BYLAWS of the Special Interest Group on Design of Communication (SIGDOC) of the Association for Computing Machinery

  • Adopted: February 5, 1980

  • Adopted: June 2, 2022

Article 1. Name and Scop

  1. This organization will be called the Special Interest Group on Design of Communication ("SIGDOC") of the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. ("the ACM"); it will be referred to herein as "SIGDOC".
  2. The scope of SIGDOC's specialty is: the design of communication, which includes a cross-disciplinary range of interests, including technical communication, information design, document design, user experience researach and design, science and technology studies, writing studies, rhetoric, and others.

Article 2. Purpose

SIGDOC is organized and will be operated exclusively for educational, scientific, and technical purposes in its specialty. Its services will include:

  1. Collecting and disseminating information in the specialty, through a newsletter and other publications approved by the Publications Board of ACM;
  2. Organizing sessions at conferences of the ACM;
  3. Sponsoring conferences, symposia, and workshops;
  4. Organizing working groups for education, research and development;
  5. Serving as a source of technical information for the Council and sub-units of the ACM;
  6. Serving as an external technical representative of the ACM when authorized by the Council or Executive Committee of the ACM; and
  7. Working with sub-units of the ACM on technical activities such as lectureships or professional development seminars.

Article 3. Charter

SIGDOC will exist until dissolved by the Council of the ACM as provided in Bylaw 6 of the ACM.

Article 4. Officers

  1. SIGDOC officers are the Chair, the Vice-Chair, and the Secretary-Treasurer. The Officers are elected for three-year terms without extension beginning July 1.
  2. The Chair is the principal officer and is responsible for leading SIGDOC and managing its activities. The duties of the Chair are:
    1. Calling and presiding at SIGDOC Executive Committee and business meetings;
    2. Conducting SIGDOC activities in accordance with the policies of the ACM;
    3. Making all appointments and filling vacancies as authorized herein;
  3. The duties of the Vice-Chair are:
    1. Assisting the Chair in leading and managing SIGDOC; and
    2. Presiding at meetings when the Chair is absent.
  4. The duties of the Secretary- Treasurer are:
    1. Maintaining the records and correspondence of SIGDOC;
    2. Keeping and distributing the minutes of business and Executive Committee meetings of SIGDOC; and
    3. Managing SIGDOC's finances according to the Financial Accountability Policy of the ACM. This includes preparing the annual budget, monitoring SIGDOC's disbursements for adherence to the annual budget, and preparing financial reports as required.

Article 5. The Executive Committee

  1. The SIGDOC Executive Committee comprises the officers, the Past Chair, and the Editor of the SIGDOC newsletter (Communication Design Quarterly). No person may hold two positions on the Executive Committee. All members of the Executive Committee, with the exception of the Past Chair, have voting priveleges. 
  2. The Executive Committee shall determine policies of SIGDOC in the interest of SIGDOC and the specialty it represents. The Executive Committee shall determine such policies in accordance with the provisions of the bylaws and shall implement such policies as provided in these bylaws.
  3. The general duties of the SIGDOC Executive Committee will be to advise the Chair on the all matters of interest to the SIG. Specific duties or responsibilities may be specified in these bylaws or assigned by the Chair. All the major management policy decisions of the SIG must be approved by the SIGDOC Executive Committee  The SIGDOC Executive Committee will forward nominations for and vote on organizational awards and grants. Each award requires a simple majority. Support or dissent of each of the EC can be noted in meeting minutes. 
  4. All members of, or candidates for, the SIGDOC Executive Committee must be voting members of the ACM and SIGDOC.

Article 6. Vacancies and Appointments

  1. Should the Chair leave office before their term expires, the Vice-Chair will assume the duties of Chair. Should any other office or the position on the Executive Committee reserved for the Past Chair of SIGDOC become vacant, the Chair of the SIG Board may, on nomination of the Chair of SIGDOC, fill the vacancy. The Chair may fill vacancies in offices they have appointed according to the procedures for making the original appointments as provided herein.
  2. Should a vacancy be unfilled, either because of inadequacy of these Bylaws or because of a dispute, or for any other reason, the SIG Board may fill it (as provided in Bylaw 6 of the ACM),
  3. All appointments expire automatically when the Chair's term of office expires. Appointees, however, will continue to serve until a successor is appointed by the new Chair.

Article 7. The Newsletter

  1. SIGDOC will release a publication at regular intervals as determined by the Executive Committee. The newsletter will be distributed to all SIGDOC members. Publication subscriptions may be sold to non-members. 
  2. With the advice of the officers and the existing Editor in Chief, the Chair will conduct a search for the Editor in Chief of the newsletter, who will become a member of the SIGDOC Executive Committee. The Editor in Chief will hold this position for the same 3-year term as the Executive Committee, and this position may be renewed once, at the will of the Executive Committee, for a total Editorship of (6) years. 
  3. The duties of the newsletter Editor are to:
    1. Provide editorial vision of the publication;
    2. Oversee the selection of board members and reviewers;
    3. Oversee the selection of the Book Review Editor;
    4. Facilitate equitable and expedient review of manuscripts; and
    5. Increase submission and subscription numbers. 

