Chair’s Corner

ACM’s Transition to 100% Open Access Publishing: A Q&A with Jonathan Aldrich

Interviewed by Mona Kasra, ACM SIGGRAPH Chair

In 2026, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) will fully transition its publication process to 100% Open Access. Concurrently, the ACM Digital Library will shift from its current Pay-to-Read model to a Pay-to-Publish model. With numerous queries surrounding this transition within our community, I have invited Jonathan Aldrich, a member of ACM Publications Board, for a Q&A session to keep our SIGGRAPH members and contributors informed and updated. Additionally, I am excited to announce that ACM SIGGRAPH will be hosting a webinar with Jonathan and Scott Delman, the ACM Director of Publications for our members to hear about this transition directly with ACM Publications and ask questions. This webinar is scheduled for Thursday, 27 June 2024, at 5 pm Eastern Time. 

To learn more and register to attend the webinar by following this link.  

Thank you for accepting my invitation to discuss ACM’s transition to Open Access publishing, Jonathan. Could you please elaborate on ACM’s reasoning and objectives behind this change to an Open Access model?

ACM’s mission includes advancing the science of computing, serving the professional and public interests by fostering the open exchange of information (  Open Access fosters the open exchange of information, because now anyone will be able to freely access the knowledge that is published in ACM conferences and journals.  Furthermore, Open Access increases the impact of scientific work, because anyone can easily find it, read it, and build on it, regardless of affiliation or ability to pay for a subscription to a digital library.  In view of these benefits to science, various forms of Open Access are also required by a number of funding agencies, including the European Research Council and the US National Science Foundation.

What are the primary advantages of Open Access publishing for authors, and how might they be affected during and post-transition? 

The primary benefit is increased visibility and impact of author’s work: ACM’s data also shows that articles published in the ACM Digital Library on an Open Access basis are on average downloaded 2-3X and cited 70% more than articles published behind the paywall.

Many authors are already benefiting from the transition to open access, because for the past several years ACM has been offering a new kind of digital library subscription to institutions, called ACM OPEN.  While traditional digital library subscriptions allow members to read articles in a digital library, ACM OPEN is a “read and publish” subscription: it covers the cost of Open Access publishing articles so that all articles written by corresponding authors at a subscribing institution will be freely available to the public.  Approximately 1,370 institutions worldwide have already subscribed to ACM OPEN!

One thing that will become important is for authors to accurately identify which author is the corresponding author of a paper.  This author is responsible for communication with ACM about the paper, and is usually either the primary or senior author of the paper.  ACM OPEN only applies to a paper (thus waiving any APC charge) if the corresponding author is at an institution that subscribes.  ACM’s systems automatically identify author affiliations based on the email address provided, so if you are at an ACM OPEN institution, be sure to use your institutional email when you submit a paper.

As of June 2020, ACM has initiated this transition in phases. Could you update us on the progress and the current extent of Open Access content in the ACM Digital Library?

ACM has already made all content published prior to 2000 freely available in the digital library.  Many more articles are available Open Access because the corresponding author was at an ACM OPEN institution when the article was published, or because the author voluntarily paid an APC.

Since January 2024, all articles published in ACM’s International Conference Proceedings Series (IPCS) series are also published Open Access.  This is free to corresponding authors at institutions that subscribe to ACM OPEN, while corresponding authors at other institutions must pay an Article Processing Charge (APC).  The IPCS series is for conferences organized by an external entity that is using ACM as a publisher, so it doesn’t affect conferences organized by SIGGRAPH yet.

Once the transition to Open Access is complete, what publishing options will be available for authors, and what can be expected in terms of Author Processing Charges (APCs) for those whose institutions do not join ACM Open?

Starting January 1, 2026, all articles published by ACM will be made Open Access.  We anticipate that 60-65% or more of authors will be covered by ACM OPEN agreements by that point.  But authors whose institutions do not join ACM Open will have to pay an APC when they publish a paper with ACM.  Current APCs for ACM members are $700 for a conference paper and $1300 for a journal paper.  The rate is higher ($1000/$1800) for non-ACM members, but an ACM membership only costs $100 for a year so everyone should join the ACM if they are going to publish a paper!

How can individual authors mitigate financial implications after the shift to a Pay-to-Publish model?

Many researchers who get grant funding can ask for APC coverage as part of the grant; funders are generally happy to support this as it increases the impact of the work (and may even be mandated, as mentioned above).  But ACM realizes that not everyone has funding that can cover APCs.  APCs are waived for anyone in low-income countries (as determined by the World Bank) and there is a 50% waiver for authors in lower middle income countries.  In addition, any author without funding can apply for a discretionary APC waiver if they truly have no applicable funding source.

