ACM Policy on Authorship
Approved by the ACM Publications Board on April 20, 2023
The computing community expects ACM Publications to adhere to the highest standards for quality and trustworthiness and for ACM authors to engage in ethical practices while conducting research and reporting on the results of that research in ACM Publications. The community also expects ACM authors to respect the intellectual property rights of others by providing proper credit to all those contributing to the published Work and to give proper attribution to all those whose work is included in any new Work published by ACM. Likewise, the community expects ACM and its volunteers to provide the highest quality of service throughout the publication process, including an ethical process for managing submissions and peer review, free from bias, collusion, plagiarism, deception and other forms of misconduct that erode trust in ACM Publications and in science more generally.
To ensure that ACM’s Policy on Authorship is consistent with best practices and international publishing standards, ACM has become an active member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and is committed to ensuring that ACM’s Policy on Authorship is generally consistent with COPE’s definition of authorship, which can be found here. While there are many aspects of COPE’s definition of authorship that have influenced ACM’s Policy, there are three concepts in particular that impacted ACM’s updated Policy, including:
- Authors must be the “creator or originator of an idea” and/or Work
- Authors must make a substantial contribution to the Work
- Authors must be accountable for the work that was done and its presentation in a publication
By updating ACM’s Policy on Authorship, it is ACM’s goal to provide additional guidance and clarity for what is acceptable publishing practice when publishing with ACM, especially with respect to the rapid technological changes taking place with the introduction of generative AI tools and technologies.
Scope of Policy
This policy applies to all submitted, accepted, and published articles in all ACM Publication venues, including ACM journals, ACM conferences, ICPS conferences, ACM magazines, and ACM books.
ACM journals, magazines, and conferences, and ICPS conferences shall reference this Policy in Calls for Papers, Instructions for Authors, and other solicitations of submissions. The reference to this Policy should appear alongside other venue-specific policies. All of the above publication venues are also encouraged to incorporate acknowledgement of these representations into their respective paper submissions process.
Criteria for Authorship
ACM has established a more detailed criteria for determining if an individual’s contribution to a Work rises to the level of authorship or if they should be acknowledged for their contribution in the acknowledgements section of a work.
Anyone listed as author on an ACM submission must meet all the following criteria:
- They are an identifiable human being. Anonymous authorship is not permitted, although pseudonyms and/or pen names are permitted provided accurate contact information is given to ACM. ACM does not currently permit collective authorship.
- They have made substantial intellectual contributions to some components of the original Work described in the manuscript, such as contributing to the conception, design, and analysis of the study reported on in the Work and participating in the drafting and/or revision of the manuscript.
- They take full responsibility for all content in the published Works.
Note: All individuals who meet the above criteria should be listed as authors on the Work. The practices of gift authorship, guest authorship, ghost authorship* (see the FAQ for detailed definitions of these and related terms and for discussion of related, acceptable practices), and purchased authorship are clear violations of ACM Publications Policy and when proven may have severe consequences for those found to have participated in such practices. For more information about these practices, please see the FAQ document.
In addition, all persons listed as an author on an ACM submission certify that:
- They are aware the manuscript has been submitted for publication to ACM.
- They agree to be held responsible and accountable for any issues relating to the correctness or integrity of the Work and compliance with all related ACM Publications Policies with the understanding that, depending on the circumstances, not all authors will necessarily be held equally accountable.
- That the Work submitted is original, that the listed authors are the creators of the Work, that each author is aware of the submission and that they are listed as an author, and that the paper is an honest representation of the underlying Work.
- They will provide ACM with a valid ORCID prior to completion of the ACM eRights process (an ORCID is a unique author ID that can be obtained from www.orcid.org). This is required for author identification purposes and to improve the normalization of publishing-related data in the ACM Digital Library.
Authors who meet the above authorship criteria, but who die or become incapacitated prior to publication can be listed as co-authors with permission of their estate or next of kin.
Those who contributed to a Work, but whose contribution does not rise to the level of authorship, may be acknowledged at the end of the Work, before the Bibliography, with explicitly described roles, preferably using the roles found in the CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy). In addition, those whose contribution does rise to the level of authorship, but who are unable to publish with ACM as a result of active publication bans may be acknowledged in the acknowledgment section of the Work.
Generative AI tools and technologies, such as ChatGPT, may not be listed as authors of an ACM published Work. The use of generative AI tools and technologies to create content is permitted but must be fully disclosed in the Work. For example, the authors could include the following statement in the Acknowledgements section of the Work: ChatGPT was utilized to generate sections of this Work, including text, tables, graphs, code, data, citations, etc.). If you are uncertain about the need to disclose the use of a particular tool, err on the side of caution, and include a disclosure in the acknowledgements section of the Work.
Basic word processing systems that recommend and insert replacement text, perform spelling or grammar checks and corrections, or systems that do language translations are to be considered exceptions to this disclosure requirement and are generally permitted and need not be disclosed in the Work. As the line between Generative AI tools and basic word processing systems like MS-Word or Grammarly becomes blurred, this Policy will be updated.
Criteria for Submission
All ACM submissions shall meet the following requirements:
- That the Work submitted is not currently under review at any other publication venue, and that it will not be submitted to another publication venue unless it has been rejected or withdrawn from this venue. There may be exceptions to this requirement for certain conference Works, including submission to a non-publishing venue, such as a workshop, where the Work will not be formally published. If the author is requesting an exception, they should contact the Program Chair of the ACM conference. Posting a pre-print version of the Work to arXiv or a similar pre-print venue is not considered a prior or current publication venue and there is no need to request an exception for such postings.
- That all authors have the right and intent to publish the Work in the venue to which it is submitted if the work is accepted. For conference papers, this includes the expected ability and intent to have an author of the paper register for and attend the conference to present the paper, if required. Please refer to the specific policies of individual conferences for registration and presentation requirements for named authors, including the ability to present virtually or in person. Many conferences have changed their specific requirements as a result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
- That any prior publications on which this Work is based are documented appropriately in the Work. This documentation includes providing an explanation of the incremental contribution of a journal paper that extends prior results published in a conference paper. (In cases of double- anonymous review, this information should be supplied to the editor or program chair only.)
In addition to the above requirements, all ACM authors shall be required to comply with all other ACM Publications Policies detailed in individual Calls for Papers and Instructions for authors of individual ACM Publications, including journals, conferences, books, newsletters, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please find a list of frequently asked questions and answers related to ACM's updated Policy on Authorship here.
Related ACM Policies
- Conference of Publication Policy
- Policy on Plagiarism, Misrepresentation, and Falsification
- Conflict of Interest Policy
- Inappropriate Content Policy
- Policy on Peer Review
- Policy on Research Involving Human Participants and Subjects
- Policy on Submitting and Investigating Claims
- Confidentiality Policy
- Policy on Communicating Results of Investigations
- Appealing Policy Violation Decisions
- Penalties for Publication Violations
ACM is an active member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). COPE provides guidance and standards of practice for publishers and the scientific community, as well as educational resources that will help ACM authors to follow aceptable publishing practice. The following documents should be referenced in connection with ACM's Authorship Policy:
The ACM Director of Publications should be contacted for any:
- Questions about the interpretation of this policy
- Questions about appealing violation decisions
- Requests for deviations from, or extensions to, this policy
- Reporting of egregious behavior related to this policy, including purposeful evasion of the policy, false reporting, or coercion
ACM Director of Publications
Association for Computing Machinery
1601 Broadway, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10019-7434
Or via email:
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