Frequently Asked Questions

When you assign ACM copyright to your work, you transfer to ACM the management of rights and permissions associated with your work, which includes defending against improper use by third parties. Authors retain all other perpetual rights laid out in the ACM Author Rights and Publishing Policy, including but not limited to:

  • Sole ownership and control of third-party permissions to use for artistic images intended for exploitation in other contexts
  • All patent and moral rights
  • Ownership and control of third-party permissions to use of software published by ACM

What rights do I retain under ACM’s exclusive license agreement?

You retain copyright of your work. You grant ACM permission to manage the rights and permissions associated with your work, and you give ACM the right, but not the obligation, to defend your work against improper use by third parties. Authors retain all other perpetual rights laid out in the ACM Author Rights and Publishing Policy, including but not limited to:

  • Sole ownership and control of third-party permissions to use for artistic images intended for exploitation in other contexts
  • All patent and moral rights
  • Ownership and control of third-party permissions to use of software published by ACM

How do I retain all rights to my work published by ACM, including copyright?

There are two ways. The first is by selecting the author-pays OA option, which gives authors a third choice; the ACM Permission & Release, which enables authors to retain all rights and grants a non-exclusive license to ACM for publication, while allowing for perpetual open access through the ACM Digital Library. The second way is the corresponding author’s affiliation with an institutions currently participating in ACM OPEN. If the corresponding author is affiliated with an ACM Open institution, they will be given the opportunity during the eRights process to select the Permissions & Release and Creative Commons license of their choice without the need to pay and Article Processing Charge (APC).

What articles may be published as Open Access in the ACM Digital Library, either by participating in the ACM Open program, or by authors paying an Article Process Charge (APC) prior to publication?

Articles published in the ACM Digital Library designated as research articles, review articles, survey articles, extended abstracts, or conference or proceedings papers. Such article types exist in most of ACM’s portfolio of Journals, Conference Proceedings, or technical Magazines.

What are ACM’s Open Access (OA) Article Processing charges?

The OA fee structure applies only to full papers:

Authors No ACM or SIG members At least 1 ACM or SIG member
Journal Article $1700 $1300
Proceedings Article $900 $700
Proceedings of the ACM Article $900 $700

Are refunds available for the ACM Author Pays option?

Refunds are not provided for the ACM author-pay option. This option allows for perpetual open access through the ACM Digital Library.

Does ACM offer any pure Open Access publications?

ACM produces a growing list of fully Gold Open Access publications. For these publications, if the Corresponding Authors are not affiliated with ACM Open institutions, ACM requests but does not currently require authors to pay an Article Process Charge (APC) to underwrite the cost of Open Access Publication.

The current list of fully Gold Open Access Publications includes:

  • Ubiquity Magazine
  • Queue Magazine
  • eLearn Magazine
  • ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization (TACO)
  • ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction (THRI)
  • ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems (TOPLAS)
  • ACM / IMS Transactions on Data Science (TDS)
  • Digital Government: Research & Practice (DGOV)
  • Digital Threats: Research & Practice (DTRAP)
  • Formal Aspects of Computing (FAC)
  • Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages (PACM PL)

What options do I have for posting my work outside of the ACM Digital Library?

ACM has one of the most liberal author posting policies of all societies and scholarly publishers. The specific posting rights for a published article depend to some extent on whether an article has been published on an Open Access basis and, if so, whether a Creative Commons Sharing license has been designated for the published article by the author(s).

ACM encourages authors to post pre-print, submitted, and/or accepted versions of their ACM papers on non-commercial publicly accessible websites, including personal homepages or websites managed by their employers, institutional repositories, agency or research funder websites or repositories, pre-print services such as arXiv, and other non-commercial websites.

ACM further encourages authors, upon publication of their Works in the ACM Digital Library to add the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for their Works alongside the posting of various versions of their Works on any or all of these sites. Alternatively, upon publication of an author’s Work in the ACM Digital Library, ACM encourages authors to replace the PDF version of the Work with an Authorizer link (see ACM Author-Izer Service), which provides a free link to the published Version of Record (VoR) hosted on the ACM Digital Library and ensure that anyone downloading the PDF from the ACM DL will always have the most up-to-date version of the Work.