Could you discuss any potential changes and/or implications for conference publications and proceedings as a result of the transition to Open Access?

In general, conference publications and proceedings should not be greatly affected by the transition to Open Access.  It should be a good thing for most conferences by increasing the availability and impact of the papers they publish!  One thing to keep in mind, though, is that if a conference draws from a large number of people at institutions that do not subscribe to ACM OPEN, it may affect submissions to the conference.  We therefore encourage conference organizers to get the word out about ACM OPEN and have conference attendees lobby for ACM OPEN adoption at their home institutions.  I’ve attached a presentation that can be used to communicate this.

Our organization intends to support the SIGGRAPH community and conferences during this transition.In what ways can we contribute to making this process as smooth as possible for everyone?

We hope you can let people in your community know about the benefits of Open Access and about ACM OPEN subscriptions, and about the APCs that will be charged starting in 2026 for non-subscribers.  Encourage everyone in the SIGGRAPH community to advocate for their institution to join ACM OPEN.

Do you have any additional comments or information you would like to share with the SIGGRAPH community regarding the transition to Open Access and its potential repercussions?

ACM’s transition to Open Access was planned in response to an ACM member-led petition in 2000 to open up the digital library.  This is something that the community cares deeply about, and we believe it will have a transformative effect on the impact of ACM in the broader community.  We ask for your support in making this transition a success!

* For more background and detailed information on Open Access, please visit ACM Website: To learn more about Open Access please register to attend the webinar with Jonathan Aldrich and Scott Delman by following this link

Chair’s Corner – Chair’s Welcome Essay

Having come from a background of primarily low-level GPU software development, the “why” of the specific stream of requests being sent to the software I was writing never really occurred to me.  For example, I could poke registers and issue commands to make a red triangle appear at a specific location on the screen but not understand why that red triangle needed to be there right at that moment in time — fleeting milliseconds. This notion that everything is about storytelling is one tangible idea SIGGRAPH has imprinted on my thinking of what I do professionally. Sitting in a SIGGRAPH jury room with artists and other creators deliberating conference submissions crystalized this concept. I previously had glimpses into partial explanations of the “why” — e.g., because there is a red car in the scene — but that experience led me to strive for the complete “why.” What story is being told that not only places the red car in the scene, but all of the other objects too? What unfolds over time? The whole point is the story!

We are a community of storytellers. Our entire organization, its members, as well as the artists, researchers, animators, and developers who attend ACM SIGGRAPH sponsored events are storytellers. The members of the SIGGRAPH community support one another with peer expertise and resources to empower each member to tell their story. We often feel it most when we are attending one of the many wonderful ACM SIGGRAPH events, whether it is SIGGRAPH in August or one of the more specialized conferences throughout the year. We are first and foremost a community, a community that strives for inclusion … in the words of my predecessor Elizabeth Baron, “SIGGRAPH is for everyone!”

The ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee (EC) is the steward of our community. The EC has a strategic vision with three fundamental pillars — volunteerism, membership, and online events. Elizabeth Baron has covered these extensively in her last essay, and I recommend reading it. In short, we view our current and future membership, our volunteers, and our events — in-person, hybrid, and virtual — as the crucial pieces to the health and stability of our organization moving forward. That has been the EC’s position over the past year or two, and I have no plans to alter that course. My goal is to further these efforts rather than introduce new strategic initiatives. Community building around the design and digital twin spaces is a new initiative that directly supports the current strategic pillars. I encourage everyone to please check out the year round ACM SIGGRAPH programming and see what inspires you. Maybe even sign up to volunteer with one of the committees that shepherds the efforts around them.

While ACM SIGGRAPH was around for a bit before we started sponsoring events, this August  is a very special anniversary for the SIGGRAPH Conference.   We are looking very forward to the 50th SIGGRAPH Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques.

SIGGRAPH Asia 2022 will be held in Daegu. This will be a great opportunity for participants to experience Korean culture. The keynote speaker is Dr. Luc Julia (CSO, Renault Group).

Thank you all for being a part of our ACM SIGGRAPH community!

Jesse Barker,  

ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee Chair

Chair’s Corner – Chair’s Farewell Essay

Thank you ACM SIGGRAPH Community!

It has been quite a ride for the ACM SIGGRAPH Community over the last year. We are back! Over the last year there has been a lot of uncertainty as we navigated back to in-person events. Throughout the year, we held many gatherings in-person, culminating in our ACM SIGGRAPH Conference in Vancouver in August, 2022. The Conference was a resounding success! 

