SGB Meeting March 21, 2016 Hilton Chicago
1.0 Welcome from SGB Chair (Madden)
Patrick Madden opened the meeting at 9:00 am with a welcome to attendees. All were asked to introduce themselves.
2.0 Welcome from ACM President (Wolf)
Wolf welcomed the SGB and indicated that this would be his last meeting as his ACM Presidency was coming to a close. The amount of things to talk about in ACM that goes beyond conference and pubs is remarkable. We don’t do a great job as an organization of communicating that. Many people are unaware of all that ACM does but fortunately ACM has a new website and the website is trying to present and project a different view of ACM. Its a work in progress. Wanted to let SGB know that understanding what ACM is about beyond publishing and conferences and it is important for SIG leaders to communicate that in their communities. How the organization works, generates funds, revenue making to feedback and support community. SGB leaders should express that and communicate that at any occasion they get.
Wolf explained that he came up through conferences and SIGs, where he started his volunteer activities. It was a wonderful base and he had a wonderful time doing it. He hoped they feel the same reward he does. It’s a great deal of responsibility, less personal reward other than feeling you’re contributing to the community. He personally thanked leaders for their efforts and their energy.
3.0 Report from ACM CEO (Schnabel)
Schnabel introduced himself and provided a bit of background with regard to his career and indicated he was just getting up to speed as CEO. The thing that has made the biggest impression on him in the last 4 ½ months was the quality of the people that do the things the SGB does.
When becoming CEO he offered to have conversations with SGB leaders and 8 took him up on that. It is useful for him to learn from the SGB, who you are and what you’re thinking. Things he heard at least twice: You want ways to discuss how to think of things that cut across SIGs and make more strategic use of meetings. Also discussed PACM at last meeting and it appears there is more interest in that than initially expected. Some voiced financial concerns. Clear many of SIGs want to explore what they can do for board international impact.
Involvement of industry and practitioners in SIGs, quite a bit going on that ACM can leverage off as we engage that community. The overwhelming sentiment was great support and gratitude for what the SIG get from HQ.
Shnabel provided a quick update on membership and finances. There are things ACM can look at to widen its membership and will be doing so. Finances of SIGs and all other areas of ACM are distinct. Bottom line message is that ACM is a very strong organization financially. Wolf reminded group that there is one connection between pubs and SIG finances. That’s the DL revenue that goes into the SIGs which helps smaller SIGs stay viable and helps larger SIGs conduct programs they deem appropriate. There shouldn’t be paywall between people and papers. ACM has always been open access there is no paywall between a person and paper, the paywall is to the collection. Papers can be made available through authorizer and other means (repositories, etc.) Important distinction we have to learn to message better.
- Monthly blog in Huffington Post. 5 so far, next is to be a Joe Konstan social media oriented blog. Schnabel invited SGB to suggest authors or topics for that blog.
- First presence at SXSW and thanked Hanson for the lead role she played in it happening
- Ed Board known for curricula but in addition to 5 new curricula in data sci and cybersecurity
- CS for all: the fact that CS is a presidential priority is an important declaration. ACM played quite a role in steps that lead up to this
- Education policy committee switching to more global stance to bring together pre-university education policy around world with 1st summit in fall
Schnabel reviewed the three Regional Councils: China, Europe, and India which are all in various stages of activity. All need more volunteer participation.
- Evolution to a truly int’l society - at the SIG level that happens naturally with other activities there is more to consider.
- Embracing new areas of computing – things have changed from 40 years ago. Everything has become an IT topic. How do we do that? Huge for ACM. This is the group that plays a key role to evolve in that direction.
- Concept of taking advantage of ACM Fellows for their expertise. Will be going out to ACM Fellows for guidance. Plan to engage community.
- ACM Industry Advisory Council
- Exploring more interaction in SIGs and entrepreneurial community.
4.0 SIG Structure Task Force Report (Madden)
One of the charges from an ACM retreat was to rethink SIG structure and to be more effective. Couple of TFs looked at this. Are the SIGs doing what the members want? Are we boxing SIGs in to a specific model?
