Enforcement of ACM Policies
ACM’s pledge to conduct all its activities with utmost professional and ethical standards has resulted in the adoption of several key policies that span across its many computing disciplines and research practices. The efficacy of these policies lies in their enforcement, and procedures for adhering to and reporting violations against these policies have been created. In addition, measures for addressing suspected cases of violation have been crafted as they pertain to the published procedures of the following policies:
- ACM Publications Policies,
- ACM Policy Against Harassment at ACM Events,
- ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
Complaints received regarding suspected violations of these policies will be addressed by one of the following two committees, depending on the relevancy of the allegations:
- Ethics and Plagiarism Committee of ACM’s Publications Board
- ACM’s Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE)
The outcome of any complaint investigation is communicated in writing to the subject(s) of the investigation and the complainant(s). In some cases, the subject’s immediate supervisor, a funding agency, or another publisher may also be notified. ACM does not divulge any decisions to witnesses or other third parties, nor does ACM discuss facts of the case with third parties.
Any individual found to have violated ACM policy is informed of the penalties imposed and is solely responsible for subsequent compliance. Moreover, ACM maintains a Violations Database in which information about reported complaints is retained in perpetuity.
The information stored within the Violations Database includes:
- All complaints filed
- Details of complaint disposition and investigation
- Decisions made
- Penalties imposed, if any
- Appeal, if any
- Any related communications / documents submitted
Eligibility to query the database is controlled by firstname.lastname@example.org and is limited to individuals who can prove a need to know to enforce sanctions. Queries return only the name and relevant activity ban for persons who have sanctions currently in effect. It is ACM policy to maintain the public anonymity of sanctioned individuals to the greatest extent possible.