The Conference was a success due to the hard work and dedication of the ACM SIGGRAPH Community. Led by Munkhtsetseg Nandigjav, the 2022 SIGGRAPH Conference Chair, she journeyed onward into unknown territory. She made strategic decisions that benefited us all. A big shout out to Mikki Rose, our Conference Advisory Group Chair, who shepherds multiple conferences in various stages of planning. It is due to her steady leadership and the fantastic Conference committees that we were able to prosper. 

Since the ACM SIGGRAPH community is a global nonprofit organization serving the evolution of computer graphics and interactive techniques, we are in it together. With thousands of members across the world, the researchers, artists, developers, filmmakers, scientists, and enterprise business professionals of ACM SIGGRAPH are building the future we experience every day.

ACM SIGGRAPH is of course about the annual conferences, two main gatherings each year. SIGGRAPH is also about the Professional and Student Chapters community, the Digital Arts Community, Digital Twins, and more. Our mission is to nurture, champion, and connect researchers and practitioners of Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. SIGGRAPH has had a longstanding vision,  Enabling Everyone to Tell Their Stories. This is as true now as it was five years ago when it was developed. 

SIGGRAPH is for Everyone. We serve our traditional audiences of professional movie, animation, and game makers. We serve engineers, designers, scientists, artists, and more. We serve everyone with a story to tell. That story can be of a product in development, a cinematic experience, or somewhere in between, and the mechanism by which the story is experienced, the interactive techniques, is key to delivering an impactful message. Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, that’s what we do and who we are. We enable each person to learn from the best of the best, enhanced by the fantastic sources of knowledge available throughout the SIGGRAPH community.

We are the Premier Source for Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. We have broadened how content is delivered. Both the 2020 and 2021 SIGGRAPH Conferences were fully virtual. For the 2022 Conference, the content was delivered in a hybrid approach, both in-person and through a virtual platform. In-person content enables people to experience media on traditional screens or through extended reality, or potentially with new forms of interactive sensory experiences not yet invented. The virtual platform will allow flexibility and accessibility. Together, this is a powerful platform to provide content for all.

We have broadened the avenues for contribution to the SIGGRAPH Community. Starting at the SIGGRAPH 2022 Conference, a new Conference Track of the Technical Papers program was formed. This provided a high-quality publication venue that brought the workload of publishing a graphics and interactive techniques paper in line with other top-quality conferences, while diversifying the topics SIGGRAPH publishes in computer graphics and interactive techniques. The Technical Papers now has two tracks, Journal Papers (the existing program) and Conference Papers (the new program). 

The most significant difference is that journal articles will continue to be published in ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG) and in the ACM Digital Library, while the new Conference Papers will be published as conference papers in the form of “SIGGRAPH Conference Proceedings” solely in the ACM Digital Library. The new Conference Papers will be held to the same high standard for novelty and/or robust contribution, scientific rigor, and technical soundness as Journal Papers. Both Conference Papers and Journal Papers will be reviewed with the same rigorous technical process.

Through the multitude of choices content may be delivered in, SIGGRAPH content runs the gamut in from abstract to literal, from experiential to educational to scientific. Content may be purely digital or may be married to the physical world in a manner that enhances believability and presence. The content could be purely academic, as with Technical Papers. One thing remains, SIGGRAPH is the premier organization for disseminating new scholarly work, where scientists and researchers present and publish the latest industry advancements that inspire new ideas, ignite memorable discussions, and propel us forward.

SIGGRAPH’s Strategic Direction

The dedicated people who lead SIGGRAPH form the Executive Committee. The “EC” provides the operational structure and strategy for the coming years. It provides consistency and sets the high bar for content. The team works to allow our members to realize the benefits of research, education, and to put theory into practice for industry. They give their time and talent to enrich our SIGGRAPH community. The EC is grateful for the leadership of those who served on the Executive Committees over the past 49 years. This EC stands on the shoulders of giants!

ACM SIGGRAPH’s strategy is focused on three pillars, which lay the foundation for future growth while sustaining our quality content. These pillars focus on membership, volunteerism and online events. 

  • Continuing on the success of the virtual and hybrid conferences, ACM SIGGRAPH will build more content including events and educational subjects. Members can be engaged in ACM SIGGRAPH all year round and leverage multiple sources from our community to achieve high-quality delivery. Once structured, ACM SIGGRAPH will maintain a database of organization and community events, and enable our existing communication channels to effectively bolster more engagement from the membership and community at large.
  • Regarding membership in ACM SIGGRAPH, the value proposition for membership is being strengthened with the goal to clarify existing benefits at every level of membership. An increase in year-round activities will further enhance the value to the community, with a specific focus on bolstering the value of long-term membership for students. 
  • Volunteers are at the heart of ACM SIGGRAPH. As a strategic pillar, a newly formed Volunteer Development Committee will apply the broad enthusiasm, energy, and talent available among our volunteer community to support and enhance the goals and events of ACM SIGGRAPH. This includes volunteer onboarding and ongoing support, mentorship, and leadership development for SIGGRAPH volunteers in their roles within the organization. There will be a path to support volunteers throughout their service and career. 