Viabiltiy: It was suggested that the SGB EC work with SIGs directly to consider viability rather than have the entire SGB consider each SIG’s viability. This will improve the viability process by personalizing it to each SIG and free up the SGB to focus on more important issues. Viability would be based on SIG activities. It was suggested that the SGB get a report on any viability reports.
Elections during transitions: With SGB EC approval, a SIG in transition would be permitted to hold elections when it is determined that a change in leadership could help the SIG.
Tech Groups: Some topics don’t fit clearly under a single SIG and should be part of ACM. We suggest having tech groups to bring small groups together, to run under SGB EC for a few years to provide a low barrier of entry for things that don’t fit cleanly under one sig or another. After a couple of years we can dissolve or determine what to do next and be more proactive. Initially the SGB EC would appoint a Chair, no elections, bank account managed and funded by the SGB EC. An SGB member voiced concern that a tech group could live forever and Madden indicated it was a valid concern but the notion is to make it easier for a group of people in an area to try things and allow us to take it from there. This is not intended to preclude innovation by a SIG or a group of SIGS getting together. If it is a cross area topic and SIGs agree to work together on it, that’s not part of this program.
This gives another option for areas that don’t fit elsewhere.
This is expected to be both a push and pull. If a group comes to us we now have a place to put them. Also, there may be topics where ACM should play a role and we would chase down people to get something started. We would be sure to check with overlapping SIGs before proceeding to start an independent group under this model. It was suggested that this is a good opportunity for the EC to work as a fostering group and encourage collaboration between the SIGs. One of the problems with cross-SIG collaboration is that leaders have no way of knowing what others are doing, The SGB EC could play a valuable role.
Tech groups may come forward that are narrow and new in emerging areas. Some leaders suggested considering an end point for these groups. It was suggested that Emerging Interest Groups would be a better term. Madden indicated that it’s not a good idea to have a sunset provision on these groups. We have dev conference and they wanted to be a conference as opposed to a SIG so they came in and have been going for a few years under the auspices of SGB. There are groups that don’t want the responsibility and weight of SIG administration. The notion that these have to be sunsetted seems to be too harsh in the way we think about these groups. This formalizes a pipeline for tech activities offering a clear folder to place them under. There are groups that aren’t SIGs and we’d like to have a place for them within our organization. SGB EC has funding and if a group wants to start something the SGB EC will take risk to run an activity or event. It would be considered an investment in a community. The SGB EC would take some financial responsibility on the part of ACM to take these on. The financial risk of doing a tech group is expected to be small. It opens our ability to do things we wouldn’t do otherwise. Pancake suggested we require them to be on ACM’s site so rather than sunset clause you can charter for a year or two and make it renewable if activity, not to disallow to continue but allow them to continue if still active. Harper indicated this was similar to standards groups at W3C, when a group cannot maintain itself you can see the discussions stop and you know it might be a good time to sunset or absorb. An SGB member asked if existing SIGs should become tech groups? Madden indicated that they could if they chose but no need to push that. If there’s a tech group that sponsors a couple hundred people and a SIG that does, they may look identical is that a problem? Madden didn’t consider this a problem. Altman mentioned that 15 years ago we had conference only SIGs which were viewed as 2nd class. Is there a concern that we’re recreating that?
Madden did not believe this to be the case. The viability review allow a SIG to define what it does as its activity so tech group is a way to bring in new groups that don’t fit and we wouldn’t shut down a group to tell them you must be something else. Communities should decide the best fit and be more open and flexible.
