NEALT President's report of the period ending on December 31, 2015

The Northern European Association for Language Technology (NEALT) was founded in Gothenburg on October 28, 2006, and had its first business meeting at the NODALIDA-2007. NEALT is registered as a Swedish association with a Swedish bank account. The University of Oslo maintaines the official NEALT web site for the association and a registry of members of the association. You can sign up as a member of NEALT via the website. Researchers who are engaged with language technology industry are requested to encourage these contacts to serve as supporting members of NEALT. Supporting members primarily sponsor students’ participation via student grants. For administration and special interest groups, there is a Wiki Page which can be used as a work space for involved partners.

The association has the responsibility for the continuation of the NODALIDA conferences which have been successfully organized since 1977 (see the list of NODALIDAs and their sites). The NEALT Executive Committee appoints the chairpersons of the program committee and the local organization committee who then take the shared responsibility for organizing the conference according to the rules for NODALIDA conferences. The present executive committee gave this responsibility to Jolanta Zabarskaite from the Institute of the Lithuanian Language and Beata Magyiese from Uppsala University. The board thanks the two for accepting this responsibility and for organizing a successful 2015 conference.

The NODALIDA conferences address the traditional Nordic countries as well as the three Baltic countries and NW Russia. As before, NEALT operates as an independent association but works in close cooperation with the ACL and its EACL chapter. NEALT wishes to coordinate its activities with these organizations as well as with the local Language Technology conferences in its region.

Another important task of the association is to host publications, for which purpose one member of the Executive Board is the Editor in Chief heading the Editorial Board, Lars Ahrenberg. The Editor in Chief together with the Editorial Board maintains the NEALT Proceedings Series and the Northern European Journal of Language Technology (NEJLT) which is a refereed high quality journal. In 2012, Prof. Lars Ahrenberg took up the position as Editor in Chief and the publication of the NEALT Proceedings Series moved to LinkŲping University E-Press, where the NEJLT journal has been published from its inception. In 2013 a survey was conducted on the direction of NEJLT; suggestions were made to invite papers from prominent researchers and to invite editors to produce thematic issues. There are now plans for a special issue on LT for Uralic languages. No papers were published in 2014; four have been submitted in 2014, but they were all rejected.

In 2014, previous NODALIDA Proceedings from 1979-2015 have been collected and scanned by Jussi Karlgren, BeŠta Megyesi, and Nils Blomqvist. They are available from in the following form:1979-1999: scanned volumes as one .pdf; 2001-2013: (scanned) articles. Future plans include further processing by indexing to make the volumes searchable. It is suggested to publish them in the ACL anthology; a problem here concerns the lakcing copy right agreements for papers in older volumes. Suggested method to address the problem: allow author or volume editor to opt out of web publication through retraction form on the site.

The association operates mostly through it special interest groups or SIGs, see the rules for SIGs. The following SIGs have been established: