About the Disclosure Policy category

This category is focused on fostering a lively, genuine discussion on ACM’s draft Disclosure Policy.

ACM Council is considering changing how much information and to whom that information is shared with. This category is for ACM members to discuss the trade-offs of making such a change. Topics in this category ought to be focused on the Draft Disclosure Policy currently under consideration and it’s evaluation relative to ACM’s current practice.

Overall I am in favor of this policy. Although I believe it could be better, I would rather adopt it now, as is, and then make changes, or make only minor changes and now and get it adopted.

The three problems I see with this policy are:

  1. It does not call for de-identified summaries of all disciplinary actions to be published. I think that this is important to do, because it creates a body of cases that can serve to inform ACM members volunteers regarding what is and what is not appropriate behavior and standards.
  2. I would like to to see specific levels of offenses for which identity of those who have found in violation of our policies are made public. Currently, for example, we might might place a notice in the digital library that a paper has been taken down for ethical reasons, but we won’t identify the specific author and the violation. I understand that this creates liability for ACM and that it has to be carefully done under GDPR. However, I think that we need to call out individuals who gravely violate our community norms.
  3. I believe that the policy should go into effect immediately, and not five years from now.

I am a member of the Ethics & Plagiarism Committee of the Publications Board, but I am posting this in my personal capacity. However, my comments are informed by my experience on the Committee.

I have read the article in CACM, and many of the comments here on Discord. I am good with most of what people are saying here.