Several SGB leaders indicated that the name tech groups were found to be a confusing. It was suggested that we refer to them as Emerging Interest Groups or Incubators. Schnabel indicated that picking a name in a room of 40+ is almost impossible but the word emerging is consistent with other things ACM is doing. Using that word would be consistent with that. It was suggested that we include reexamination as part of motion. Some were concerned that this may undermine what it means to be a small SIG. There was worry about creating a lower class SIG. Matthews indicated that this would free these groups from all requirements of being a SIG and they could choose to apply to be a SIG. She said that some groups come in not wanting to satisfy all criteria of becoming a SIG. Those groups could go this route. Fishwick proposed the acronym EIG (pronounced egg) also suggested incubator. An SGB member asked what problem is this trying to solve? Madden indicated it is to set up new
cross-SIG interest groups or application areas that don’t fit. Is the SGB EC trying to convert SIGs? Beame corrected this impression, the 1st round report suggested transitions of existing SIGs. This report does not do that, it does not take spots from this room, that was never the intent. It’s a matter of nimbleness of our organization to move into areas we cannot with our current structure. This would be an opportunity to move into a new area not covered by existing SIGs where there was a natural group involved. We will figure out a name, like EIG as well but this is very different from last proposal. Matthews characterized it as looking for ways to say YES.
Motion: The SGB accepts the recommendations of the TF on the delegation of authority for viability to the SGB EC. Viability reviews will be open to members of the SGB and reports on the results will be presented to the SGB.
Motion passed unanimously
Motion: The SGB accepts the recommendations of the TF on establishment of Emerging Interest Groups. Proposals for Emerging Interest Groups will be announced to all SIGs. Emerging Interest Groups will only be established after consultation with related SIGs. Emerging Interest Groups shall be established with a definitive term that is renewable. Operational rules will be established by the SGB EC.
- YES - 30
- Oppose –0
- Abstain- 3
5.0 SIG Collaboration
The following ideas emerged from the session: All groups indicated that conference activity was an important aspect of collaboration and an area where they needed to do more. The co-sponsorship of cross-disciplinary topics as well as the co-location of conferences was suggested as ways to work together. Several leaders were also quite supportive of hosting multi-SIG sponsored summer schools and mentoring workshops at annual conferences to introduce other SIG topics.
The active sharing of general practices was also discussed. The groups indicated that having an easy way to record and share best practice information would be helpful to SIG and conference leaders.
Details from flipcharts follow with the top responses:
SIG cross-disciplinary conference proposals Co-location of conferences
Award winning papers from once SIG goes to another Better way to record/share information
Make more info available to sigs that other the SIGs are doing – officers, conferences, workshops Sharing best practices – how do reviewing, how do they do award selection, open access
Sharing – physical workshops and virtual panels speakers, workshops – we need infrastructure – Promotions of sharing
Collaboration website mediated by ACM for all SIGS Organize Best Practice Records
Curation w/$ to make it happen
Co-location of various events
Shared technical issues that rotate – multi SIG sponsored summer schools – Travel Scholarships
Mentoring workshops to introduce them to the topic
6.0 How to Best Showcase ACM Conferences
The groups stressed the need for better promotion of conferences through ACM. Suggestions to accomplish this included: the use of ACM marketing to issue press releases and help to attract local media to conference, providing ACM with material to blog, tweet and use in bulletins. The leadership recognized the importance of understanding the components of conferences that would be of interest to a broad audience.
There were several suggestions with regard to the importance of live-streaming and capture to showcase and further the reach of ACM events. Live streaming of events could be used as a member benefit. The “what do we capture” discussions ranged from keynote and plenary to entire events. Having some consistency in this area could add member benefits and could lead to experimentation for virtual conferences.
Details from flipcharts follow with the top responses:
Conference organization help publicize – has ACM and SIG attract local media Translate papers to webinars – what ACM and SIGs – package message the best Make sure content of conference meets need of community
Showcase the conference make sure the content of the conferences - capture as much as we can.
Use marketing ACM HQ for help – the SIGs need to communicate with HQ
Live-streaming member benefit – Some SIGs are doing short snippets for presentation – submission- key notes Utilize ACM blogs, bulletins, tweet information give ACM blogs, bulletins, tweets the information
Conference needs to video capture as much as possible (SIGOPS and SIGGRAPH to look at as a model) -2nd round broader audience- key note talks and conference talks to span out to a larger group Support from ACM to get press releases out
If press show up – not seeing anything interesting – not presented for a general audience – SIGCHI is doing Ted- X talks at conferences – broad audience – 5 – 20 people more/ conference
Live streaming, blogging: ACM has a blog – some sigs have a blog – promoted better – bubbling up SIGS blogs to ACM Blog.
