The ACM and me
Connotea Imports 2012-07-31
"Let me make one thing clear from the beginning: it was the ACM’s choice to remove my publication from their workshop proceedings. I did nothing to stop them. In fact, by waiving my copyright, I made it extraordinarily easy for them to include my work in their proceedings if they wanted....In today’s world, transferring copyright is problematic for researchers like me. We want our papers as widely read as possible in order for them to be as influential as possible. Historically, the best way to do this was to have the paper published, because this would mean that copies of our work would end up getting disseminated to university libraries around the world. Publishing is not free, but in lieu of payment for publishing, we would transfer our copyright to the publisher. However, in today’s world the best way to have my paper widely read is to submit it to an online repository, such as the arXiv, where anyone with internet access can get instant access to my work. So as per my copyright policy, I uploaded my final version of my paper to the arXiv under a public domain dedication.... I always amend the copyright transfer agreement to make a note that I have already published my work under a public domain dedication and creative commons license and I am only transferring copyright to the extend possible (which I believe amounts to nothing). After mailing or faxing the amended copyright transfer agreement to the publisher, no publisher has yet refused to publish my work. They publish it after copy editing it, and stamp their own copyright on it. I find their copyright claim dubious; but I have no incentive to pursue the issue. With the ACM things are a little different...."