These three pillars provide ACM SIGGRAPH with a solid foundation, to grow and thrive in the future. SIGGRAPH will continue to be a place to realize creativity and passion, to discover the art of the impossible. The SIGGRAPH Organization has many Standing Committees, strategy groups, advisory boards, and community groups which provide continued access to the latest CG&IT information throughout the year. 

The SIGGRAPH Organization is where content lives year-round. The “Org” keeps the momentum going the other 51 weeks of the year. The Organization advocates for and supports knowledge sharing of advancements in computer graphics, digital art, animation, visual effects, machine learning, artificial intelligence, immersive and mixed realities, scientific visualization, and more. 

And one more shout-out for the SIGGRAPH Conference…congratulations on your retirement Cindy Stark! Cindy has been a driving force behind the SIGGRAPH Conference for 41, yes 41, years! She is a dynamo and a treasure. Our SIGGRAPH Community will surely miss her. 

Thank you all for being a part of our ACM SIGGRAPH community!

Elizabeth Baron



Chair’s Corner – Practitioners: We Need You!

By Elizabeth Baron

I have had the distinct privilege in my career of being able to really think out of the box and look toward the future. I could innovate in ways that provide efficiencies by allowing intuitive, agile thought to get at solutions to complex, multidimensional problems.

SIGGRAPH was my inspiration, my foundation, my place where I could go to understand the art of the possible, or the impossible. 

Being a Practitioner, I possibly see the benefits of SIGGRAPH through a different lens than the average SIGGRAPHer. Back in 2017, a Strategy Team was formed to determine what SIGGRAPH should look like in the future. The clear mission was defined as: Enabling everyone to tell their stories.

As a Practitioner, “everyone” includes artists, designers, ergonomists, engineers of many types [electrical, mechanical, structural, materials, thermodynamics, …], roboticists, analysts, AI/ML specialists, and more. Whew! There are a lot of players in the industrial space. They each have their own goals, and perspectives. It’s not the typical cast of characters you’ll find at an ACM SIGGRAPH conference, but an interesting mix, nonetheless.

What is so fantastic about SIGGRAPH is that many of the concepts are universal in application. Our tradition of innovations in media of movies, animations and games also applies to extended realities, photorealism, real-time interactions and sensory experiences and other forms to experience data and concepts. We as a community are creating new and exciting ways to understand and communicate. Our community enables us to use intuitive insight for problem solving. SIGGRAPH enables people with unlike minds (i.e. an artist and an engineer) to communicate effectively, each telling their story to the other in a way that makes sense to the person experiencing the content. 

Problems are best solved when people can connect personally to facts and data through experience. Most people are visual thinkers and learn by doing. In industrial design and engineering, teams are collaborating in real-time in immersive environments, even though geographically the participants may be miles away. SIGGRAPH is the place where we (I) learned how to make this happen!

Think about the value of our conferences. Through our experiences have been mostly virtual recently, the conferences provide the opportunity to learn from the brightest minds in computer graphics & interactive techniques.  SIGGRAPH 2021 Conference this year. (There is still time to enjoy on-demand content – until October 29, 2021. Register here!) And get ready for SIGGRAPH Asia 2021





It is coming up in Tokyo from December 14-17.  

Practitioners of CG&IT are realizing the results of successful collaborations, where design and engineering converge. The power of holistic product creation provides a deeper understanding of an enjoyable experience. Learning both emotive and scientific perspectives simultaneously provides impactful insights into form and function of product. It leads to high throughput discovery; which allows teams to find creative solutions to problems by considering multiple data points in an intuitive manner.

A Strategy Committee called “New Communities” has done great work in bringing in new disciplines from both emerging research and application of CG&IT platforms to the SIGGRAPH Community. There is a lot of thought being given regarding the needs of industry practitioners for Design, Engineering and Manufacturing to collaborate in what is becoming a hybrid society. We would appreciate your thoughts on how to move industry forward, so that they can realize the benefits of holistic communication. Please email me at

Practitioners, please consider becoming a member of SIGGRAPH. The benefits are inspirational. The knowledge you acquire can set you on a path to become the benchmark in your industry for insight and efficiency in solving complex problems with high precision and speed. Check out the profound work in the ACM Digital Library. If you see something you like in a video, go to the DL to deep dive and really understand how to apply the concepts. 

