ACM Policy on Submission, Hosting, Access, and Ownership of Digital Artifacts

Approved by the ACM Publications Board on June 19, 2019

Introduction

Broadly speaking, research publications are one of the primary places where research results are documented, disseminated to the research community, and archived for future generations to use. Without access to the artifacts that are used to conduct the research reported on in these publications, it often is difficult or impossible to reproduce, independently verify, or build upon reported research results.

In computing research, there are a variety of different kinds of research artifacts used to conduct and disseminate research, including but not limited to video files, slides, posters, datasets, source code, software, audio files, and hardware used to conduct research. In addition to the artifacts themselves, metadata about these artifacts is critical to preserve and make accessible to those interested in verifying research results or building upon those results; metadata is particularly critical for artifacts such as hardware which is often infeasible to directly archive and make available to other researchers.

This document establishes a policy that governs how ACM authors, reviewers, editors, and ACM itself interact with these artifacts. This document will be updated periodically to provide additional detail regarding Digital Artifacts in relation to ACM Publications and the ACM Digital Library.

List of Artifacts

As stated above, the following is a list of artifacts that are governed by this policy:

  • Video Files
  • Audio Files
  • Slide or Presentation Files
  • Poster Files
  • Datasets
  • Source Code
  • Software
  • Hardware / Metadata regarding Hardware

Not all of the artifacts listed above are "digital artifacts", however this policy assumes that where an artifact relates to an ACM Work and is not “digital” in nature, such as Hardware, the "digital artifact" to be considered governed by this Policy is the "metadata" describing the Hardware used in the results published by ACM, so that this information will be documented and preserved for the future.

Digital Artifacts as Primary Objects and/or Supplemental Materials

In computing, some research artifacts may be considered primary objects in themselves, effectively serving as the Work being submitted, reviewed, and published itself. Treatment of artifacts may depend on whether an object serves as supplemental material or as a primary object in the ACM Digital Library.

Submission and Publication of Digital Artifacts as Primary Objects

When a digital artifact is submitted to ACM for "publication" or "hosting" in the ACM Digital Library by itself and is not intended to serve as supplemental material for an ACM published article or article abstract, that digital artifact is considered a "Primary Object".

Some ACM Publications accept Digital Artifacts as Primary Objects that can be peer reviewed, approved for publication, and published in the ACM Digital Library inside a particular ACM Publication, but not serve as supplemental material to a specific published Work.

Other digital artifacts may be submitted directly to ACM for "publication" or "hosting" in the ACM Digital Library without any relationship to a specific ACM Publication, such as a journal, magazine, or conference publication.

Where a digital artifact is submitted and accepted for publication in the ACM Digital Library with or without a connection to a specific ACM Publication, that artifact shall be assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), be registered by ACM via Crossref (www.crossref.org), and receive its own citation or landing page in the ACM Digital Library.

Submission and Publication of Digital Artifacts as Supplemental Material

ACM does not require, but strongly recommends, that authors of ACM published Works provide access to the artifacts used to conduct research reported on in their published Works. When provided by the author, ACM shall make those digital artifacts available to the public via the ACM Digital Library, typically on the citation page for the author’s Work.

Rights & Permissions for Hosting Digital Artifacts in the ACM Digital Library

All primary digital artifacts submitted for hosting in the ACM Digital Library must be accompanied by a signed ACM Rights Form. Submission of supplemental digital artifacts to be hosted in the ACM Digital Library is done under the terms of the ACM Rights Form signed by the author(s) with the submission of the primary digital artifact: ACM has non-exclusive permission to host and/or publish the supplemental digital artifact in the ACM Digital Library; no transfer of copyright or other intellectual property rights or interest in the supplemental digital artifacts are requested or required by ACM; and all copyright and other intellectual property rights are retained by the owner of the supplemental digital artifact(s).

All permissions and releases granted to ACM are effective in perpetuity and are irrevocable.

ACM shall make the final determination on all hosting-related decisions with respect to software, code, or data sets that could pose any potential harm to the ACM Digital Library hosting environment.

Digital Artifacts Not Hosted in the ACM Digital Library

ACM does not require that supplemental digital artifacts related to ACM published Works be hosted in the ACM Digital Library. Digital artifacts may be hosted on third party sites that are publicly accessible and may be linked to from the ACM Digital Library.

ACM will insert links to supplemental digital artifacts hosted on third party sites in the supplemental materials section of the published Work’s article citation page in the ACM Digital Library. For such artifacts, no signed permission and release form is required.

ACM will create a standalone citation page in the ACM Digital Library for all primary digital objects that are not hosted in the ACM Digital Library, but ACM shall not register nor assign a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for any digital artifacts that are not hosted in the ACM Digital Library.

It is strongly recommended, but not required, that the owners of digital artifacts hosted on third party sites take the necessary steps to ensure that links to their digital artifacts be kept current in the ACM Digital Library.

Access

All supplemental digital artifacts hosted by ACM in the ACM Digital Library are freely accessible, regardless of the access policy of the primary artifact they support.

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