BYLAWS of the Special Interest Group on INFORMATION RETRIEVAL of the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.

  • Adopted: July 7, 1981

  • Amended: July 12, 2007

ARTICLE 1. Name and Scope.

  1. This organization will be called the Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) of the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. ("the ACM"); it will be referred to herein as "the Group".
  2. The scope of the Group's specialty is the theory and application of computers to the acquisition, organization, storage, retrieval and distribution of information; emphasis is placed on working with non-numeric information, ranging from natural language to highly structured data bases.

ARTICLE 2. Purpose.

  1. Collecting and disseminating information in the specialty, for example, through newsletters, websites, electronic mailing lists, and other means;
  2. Organizing sessions at conferences of the ACM;
  3. Sponsoring conferences, symposia, and workshops;
  4. Serving as a source of technical information for the Council and subunits of the ACM;
  5. Serving as an external technical representative of the ACM when authorized by the Council or the Executive Committee of the ACM; and
  6. Working with subunits of the ACM on technical activities such as lectureships or professional development seminars.

ARTICLE 3. Charter.

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

ARTICLE 4. Officers.

  1. The Group's elected officers are the Chair, the Vice-Chair, the Secretary and the Treasurer. The officers are elected for three-year terms without extension beginning July 1 of the election year.
  2. The Chair is the principal officer and is responsible for leading the Group and managing its activities. The duties of the Chair are:
    1. Calling and presiding at the Group's Executive Committee and Business Meetings;
    2. Conducting the Group's activities in accordance with the policies of the ACM; and
    3. Making appointments and filling vacancies as authorized herein.
  3. The duties of the Vice-Chair are:

    1. Assisting the Chair in leading and managing the Group; and
    2. Presiding at meetings when the Chair is absent.
  4. The duties of the Secretary are:
    1. Maintaining the records and correspondence of the Group;
    2. Keeping and distributing the minutes of Business and Executive Committee meetings of the Group;
  5. The duties of the Treasurer are:
    1. Managing the Group's finances according to the Financial Accountability Policy of the ACM. This includes preparing the annual budget, monitoring the Group's disbursements for adherence to the annual budget, and preparing financial reports as required.

ARTICLE 5. The Executive Committee.

  1. The Executive Committee comprises the elected officers, the appointed officers, and the Past Chair of the Group. No person may hold more than one position on the Executive Committee at a given time.
  2. All the major management policy decisions of the Group must be approved by the Executive Committee, except for the appointment and removal of officers, which is reserved for the Elected Officers. Each member of the Executive Committee has one vote in such decisions. Except where specified otherwise otherwise in these By Laws, action by the the Group's Executive Committee shall require a majority vote of all Executive Committee members eligible to vote.
  3. All members of, or candidates for, the Executive Committee must be voting members of ACM and of the SIG.
  4. The Executive Committee may appoint to the Executive Commitee additional members, known as Appointed Officers, for example, to represent under-represented constituencies or to provide special expertise. Such appointments require approval by a two thirds majority of the elected officers of the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE 6. Ad-hoc Committees.

The Executive Committee may create ad-hoc committees, for example to accomplish specific tasks, or to advise the Executive Committee on specific issues.

  1. The decision to create an ad-hoc committee, and decisions about a committee's charter, scope, and duration, must be made by a majority of the Group's Executive Committee.
  2. The Chair of an ad-hoc committee is selected by the Chair of the Group, with the advice of the Group's Executive Committee.
  3. The members of an ad-hoc committe are selected by the Chair of the Group, with the advice of the Group's Executive Committee; or, this role may be delegated by the Chair of the Group to the Chair of the ad-hoc committee.
  4. A Chair or member of an ad hoc committee may be removed by the Chair of the Group.

ARTICLE 7. Vacancies, Appointments, and Removals.

  1. Should the post of Chair become vacant before the three-year term expires, the Vice-Chair will become Chair. Should any other elective office of the Group become vacant, the Chair may nominate a member of the Group and ACM to fill the vacancy. Nominations are approved by majority vote of the remaining Elected Officers. Vacancies in appointed offices are filled according to the procedures for making the original appointment to that office.
  2. An elected officer or appointed officer may be removed from office by a two-thirds majority vote of the Elected Officers.
  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 8. Membership Publications.

  1. The Group may publish one or more membership publications at regular intervals as determined by the Executive Committee. These publications will be made available to all of the Group's members. The publications may also be made available to nonmembers by subscription, for a per-use fee, or at no charge, as determined by the Executive Committee.
  2. With the advice of the Executive Committee, the Chair will appoint the Editor(s) of each membership publication.

ARTICLE 9. Membership, Dues and Voting Privileges.

  1. The Group is an open organization and membership is available to anyone.
  2. An eligible person becomes a member only after enrolling and paying the required dues. The dues for the Group are determined by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to specify different classes of membership with different dues levels, for example to provide a discounted dues level for students.
  3. All voting members of the Group may vote in any ballot of the the Group's membership conducted within the Group.

ARTICLE 10. Reports and Records.

The Group's Chair is responsible for filing reports about the Group as required by the SIG Board. These include:

  1. An Annual Report on the activities of the Group during the previous calendar year;
  2. All reports required by the Financial Accountability Policy of the ACM;
  3. Closing reports on conferences and symposia sponsored or co-sponsored by the Group as required by the ACM; and
  4. A list of services that the Group expects to provide to its members and the IR community during the following year as required by ACM.

The membership records of the Group will be maintained by ACM Headquarters.

ARTICLE 11. Elections.

  1. By September 30 of every third year beginning in 2009 the Chair will appoint a nominating committee which will propose at least two consenting candidates for each elective office of the Group. The slate of candidates elected by the nominating committee must be presented to all the Group's members by the following January 31. All candidates must be members of the Group and ACM.
  2. A petition from 1% of the voting members of the Group will place other consenting candidates who are members of the Group and ACM on the ballot. Petitions must be received by the Secretary of the Group no later than March 15 of an election year.
  3. The election will be conducted among eligible voters by ACM Headquarters by June 1 of the election year, 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 numbers of effective votes win. Ties will be resolved by a group consisting of the outgoing elected officers and those newly elected officers who are not involved in ties.

ARTICLE 12. Amendments.

  1. These bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the Group's members or as specified in ACM Bylaws.
  2. Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed by the Group's Executive Committee, or by a petition from one percent of the voting members of the Group. All proposed amendments must be approved, prior to being submitted for a vote of the membership, by the Constitution and Bylaws Committee of ACM after the Executive Director of ACM has provided advice.
  3. The ballot on the proposed amendment(s) will be conducted among the eligible voters by ACM Headquarters following the ACM Bylaws. The proposal is adopted only if a majority of the effective votes of returned ballots approve it, and only if at least ten percent of the ballots are returned.

ARTICLE 13. Dissolution.

Should the Group be dissolved, control of its assets will revert to the ACM.

ARTICLE 14. Meetings.

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

ARTICLE 15. 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 the Group.