Dear Everyone Running for ACM or IEEE Management

It’s professional-organization management election time again. This is my response to everyone who’s about to send me an invitation to vote for them:

When it comes to ACM and IEEE elections, I am a single-issue voter, and the issue is open access to research. I will vote for you if and only if you make a public statement committing to aggressive pursuit of the following goals within your organization, in decreasing order of priority:

  1. As immediately as practical, begin providing to the general public zero-cost, no-registration, no-strings-attached online access to new publications in your organization’s venues.

  2. Commit to a timetable (which should also be as quickly as practical, but could be somewhat slower than for the above) for opening up your organization’s older publications to zero-cost, no-registration, no-strings-attached online access.

  3. Abandon the practice of requiring authors to assign copyright to your organization; instead, require only a license substantively similar to that requested by USENIX (exclusive publication rights for no longer than 12 months with exception for posting an electronic copy on your own website, nonexclusive right to continue disseminating afterward).

  4. On a definite timetable, revert copyright to all authors who published under the old copyright policy, retaining only the rights requested under the new policy.

Thank you for your consideration.

Responses to “Dear Everyone Running for ACM or IEEE Management”

  1. Robert O'Callahan

    Nice.

    I suppose in theory single-issue voting could leave you endorsing the candidate who promises to implement open access and BLOW UP THE MOON, but whatever.

    1. Zack Weinberg

      Indeed, I would not do this in an actual government election!

      Given the state of academic politics, someone who’s willing to sign on to the above is probably also going to make policy decisions I agree with on a lot of other topics.