The real power of CG&IT is that it’s holistic. It brings everyone together and everyone can understand the final product (whether it’s a product or service) that makes people’s lives better. And that’s a beautiful thing. Please consider becoming a part of the SIGGRAPH community. You can register here to become a member of ACM SIGGRAPH and join in the conversation.


Chair’s Corner: Farewell Essay

As with most goodbyes, this moment is bittersweet. I am very excited to pass the chores of being chair onto my successor and claw some time back for my own research and other endeavors. At the same time, I have been honored to serve as chair of SIGGRAPH and generally enjoyed the role; I certainly learned a lot. One of the downsides of the one-year term is that it takes a little while to settle in, or maybe that was just the pandemic throwing everything off. I do wish I had started writing these essays sooner, but c’est la vie.

SIGGRAPH has accomplished a whole awful lot over the last year. SIGGRAPH has made incremental changes over time, but the pandemic forced us to make *huge* changes very quickly. All our conferences went virtual in 2020. It was an incredible feat and all our conference organizers deserve immense kudos. We did tons of experimentation and quickly identified some best practices. Sure, we lost money. But, through luck and shrewd negotiation (major props to Ashley Cozzi and Cindy Stark) we lost a small fraction of our liability.

We also took advantage of everyone being virtual (and no travel costs) to bring more voices into our strategy meetings. We call them “strategy” meetings, but that is probably a misnomer; we do not generate 5-year plans to put on a shelf, instead, these are meetings where we discuss the long-term future of SIGGRAPH and how we should allocate and *create* resources to improve our organization. We try to identify weaknesses, opportunities, etc. So, because we did not need to pay for travel, we could invite almost everyone. The meetings were a bit unwieldy at first, but we hit our stride and they turned out to be really productive. They did not serve all the purposes of in-person meetings—there is no replacing breaking bread with another human—but they did give us directions forward.

Three major initiatives came out of the meetings. First, the establishment of an Online Events Committee. This committee proved too big a lift for our first chair and we are in search of a replacement, perhaps co-chairs given the large scope; maybe we need a committee the size of one of our major conferences. Second, was the idea of online communities organized around similar interests; not unlike chapters, but being virtual and based upon shared interests rather than geography. Third, was a better approach to membership. The topic of membership is perennial at SIGGRAPH meetings. I have been a member since my first SIGGRAPH in 2001 when I got a discount on the SIGGRAPH Video Review. I’ve probably lapsed (I still don’t always pay my electric bill on time), but I am of that older generation where you belong to your professional organization as a matter of course. I am also a member of my local NPR station and give them $6 a month, which is more than I can give SIGGRAPH.

Let me dwell on membership for a moment. I am not a member of SIGGRAPH  because of some transactional benefit; I get reduced registration from my ACM membership and can access the digital library content through my university (or, like everyone, for free through OpenTOC). I am a member of SIGGRAPH because the organization does good things. And those good things affect me in positive ways. SIGGRAPH has published and archived the majority of my publications. I have made many friends and colleagues through the organization’s efforts. SIGGRAPH has made my professional life better. These are the same reasons I volunteer for SIGGRAPH; I am always surrounded by interesting people and the work is very fulfilling.

In addition to these major initiatives, we have done other stuff too. Our standing committees have organized many virtual events over the past year; DEI, Digital Arts, and Chapters have led many of these efforts. We also created a new series, “A Conversation With…” By all reports, these conversations have been fun and low-pressure. I am certain there are more things in the works. In retrospect, I think SIGGRAPH did a pretty great job of leveraging the upsides of the pandemic and has remained vibrant and inspiring despite the challenges.

For those in the technical community, just yesterday the Executive Committee approved a proposal for “Conference Papers.” This idea has been around for years, but finally, there was momentum behind it. Mashhuda Glencross deserves a shout-out for leading the team that put together the proposal; it was an enormous amount of work. Thanks to all of you who filled out the survey. View the approved proposal.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank Paul Strauss and Mashhuda Glencross for their service on the Executive Committee as their terms end tonight as well. And a major thanks to Jessica Hodgins, who has served on the EC for nine (yes, nine!) years, first as a director-at-large, then as President, and finally as past-President. I could not have asked for a wiser sage to help me along this past year.

As my final thoughts as SIGGRAPH chair, I want to say that I have gained so much more from SIGGRAPH than what I have contributed; that is the paradox of being part of something. Please become a member, please volunteer, please engage. You will probably find yourself feeling the same way.

fare thee well,