ISCA - International Speech
Communication Association

ISCApad Archive  »  2020  »  ISCApad #267  »  Journals  »  Special issue of the TAL journal on 'NLP and health'

ISCApad #267

Thursday, September 10, 2020 by Chris Wellekens

7-6 Special issue of the TAL journal on 'NLP and health'

Special issue of the TAL journal on 'NLP and health'

The medical application domain and the discipline of Natural Language Processing have been interacting for a good half century now, to mutual benefit. NLP techniques have helped in medical knowledge discovery and clinical practice improvements.  At the same time, the medical field has contributed meaningful tasks, sizeable document collections (e.g., MIMIC for patient records, MEDLINE for scientific abstracts), and detailed lexical resources (UMLS), and these have helped advancements in the discipline of NLP in general.

Language is prevalent throughout the care process. It is used to encode institutional knowledge and health information, patient language productions can be analyzed for diagnosis (speech and/or voice disorders, language disorders, mental illnesses), it conveys patient and health professional interactions (consultations, consensus meetings), and also encodes clinical descriptions of pathologies and their management from the perspective of patients and health professionals (social networks, patient records). These language productions all address the specialiazed theme of health while exhibiting great diversity in terms of medium (written or spoken language), register (written material published in journals, professional note-taking in clinical documents, spontaneous production on social networks), language (English for literature, any language for other types of documents), etc.

As computer science goes through rapid changes (deep learning, big data, internet of things), and the medical field is seeing its own opportunities (precision medicine, drug discovery) and pressures (chronic diseases, an aging population), interactions between these fields are more relevant than ever.

This special issue of TAL aims to provide an overview of current NLP research on all aspects of health, including fundamental work and applications.

Authors are invited to submit papers on all aspects of NLP for health, in particular regarding, but not limited
to, the following issues and tasks:

- general vs. in-domain pre-trained language models
- general pre-trained vs. in-domain embeddings
- analytics of social media related to health
- analysis of speech for medical purposes: speech pathology, interactions between medical professionals and patients
- accessibility of health information: NLP for improving text comprehension, text simplification, machine translation, systematic review support
- Automatic processing in the context of speech and language impairment: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) solutions (from or to speech, text, symbols, sign language), Automatic characterization of disorders, assessment of their severity, decision support
- Conversational Agents (CA) in health and medical care (e-learning, virtual assistants, ...)

We particularly welcome submissions reporting work on languages other than English and inclusive of vulnerable groups.


- Submission deadline: March 15, 2020?
- Notification to the authors after the first review May 30 2020
- Notification to the authors after the second review: mid-July 2020
- Final version: October 2020
- Publication: December 2020


Manuscripts may be submitted in English or French. French-speaking authors are requested to submit their contributions in French.


Traitement Automatique des Langues is an international journal published since 1960 by ATALA (Association pour le traitement automatique des langues) the French association for NLP with the support of CNRS. It is now published online, with an immediate open access to published papers, and annual print on demand. This does not
change its editorial and reviewing process.


Papers must be between 20 and 25 pages, references and appendices included (no length exemptions are possible). Authors who intend to submit a paper are encouraged to click the menu item 'Paper submission' (PDF format). To do so, they will need to have an account, or create it, on the sciencesconf platform (go to and click on 'create account' next to the 'Connect' button at the top of the page). To submit, come back to the page, connect to the account and upload the submission.

From now on, TAL will perform double-blind review: it is thus necessary to anonymize the manuscript and the name of the pdf file. Style sheets are available for download on the Web site of the journal (


Guest editors:
- Aurélie Névéol, LIMSI-CNRS/Université Paris-Saclay, France
- Berry de Bruijn, Conseil national de recherches Canada
- Corinne Fredouille, LIA/Avignon Université, France


- Asma Ben Abacha, National Library of Medicine, États-Unis
- Gabriel Bernier-Colborne, Conseil national de recherches Canada
- Sandra Bringay, LIRMM, Université de Montpellier, France
- Leonardo Campillos Llanos, Universidad de Madrid, Espagne
- Jérôme Farinas, IRIT, Université de Toulouse, France
- Graciela Gonzalez-Hernandez, University of Pennsylvania, États-Unis
- Natalia Grabar, STL-CNRS, Université de Lille, France
- Julia Ive, King?s College, London, Royaume-Uni
- Svetlana Kiritchenko, Conseil national de recherches Canada
- Hongfang Liu, Mayo Clinic, États-Unis
- Stan Matwin, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS, Canada
- Timothy Miller, Harvard University,  États-Unis
- Maite Oronoz, Universidad del País Vasco, Espagne
- François Portet, LIG, Université de Grenoble, France
- Laurianne Sitbon, Queensland University of Technology, Australie
- Sumithra Vellupilai, King?s College, London, Royaume-Uni
- Meliha Yetisgen, University of Washington, États-Unis


Back  Top

 Organisation  Events   Membership   Help 
 > Board  > Interspeech  > Join - renew  > Sitemap
 > Legal documents  > Workshops  > Membership directory  > Contact
 > Logos      > FAQ
       > Privacy policy

© Copyright 2024 - ISCA International Speech Communication Association - All right reserved.

Powered by ISCA