ACM Council Endorses New Publishing Policy

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
February 5, 2013

ACM released this statement today on changes to its publishing policy. Considering discussions around copyright policy and open access, we thought our readers would be interested in the publishing models ACM is adopting.

ACM’s resolve to offer more free access pathways to its respected publications archive will enter a new realm in the coming months with the endorsement of a publishing policy that expands author rights and provides greater levels of flexibility in regard to open access.

The policy changes, approved by ACM Council last October, are in response to the expressed needs of authors, researchers, and ACM members for more free access to the content of ACM journals and conference proceedings in the ACM Digital Library and other online venues.

The new policy enables open access to the most current proceedings volume of each ACM Special Interest Group conference at the discretion of the sponsoring SIGs. The free access is available at the SIG or conference web site.

And SIGs will have the option to make the proceedings from their conferences freely available via the ACM DL platform for up to two weeks before the event and for a total period of one month. Not only will this option facilitate easy access to the proceedings by conference attendees, it will also enable the community at large to experience the excitement of learning about the latest developments being presented in the period surrounding the event itself.

Changes also include new options for authors to manage the publication rights to their work. Authors who prefer to retain copyright of their work may choose to sign an equivalent licensing agreement with ACM. Authors who wish to retain all rights to their work can exercise an author-pays option, which allows for perpetual open access to their work. Authors who prefer to have ACM manage the rights and permissions associated with their work may continue using the traditional ACM Copyright Transfer Agreement.
Under both ACM’s copyright transfer agreement and the new license, authors have the rights of:

  • Exclusive ownership of patents and trademarks
  • Reuse of any portion of the work without fee or need for permission in future work
  • Major revisions and creation of derivative works wholly owned by author
  • Freely posted author-prepared Accepted Versions in personal bibliographies and on their own institutions’ repositories

For more information, see the editorial by ACM Publications Board Co-Chairs Ronald F. Boisvert and Jack W. Davidson in the February 2013 Communications of the ACM.