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ACL Anthology

These are basic instructions on generating the ACL Anthology website as seen on The official home of this repository is

Generating the Anthology


To build the Anthology website, you will need:

  • Python 3.7 or higher
  • Python packages listed in
    ; to install, run
    pip -r bin/requirements.txt
  • Hugo 0.58.3 or higher (can be downloaded directly from their repo; the extended version is required!)
  • bibutils for creating non-BibTeX citation formats (not strictly required to build the website, but without them you need to invoke the build steps manually as laid out in the detailed README)
  • optional: If you install
    before running
    the first time, the libyaml C library will be used instead of a python implementation, speeding up the build.

Building and deployment with GitHub

There is a GitHub actions action performing deployment directly from GitHub. To use this, you need to define these variables in your repository settings (web interface: settings -> secrets):

    : rsync will push the anthology to this target (e.g.
    [email protected]:anthology-static
    : the secret key in standard pem format for authentication (without a passphrase)
    : The host which will serve the anthology later on (e.g.

GitHub will then automatically build and deploy the current master whenever the master branch changes.


Clone the Anthology repo to your local machine:

$ git clone


Provided you have correctly installed all requirements, building the website should be as simple running

from the directory to which you cloned the repo.

The fully generated website will be in

afterwards. If any errors occur during this step, you can consult the detailed README for more information on the individual steps performed to build the site. You can see the resulting website by launching a local webserver with
make serve
, which will serve it at http://localhost:8000.

Note that building the website is quite a resource-intensive process; particularly the last step, invoking Hugo, uses about 18~GB of system memory. Building the anthology takes about 10 minutes on a laptop with an SSD.

(Note: This does not mean you need this amount of RAM in your system; in fact, the website builds fine on a laptop with 8 GB of RAM. The system might temporarily slow down due to swapping, however. The figure of approx. 18 GB is the maximum RAM usage reported when running

hugo --minify --stepAnalysis

The anthology can be viewed locally by running

hugo server
in the
directory. Note that it rebuilds the site and therefore takes about a minute to start.

Hosting a mirror of the ACL anthology

First, creating a mirror is slow and stresses the ACL anthology infrastructure because on initial setup you have to download every single file of the anthology from the official webserver. This can take up to 8 hours no matter how fast your connection is. So please don't play around with this just for fun.

If you want to host a mirror, you have to set two environment variables: -

the http prefix your mirror will be reachable under e.g. or (Notice that there is no slash at the end!) -
the directory under which papers, attachments etc. will reside on your webserver. This directory needs to be readable by your webserver (obviously) but should not be a subdirectory of the anthology mirror directory.

With these variables set, you run

to create the pages and
to mirror all additional files into the build/anthology-files directory. If you created a mirror before already, it will only download the missing files.

If you want to mirror the papers but not all attachments, you can run

make mirror-no-attachments

You then rsync the

directory to your webserver or, if you serve the mirror in a subdirectory
, you mirror
. The
directory needs to be rsync-ed to the
directory of your webserver.

As you probably want to keep the mirror up to date, you can modify the shell script

to your needs.

You will need this software on the server - rsync - git - python3 - hugo > 0.58 - python3-venv

If you want the build process to be fast, install

(see above).

Note that generating the anthology takes quite a bit of RAM, so make sure it is available on your machine.


If you'd like to contribute to the ACL Anthology, please take a look at:


This repo was originally wing-nus/acl and has been transferred over to acl-org as of 5 June 2017.


The code for building the ACL Anthology is distributed under the Apache License, v2.0.

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