Penalties for Publication Violations

Application of Penalties

Based on the findings of an investigation by the ACM Ethics and Plagiarism Committee into an allegation of Plagiarism, Self-Plagiarism, Misrepresentation, Falsification, Simultaneous Submission, Conflict of Interest and Coercion, peer review related violations, or other violations of ACM publications policy, one of the levels of penalty described below will be applied.

Definitions and Consequences

Plagiarism
Verbatim copying of small portions of another author's paper with citing, but not clearly differentiating what text has been copied (e.g., not applying quotation marks correctly) and/or not citing the source correctly.

Redundant publication
Self-plagiarism or redundant publication of the author’s own work without citing the prior work.

Misrepresentation of Authors
When an author includes co-authors on a work that they did not contribute to or when co-authors are left off the work.

Data Falsification
A work that contains material that the one or more of the authors knows to be false or untrue when the Work was submitted for consideration of publication.

Conflict of Interest
A person’s objective judgment is — or is perceived by a reasonable observer to be — compromised by an existing undisclosed/unpermitted relationship, affiliation, or connection to a person whose work they must evaluate.

Coercion
Any attempt related to an ACM publication, through the use of one’s position, perceived position, influence, or role either to (a) intimidate, demean, or harm another, or to (b) take any action that unjustly or inappropriately disadvantages another or provides an advantage to oneself or another.
 

Level I - Incidental violation

  • If appropriate, the violators will be expected to write a letter of apology to parties (e.g., editors, authors of prior works, co-authors) identified during the investigation, including an admission of wrongdoing
  • Published items in the ACM Digital Library will be updated with a corrigendum noting the reasons for change and addressing the issue. Unpublished items under consideration may be revised and resubmitted, or rejected without further consideration, as the Editor chooses. Any and all corrections shall be done in a manner consistent with the ACM Publications Policy on the Withdrawal, Correction, Retraction, and Removal of Works from ACM Publications and the ACM Digital Library.

Level II - Low-level violation

  • If appropriate, the violators will be expected to write a letter of apology to parties (e.g., editors, authors of prior works, co-authors) identified during the investigation, including an admission of wrongdoing.
  • Published items in the ACM Digital Library will be retracted. Unpublished items will be rejected without further review.

Level III - Moderate violation

  • If appropriate, the violators will be expected to write a letter of apology to parties (e.g., editors, authors of prior works, co-authors) identified during the investigation, including an admission of wrongdoing.
  • Published items in the ACM Digital Library will be retracted. Unpublished items will be rejected without further review.
  • The violators will be banned from contributing to the same or any related ACM Venue for a full calendar year.
  • A letter explaining the violation, findings, and penalties will be sent to the Dean, chair, or supervisor of each party found in violation.

Level IV - Significant violation

  • If appropriate, the violators will be expected to write a letter of apology to parties (e.g., editors, authors of prior works, co-authors) identified during the investigation, including an admission of wrongdoing.
  • Published items in the ACM Digital Library will be retracted. Unpublished items will be rejected without further review.
  • The violators will be banned from submission to any ACM Venue for the next two years.
  • A letter explaining the violation, findings, and penalties will be sent to the Dean, chair, or supervisor of each party found in violation.

Level V - Severe violation

  • If appropriate, the violators will be expected to write a letter of apology to parties (e.g., editors, authors of prior works, co-authors) identified during the investigation, including an admission of wrongdoing.
  • Published items in the ACM Digital Library will be retracted. Unpublished items will be rejected without further review.
  • The violators will be banned from contributing to any ACM Venue for the next five years.
  • The case and evidence will be forward to the ACM Committee on Professional Ethics for consideration.
  • A letter explaining the violation, findings, and penalties will be sent to the Dean, chair, or supervisor of each party found in violation.


In the event the ACM Ethics & Plagiarism Committee finds that a publications related violation may also be a violation of ACM’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (ACM CODE), a case may also be referred to ACM’s Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE).


Penalty levels may be adjusted from the above if warranted by special circumstances.

Please see the following pages for more information on the ACM Polices:
Plagiarism, Misrepresentation and Falsification: https://www.acm.org/publications/policies/plagiarism-overview
Simultaneous Submission: https://www.acm.org/publications/policies/simultaneous-submissions
Conflict of Interest: https://www.acm.org/publications/policies/conflict-of-interest
Coercion: https://www.acm.org/publications/policies/coercion-and-abuse


Questions, Deviations, and Reporting Violations
The ACM Director of Publications should be contacted for any

  • Questions about the interpretation of this policy
  • Questions about appeals of decisions
  • Requests for deviations from, or extensions to, this policy
  • Reporting of egregious behavior related to this policy, including purposeful evasion of the policy or false reporting


Please use the online form to report incidents related to the potential Violations of ACM Publications Policies.

 

Report a Potential Violation

If you believe one or more of ACM’s Publications Policies have been violated and you have credible evidence of such violation(s), you may report a potential violation as a claimant. Before you report a potential violation, please read ACM’s Publications Policies carefully.