Open Access Publication & ACM

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, access, impact, trusted-source, and reach of the research it publishes for a global community of researchers, educators, students, and practitioners.

In practice, this has meant the following:

  • Affordably priced publications
  • Liberal self-archiving rights policies for authors
  • Liberal reuse rights for the scientific community
  • A cutting-edge Digital Library to distribute publications
  • A commitment to experiment with and implement new and sustainable business models for open access publication
  • Taking a leadership role with respect to the dissemination and utilization of open data and software to increase the reproducibility of scientific research and experimentation

While ACM has always been committed to the ideal of rapid and widespread accessibility of scholarly publications for the computing community via the ACM Digital Library, in recent years ACM has embarked on an aggressive program to experiment with new business models for Open Access Publication. The following is a list of current experiments and initiatives relating to Open Access Publication at ACM.

Green Open Access

Otherwise known as "Self-Archiving" or "Posting Rights", all ACM published authors 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.

CHORUS Open Access Initiative

In October 2013, a group of leading commercial and non-profit society publishers, including ACM, joined together to establish a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation named CHOR Inc. with a mission to support and promote public access to and the continued availability of scholarly publications reporting on US federally funded research by leveraging new and existing digital technologies that are used by the publishing and scholarly communications community.

In late 2013 CHOR Inc. launched its first service called CHORUS, which stands for Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States, which serves as an information bridge, supporting "initially" US funding agency search portals and leveraging publishers' existing infrastructure to facilitate a simple compliance process for US federally funded research projects, optimized search and dashboard services, and multi-party archiving and preservation capabilities by leveraging and integrating various technology solutions provided by Crossref, Portico, CLOCKSS, ORCiD, and a growing list of international publishing technology service providers, including Atypon, Clarivate, Aries, Highwire, SilverChair, eJournal Press, Cenveo, and others.

Expansion Beyond United States Federal Funding Agencies

Over the past year, CHORUS has started to expand its services beyond the United States and US Federal Funders, and is currently working with several international funders of computing research, including the Japan Science and Technology Agency and the Australian Research Council, as well as a growing list of US and international academic institutions.

The longterm vision of the organization is to serve as a bridge between funders, researchers, research institutions, and publishers to ensure the public accessibility of scholarly research publications after an initial embargo period and to provide a range of services to these stakeholders.

CHORUS is currently monitoring over 400,000 articles from its approximately 50 member publishers with over 100,000 articles committed by Publishers be being made publicly accessible on the publishers' websites.

How the Service Works

To initiate CHORUS' services, authors simply have to identify their funding sources when submitting a paper for publication with a participating publisher. That action tags the article with the Crossref OpenFunder Registry service, triggering free public access of the best available version (either the final, published version or the author's accepted manuscript), either immediately on publication or after a designated embargo period.

The data that results from the tagging and subsequent public access is collected by Crossref and provided by CHORUS to all at no cost through an open Application Programming Interface (API); this can be used by anyone to create new and customize available search and analytic tools. Applications to optimize search and enable funders to track and ensure compliance and analyze funding impact have already been developed by CHORUS and are available to participating agencies. CHORUS also partners with CLOCKSS and Portico to ensure the archiving and preservation of research papers.

CHORUS' streamlined and cost-effective approach delivers value to funders, publishers, researchers, institutions, and the public at each point in the process of enabling public access:

  • IDENTIFICATION: Simply naming the funding source during the article submission process adds metadata from the Crossref Open Funder Registry, which triggers public access to the article and minimizes the time researchers have to spend on administrative tasks.
  • DISCOVERY: Users can quickly find the latest research articles via agency portals and common search engines, as well as through CHORUS' optimized search application. CHORUS' open programming and interface invites innovators to develop new tools and functionality that further support public access and facilitates text and data mining on articles reporting on funded research.
  • ACCESS: CHORUS points users to the best available version of articles - either immediately on publication or after an embargo period - on the publication sites, where they can find essential context, tools, and information.
  • COMPLIANCE: Compliance is easy using simple tagging built into the article submission process, while a CHORUS Dashboard application facilitates monitoring and reporting by funders and publishers without adding unnecessary costs and administrative overhead.
  • PRESERVATION: CHORUS ensures the integrity and sustainability of the scholarly record through partnerships with CLOCKSS, Portico, and other services that archive and preserve research articles in perpetuity.