7.1 SXSW (Hanson)
SXSW offers us an incredible opportunity to take our research and publicize to a large audience. SX started as music festival in Austin, 20 years ago added film and interactive. Attracts 100,000 attendees and interactive attracts 30,000 people History of SXSW. Why? 30,000 demographic we’re interested in, young people, entrepreneurs, not necessarily our members, would like to draw into ACM fold.
ACM brought in some of our great presenters able to talk to broad community. Hanson went to GRAPH and CHI for recommendations. Presenters have a 1 hour time slot, needs to be glitzy and for general audience, TEDX type talk. It takes a long time to prepare for this. Started inviting speakers in middle in May, the submissions start in June. You need a video included in your submission before August voting begins and is different than our typical conferences. 3 types of voting – 30% from public, 70% made by someone else but website not clear on who.
ACM had 3 talks/panels and ACM sponsored a happy hour.
Young crowd, looking at geeks as being societies’ newest rock stars. Hanson sought input from SGB: ideas on who presenters could be that ACM could support if you think you have a great speaker that would have appeal give Vicki their names. How do we make a bigger impact? Talks were good with strong tech content but there may be other things we could do. Hanson was asked if there were any big topics we should focus on: Panel on massive on-line experiments was packed.
7.2 Awards Update (Pancake)
Is your SIG community missing out on some key awards? Pancake provided the SGB with an outline of the requirements for the Distinguished Service Award and the Software System Award. She encouraged leaders to make nominations.
7.3 Professional Development Committee (Tracz)
As a member of ACM Prof Development Committee he extended invitation to all SIGs to find out how they could better serve SIG members. Asked leaders to suggest speakers.
Madden announced this was the last SGB meeting for Alex Wolf. The SGB thanked and applauded Wolf for his many years of service.
8.0 How Should We Proactively Deal with Emerging Areas
Several comments focused on promoting ACM and the SIGs as the “go-to” organization for emerging communities. ACM needs to make the benefits of being part of ACM clear. Getting the word out is important. The SIGs should be kept in the loop with regard to new groups coming in from all areas of the organization. Cross-disciplinary topics could bring SIGs together, allowing a natural path to SIG collaboration.
Details from flipcharts follow with the top responses:
Increase level of conferences based on existing conferences Is ACM a good home for application oriental areas e.g., SAE What are the benefits of going with ACM?
What holes are in ACM – e.g., (SIGAI) Robotics – there are communities of these areas but they are indeed missing?
Happening Areas: Sustainable computing, semantic web, and ethical/legal dimensions of technology Make ACM/SIGs the go to for that Emerging Area
Get the word out – invite groups to propose areas of interest – (CACM) Online discussion groups
CCC/NSF/DARPA visioning workshops (SIGDA did this) Funding outside the US (researchers will come if there is money)
At end of each conference – ask people what areas not being covered that should be covered Look at what is emerging interest groups – emerging workshops at new topics – or panel session – SIG leaders say what is of interest
When new areas come up – make sure SIGs are informed and can cooperate as appropriate so that everone knows to work together
Emerging areas could have a pilot conference each year.
9.0 Replication of Experimental Results (Harper)
Replication TF set up to avoid misunderstandings, provide greater confidence in reported results. Enables the detection of both unintentional error and deliberate fraud. Set up in September 2015; to be open, transparent and inclusive. There will be a policy created so the best thing to do is to engage. Policy at pubs board level with SGB input. Document on Github, your contributions are welcome.
