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Few papers excel in all of these, but a substandard level in any of the four ingredients is sufficient grounds for rejection. Many papers require substantial revisions before acceptance, and reviewers should not hesitate to recommend that a paper be rejected pending changes that are required for completeness, correctness, or to substantially improve clarity. The most important elements of the review are the Recommendation and the Detailed Comments.
Rarely do all reviewers agree on a submission, so detailed comments of the merits and deficiencies of a paper are needed. If you like the paper immensely, do not assume other reviewers will. Describe in detail what you think is important about it, how it will contribute to theory or practice. If you are sure the paper should be rejected, you should explain why, politely but in detail, because other reviewers may recommend acceptance. Often, first submissions receive a Revise and Resubmit recommendation; for the authors of these papers, your detailed points will be of tremendous use in guiding the revision of their work.
For a long paper (15 journal pages or greater, and designated as a "long paper" upon submission) it is expected that the paper will present substantial new results. Examples of substantial new results would be a totally new approach to a problem, application of known techniques to an interesting new problem in Asian or low-resource language information processing, or the development of a substantial new resource of use to the community.
For a short paper (typically 5-10 journal pages and designated as a "short paper" upon submission), the expectations are less extensive: the paper may merely report on a single experiment, or it may discuss a problem with a previous technique published in the literature. Nonetheless the paper must still show some demonstrable result, and not consist just of theoretical speculation.
For a paper submitted under the category "TALLIP notes" (typically 5-10 journal pages and designated as "TALLIP notes" upon submission), the reviewer should bear in mind that the techniques used are not expected to be novel and therefore the paper should not be evaluated on the basis of the novelty of the methods used. However, the paper must show a useful contribution for the language in question. Please see under "Authors" for a fuller description of this paper type.
The tone of your review is very important to our efforts to create a community of scholars and practitioners. When you write an anonymous review, you are acting as a representative of the professional information processing field. It is always possible to be constructive and firm without being hostile. Keep in mind that often the problem could be primarily in communication. Even in the worst case, where the work cannot be salvaged, one can explain how the author(s) could do a better job in the future.
Starting with the 2013 volume, TALLIP has inaugurated a best-paper award category. Reviewers have an opportunity to nominate a paper for best paper award during the review process. Nominated papers will be discussed by a committee of the Associate Editors appointed by the Editor-in-Chief. (In case of conflict of interest, an Associate Editor will recuse him or herself from the discussion.) At most one paper will be selected for the TALLIP Best Paper award for the given year. The author(s) of the paper will receive a printed certificate acknowledging their contribution.