CHORUS Services
CHORUS currently offers two basic services for authors, funders, institutions, and publishers as follows:

The search service enables users to discover articles reporting on funded research from our publisher members. Learn more about our Search Service. The following link provides information about ACM published articles that are monitored by CHORUS and reported to the large xxxx. To use the search service, please click here.

The dashboard service enables funders, institutions, researchers, publishers, and the public to keep track of public-access compliance by our publisher members. Learn more about our Dashboard Service. For more information about how Institutions can take advantage of the CHORUS Service, please see here. To use the dashboard service, please cl ick here.

CHORUS Participating Funding Agencies
The following is a list of funders currently working with CHORUS:

  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Department of the Interior (DOI) - USGS
  • Japan Science & Technology Agency (JST)
  • Office of the Department of National Intelligence (ODNI) - IARPA
  • Smithsonian Institution (SI)
  • US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • Australian Research Council (ARC)

For more information about CHORUS and ACM's role with CHORUS, please contact ACM.

ACM Authorizer "Open Access" Service

ACM Author-Izer is a unique service that enables ACM authors to generate and post links on their homepage and in their employer's Institutional Repository for visitors of those sites to download the definitive "Version of Record" of their articles from the ACM Digital Library at no charge to the author and without any pay-wall constraints for the reader.

Downloads from these sites are captured in official ACM statistics, improving the accuracy of usage and impact measurements. In addition to providing an unrestricted path to Open Access versions of an author's work, the ACM Author-Izer Service's goal is to address the very real problem of "article versioning", which causes significant confusion to the reader, by minimizing the number of "versions" of a work that are accessible from both the ACM Digital Library and third party sites, such as the author's Homepage or Institutional Repository.

ACM Author-Izer also extends ACM's reputation as an innovative "Green Open Access" Publisher, making ACM one of the first publishers of scholarly works to offer this model to its authors.

More information about the ACM Author-Izer Service can be found at:

ACM OpenTOC Service

By leveraging the ACM Author-Izer technology previously developed by ACM, in 2014 ACM developed a new full-text Open Access linking service for use by ACM's Special Interest Group (SIG) communities called the OpenTOC service.

This service enables SIGs to create ACM Author-Ized versions of Tables of Contents for upcoming ACM SIG sponsored conference proceedings. Once activated, these OpenTOCs enable free full-text downloads from the ACM Digital Library, when links are clicked on directly from the ACM SIG or Conference websites.

The sponsoring SIGs may choose to activate an OpenTOC for the upcoming volume year (with the OpenTOC remaining active for 12 months) or a permanent OpenTOC that remains permanently active on the chosen site(s) to build up a local series archive. For co-sponsored conferences, all co-sponsors must agree to the posting and each co-sponsor may choose its site(s).

For more information about how the OpenTOC Service works or to learn more about utilizing the service, please go to:

ACM OpenSurround Service

In an effort to provide increased access to ACM Conference Proceedings publications for participants of ACM conferences and the broader computing community at a time when a conference's articles are most in demand, in 2014 ACM launched the ACM OpenSurround Service. This service enables any and all ACM Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to make the entire full-text contents of their SIG-sponsored conference proceedings openly accessible in the ACM Digital Library for up to two weeks prior to and/or subsequent to the event, provided that:

  • All sponsoring entities approve, and
  • Notice of the intended publication date is given in the Call for Papers

The official publication date will be the date the proceedings are made publicly accessible. For more information about the ACM OpenSurround Service, please go to:

Hybrid Open Access Publication

Since April 2013, ACM has offered authors of accepted full-length peer reviewed articles in all ACM Publications the option to make their articles Gold Open Access as from the initial date of publication in the ACM Digital Library by agreeing to pay ACM's Open Access Article Processing Charge (APC).

