The Blue Diamond - October 2020



Welcome to the October 2020 issue of the Blue Diamond newsletter. As you will read below, despite the new reality of living and working virtually through a global pandemic, the past six months have been an extremely busy and productive period for ACM on multiple fronts. First and foremost, an official resolution to set a five-year target to transition ACM's scholarly research publications to a completely new Open Access publication model was presented to and approved unanimously by the ACM Council. This is a significant milestone for ACM and the computing community, and one we have been working towards for many years. More information about what this means and how ACM intends to successfully reach this target can be found below, but without question this transition will have a major impact on ACM's Publications program and the entire computing research community at large as we start to remove the longstanding subscription paywall that ACM has relied so heavily on to maintain and sustain our publications.

The past six months have also been an extremely busy period for ACM's Publications Ethics + Plagiarism Committee, as the number of official claims of potential publication-ethics related misconduct and violations continues to be on a steady rise. It is unclear whether this concerning trend reflects actual increased levels of misconduct by members of the community, if ACM and our volunteer community are simply getting better at identifying potential misconduct, or if the community is becoming increasingly willing to come forward and make official claims of potential misconduct, but in any event the number of claims we receive is on the rise and ACM is committed to investigating all legitimate claims when they are brought to our attention. Related to this is an announcement below that ACM has recently applied and been accepted to join the international Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in order to ensure that ACM's handling of publications-related claims conforms to generally accepted scholarly publishing industry standards and practices for investigating claims, decision making, and imposing penalties on those found guilty of committing such violations. Please note that this organization is separate and unrelated to the ACM Committee on Professional Ethics, which is the volunteer ACM committee that oversees ACM's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. More on this will be reported over the coming months in future issues.

In addition to the above, this issue of The Blue Diamond contains important updates on ACM's progress with its reproducibility initiative, and in particular our recent integration with Code Ocean, some recent changes to ACM's Artifact Badging initiative, information about the updated Clarivate Impact Factors for scholarly journals, new journal announcements, an update on ACM Virtual Conferences, and last but not least information about comings and goings with members of the ACM Publications Board and Headquarters Publications staff. ACM would not be ACM without the dedicated volunteers that give so generously of their time and expertise, and we are incredibly thankful to those volunteers in particular who have served on ACM's Publications Board and related Committees, who are named below.

I hope you enjoy this issue and as always please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or would like additional information about any aspect of this issue.


Scott Delman
Director of Publications
Email: [email protected]

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ACM Council Approves ACM OPEN Roadmap

By Joseph Konstan and Jack Davidson, Publications Board Co-chairs

At its June meeting, the ACM Council heard a report from the Publications Board on ACM OPEN, ACM's new model and roadmap for transitioning ACM to become a sustainable open access publisher with financial support from universities and government research institutions affiliated with authors of ACM published articles. Early indications are that the new model is being well received by institutions in the US, Europe, and Asia with a growing list of universities having already committed to the new model for an initial three-year period.

Based on this report, the ACM Council approved a five-year target for making research publications in the ACM Digital Library fully open access upon publication and asked for annual progress reports as we move toward that goal.

ACM OPEN, which was developed in consultation with top computing universities, shifts the costs of open access publication from individual authors paying open access article processing charges (i.e., APCs) to academic and government research institutions affiliated with those authors by offering those institutions the option of underwriting the costs of open access publication by paying fixed annual fees that allow for an unlimited number of articles accepted into ACM's various conference, journal, and magazine publications. Pricing is based on a tiering structure for institutions that is based on the number of articles published over the past three years by their affiliated authors. The model was officially launched in late January 2020 as an optional model for the approximately 2,700 institutions that currently license "read access" to the ACM Digital Library publication platform but will focus initially on the approximately 1,000 universities that account for over 80% of the articles ACM publishes annually. For those institutions opting in, all faculty and students affiliated with those institutions will continue to have unlimited read access but will also gain the ability to publish accepted ACM articles on an open access basis without any additional fees required by individual authors.

The benefits of this new model for ACM's authors, readers, members, and institutional partners are widespread, but perhaps the most compelling reason for ACM to make this concerted push towards Open Access is the data we've compiled over the past seven years since we launched ACM's hybrid open access option back in 2013 that shows a significant benefit of publishing articles in front of ACM's longstanding Digital Library paywall in terms of the significant increase in readership (via full-text article downloads) and impact (via article-level citations). As a non-profit society publisher with a scientific and educational mission, we have an obligation to transition to models that help to accelerate the rate of discovery and innovation, and it is clear that open access publication is consistent with that mission. The challenge has been how to scale up the number of open access articles ACM publishes annually in a financially responsible and sustainable way, and there are now strong initial indications that ACM Open can provide this sustainable path over the next five years.

