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Starting New Journals

Why Start a Journal with ACM?

ACM has embarked on an aggressive program to develop new journals in all areas of computer science and information technology. We have streamlined our decision-making process and we can reach a decision on starting a journal within a month of receiving a proposal. In addition, here are some other compelling reasons to think of ACM when you are considering starting a journal, or moving a journal:

  • ACM journals are all regarded as among the highest quality in their respective fields.
  • ACM, as a nonprofit association, offers extremely low subscription rates for its journals, averaging $50 per annual subscriptions to individuals (ACM members) and $160 to institutions -an order of magnitude less than many commercial CS publishers charge.
  • ACM has developed an industry-leading copyright policy, that maximizes authors' rights as well as providing intellectual-property protection.
  • ACM has developed a Rights and Responsibilities document that makes explicit what authors, editors and others can expect from ACM. This, too, is industry-leading.
  • ACM has excellent relationships with libraries, agents, consortia, and related organizations, that will help maximize subscriptions. Currently, all ACM journals are disseminated to over 2,000 libraries worldwide, via institutional as well as consortia subscriptions.

How to Submit a Proposal for New ACM Publication

If you have an idea for a new ACM publication, please start by contacting Bernard Rous, ACM Deputy Director of Publications, to discuss your idea. Once you have discussed your idea and fleshed out more of the details, you will need to submit a formal proposal for review by the ACM Publications Board. This proposal should include the following information.

Name, affiliation, and full contact information for proposer(s)

Please include your email and postal mail addresses and phone number. ACM prefers to have the proposal come from (or endorsed by) a group of people in the field. This will provide evidence that a community is behind the establishment of a journal.

Proposed name of new publication

If this is a peer-reviewed journal it will probably be called ACM Transactions on XXX (although there are some exceptions). You may propose a single name or several possible names for the Board to consider.

Scope of proposed publication

Please describe the topics to be covered by this new publication.

Rationale for new publication

Explain why a new publication is needed in this area. Tell us about the field it covers. What other publications exist that covers this or related fields? What conferences cover this field? What evidence have you seen that a new publication is needed in this area? You may want to describe academic programs in this area, hiring trends in this area, or other factors that would indicate a high level of interest in this area. If other publications already exist in this area, why is a new publication needed, and what evidence do you have that this area can support an additional publication?

Relationship to other ACM publications

What other ACM publications cover similar topics as the proposed new publication? Please estimate the extent of overlap and how this publication is different from these existing ACM publications. What advice would you give authors to help them determine whether their papers are more appropriate for one of the existing publications or your proposed new publication? Please refer to the ACM Computing Classification System taxonomy for a global view of ACM Journals.

Editorial process

Please provide an overview of the proposed editorial process. Will articles go through a full refereeing process, or a less rigorous review process (transactions must use a refereeing process)? How will the editorial board be structured and what role will the editor and other editorial board members play?


Who do you expect will submit articles for this publication? Will most submissions come from computer scientists, or is there other fields (physics, law, economics, art, etc.) from which you expect many submissions to come? Do you expect submissions from researchers, practitioners, etc.?


Who do you think would be likely to subscribe to this publication? Are there SIGs or other organizations whose members might be particularly interested in subscribing?

Financial plan

ACM staff develops the financial plans for ACM publications. If you have any specific suggestions about pricing or business models for this publication, please include them. Otherwise, you may omit this section.

Proposed editor-in-chief and editorial board members

If you have someone in mind to serve as editor-in-chief please name this person and attach their CV. The editor-in-chief of an ACM journal or transaction should be a senior person in the field with an international reputation. In some cases in emerging areas, in may be advisable to have co-editors-in-chief. However, please first consult with that person to make sure they would be willing to serve. Please also list possible editorial board members and indicate which, if any, have already indicated support for the new publication. Finally, for each possible editorial board member, please include a specific subject area (or area of expertise) that he/she would be responsible for covering, within the proposed journal.

Example articles

  1. Please provide a list of articles (10-15) published in other publications, conference papers, tech reports, etc. that are typical of the kinds of articles you envision for this new publication.
  2. Please also provide a list of the leading researchers, and their relevant publishing in this field.

Support from ACM SIGs

Have you discussed this proposal with relevant ACM Special Interest Groups? If so, please describe the feedback you received and, if possible, attach a letter of support from one or more SIG officers. If this has not been discussed with a relevant SIG, ACM will contact the SIG(s) for input. After input from the most relevant SIGs, the proposal will be circulated to all SIGs for comment.

Starting a Magazine, newsletter, e-zine

To start a non-refereed ACM publication, please contact the Director of Publications.

New Journal Evaluation Procedure

This is the procedure for the ACM Publications Board to evaluate new publication proposals. This procedure begins at the time a formal proposal is submitted.

Evaluation Procedure Overview

  1. Acquisitions editor reviews proposal and makes recommendation (up to 1 week)
  2. Vice Chair reviews proposal and gathers additional information (up to 4 weeks) , this includes comments from the Publications Board and suggestions for additional experts who should be consulted.
  3. Publications Board reviews proposal, staff recommendation, and other information and whether it should be rejected or sent out to the SIG's and EIC's. (up to 8 weeks)
  4. Conditionally accepted proposals forwarded to SIG Governing Board and EICs for feedback; acquisitions editor prepares business plan (up to 8 weeks)
  5. Board reviews feedback and business plan and makes final decision (up to 2 weeks).

Evaluation Procedure Details

  1. When a proposal is submitted, the ACM acquisitions editor reviews it and makes sure it is complete. If it is not complete, the proposal is returned to the proposer within one week with guidance about what is missing. If the proposal is determined to be complete, the acquisitions editor forwards it within one week to the Publications Board Vice Chair of New Publications with a staff recommendation on the proposal.
  2. The Vice Chair reviews the proposal within four weeks and obtains any additional information likely to be needed in a Board discussion of the proposal (feedback from relevant SIGs, etc.)
  3. The Vice Chair forwards the proposal, staff recommendation, and any other information to the entire Board. The Board discusses the proposal and attempts to reach a decision within four weeks to reject, or move forward with consideration.
  4. All conditionally-accepted proposals are circulated to the ACM SIG Governing Board and the editors-in-chiefs for feedback. In addition, the acquisitions editor prepares a business plan for these proposals. SIG and editor-in-chief feedback, as well as the proposed business plan, are submitted to the Board within eight weeks.
  5. The Board makes a final decision on whether to accept a conditionally-accepted proposal within two weeks of receiving SIG and editor-in-chief feedback and a business plan. The Board also decides whether to appoint the proposed editor-in-chief or to open a search for an editor-in-chief.

A final decision can be made on most proposals within four months from the time a full proposal is submitted. In some cases the Board may delay a decision on a proposal until a related proposal is reviewed, some other decision is made relevant to a particular proposal, or follow-up questions to the proposer are answered. In some cases, the Board may delay a decision so that a proposal can be discussed at a face-to-face meeting. The acquisitions editor or Vice Chair will advise the proposer of the situation and keep them informed about the extent of the delay

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