ACM Policy on Plagiarism

Updated November 2018

ACM Plagiarism Policy

ACM is dedicated to serving the computing and information technology community by fostering the open exchange of research and promoting the highest professional and ethical standards in publishing this content for distribution world-wide. ACM aims to serve readers' and authors' interests by publishing high-quality original works, including papers, audio and video presentations, web postings, technical reports, conferences, books, etc.

Maintaining the integrity of these works, defending authors' rights against plagiarism, providing a stable means of linking to them, promoting the dissemination of these works to the widest possible readership in contemporary media, and preserving access to them indefinitely despite changes in technology are among our most fundamental principles.

ACM provides access to the Crossref iThenticate® Similarity checker or other approved tools for use during the submission process (, The software works by comparing the submitted work against all scholarly content uploaded and indexed by publishers participating in the Crossref Similarity Check Service or by comparing multiple works uploaded by the user of the software.

For ACM Conferences:

  • Steering/program committee designates one or two individuals to be responsible for using software for conference submissions and should send an email to the ACM Director of Publications with the names and email addresses of the individuals who will use the software.

  • Those names and email addresses will be registered in the system to receive automatic email with a link to login and change the password.

  • Once they login to the system, start uploading submissions, and using the software.

Definition and Context of Plagiarism

Respecting intellectual property rights is foundational to the ACM Code of Ethics. Plagiarism, in terms of ACM publications, also extends to the misrepresentation of one’s data, computer codes or other literal or creative expression as one's own, and is a clear violation of such ethical principles. Plagiarism manifests itself in a variety of forms, including:

  • Verbatim copying, near-verbatim copying, or intentionally paraphrasing portions of another author's paper;

  • Copying elements of another author's paper, such as equations or illustrations that are not common knowledge, or copying or purposely paraphrasing sentences without citing the source; and

  • Verbatim copying of 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.

These acts of copying without proper attribution may result in a range of penalties.

Plagiarism can also represent copyright infringement, which is a violation of U.S. Copyright law, punishable with penalties and monetary damages assessed.

Authors’ Responsibility

All authors and co-authors are individually and collectively responsible for the content of papers published by ACM. Hence, it is the responsibility of each author to ensure that papers submitted to ACM attain the highest ethical standards with respect to plagiarism.

Self-plagiarism is a related issue, which is also covered in the full ACM Policy and Procedures on Plagiarism. See also Policy on Author Representations at the Policy on Author Roles and Responsibilities. Self-Plagiarism is defined as the verbatim or near verbatim reuse of significant portions of one’s own copyrighted work without citing the original source. See Collberg and Kobourov. Note that self-plagiarism does not apply to publications based on the author's own previously copyrighted work (e.g., appearing in a conference proceedings) where an explicit reference is made to the prior publication. Manuscripts submitted to ACM Journals and Transactions based on the author’s own previously copyrighted work (e.g., appearing in a conference proceedings) must be disclosed at the time of submission and an explicit reference to the prior publication must be included in the submitted manuscript. The norm for ACM Journals and Transactions is that the submitted manuscript must contain at least 25% new content material (i.e., material that offers new insights, new results, etc.). For more details see the Policy on Prior Publication and Simultaneous Submissions.  Such reuse does not require quotation marks to delineate the reused text but does require that the source be cited.

For procedures to report and investigate plagiarism claims, see ACM Plagiarism Procedures.


ACM's Publications Board Ethics and Plagiarism Committee

The ACM Publications Board’s Ethics & Plagiarism Committee places the investigation of each claim of plagiarism at the highest priority for resolution and action. The basics are outlined here, and specific details of all aspects of reporting and investigating claims, and penalties for plagiarism are found here.

ACM Policies on Authorship

Anyone listed as Author on an ACM paper must meet certain criteria, including making substantial intellectual contributions to some components of the original work and drafting and/or revising the paper.

Authors submitting papers for peer-review to ACM publications will represent that the paper submitted is original; that the work submitted is not currently under review at any other publication venue; that they have the rights and intent to publish the work in the venue to which it is submitted; and that any prior publications on which this work is based are documented appropriately. 

Read the entire set of criteria in the Policy on Roles and Responsibilities in ACM Publishing.

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