NAACL’s Citation Name Change Procedure

Summary: If you have changed your name and you are concerned that your previous name is being cited in NAACL publication, email the NAACL publication chairs as soon as possible. We will search the proceedings and request the authors to change the citations before it gets published to ACL anthology. However, we cannot guarantee that the authors who miscited you comply.


Name changes in publications happen due to different reasons, due to transitioning, marriage, choosing a nickname, divorce, religious conversion, a need to escape abuse or harassment, or a desire to escape social and cultural stigma. Especially for trans, non-binary and gender-diverse folks, the significant source of epistemic labor, risk, and trauma in publishing is the continued circulation of their previous name.

Queer in AI reached out to many folks in their demographic survey who have changed their name in the publications previously. Their survey results show that on a scale of 1-5, the average rating of:

  • 2.8/5 is given when asked whether venues they publish are inclusive of name change policies.
  • 3.4/5 is given when asked how often their previous name is cited in recent publications.
  • 3.9/5 is given when asked if authors (co-authors of their paper or authors who have deadnamed them in citations) consider their name change request.

To improve upon these figures, we need to add in significant efforts and changes to make our publishing system more inclusive. The procedure put in place below is a first small step toward that.

Details of the Process

If you have changed your name and the publications that have cited your work have used your previous name, NAACL publication chairs are willing to check the camera-ready PDFs for citations that use your old name. The chairs will reach out to the authors with a request to resubmit the paper before publication. This way, your previous name should never show up in the proceedings.

For this, please email us at Your email should include your previous name as it is the most efficient and fastest way for us to update. We will promptly search through the proceedings, email the authors to request they update the citations.

We also want to point out that if you want to change your name in your own publications in the ACL anthology, you can file a correction. You can also reach out to Queer in AI, NAACL publication chairs for guidance. Do note that the current ACL process is not yet supported by a name change policy, as detailed below.

Future Steps

We acknowledge that this is a stop-gap measure as it involves people having to share their previous name in confidence to complete the request. In the future, we would like to automatically detect outdated citations and require authors to update them before submitting their camera-ready papers.

In addition to this, in the future a name change policy needs to be put in place for already published papers, ideally across all conferences. Such a policy should adhere to the five principles for inclusive name changes as detailed in this COPE article.

Note: We also strongly advise authors to use rebiber before their camera-ready submission to update their bib files with updated citations automatically. This should be included in the future call of papers as well as a part of the conference submission checklist. (Check Queer in AI’s D&I guide).

We thank Jasmijn Bastings, Queer in AI and Name Change Policy Working Group for their advocacy and advice on this. If you need any advice on name changing or if you have any ideas and suggestions regarding name change policies, please reach out to us.


  1. High level principles for name changes in publishing, COPE article
  2. Name change policy working group (in progress), link
  3. Queer in AI’s D&I guide (in progress), link
  4. Queer in AI demographic survey, link