Since that time, thousands of ACM authors have selected this option and made their articles openly accessible to the world via the ACM Digital Library, and the number of authors selecting this option each year since the program's inception has continued to grow.

With that said, the cornerstone of the Hybrid Open Access option for ACM authors is the right to choose whether to make one's work Open Access in the ACM Digital Library in a particular ACM Publication. This choice is made by the author(s) alone, is made on an "article by article" basis, and may be based on a variety of factors, including Funder Open Access Mandates, personal views on the need to support the Open Access Movement, or any number of other reasons.

For authors not subject to a Funder Mandate to publish their work Open Access, unable to procure the funds to make their work Open Access in the ACM Digital Library, or for those authors satisfied with the subscription-based model of scholarly publication, there is no requirement to select this option. For all ACM Hybrid Open Access titles, there continues to be a mix of OA published articles and subscription-based published articles.

"Anti Double-Dipping" of Article Processing Charges

One of the major criticisms of the Hybrid Open Access model by the scientific and library communities is the potential for Publishers and Societies to collect Article Processing Charges from authors without reducing subscription fees to institutional customers (libraries) to access Hybrid journals in an effort to increase revenues and profitability, a practice most commonly referred to as Double Dipping.

When ACM's Publications Board took the decision to launch its Hybrid Open Access model in 2013, it did so with a commitment to the scientific and library communities to eliminate the possibility of double dipping with respect to ACM's Hybrid Open Access program.

Since 2013, ACM has been collecting all APC-related income from authors selecting the Hybrid Open Access option in ACM Publications and maintaining this income in what it has been calling a Hybrid Open Access Fund, with the long-term commitment that these fees will be used in one or more of the following ways:

  • Returned to academic ACM Digital Library subscribers as credits against their next year's ACM DL access license fees.
  • Used to underwrite the cost of APC embargo periods for newly launched Gold Open Access journals or ACM journals migrating from subscription-based to a Gold Open Access model.
  • Used to underwrite Financial Waivers for ACM authors financially unable to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) for ACM Gold Open Access journals.

Since launching this program, ACM has returned over $1.0M in APC income to the global academic library community from over 100 countries around the world and is starting to utilize part of this Fund to underwrite the launching of new Gold Open Access journals and existing ACM journals that are transitioning to a pure Gold OA model.

Gold Open Access Publication

Unlike Hybrid Open Access journals, Gold Open Access journals are completely open via the ACM Digital Library with all articles requiring either a paid Article Processing Charge or a Financial Waiver, issued by ACM and based on certain criteria defined by ACM.

While ACM's Hybrid Open Access program was an important first step to providing a large-scale option for all ACM authors to make their ACM published works available on a Gold Open Access basis, for many in the scholarly community Hybrid Open Access is viewed as a partial solution, since it still involves the maintenance and perpetuation of the longstanding subscription model and the well publicized Library Serials Crisis, originally perpetuated by rising journal prices and static or declining Library Serials Budgets in the 1980s and 1990s, but still existing today. Others believe the subscription model is not inherently problematic, even though some of the largest and most profitable commercial publishers have taken advantage of their strong market positions by maintaining large portfolios of "Must Have" titles for the scientific community.

But whatever one believes is the right approach for the future, over the last decade or more there has been an enormous change in the scholarly publishing landscape with new publishers entering the market at a rapid pace with new Gold Open Access business models, large commercial publishers, particularly those in Europe, have embraced the Gold OA model by launching literally hundreds of new titles and acquiring existing pure Gold Open Access publishers and publications, and most of the world's leading non-profit publishers and societies have launched their own pure Gold Open Access journals into the marketplace in nearly every area of research and scholarly publication that exists.

In the early years, this "land grab" was dominated by many so called "predatory" publishers, characterized by relatively low quality publications and unethical business practices, but as time has gone by and many of the established and reputable journals publishers have entered the market and invested heavily in building Gold Open Access publication programs, the landscape of Gold Open Access has essentially evened out with a mixture of high quality, mediocre quality, and low quality publications, similar to what has long existed in the subscription-based journals market.

