• About communications
  • Current Issue
  • Digital Edition
  • Sample Issue
  • FAQs
  • Author Center
  • Author Guidelines
  • ACM Copyright Form
  • ACM Copyright Policy
  • ACM Author Rights
  • Submit a Video
  • Editor's Letters
  • Third-Party Material
  • Kudos Service
  • 2016 Editorial Calendar
  • Editorial Board
  • Editor's Letters
  • Editorial Staff
  • Contact Us
  • Mobile Apps
  • For Advertisers
  • Home/Help/Rights and Responsibilities


    Help About Access Technical Support Site Tools & Features Copyright Policy Rights and Responsibilities

    rights and responsibilities in ACM publishing

    ACM recognizes that quality publishing is a team effort—not only must authors contribute, but so must editors, reviewers and professional staff. Together the ACM Council, the Publications Board, the Special Interest Groups, program chairs and committees, editors-in-chief and editorial boards aim to provide the framework that allows all constituencies, including readers and libraries, to participate fairly and effectively. As part of this effort, ACM provides this document that summarizes the rights and responsibilities of readers, authors, reviewers, editors, program chairs and committees, and libraries. Although this statement focuses on these six core groups, the importance of the professional staff is implicit throughout the document. For example, the rights of authors and editors can only be met by good service from the professional staff. Conversely, the professional staff cannot succeed by themselves.

    Our most fundamental principle is that the publication process exists to support the membership of the ACM and the computing profession in general. ACM believes its success should be judged broadly in terms of its high-quality, cost-effective dissemination of knowledge and not narrowly in terms of a publications program. We emphasize that the process of dissemination includes papers, audio and video presentations, web postings, technical reports, conferences, etc. The quality of the publications and the responsibilities that everybody assumes are means to these broader ends.

    This document pertains to journals, transactions, magazines, conference proceedings, and SIG newsletters published by ACM, referred here generically as publications. When particular rights and responsibilities are limited to some subset of our publications, that subset will be specifically noted.Note that some exceptions to this policy can occur. These exceptions are generally found in ACM's professionally-managed magazines and news services with special timeliness needs. However, the goal of these publications, as for ACM's other publications, is to provide the best in information services.

    ACM is making a best-faith effort to implement the rights and responsibilities described in this document. Please realize that people and organizations can make mistakes. However, ACM will strive to correct any problems that do occur.

    ACM encourages other publishers to also recognize the rights and responsibilities of readers, authors, reviewers, editors and libraries, as set forth in this document.


    Readers consult articles in ACM publications because they value the reputation of these publications and find the information contained therein valuable and relevant.

    Readers can expect ACM to

    And ACM expects readers to


    Authors submit their work to ACM because they value its reputation and its cost-effective publication facilities as a place to report their ideas (usually research) to the computing community. Authors rightfully expect ACM to facilitate this goal through a smooth and timely process of review and production. In return, ACM expects that authors submit works that are ready for publication and that authors be responsive to reasonable requests during the publication process. There are three crucial components in creating a quality publication where the author has both rights and responsibilities in their interaction with the ACM: review of the submission, processing of an accepted work, and dissemination.


    When an author makes a submission, a confidential review process is initiated. The aim of the review process is to make an appropriate and timely decision on whether a submission should be published. Such decisions are based on proper review by well-qualified and impartial reviewers. Authors have the right to expect prompt, clear, and specific feedback. To facilitate this process, a submission must follow publication requirements and authors must be attentive in responding to questions.

    Thus authors can expect ACM to

    And ACM expects authors to

    Processing of accepted works

    Once a submission has been accepted, authors can expect ACM to publish the work in a timely and professional manner. Authors can expect to have approval of all changes to the work. In addition, ACM will strive to not cause authors to perform unnecessary work. However, authors do have a responsibility to work with ACM to complete the publication process.

    Thus authors can expect ACM to

    And ACM expects authors to


    Publication is only a part of the broader goal of disseminating ideas and results. Authors can expect ACM to contribute to this wider goal, and in particular to encourage dissemination in multiple forums. ACM expects authors to acknowledge ACM's contribution and not to publish the same material in other venues, except as permitted by ACM copyright policy.

    Thus authors can expect ACM to

    And ACM expects authors to


    ACM recognizes that the quality of a refereed publication rests primarily on the impartial judgment of their volunteer reviewers. An editorial board or program committee should approach an individual reviewer infrequently and only with a manuscript that both comes under the reviewer's expertise and meets the publication guidelines. (Note that some magazines do not formally review all articles, and that many SIG newsletters and some magazines do not referee articles.)

    Thus reviewers can expect ACM to

    And ACM expects reviewers to

    ACM Policy on Reviewer Anonymity

    Editors, program chairs and program committees

    ACM recognizes that editing a publication is a major task performed by volunteers, and for some magazines, by professional staff. ACM seeks to provide editors and program chairs and committees with the maximum possible support so that they can effectively complete their task. In return, editors and program chairs and committees must be conscientious in managing the review process.

    Editors and program chairs and committees can expect ACM to

    And ACM expects editors and program chairs and committees to


    Libraries acquire and provide access to information resources in many formats to support the teaching, research, and learning missions of their constituents. They subscribe to or purchase ACM products because they provide relevant, high quality, affordable information needed by their users.

    In addition to reader rights, libraries can expect ACM to

    And ACM expects libraries to

    (Approved June 27, 2001 by the ACM Publications Board.)

    Log in to Read the Full Article

    Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

    Create an ACM Web Account Forgot Password?