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Policy on Prior Publication and Simultaneous Submissions

Revised 5/21/2009

Simultaneous Submission. The ACM does not normally permit manuscripts under review in its journals or conference proceedings to be simultaneously under review for another publication. (By “under review” we mean a manuscript that has been submitted, and has not been either withdrawn or rejected.) The only exceptions to the prohibition against simultaneous submission are cases where an individual ACM publication unambiguously states that such submissions are allowed in its Instructions for Authors, Calls for Papers, and other appropriate public forums. For example, in some cases, conferences may specifically authorize simultaneous submission of identical papers to related conferences with overlapping submission periods. Under no circumstances shall a paper (or substantially the same paper) be simultaneously submitted to two or more publications, or to a second publication while still under review elsewhere, without a letter of notification to the Editor-in-Chief (EiC) or Program Chair (PC) of each affected publication. Failure to adhere to this policy is cause for rejection of the manuscript. Repeated violations may lead to a ban on future submissions at the discretion of the EiC or PC.

Prior Publication. The technical contributions appearing in ACM conference proceedings and journals are normally original papers that have not been previously published in a refereed or formally reviewed publication. Issuing the paper as a technical report, posting the paper on a web site, or presenting the paper at a workshop or conference that does not publish formally reviewed proceedings does not disqualify it from appearing in an ACM publication. Workshops and conferences are encouraged to indicate in their calls for papers whether or not they will publish formally reviewed proceedings so that authors can determine whether or not submission will jeopardize ACM publication.

Authors may submit to ACM conferences and journals revised versions of papers that appeared previously in refereed or formally reviewed publications or under consideration for such publication elsewhere if:

  • the paper has been substantially revised (this generally means that at least 25% of the paper is material not previously published; however, this is a somewhat subjective requirement that is left up to each publication to interpret);
  • upon submission, the author notifies the EiC(s) or PC(s) that the paper has been previously published or simultaneously submitted; and
  • the published policies of the publications or conferences involved do not prohibit this.

EiCs and PCs have substantial discretion in determining if special circumstances warrant republication of a paper. In some cases, conferences may specifically authorize simultaneous submission of identical papers to related conferences with overlapping submission periods. In addition, some journals may invite papers from certain conferences for special journal issues. This may lead to acceptance without substantial revision. EiCs and PCs may authorize republication of papers without substantial revision under other special circumstances as well, for example, republication of a historically significant paper as part of a retrospective. In any case where a paper is republished without substantial revision, any prior publication should be noted on the title page of the paper. Explicit permission must be obtained from the copyright holder before papers whose exclusive publishing rights are not held by ACM under copyright or license may be republished.