This new model also supports the ACM author community in a very practical and tangible way by enabling them to comply with the growing number of government and institutional open access mandates around the world that increasingly require that recipients of public and private research grants publish the outputs of this research, including published articles and related research artifacts, such as data and code, on an open access basis without any barriers for readers. The model is also viewed as advantageous for the institutions themselves by providing price predictability by offering a set annual fee as part of multi-year agreements, where pricing is based on a three-year average of past publications rather than by charging individual authors or institutions separately for each article published, which can vary significantly from year to year.

Two other key elements of the model are: (1) reducing annual licensing fees for the long tail of approximately 1,700 institutions worldwide that publish fairly little with ACM each year (these reduced charges phase in as a large number of papers are covered by ACM OPEN agreements) as the DL becomes increasingly open; and (2) flipping the Digital Library publishing model to entirely OA when there is critical mass of published articles covered by ACM OPEN institutional agreements. This flip to fully OA publication satisfies other emerging requirements such as Plan S, which is gaining traction in Europe. We know many of you join us in looking forward to a time when paywalls are a thing of the past, and this can be done in a sustainable way for ACM.

While we're extremely excited about ACM OPEN, ACMs Council and the Publications Board both recognized that this is a difficult time for universities and for university libraries in particular, and so we are watching closely as library budgets fall victim to COVID-19 financial challenges. We will work aggressively to meet the five-year timeline established by ACM's Council in June but recognize that our success is tied to the health of our university and institutional partners. We are working with them to offer gradual transition plans to phase in ACM OPEN when that best meets their needs. And as always, ACM is committed to ensuring that all authors have the ability to publish and will have discounts or financial waivers available for individual authors unaffiliated with ACM OPEN institutions.

ACM OPEN launched with initial commitments from the University of California System, Carnegie Mellon University, Iowa State University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then we've signed up dozens of additional institutions around the world, such as the Max Planck Institute in Germany, Cambridge University in the UK, KAUST in Saudi Arabia, and Delft University in The Netherlands, among many others, with more transitioning to ACM OPEN each month.

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Plan S Compliance for ACM Authors

As many of our members, authors, and volunteers from Europe and elsewhere around the world are aware, a group of 23 predominantly European-based National, International, and Charitable funders, including, among others, the European Commission, UKRI, The Research Council of Norway, The Higher Council for Science and Technology (Middle East), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Health Organization (see full list here) joined together in September 2018 to form an international consortium of research funders called cOAlition S with the goal of creating a mandate called Plan S that as from January 1, 2021, requires that all scientific publications resulting from research funded by cOAlition S funders must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms. Over the past few years, the detailed plan and requirements from Plan S have shifted and evolved from their origination, but there is now generally widespread consensus that Plan S will be a firm requirement for recipients of cOAlition S research grants and will need to publish in Plan S compliant publication venues to avoid future penalties resulting from non-compliance.

The 10 general principles and detailed criteria for compliance with Plan S requirements for authors can be found on the Plan S website, but as a high-level summary there are three basic routes for being compliant with Plan S, found on page 3 of their Principles and Implementation PDF document.

ACM has been working for many years to ensure that all ACM authors have a clear and unambiguous path to compliance with a long and growing list of national and international funder Open Access mandates (in the US, UK, and Europe, for example), so our work in this regard began long before the formation of cOAlition S, but over the past few years as we have gotten closer to the January 1, 2021 deadline for Plan S compliance, we have been particularly focused on these specific requirements, since over 25% of ACM's published authors come from countries where significant research funding comes from cOAlition S members. Our work has been focused on three main areas, including:

  • Open Access business models
  • Liberalizing ACM's publications policies
  • Providing technical solutions to support author compliance

In terms of OA business models, in 2013 ACM initially launched a hybrid open access option for all ACM authors publishing in any ACM journal, conference, or magazine. This model is still in effect today, but has only managed to achieve approximately 5% penetration of the ~21,000 research articles ACM published in 2019, so it was clear there was still considerable work to be done to transition the vast majority of research articles we publish each year. More recently, with work starting in 2018 ACM recently launched the ACM OPEN model this past January and over the past six months has managed to grow penetration an additional 5-6% for a total of roughly 10-11% of our research articles being published on a paid open access basis (i.e., roughly 2,000+ articles annually). All European universities have been introduced to the new ACM OPEN model and many are considering signing on to the new model in 2021 or 2022. We will report progress on that front in future issues of this newsletter.

