ACM’S PUBLICATIONS PROGRAM isacorepartoffulfillingits mission to advance com- puting as a science and a profession. ACM’s conference proceedings, journals, books,
magazines, and newsletters comprise
an essential component of ACM’s identity as well as service to members and
the profession. We are proud of the pre-eminence of the ACM Digital Library
and its suite of services that provide access to these publications, ensure their
preservation, and is also a repository for
a growing breadth of related artifacts including video, code, and datasets.
Selling access to ACM’s publications, primarily through institutional
subscriptions to the DL, pays for the
direct costs of running ACM’s publishing program, provides funds for SIG-specific initiatives, and supports the
many good works of ACM, including its
curriculum and education efforts, public policy initiatives, and broad support
of diversity efforts worldwide.
For decades, ACM has carefully balanced sustainability of the publishing
program with providing authors the
opportunity to disseminate their work
widely. Examples include longstanding author rights to post their papers
through personal or institutional websites, reuse in future publications, and
of course to share copies with anyone
who might wish to read them.
The publishing landscape is changing, and ACM with it. We recognize the
importance of the Open Access (OA)
movement—the deeply held belief that
research should be available to all—to
advance the field and to ensure access
for scholars who are unaffiliated or
whose institutions are not subscribers.
We also recognize and respect other
trends, including sponsor mandates for
open publishing, the desire for more rep-
licable science, and the accelerating dis-
semination through distribution of pre-
prints (including prior to peer review).
For this reason, we take this opportunity to describe what ACM, and
in particular its Publications Board,
thinks about these issues, recent
changes, and the future.
Six Key Principles
As we consider directions in publications, we focus on six key principles:
Sustainability. Both the financial
sustainability of ACM and its publishing program underpin the ability to ensure content is available indefinitely.
ACM must ensure no ACM publication
is ever “out of print.” A portion of the
publishing budget covers costs of mak-
ing digital content accessible through
changing standards and guarantees
there will be a backup provider should
ACM be unable to publish the DL.
Access. Broad access by both readers and authors. We strive to keep subscription prices low and provide a variety of mechanisms for authors to make
their work visible, easily discoverable,
and freely accessible. All ACM publications support Gold OA with an author-paid article processing charge (APC).
In addition, authors have a variety of
Green OA options including posting
an “Author-izer” Web link that gives
readers direct access at no charge. And
we are careful to ensure author-pays
Gold OA publications have provisions
for authors who cannot pay. We also
help authors comply with funder mandates for open access.
Quality. Highest quality of technical content and publication. The ACM,
thanks to its members and volunteers,
as well as its history of quality, is a trusted brand. Publications are reviewed regularly for quality; proposed publications
Toward Sustainable Access:
Where Are We Now?
DOI: 10.1145/3201219 Jack Davidson, Joseph Konstan, Andrew A. Chien, and Scott Delman
and ACM with it.
Jack Davidson Joseph Konstan