Submissions that have been previously published non-anonymously on a pre-print server (like arXiv) or other page are sometimes OK. NEJLT adopts the ACL policy on submission in general, though manuscripts published as anonymous preprints (as offered by e.g. OpenReview) are always welcome.
This policy is repeated below (as of October 2019):
*ACL conferences and TACL require that submissions be anonymized. A submission will not be considered anonymized if the authors post (or update) a non-anonymized preprint version within an anonymity period lasting from 1 month before the submission [deadline] until the time of final notification (or withdrawal). Submissions will be rejected if not properly anonymized.
- Anonymized preprints within the anonymity period are allowed. This is currently only possible on certain platforms but ACL may consider using such a platform for all submissions in the future.
- Non-anonymized preprints before the anonymity period are allowed, although we encourage authors to wait to post them until after the anonymity period.
- If a non-anonymized preprint version exists, authors must declare its existence at submission time but should not cite it and are asked not to publicize it further during the anonymity period – the submitted paper should be as anonymous as possible.
The notion of preprint is understood broadly to refer to any non-refereed paper posted online, including but not limited to preprint servers such as arXiv. Note that the rule applies only to preprints that authors post themselves, so it does not apply to (say) non-refereed proceedings volumes. The restriction on updating is to prevent authors from circumventing these rules by “flag planting” with a placeholder version over 1 month in advance.
In addition, papers must always remain anonymous for three months from the time of submission, unless a final decision is reached in that time. This means that posting a paper on e.g. arXiv while it is under review may lead to a desk reject. The rejection embargo at NEJLT is twelve months before re-submission.
Our field moves quickly. It is even more important then to give the best possible environment to reviewers. In exchange for asking that author identities are not published, NEJLT endeavours to provide a rapid but diligent process.
The overarching principle is to not afford authors accidental advantage or disadvantage by means of their affiliation or identity, to maintain fair and even reviewing. Evidence indicates that knowing a paper comes from a prestigious source distorts reviews, both in computer science and in other fields. Effective anonymity reduces this effect, a result which is good both for authors and for readers.
If in doubt, you are welcome to contact the EiC or a board member to work out a solution for your manuscript.