Article 8. Ad hoc Committees

  1. The Executive Committee may create ad hoc committees to accomplish specific tasks or to advise the Executive Committee on specific issues. 
  2. The decision to create an ad hoc committee, and decisions about a committee's charger, scope, and duration, is made by the Executive Committee. 
  3. The Chair of an ad-hoc committee is selected by the Executive Committee. The members of an ad hoc committee are selected by the Executive Committee; or, they may choose to delegate this role to the Chair of the ad hoc committee. 
  4. A Chair or member of an ad hoc committee may be removed by the Executive Committee. 

Article 9. The Advisory Board

  1. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to allow members outside of the Executive Committee to participate in setting policy and direction for SIGDOC. It will include up to 8 members. 
  2. At its option, the Advisory Board may select one of its members-at-large to be its Chair.
  3. Additions to the SIGDOC Advisory Board can be suggested by any member of the SIGDOC community; official appointment must be approved by the Executive Committe by majority vote. 
  4. SIGDOC Advisory Board Members are appointed by the SIGDOC Chair based on input from the SIGDOC EC. Appointments last for two years unless otherwise approved by the EC. Board membership is limited to two consecutive two-year terms: board members can serve multiple tenures over their careers. 

Article 10. Membership, Dues and Voting Privileges.

  1. An eligible person becomes a member only after enrolling and paying the required dues. The dues for SIGDOC are determined by the SIGDOC Executive Committee with the approaval of the Chair of the SIG Board.  
  2. All members of SIGDOC may vote in any ballot conducted with SIGDOC.  On any ballot, the votes cast by non-ACM Members of SIGDOC will, if necessary, be prorated downward so their effective total cannot exceed 50% of the eligible vote.  

Article 11 . Reports and Records

SIGDOC's Chair is responsible for filing reports about SIGDOC and all its ad hoc committees as required by the SIG Board. These include:

  1. An annual report on the activities of SIGDOC and its ad hoc committees during the previous calendar year (to include demographic information including but not limited to membership breakdown by gender, race, ethnicity, and professional rank):
  2. All reports required by the Financial Accountability Policy of the ACM; and
  3. Closing reports on conferences and symposia (co)sponsored by SIGDOC or any of its ad hoc committees, as required by the ACM. The membership records of SIGDOC will be maintained by ACM Headquarters.

Article 12. Elections

  1. By September 30 of each election year, the Chair will appoint a nominating committee which will propose at least two consenting candidates for each elective office of SIGDOC. The slate of candidates elected by the nominating committee must be presented to all the SIGDOC members by the following January 31.
  2. SIGDOC emphasizes the importance of recruiting a diverse pool of candidatesto serve as elected officers. Calls for nominations will be distributed widely with this emphasis in mind and will encourage nominations from under-represented communities.  
  3. A petition from 1% of the voting members of SIGDOC will place other consenting candidates on the ballot. Petitions must be received by the Secretary- Treasurer of SIGDOC no later than March 15.
  4. The election will be conducted among eligible voters by ACM Headquarters by June 1, following the election procedures of the ACM, unless different procedures have been approved by the SIG Board. Of all the ballots returned in an election, the candidates receiving the largest number of effective votes win. The SIG Board will resolve ties.

Article 13. Amendments

  1. These bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the Council, or by a vote of SIGDOC's members as provided below. With the approval of SIGDOC's Executive Committee and the Executive Committee of the ACM, 2/3 of all members of the SIG Board may amend Article 1 of these Bylaws without a referendum of the members.
  2. Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by SIGDOC's Executive Committee, the SIG Board, or a petition of 1% of the voting members of SIGDOC. All proposed amendments must be approved, prior to being submitted for a vote of the membership, by the Chair of both the SIG Board and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee of the ACM after the Executive Director of ACM has provided his advice.
  3. The ballot on the proposed amendment(s) will be conducted among the eligible voters by ACM headquarters following the procedures of the ACM for voting Bylaw amendments, unless a different procedure has been approved by the SIG Board. The proposal is adopted only if at least 2/3 of the effective votes of returned ballots approve it, and only if at least 1/4 of the ballots are returned. The Secretary- Treasurer will send a clean copy of the amended Bylaws to the Executive Director of ACM and to the Chair of the SIG Board.

Article 14. Dissolution

If SIGDOC should be dissolved, control of its assets will revert to the ACM. Should an ad hoc committee be dissolved, its assets and liabilities will be combined with the assets and liabilities of SIGDOC.

Article 15. Meetings

SIGDOC will conduct at least one business meeting each year, normally in conjunction with the annual conference. All meetings sponsored by SIGDOC must be open to all members of the ACM. SIGDOC may hold meetings only in places that are open to all classes of members of the ACM .

Article 16. Consistency.

The Constitution, Bylaws, and policies of the ACM and of the SIG Board take precedence over any conflicting provisions of these Bylaws or internal policies of SIGDOC or any of its ad hoc committees.