EIC Appointment

(Adopted July 27, 2000, Amended February 4, 2002, February 20, 2009, and October 21, 2010)

ACM Editors-in-Chief are expected to be leaders in the research and/or practitioner community, with a vision for the future of their field. In addition to being outstanding researchers or practitioners, they should have a strong record of service. In addition, ACM has formally defined Evaluation Criteria for Editors in Chief which it applies when considering both appointments and re-appointments. The process used in each of these cases is as follows.

I. Appointing a New Editor-in-Chief

  1. For a new journal

    Generally, the proposal author/champion of the new journal is asked to become the EiC. The Publications Board will ask the candidate for a c.v. Members of the Board can make informal inquiries of colleagues regarding the candidate's qualifications for the position. At some point during the proposal evaluation cycle, the appropriate SIG(s) will be contacted, and feedback on the candidate solicited. With this information, the Board will decide whether to appoint the candidate. Staff will follow up on preparing paperwork.

  2. For an existing journal

    One year prior to the end of the incumbent EiC's term, HQ will notify the PB Chair. The Board will then create a small (3-5 member) ad-hoc Search Committee, with at least one member coming from the SIG community and at least one member coming from the Board (not as chair), the latter to provide liaison with the Board and provide quick answers to the committee regarding ACM policy and Pubs Board strategic directions. If the journal has a formal Advisory Board, then representation from that Board will also be sought. (Alternatively, the Board may ask the relevant SIG to convene the committee themselves, and include a representative from the Pubs Board and journal Advisory Board.) The current EiC should be consulted by the Search Committee to provide input, but should not be a member of that committee. The Search Committee shall issue a public call for nominations for the new EiC, to appear at least on the ACM home page and on the home page of the journal. The Search Committee will have four months to forward a recommended candidate, along with supporting documentation (a CV for the nominee, a vision statement from the nominee, and a brief statement from the committee describing the process they used to select the nominee) to the Board. With this information, the Board will decide whether to appoint the candidate. This schedule allows approximately six months for overlap between the outgoing and incoming EiCs. Staff will follow up on preparing paperwork. 

  3. For a new magazine

    Generally, the proposal author/champion of the new magazine is asked to become the EiC. The Publications Board will ask the candidate for a CV. Members of the Board can make informal inquiries of colleagues regarding the candidate's qualifications for the position. At some point during the proposal evaluation cycle, the appropriate SIG(s) will be contacted, and feedback on the candidate solicited. In addition, a staff member from ACM HQ will communicate directly with the EIC candidate and provide a formal recommendation to the Publications Board. With this information, the Board will decide whether to appoint the candidate. One important criterion for all magazine EICs is the ability and willingness to work closely with ACM staff on both editorial and production matters, adhering to schedules prescribed by staff. For online-only magazines, the EICs willingness and ability to regularly deliver high quality content on a regular weekly schedule should also be a key criterion for appointment. Initial EIC appointments will be for a 3 year period. Staff will follow up on preparing paperwork.

  4. For an existing magazine

    Eighteen months prior to the end of the incumbent EIC’s term, HQ will contact the incumbent EIC to learn if the incumbent EIC will seek a 2nd term. In the event the incumbent EIC will seek a 2nd term, a staff member from ACM HQ will communicate with the Publications Board to inform them of the EIC’s intentions and to make a recommendation on the reappointment of the incumbent. In the event that the incumbent EIC does not seek a 2nd term or the Publications Board chooses not to renew the incumbent, the Publications Board will establish a Search Committee, which would be composed of people from the magazine’s existing editorial board, the Publications Board (or surrogates of the board) with expertise in the area covered by the magazine, from the relevant SIG(s), and a staff member. The search process will be identical to that followed for other ACM publications. In addition, a staff member from ACM HQ will communicate directly with the EIC candidate and provide a formal recommendation to the Publications Board. Magazine EIC terms are normally three years with at most two terms, but a third-term may be offered under certain circumstances at the discretion of the Publications Board.

II. Reappointing an Editor-in-Chief

  1. One year prior to the end of the incumbent's term, HQ will notify the PB Chair, and the Board will decide whether to initiate Procedure I-2. If not, HQ will ask the incumbent whether s/he is interested in serving another term. If so, HQ will notify the PB Chair, and, at the same time, request from the incumbent a summary of the status of the journal, any significant events/milestones achieved, and the incumbent's future plans for the journal. The incumbent will be asked to provide this within a month. This document will be circulated to stakeholders within the SIG community for comment. The Board will review this document, the feedback provided from the SIG community, as well as information provided by HQ on the performance of the incumbent, and decide on reappointment. Staff will follow up on preparing paperwork.

EIC terms are normally three years. The normal expectation is a two-term limit as EiC, consistent with general ACM volunteer appointment policy.

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