In terms of publications policies, at the beginning of 2016 the ACM Publications Board updated ACM's longstanding Copyright Policy to expand the set of permanent rights held by all ACM authors (see Section 2.5) to read:

  • Post the Accepted Version of the Work on (1) the Author's home page, (2) the Owner's institutional repository, (3) any repository legally mandated by an agency funding the research on which the Work is based, and (4) any non-commercial repository or aggregation that does not duplicate ACM tables of contents, i.e., whose patterns of links do not substantially duplicate an ACM-copyrighted volume or issue. Non-commercial repositories are here understood as repositories owned by non-profit organizations that do not charge a fee for accessing deposited articles and that do not sell advertising or otherwise profit from serving articles
  • Post an "Author-Izer" link enabling free downloads of the Version of Record in the ACM Digital Library on (1) the Author's home page or (2) the Owner's institutional repository

And lastly, in terms of technology solutions to support OA funder mandates and more generally to increase access to ACM published Works, ACM launched the Author-izer Service in 2011 to empower ACM authors to make their own published articles more accessible by giving them the ability to post links to bypass the Digital Library paywall for users of those links from the author's individual websites or institutional repositories and more recently over the past three months have developed a tool to enable automatic depositing of either Accepted Manuscript or Version of Record versions of ACM published articles for authors affiliated with ACM OPEN institutions.

As the clock has ticked closer to the Plan S deadline, we also wanted to make sure we were doing everything we could do to ensure that all ACM authors subject to Plan S requirements had the ability to be fully Plan S compliant from day 1 when they publish their future articles with ACM, so the ACM Publications Board invited Johan Rooryck, Executive Director of cOAlition S, to join its July 23, 2020 meeting to discuss Plan S and get his feedback on ACM author compliance based on the various policies, initiatives, and services we provide our authors.

After a dialogue with Johan, the ACM Publications Board had a high degree of confidence that ACM authors receiving grant funding from cOAlition S funders will indeed be compliant with the various Plan S requirements. If you are an ACM author and have specific questions about the detailed Plan S requirements and what steps you need to take to ensure compliance, please don't hesitate to reach out to ACM's Director of Publications via email.

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Code Ocean Integrations in the ACM Digital Library

For some time now, ACM has encouraged authors to submit software and datasets along with their research papers and has provided mechanisms for doing so. With the launch of the new ACM Digital Library, we've made software and data more discoverable through search and more prominent display on article pages. Now, through an integration with Code Ocean, we offer authors the ability to virtualize their software alongside their articles in the ACM Digital Library.

Code Ocean provides a cloud-based virtual executable platform where researchers can store their software and accompanying data in "compute capsules," preserving their work for reuse. A compute capsule is an executable container that packages the code, data, and environment together, allowing researchers to run and reproduce work from any web browser without needing to install extra hardware or software.

We can now embed Code Ocean executable compute capsules alongside published articles in the ACM DL, preserving executable code and data for increased reproducibility. Simply submit the DOI for your compute capsule along with your paper and any other artifacts during the submission process to make an executable version of your software, data and experiment available for peer review and publication.

We're also offering authors the ability to embed Code Ocean compute capsules for previously published articles, enhancing the reproducibility of these works. To add compute capsules to your previously published works, please contact us at [email protected].

We encourage authors to provide compute capsule DOIs for their work published in the ACM DL.

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New Changes to Badging Terminology

ACM recently updated the terminology used for its artifact review badges to ensure that our current definitions of "reproducibility" and "replication" are consistent with definitions used by other research communities outside the field of computing. Following discussions with the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), it was recommended, and the ACM Publications Board agreed, to harmonize its terminology and definitions with those used in the broader scientific research community.

The ACM Publications board released a statement expressing the rationale for the change and updated "Results Reproduced" and "Results Replicated" on the New Changes to Badging Terminology page. ACM Badging Version 1.1 was released on May 15, 2020. Please see the Artifact Review and Badging Version 1.1 webpage for complete description and current badge definitions.

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Update on ACM Publications Policy on Author Name Changes

ACM's recently-released Publications Policy on Author Name Changes confirms ACM's commitment to respecting the rights and identities of its authors, and seeks to reduce or remove barriers to inclusion and author credit for their published works. We recognize that authors may change their names for many reasons, including marriage or divorce, religious conversion, gender identity change, and other personal reasons. This policy outlines how ACM can help published authors who change their names.

The ACM Publications Board, SIGs, ACM Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE), ACM authors and ACM Staff spearheaded the effort in crafting the publishing industry leading policy—a yearlong endeavor informed by significant feedback, insight, and experiences from all interested parties.

