12th Web as Corpus Workshop: WAC-XII, co-located with LREC 2020 in Marseille, France

WAC-XII is endorsed by the Special Interest Group of the ACL on Web as Corpus (SIGWAC)

LREC 2020 in Marseille and WAC-XII have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We expect the proceedings to be published as planned.

Important dates

  • submission deadline: 16 February 2020 Sunday, 1 March 2020 at 24:00 GMT-12 [EXPIRED]
  • notification of acceptance: 13 March 2020 Friday, 27 March Wednesday, 1 April at 22:00 GMT+1
  • camera-ready manuscript due date: 27 March 2020 Sunday, 5 April Thursday, 16 April at 24:00 GMT-12 [NOT NEGOTIABLE]
  • workshop date: afternoon session of Saturday, 16 May 2020 [CANCELLED]


The proceedings are available in the ACL Anthology.


  • Adrien Barbaresi (BBAW Berlin)
  • Felix Bildhauer (IDS Mannheim)
  • Roland Schäfer (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, SFB 1412)
  • Egon Stemle (Eurac Research)

Scientific Committee

The organisers and:

  • Sascha Diwersy, University of Cologne, DE
  • Stefan Evert, University of Erlangen, DE
  • Nikola Ljubešić, Institut "Jožef Stefan", SI
  • Susanne Flach, University of Neuchâtel, CH
  • Wajdi Zaghouani, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, QA
  • Silvia Bernardini, University of Bologna, IT
  • Miloš Jakubíček, SketchEngine, UK
  • Simon Krek, Institut "Jožef Stefan", SI
  • Elizabeth Pankratz, University of Potsdam, DE
  • Arne Zeschel, IDS Mannheim, DE
  • Serge Sharoff, University of Leeds, UK
  • Piotr Banski, IDS Mannheim, DE
  • Steffen Remus, University of Hamburg, DE

Workshop description

For almost fifteen years, the ACL SIGWAC, and most notably the Web as Corpus (WAC) workshops, have served as a platform for researchers interested in the compilation, processing and use of web-derived corpora as well as computer-mediated communication. Past workshops were co-located with major conferences on corpus linguistics and/or computational linguistics (such as ACL, EACL, Corpus Linguistics, LREC, NAACL, WWW).

In corpus/theoretical linguistics, the World Wide Web has become increasingly popular as a source of linguistic evidence, especially in the face of data sparseness or the lack of variation in traditional corpora of written language. In lexicography, web data have become a major and well-established resource with dedicated research data and specialised tools. In other areas of theoretical linguistics, the adoption rate of web corpora has been slower but steady. Furthermore, some completely new areas of linguistic research dealing exclusively with web (or similar) data have emerged, such as the construction and utilisation of corpora based on short messages. Another example is the (manual or automatic) classification of web texts by genre, register, or – more generally speaking – “text type”, as well as topic area. In computational linguistics, web corpora have become an established source of data for the creation of language models, word embeddings, and for all types of machine learning.

The twelfth Web as Corpus workshop (WAC-XII) looks at the past, present, and future of web corpora given the fact that large web corpora are nowadays provided mostly by a few major initiatives and/or companies, and the diversity of the early years appears to have faded slightly. Also, we acknowledge the fact that alternative sources of data (such as data from Twitter and similar platforms) have emerged, some of them only available to large companies and their affiliates, such as linguistic data from social media and other forms of the deep web. At the same time, gathering interesting and/or relevant web data (web crawling) is becoming an ever more intricate task as the nature of the data offered on the web changes (for example the death of forums in favour of more closed platforms).

We intend WAC-XII to be a platform for the discussion of some fundamental issues in current web corpus construction. Some of the key issues that we see for the future of web corpora are:

  • Can the requirements of all of the aforementioned groups of users (theoretical linguists, lexicographers, computational linguists, etc.) be met by the same type of web corpora, or should web corpora be tailored to the specific needs of different groups of users?
  • How has the composition of the web (and subsequently that of web corpora) changed? Are web data still as relevant and interesting as they were fifteen years ago?
  • What is the impact of changes in web data production (e.g., CMS and microtexts published on more restricted platforms), and how can it be addressed in the data collection process?
  • Is there still an interest in fundamental research on the linguistic nature and composition of the web?
  • What is the level of quality of web data relative to the abovementioned tasks to be performed with web data?

Call for papers


The twelfth Web as Corpus workshop (WAC-XII) aims to unite (web) corpus creators and all types of (web) corpus users from corpus/theoretical linguistics, computational linguistics, cognitive science, etc. We invite papers dealing with the fundamental questions mentioned above. In addition, we invite papers dealing with the whole range of applied and fundamental topics from both corpus/theoretical linguistic and computational linguistics which have characterised WAC workshops, including but not limited to:

  • data selection and collection (discovery and/or crawling)
  • linguistic post-processing of web data
  • analysis of web corpora (assessment of the distribution of genres, registers, topics, etc.)
  • comparison of web corpus data with other types of corpus data (traditional corpora, linguistic data from social media, etc.)
  • case studies in corpus/theoretical or computational linguistics where web data have been used
  • case studies in digital lexicography, for example using SketchEngine
  • research specifically related to the validity of web data in corpus/theoretical and computational linguistics
  • web data in psycholinguistic research and cognitive modelling
  • web corpora for language models and word embeddings

Format and submission

Like LREC 2020, WAC-XII asks for full papers from 4 pages to 8 pages (plus more pages for references if needed) , which must strictly follow the LREC stylesheet available on the LREC 2020 website. No distinction between long and short papers will be made, but papers should have an appropriate length given their content. Appropriate time slots for oral presentations will be allocated according to the length of each paper. Papers must be submitted through START and will undergo blind peer-review.

Submit your paper here:

All papers will be published in the LREC 2020 proceedings.

Identify, Describe and Share your LRs!

Describing your LRs in the LRE Map is now a normal practice in the submission procedure of LREC (introduced in 2010 and adopted by other conferences). To continue the efforts initiated at LREC 2014 about “Sharing LRs” (data, tools, web-services, etc.), authors will have the possibility, when submitting a paper, to upload LRs in a special LREC repository. This effort of sharing LRs, linked to the LRE Map for their description, may become a new “regular” feature for conferences in our field, thus contributing to creating a common repository where everyone can deposit and share data.

As scientific work requires accurate citations of referenced work so as to allow the community to understand the whole context and also replicate the experiments conducted by other researchers, LREC 2020 endorses the need to uniquely Identify LRs through the use of the International Standard Language Resource Number (ISLRN,, a Persistent Unique Identifier to be assigned to each Language Resource. The assignment of ISLRNs to LRs cited in LREC papers will be offered at submission time.

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