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Quality of Refereed Publications

For the past 60 years, ACM has been a major professional computer society and publisher of scholarly literature in computer science and engineering. The association's refereed journals have earned reputations for being highly respected in the field.

Science and engineering fields are now crossing an historic divide in which electronic dissemination is increasingly preferred to printed distribution. ACM is moving aggressively toward making all its publications available in electronic form. Ultimately, ACM publications will be available only in electronic form.

This transition has raised questions in some universities about the quality of papers published electronically and whether the review of these papers meets traditional standards. Tenure and promotion decisions have been based in part on the candidate's authorship of printed refereed papers.

ACM's policy and procedures are designed to ensure a uniformly high standard for all publications that the association identifies as refereed, whether distributed electronically or in print. ACM has preserved the traditional criteria and standards for appointing editorial boards and refereeing papers, even as the medium of distribution of the final results is changed from print to electronic formats.

ACM warrants that scientific papers published electronically in ACM refereed journals meet traditional scientific and engineering standards and should be accorded equal stature with print publication. University tenure and promotion committees can be confident that ACM electronic publications are being refereed with the same rigor and have been subjected to the same high standards as the traditional printed archival publications. Faculty should have no reservations about treating electronic publication in ACM refereed journals as the equivalent to printed publication.

ACM invites other academic publishers to commit formally that their refereed electronic publications meet the publisher's traditional quality standards for their printed publications and are refereed with equal academic rigor.