ACM also understands that the Policy needs to be a living document that is revisited from time to time to make adjustments based on author needs and ever-changing industry standards.

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ACM Joins International Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

As you likely are aware, the ACM Committee on Professional Ethics (ACM COPE) is the volunteer committee that enforces the ACM Code of Ethics (a.k.a. The Code). Recently, in addition to ACM COPE, ACM has signed on as a member of the international organization Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). COPE is committed to educating and supporting editors, authors, and publishers, with the aim of moving publishing culture toward one where ethical practices become the norm.

COPE provides a widely-recognized industry standard of policies and practices for handling cases of ethical misconduct, and ACM will use these in our investigations as necessary. Being a member of COPE will give our members, readers, editors, and reviewers further confidence that ACM publications are dedicated to ensuring that ethical publishing practices are promoted and upheld. It will also assist ACM in adjudicating ethics disputes between or among publishers. We encourage you to continue to send any ethics concerns to ACM COPE for evaluation and action.

For questions, or if you are interested in reading any of the new ACM COPE resources we have available, please contact Scott Delman, Director of Publications, at [email protected].

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2019 Impact Factors for ACM Journals

Clarivate 2019 Impact Factors were released in June 2020. Overall, impact factors increased for 17 ACM journals.

ACM now publishes eight journals with impact factors of over 3.000:

  • IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (TCBB)
  • ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI)
  • ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications (TOMM)
  • IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking (TON)
  • IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing (TALSP)
  • ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG)
  • Communications of the ACM (CACM)
  • ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR)

CSUR, CACM and TOG had the highest IFs at 7.990, 6.988, and 5.084, respectively.

CACM and CSUR, as well as ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS) and TOCHI, had the most significant increases at over 1.000 each. TOCHI jumped to 3.147 from 1.734, TODS from 2.927 to 1.900. ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems (TiiS) received its first impact factor of 1.630, the highest of any newly-listed ACM publication since 2013.

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New Journal: Collective Intelligence

The ACM Publications Board has approved a collaboration with SAGE Publishing and innovation foundation Nesta to launch Collective Intelligence. This online-only, gold open access journal will bring together formerly siloed communities of researchers and practitioners in areas such as computer science, economics, biology, sociology, political science, and philosophy. Articles will aim to shape an emerging field devoted to advancing the theoretical and empirical understanding of group performance in diverse systems, from adaptive matter to cellular and neural systems to animal societies to all types of human organizations to hybrid AI-human teams and nanobot swarms. The journal embraces a policy of creative rigor in the study of collective intelligence to facilitate discovery of principles that apply across scales to improve social, ecological and economic outcomes.

To support this goal of being truly interdisciplinary, the journal will be edited by four leading experts across key fields: Jessica Flack (Santa Fe Institute) Panos Ipeirotis (New York University), Scott Page (University of Michigan), and Geoff Mulgan (University College London). Publication for at least the first year will be underwritten by Nesta, resulting in no publication charges for authors.

For more information about Collective Intelligence, please email [email protected].
Read the ACM news release.

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Journal Proposals in Progress on Three Key Research Areas

In July 2020, Bhavani Thuraisinghmam (The University of Texas at Dallas) and Mike Heroux (Sandia National Laboratories) generously agreed to co-chair the New Publications Committee (NPC). We thank former co-chairs Tulika Mitra (National University of Singapore) and Sharon Oviatt (Monash University) for their service and hard work over the past few years in broadening the ACM journals portfolio. One of the key functions of the NPC is assessing gaps in ACM's publishing portfolio and launching new journals in those identified areas. The Committee is currently evaluating journal proposals in the following areas:

  • Multimodal interactions, interfaces, and systems
  • Computing ethics (potentially with a focus on AI)
  • Distributed leger technologies with a focus on blockchain and its applications

If you have any perspectives on these potential journals (or others) that you would like to share, please email Associate Director of Publications Ashley Petrylak at [email protected] with your feedback.

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ACM Publications Seeking New Editors-in-Chief

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (TCBB) is seeking a new Editor-in-Chief. Nominations are due October 7. For more information please visit the TCBB nominations page.

ACM Transactions on Cyber-Physical Systems (TCPS) is seeking a new Editor-in-Chief. Nominations are due October 30. For more information please visit the TCPS nominations page.

ACM Publications Welcome New Editors-in-Chief

ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems (TECS) has named Tulika Mitra Editor-in-Chief, for the term April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2023. Tulika is Provost's Chair Professor of Computer Science at the School of Computing, National University of Singapore.