At the same time, Funders of research, including many of the largest governments around the world, including the US, UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Japan, and other national governments around the world have become more active in terms of issuing government mandates for publishing funded research results in Openly Accessing publications and repositories.

Indeed, a number of the largest funders of scientific research around the world express a preference for publishing in Gold Open Access over Hybrid Open Access venues. Still other agencies and funders express no preference, but allow for grant recipients to utilize research funding to underwrite the cost of "reasonable" Open Access Article Processing Charges (APCs) to ensure that their funded works are made Openly Accessible to the world.

In addition to governments, many of the largest and most influential research institutions and universities around the world have announced similar "mandates" for the open access publication of research outputs, including peer reviewed articles and the underlying research artifacts, such as the software, data, and code relating to those published works.

As a result of the above mentioned changes and other changes ACM has seen occurring in the scholarly publishing landscape, and as the result of feedback ACM regularly receives from the scientific community via its thousands of authors, editorial board members, editors-in-chief, and volunteers around the world, in 2017 ACM launched the first of a number of new pure Gold Open Access journals, as well as laid the groundwork for transitioning a small number of existing ACM journals over to a pure Gold Open Access publication model as an initial experiment to gauge interest from the scientific community.

ACM will continue to experiment with APC-based Gold Open Access and explore other sustainable funding models for scholarly publication. Above all else, ACM's focus will remain on high quality publication and sustainability of its publication program and the historical record of its publications via the ACM Digital Library.

The following is a current list of ACM's pure Gold Open Access Journals:

  • ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction (THRI)
  • Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages (PACM PL)
  • ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization (TACO)

Open Access Pricing

The pricing below is valid for all hybrid and gold open access publications:

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

Open Access APC Waivers and Discounts

ACM offers Article Processing Charge (APC) waivers for ACM Authors based in low income and lower middle income countries, as identified by the World Bank List of Economies:

Full waivers are available to ACM Authors based in low income countries. ACM Authors from lower middle income countries are eligible for a 50% discount off applicable ACM Open Access APCs.

Authors based outside of low income or lower middle income countries may apply for a discretionary waiver from ACM, based on financial need. The criteria used to evaluate such applications includes:

  • The name of the author's affiliated institution or organization
  • The research funding source and size
  • The funder's OA publication policies
  • Other financial considerations

To request a discretionary Open Access APC waiver, please write to

APC waivers are offered for ACM Gold OA journals only. Waivers are not available for ACM's Hybrid Open Access publications. All articles published in ACM's Hybrid Open Access publications for which an Open Access APC has not been paid shall default to the traditional institutional licensing model and be immediately accessible to authorized users only at ACM's approximately 2,800 academic, government, and industry institutional subscribers and ACM's more than 20,000 individual member subscribers to the ACM Digital Library.

Author Rights Management for Open Access Publications

Authors of peer reviewed and accepted articles who select to publish their work utilizing the Hybrid Open Access option for all ACM Hybrid Open Access titles or authors publishing in any of ACM's new pure Gold Open Access titles are able to choose any "level" of rights ownership and management they prefer, including the following:

  • Granting a non-exclusive license for ACM to publish their work in the ACM Digital Library, while retaining all rights to their work, including copyright, and which allows for perpetual open access and the option to have their published work governed by a Creative Commons License upon publication.
  • Retaining copyright and granting an exclusive license for ACM to publish their work in the ACM Digital Library
  • Granting all publication rights, including copyright, to ACM to manage the work on their behalf. This option enables ACM to protect and defend against improper use of the author's work by third parties, including ethical and legal violations of their works, such as plagiarism or copyright violations.

Regardless of which option authors publishing their work on an Open Access basis with ACM select, all ACM authors retain all other proprietary rights not granted to ACM, including patent, trademark, or moral rights, major revision rights, self-archiving or posting rights, auxiliary material usage rights, and ownership rights and control of third-party permissions of artistic images and the use of software published by ACM in connection with the author's published work.

For more information about Author Rights, please see ACM's official Copyright Policy at:


Updated April 2018



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