The Big Picture:
Crafting a Research Narrative

Workshop @ EMNLP 2023

Singapore, 2023


All research exists within a larger context. Progress is made by standing on the shoulders of giants—building on the foundations laid by earlier researchers. In NLP it has been said that research is "not so much going round in circles as ascending a spiral" (Spark-Jones, 1994) while citation analysis of recent work suggests that research progress looks more like a series of intertwined staircases (Hearst, 2018). In light of rapid publication rates and concise paper formats, it has become increasingly difficult, however, to recognize the larger story to which a paper is connected.

The Big Picture Workshop provides a dedicated venue for exploring and distilling broader NLP research narratives. We invite researchers to reflect on how their individual contributions fit within the overall research landscape and what stories they are telling with their bodies of research. The goals of the workshop are:

  • Enhance the communication and understanding between different lines of work;

  • Highlight how works connect and build on each other;

  • Generate insights that are difficult to glean without combining and reconciling different research narratives;

  • Encourage broader collaboration and awareness of prior work in the NLP community;

  • Facilitate understanding of the trajectories and insights within the field of NLP, particularly for newcomers and outsiders to the field, in ways that individual research papers typically do not.




Is "Attention = Explanation" and the Role of Interpretability in NLP; based on:

Postdoc at

PhD Student at
Northeastern University

Delphi, and Whether Machines Can Learn Morality; based on:

PhD Student at
University of Washington

Postdoc at

The Role of Labels for In-Context Learning, and Best Practices for Learning with Demonstrations based on:

PhD Student at
University of Washington

Research Scientist at

PhD Student at
Seoul National University

Organizing Committee

See you at the workshop!