The 2nd Clinical Natural Language Processing Workshop

At NAACL 2019. Minneapolis, USA. June 7, 2019.

Call for Papers

Clinical text is growing rapidly as electronic health records become pervasive. Much of the information recorded in a clinical encounter is located exclusively in provider narrative notes, which makes them indispensable for supplementing structured clinical data in order to better understand patient state and care provided. The methods and tools developed for the clinical domain have historically lagged behind the scientific advances in the general-domain NLP. Despite the substantial recent strides in clinical NLP, a substantial gap remains. The goal of this workshop is to address this gap by establishing a regular event in CL conferences that brings together researchers interested in developing state-of-the-art methods for the clinical domain. The focus is on on improving NLP technology to enable clinical applications, and specifically, information extraction and modeling of narrative provider notes from electronic health records, patient encounter transcripts, and other clinical narratives.

Clinical text offers unique challenges that differentiate it not only from open-domain data, but from other types of text in the biomedical domain as well. Notably, clinical text contains a significant number of abbreviations, medical terms, and other clinical jargon. Clinical narratives are characterized by non-standard document structures that are often critical to overall understanding. Narrative provider notes are designed to communicate with other experts while at the same time serving as a legal record. Finally, clinical notes contain sensitive patient-specific information that raise privacy and security concerns that present special challenges for natural language systems.

We invite high-quality original submissions that develop methods to address the above challenges to NLP in the clinical domain. We are interested in work that specifically focuses on advancing the state-of-the-art in clinical NLP, rather than merely applies existing NLP systems to downstream clinical problems (such as outcome prediction or clinical cohort selection). The submissions may include initial results from promising new methods that may spark interest from other members of the Clinical NLP community and lead to collaborative work. The following is list of topics of interest for this workshop:

  • Modeling clinical text in standard NLP tasks (tagging, chunking, parsing, entity identification, relation extraction, coreference, summarization, etc.)
  • De-identification and other handling of protected health information
  • Structure of clinical documents (e.g., section identification)
  • Information extraction from clinical text
  • Integration of structured and textual data for clinical tasks
  • Domain adaptation techniques for clinical data
  • Medical terminologies and ontologies
  • Annotation schemes and annotation methodology for clinical data
  • Evaluation techniques for the clinical domain


All submissions must be in PDF format and should follow NAACL-HLT 2019 style guidelines. NAACL-HLT 2019 style templates are available for Latex and Microsoft Word.

Submissions may have a maximum length of eight (8) pages for long papers and four (4) pages for short papers, with unlimited pages for references. Both long and short papers will undergo rigorous review. All submissions should be anonymized, and should not include authors' names or any other identifying information.

Please submit using the following link:

Writing Assistance

As part of the efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in at the NAACL 2019 conference, we are pleased to offer a service that may help authors improve their workshop submissions. Grammarly is a program that checks your English writing and suggests corrections. We are providing free premium access to authors for one month. You may benefit especially if you are not a native English speaker or if you have other difficulties with writing or proofreading. Presenting your research in clear standard English can increase your paper's chances of getting good reviews and, if accepted, a wide audience.

To use this service, please fill out this form:
You should receive an email with the premium access code and further instructions within one day.

We hope that this initiative will especially benefit non-native English speakers in the NLP community. We thank Grammarly for generously donating this service (at NAACL's request) and supporting diversity and inclusion in NLP!

Important Dates

Submissions due (both short and long) Sunday March 10, 2019
Notification of acceptance Friday March 29, 2019
Camera-ready papers due Friday April 5, 2019
Workshop Thursday or Friday June 7, 2019

Workshop Organizers

  • Anna Rumshisky (UMass Lowell)
  • Kirk Roberts (University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston)
  • Steven Bethard (University of Arizona)
  • Tristan Naumann (Microsoft Research)

Program Committee

  • Sabine Bergler (Concordia University)
  • Parminder Bhatia (Amazon)
  • Vivek Datla (Philips Research North America)
  • Dina Demner-Fushman (NLM)
  • Dmitriy Dligach (Loyola University)
  • Jungwei Fan (Mayo Clinic)
  • Sadid Hasan (Philips North America)
  • Lynette Hirschman (The MITRE Corporation)
  • Yoshinobu Kano (Shizuoka University)
  • Kathy Lee (Philips Research North America)
  • Stephane Meystre (University of Utah School of Medicine)
  • Timothy Miller (Boston Children’s Hospital)
  • Martha Palmer (UC Boulder)
  • Hoifung Poon (Microsoft Research)
  • Ashequl Qadir (Philips Research North America)
  • Chaitanya Shivade (IBM)
  • Weiyi Sun (Nuance)
  • Sumithra Velupillai (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)
  • Karin Verspoor (The University of Melbourne)
  • Byron Wallace (Northeastern University)
  • Ben Wellner (The MITRE Corporation)
  • Jenna Wiens (University of Michigan)
  • Stephen Wu (UTHealth)