ACM Transactions on Modeling and Performance Evaluation of Computing Systems (TOMPECS) has named Leana Golubchik Editor-in-Chief, for the term April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2023. Leana is a Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering professor at the University of Southern California.

ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization (TACO) has named David Kaeli Editor-in-Chief, for the term May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2023. David is COE Distinguished Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Northeastern University.

ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems (TODAES) has named Sharon Hu as its new Editor-in-Chief for the term June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2023. Sharon is a Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Notre Dame.

ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS) has named Christopher M. Jermaine as its new Editor-in-Chief for the term July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023. Christopher is a Professor of Computer Science and Program Director of the Data Science Initiative at Rice University.

ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS) has named Min Zhang as its new Editor-in-Chief for the term August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2023. Min is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science and Technology Department at Tsinghua University.

Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction (PACM HCI) has named Jeffrey Nichols as its new Editor-in-Chief, for the term August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2023. Jeffrey is a Research Scientist in the AI/ML group at Apple.

ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security (TOPS) has named Ninghui Li as its new Editor-in-Chief for the term October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2023. Ninghui is a Computer Science Professor at Purdue University.

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ACM Virtual Conference Program

In March 2020, ACM chartered a Presidential Task Force to gather and disseminate guidance on best practices for virtual conferences, aimed at the many conference organizers moving their events online as a result of the pandemic. The task force report, Virtual Conferences: A Guide to Best Practices, offers a comprehensive survey of issues, organizational strategies, and technology platforms for successful virtual meetings.

ACM also hosts a discussion forum for conference organizers to share experiences and discuss issues among themselves. It can be found at To join, you need an ACM Web account; these can be obtained for free from; ACM membership is not required.

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ACM Books Update

The Co-Editors-in-Chief of the ACM Books program (Sanjiva Prasad, Marta Kwiatkowska, and Charu Aggarwal) have been diligently working to expand the program. Among the newly published works is Code Nation: Personal Computing and the Learn to Program Movement in America by Michael J. Halvorson, which explores the popular history of programming and software culture from the first years of personal computing in the 1970s to the early commercial infrastructure of the World Wide Web.

Just published in August 2020 is Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist: Effective Modeling for Linked Data, RDFS, and OWL by James Hendler, Dean Allemang, and Fabien Gandon. The book discusses the capabilities of Linked-Data and the Semantic Web modeling languages, as well as more recent standards based on these. Examples are provided to illustrate the use of Semantic Web technologies in solving common modeling problems with many exercises and examples of the use of the techniques.

Our next title to publish will be Intelligent Computing for Interactive System Design: Statistics, Digital Signal Processing and Machine Learning in Practice by Parisa Eslambolchilar, Andreas Komninos, and Mark Dunlop. Upcoming titles can be found at Please contact any of the Editors-in-Chief directly or submit your book to ACM Books at [email protected].

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ACM Welcomes First Associate Director of Publications

ACM Headquarters is pleased to introduce its first Associate Director of Publications, Ashley Petrylak. Ashley joined ACM on April 8, 2020 several weeks after ACM Headquarters was temporarily closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, so technically speaking Ashley has not yet spent a full day at ACM Headquarters, despite jumping in virtually and already becoming an invaluable member of the team. In this newly created position, Ashley will be responsible for the Journals' Editorial and Production groups within the ACM Publications Department at ACM Headquarters, reporting directly to Scott Delman, Director of Publications. Ashley is working closely with the Production and Information Systems staff to streamline ACM's production workflow, metadata and unique persistent identifier capture, authoring templates and services, and production vendor relationships, in addition to working closely with headquarters staff to strengthen and grow ACM's portfolio of scholarly journals and ACM Books series of advanced-level research monographs and graduate-level texts.

Ashley joined ACM from Oxford University Press, where she managed a number of large society relationships and the journals OUP published on their behalf. Please join us in welcoming Ashley to ACM and feel free to send her an email to say hello.

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ACM Publications Board Welcomes Four New Members

Four new members joined the Pubs Board on July 1, 2020:

  • Marc A. Najork, ACM Fellow, Research Engineering Director, Google Research
  • James Larus, ACM Fellow, Dean, School of Computer and Communication Sciences, EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne)
  • Bhavani M. Thuraisingham, ACM Fellow, Louis A. Beecherl, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Executive Director of the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas
  • Jonathan Aldrich, ACM Senior Member, Professor, Institute for Software Research and Computer Science Department, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University; Jonathan joined the Board in the role of SIG Governing Board (SGB) Liaison

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