This past week, ACM announced a statement on changes to its publishing policy. “The new policy enables open access to the most current proceedings volume of each ACM Special Interest Group conference at the discretion of the sponsoring SIGs. The free access is available at the SIG or conference web site.”…”Changes also include new options for authors to manage the publication rights to their work. Authors who prefer to retain copyright of their work may choose to sign an equivalent licensing agreement with ACM. Authors who wish to retain all rights to their work can exercise an author-pays option, which allows for perpetual open access to their work. Authors who prefer to have ACM manage the rights and permissions associated with their work may continue using the traditional ACM Copyright Transfer Agreement.”
For more details about this historic move to open up access and enable new author rights see the editorial in the February 2013 issue of Communications of the ACM (CACM), Positioning ACM for an Open Access Future. As the ACM says, the move towards open access to research publications is not easy. Maintaining long term access and archival storage to content must be maintained, and this requires significant cost. It will take some time to see how these policies evolve and become embraced by the research community it ultimately serves.
The Library has been working for years with authors, publishers and other institutions to help create change in the publishing world. If you are an author, the Library has a fund to help pay publication fees in open access journals. The Library offers faculty and student authors an amendment to the standard publishing contract, which helps authors retain more rights to their own material. If you are curious about how the new ACM policies impact you as an author, contact your librarian, or someone from the Dartmouth College Library program for scholarly publishing.