10.0 Publications Report (Konstan)
Mainly 4 things to discuss. The first is Proceedings of ACM (PACM). So far we have 4 or 5 proposals submitted or on their way from conferences collected under a SIG and conferences across SIG. Journal like review iterative revision and all the things required. We’ll probably end with 3 for 2017. It’s happening and 2 struck as unusually innovative, getting rid of annual deadlines and publishing throughout by moving pub cycle so conference don’t get slower than journals. 2 conferences sponsored by different SIGs which is great for the community. Production model evolving but to make work we’ll be taking near camera ready with conferences and authors responsible for anything that would approximate copy editing. You’ll need someone responsible for copy editing. Big push is new pipeline to improve accessibility allowing it to move into mobile and accessible formats. Templates to come, leaning toward wide format single column to distinguish so its different from Transactions or proceedings. Last thing is most things staying the same all special things SIGs get access, sponsors gold OA, open surround, download tracking staying same. PACM issues are limited to actual referred papers and an editors/program chairs introduction.
Brief item on OpenTOC - Conferences and SIGs have strong brand identity SIG ha strong identity. Leaders have asked if they can put in both places. Answer is yes. If you want it that way ask for it.
How many have at least some of conferences a large number of captured talks (at least 20%). Most had some. The issue of policy and practice. ACM policy is that those things should go into DL so that could be found alongside your conferences but all know DL isn’t preferred venue for people browsing video so ACM policy is that you can post on ACM Youtube channel trying to make DL more preferred and should have link back to DL. Periodically we get message that conference is having videos in odd 3rd place with no branding or any links. The simple answer is, don’t do it, it's easy to put it in an official place. If you feel there is something you can’t do, let us know. We’re not trying to restrain but trying to present a consistent place to find all video. If YouTube or DL doesn’t work, tell us why. We cannot update technology and interfaces if we don’t know what you’re trying to do.
Last item Gold Open Access, the trend as some of you have been advocating or fearing for years in the long run is the idea of digital libraries like ours serving primarily by charging subscribers for content that was deposited for free is not going to last forever. Most argue that they’re all interrelated: gov't mandates say if we pay we want it to be open (we’re complying) gov’t saying we’re willing to pay but we’ve said no thus far. Probably the biggest issue is library acquisition budgets, libraries don’t have any more money even though we’re going to publish 25% more, preparing to have the DL in perpetuity. The pubs board is entering into discussions over whether ACM in journal pubs should stop publishing new journals on subscription basis. Should all be author pays open access with understanding to get up and going there would need to be fee waiver at the start. He asked leadership for input on that, it could go to Konstan, Yannis, reps on Council – engage them. Right now nothing being proposed has short term impact on SIGs.
In relation to YouTube, look at how YouTube treats ACM, aggregating SIGs could have benefit. Konstan said we’re looking for a coordinated solution. Tell us what that is and work with staff and we’ll figure out how to make it happen.
Konstan was asked if there was any evidence that increasing open access has had a negative impact on DL revenue? DL for published articles is going down, we can’t charge an amount that keeps up with our rate of producing content but our opening things up hasn’t made them significantly or negatively worse but that is different than saying that’s sustainable if we increase the content base.
Konstan was asked about costs associated with outside vendors, preferred vendors, in-house and print oriented models. We do work on standards and costs. We’re in process of developing and testing an in-house system whose primary goal was accessibility, secondarily we can streamline pubs pipeline and save money by having the potential to do things in–house and via automation if possible. We’re testing automated testing tools allowing you to deposit source file and get back something that says you comply or don’t comply. We know where some of the large costs are for journals, copy editing is a big cost some believe it’s an immense value others can figure out what it says without it. In journal case there’s a limit to editing but if we give back to author we save money and make it harder for people where English isn’t first language. There are tradeoffs. In the long run more automation and less manual costs will happen. ACM has been cutting costs of publication substantially. New technologies will allow us to take advantage of automating things we couldn’t do in the past. For conference side certain things are already done leanly. We depend on an amazing group of volunteers to get things done but you should be working collectively on different vendors and processes.
SIGARCH leadership wanted to know how much revenue comes from downloads from first year of pubs. This is critical because NSF requires making open after 1st year. The amount of revenue associated with 1st year downloads is available. You can get breakdown of your conferences, how many less than a year old vs. more than a year old. That won’t tell you the effect of everything being open over a year old because downloads will still be there and not based on whether it required a subscription. From that perspective it won’t help you figure out next step. Leader was told to ask Graves for information and if there is an issue, was told to contact Konstan.