For articles that are published OA and with a Creative Commons Sharing license, there are very few restrictions on what sites an author may post the published Version of Record of the article (as compared to the submitted or accepted versions of the article), but generally speaking the only limitation is that such articles should not be posted on third party commercial websites as defined above.

What if my funding organization mandates deposits in another repository?

If an article is not published Open Access, authors may post their peer-reviewed, accepted version of the article (i.e.- accepted manuscript version) in any repository legally mandated by the agency funding the research on which the work is based. If an article is published Open Access, authors may post the article’s published Version of Record in any repository legally mandated by the agency funding the research on which the work is based.

What happens to ACM published articles if ACM should go out of business in the future, however unlinkely this may be?

ACM has made arrangements with Portico and CLOCKSS to ensure that the ACM Digital Library and all of its article contents remains fully accessible to future scholars, researchers, students, and the general public on an Open Access basis should ACM cease business operations at some point in the future. Both Portico and CLOCKSS are non-profit organizations that are well funded and underwritten by thousands of financial sponsors. In addition, both organizations have long standing partnerships with other well established and respected archives, such as the Library of Congress, British Library, and National Library of the Netherlands in addition to many other partner institutions.

Where does ACM index my work?

ACM metadata is freely available for indexing in any library catalogue; in web search engines such as DBLP, Google and Google Scholar, Yahoo!, Microsoft Bing and Microsoft Academic Search; federated search engines like Primo and Summon; and commercial secondary databases like Thomson Reuters (ISI) Web of Science, Elsevier's Scopus, Ei and Engineering Village, EBSCO Discovery Service, and INSPEC. To enhance discoverability, ACM often feeds its high-quality, detailed metadata directly to these services.

What are the advantages of publishing via ACM?

ACM has built and maintained a reputation over the past 75 years as one of the most respected and trusted publishers in the field of computer science. Many of our journal publications are considered the top publications in their respective disciplines and are repeatedly listed in the top quartile of all journals in their Clarivate computer science categories. ACM publications are high impact, high quality, widely-read, and are affordably priced in comparison to publications offered by the large for-profit commercial publishers. ACM has also built a reputation for being among the most liberal publishers in terms of the publication and distribution / posting rights our authors retain, and ACM built, developed, and maintains one of the largest and most comprehensive full-text and bibliographic databases solely focused on computing and computer science called the ACM Digital Library. In addition, ACM is at the forefront of transitioning its entire publication program to an Open Access model and is on track to achieve this goal by the end of 2026. Everything ACM does is geared towards maintaining the highest quality publications, distributed to the world via an industry leading online distribution platform, and increasing the impact our authors’ published articles have on the field.

Approximately 3,000 institutions in over 100 countries have access to the ACM Digital Library and all of its contents. They collectively generate over 25 million full-text downloads of ACM publications annually. ACM estimates that more than 1.5 million individuals download and read articles from ACM publications on an annual basis and at least 15 million individuals (including students, educators, researchers, practitioners, administrators, and managers) have unrestricted access to everything ACM has published via the ACM Digital Library. When you contribute to an ACM Publication, you are also supporting the global research community through all of the Good Works initiatives ACM is actively engaged with, whether these are educational and professional development programs, ACM’s diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, ACM’s public policy work in the US and Europe, celebrating the leading innovators in the computing world via programs like the ACM A.M. Turing Award, or supporting local ACM chapters, contributing to ACM means participating in and supporting the computing community.

Many of the for-profit commercial publishers simply channel their large profits to financial investors, while ACM reinvests all of its income generated through the licensing of access to its publications back into the community and for the public good.

This combination of inexpensive pricing, widespread dissemination and access, and support for good works has made ACM one of the most desirable publishers in the field of Computing.