily basis) on coronavirus may shape our understanding of the latest virus (SARS-CoV-2) or support best practice clinical management of the disease. Analysis of millions of social media posts can help us understand how the public at large is responding to the outbreak. Identifying spreading misinformation can be critical to public health messaging. Automatic identification and organization of helpful information collected from the web can aid the public response.

After an overwhelming and gratifying response to the emergency NLP for COVID-19 Workshop held at ACL2020, we decided to organize "Part 2" of this workshop

This EMNLP 2020 workshop brings together NLP researchers to discuss best practices and approaches moving forward. We welcome submissions related to any aspect of NLP applied to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including (but not limited to):

  • Text mining of scientific literature related to COVID-19 (e.g. CORD-19)
  • Analysis of text from the web, social media or clinical data in support of public health activities related to COVID-19
  • Sentiment analysis, mental health, or well-being analysis in social media or clinical data related to COVID-19
  • Application of NLP to analysis of the collateral effects of COVID-19. Collateral effects include anything that is happening as a result of the virus, including economic effects.
  • Multi-lingual or cross-lingual analysis of COVID-19 related textual data
  • NLP for semantic search of COVID-19 related textual data
  • Chatbots and other interactive support systems related to COVID-19
  • Analysis of spoken language related to COVID-19

Submissions and Timelines

This workshop will review papers on the OpenReview platform to allow for early dissemination and public commentary on this important work. Formal publication via the ACL Anthology will proceed as part of the EMNLP2020 Workshop proceedings.

Due to the emerging nature of the work in this area, we will utilize single blind reviewing, meaning that author information will be available to the reviewers but reviewers will remain anonymous. This means that papers submitted to arXiv can be submitted to the workshop, if not published elsewhere. We also adopt open reviews such that reviewer comments, while anonymous, will be publicly viewable. We invite anyone to comment on submissions through the OpenReview site.

  • Submission deadline (long & short papers): September 03, 2020
  • Submission deadline (abstracts): TBD; late September
  • Expected notification date: October 01, 2020
  • Camera ready paper deadline: October 09, 2020
  • Main conference dates: November 16-18, 2020
  • EMNLP 2020 Workshops: November 19-20, 2020

We expect that most of the submissions to this workshop will be short papers, given the late-breaking nature of this research.

Following EMNLP guidelines, full papers should not exceed eight (8) pages of text, plus unlimited references. Final versions of full papers will be given one additional page of content (up to 9 pages) so that reviewers' comments can be taken into account. Full papers are intended to be reports of original research.

Short papers may consist of up to four (4) pages of content, plus unlimited references. Appropriate short paper topics include preliminary results, application notes, descriptions of work in progress, etc.

We also invite Abstracts of work published or under consideration elsewhere, for poster presentation. These may consist of a single page, plus additional pages for unlimited references and acknowledgements.


Organizing Committee

Given the rapidly evolving nature of this topic, we encourage contacting us with ideas and suggestions. Please contact Karin Verspoor,