ACM Author Rights

ACM exists to support the needs of the computing community. For over sixty years ACM has developed publications and publication policies to maximize the visibility, impact, and reach of the research it publishes to a global community of researchers, educators, students, and practitioners. ACM has achieved its high impact, high quality, widely-read portfolio of publications with:

  • Affordably priced publications
  • Liberal Author rights policies
  • Wide-spread, perpetual access to ACM publications via a leading-edge technology platform
  • Sustainability of the good work of ACM that benefits the profession


Authors have the option to choose the level of rights management they prefer. ACM offers three different options for authors to manage the publication rights to their work.

  • Authors who want ACM to manage the rights and permissions associated with their work, which includes defending against improper use by third parties, can use ACM’s traditional copyright transfer agreement.
  • Authors who prefer to retain copyright of their work can sign an exclusive licensing agreement, which gives ACM the right but not the obligation to defend the work against improper use by third parties.
  • Authors who wish to retain all rights to their work can choose ACM's author-pays option, which allows for perpetual open access through the ACM Digital Library. Authors choosing the author-pays option can give ACM non-exclusive permission to publish, sign ACM's exclusive licensing agreement or sign ACM's traditional copyright transfer agreement. Those choosing to grant ACM a non-exclusive permission to publish may also choose to display a Creative Commons License on their works.


Otherwise known as "Self-Archiving" or "Posting Rights", all ACM published authors of magazine articles, journal articles, and conference papers retain the right to post the pre-submitted (also known as "pre-prints"), submitted, accepted, and peer-reviewed versions of their work in any and all of the following sites:

  • Author's Homepage
  • Author's Institutional Repository
  • Any Repository legally mandated by the agency or funder funding the research on which the work is based
  • Any Non-Commercial Repository or Aggregation that does not duplicate ACM tables of contents. Non-Commercial Repositories are defined as Repositories owned by non-profit organizations that do not charge a fee to access deposited articles and that do not sell advertising or otherwise profit from serving scholarly articles.

For the avoidance of doubt, an example of a site ACM authors may post all versions of their work to, with the exception of the final published "Version of Record", is ArXiv. ACM does request authors, who post to ArXiv or other permitted sites, to also post the published version's Digital Object Identifier (DOI) alongside the pre-published version on these sites, so that easy access may be facilitated to the published "Version of Record" upon publication in the ACM Digital Library.

Examples of sites ACM authors may not post their work to are ResearchGate,, Mendeley, or Sci-Hub, as these sites are all either commercial or in some instances utilize predatory practices that violate copyright, which negatively impacts both ACM and ACM authors.


Authors can post an Author-Izer link enabling free downloads of the Definitive Version of the work permanently maintained in the ACM Digital Library.

  • On the Author's own Home Page or
  • In the Author's Institutional Repository.


Authors can reuse any portion of their own work in a new work of their own (and no fee is expected) as long as a citation and DOI pointer to the Version of Record in the ACM Digital Library are included.

  • Contributing complete papers to any edited collection of reprints for which the author is notthe editor, requires permission and usually a republication fee.
  • Authors can include partial or complete papers of their own (and no fee is expected) in a dissertation as long as citations and DOI pointers to the Versions of Record in the ACM Digital Library are included. Authors can use any portion of their own work in presentations and in the classroom (and no fee is expected).
  • Commercially produced course-packs that are sold to students require permission and possibly a fee.


ACM's copyright and publishing license include the right to make Derivative Works or new versions. For example, translations are "Derivative Works." By copyright or license, ACM may have its publications translated. However, ACM Authors continue to hold perpetual rights to revise their own works without seeking permission from ACM.

Minor Revisions and Updates to works already published in the ACM Digital Library are welcomed with the approval of the appropriate Editor-in-Chief or Program Chair.

  • If the revision is minor, i.e., less than 25% of new substantive material, then the work should still have ACM's publishing notice, DOI pointer to the Definitive Version, and be labeled a "Minor Revision of"
  • If the revision is major, i.e., 25% or more of new substantive material, then ACM considers this a new work in which the author retains full copyright ownership (despite ACM's copyright or license in the original published article) and the author need only cite the work from which this new one is derived.


Authors retain all 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

Lifelong Learning

ACM offers lifelong learning resources including online books and courses from Skillsoft, TechTalks on the hottest topics in computing and IT, and more.


ACM Case Studies

Written by leading domain experts for software engineers, ACM Case Studies provide an in-depth look at how software teams overcome specific challenges by implementing new technologies, adopting new practices, or a combination of both. Often through first-hand accounts, these pieces explore what the challenges were, the tools and techniques that were used to combat them, and the solution that was achieved.