Towards transparency in NLP shared tasks

11 May 2021  ·  Carla Parra Escartín, Teresa Lynn, Joss Moorkens, Jane Dunne ·

This article reports on a survey carried out across the Natural Language Processing (NLP) community. The survey aimed to capture the opinions of the research community on issues surrounding shared tasks, with respect to both participation and organisation. Amongst the 175 responses received, both positive and negative observations were made. We carried out and report on an extensive analysis of these responses, which leads us to propose a Shared Task Organisation Checklist that could support future participants and organisers. The proposed Checklist is flexible enough to accommodate the wide diversity of shared tasks in our field and its goal is not to be prescriptive, but rather to serve as a tool that encourages shared task organisers to foreground ethical behaviour, beginning with the common issues that the 175 respondents deemed important. Its usage would not only serve as an instrument to reflect on important aspects of shared tasks, but would also promote increased transparency around them.

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