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ACM as a scientific publisher must make informed judgments about the correctness and relevance of manuscripts under consideration for publication. ACM relies on qualified volunteers to review manuscripts and serve on editorial boards and program committees to make these editorial decisions and to provide feedback to authors. In the vast majority of cases, this process works smoothly.
Should an author feel that the process was implemented incorrectly, or there was some other problem with the handling of his or her manuscript, the author should first follow the stated appeal procedure of the involved publication. If the concern is not resolved, the author may appeal the decision to the Publications Board Chair, whose decision can then, at the author's discretion, be appealed to the President of the ACM. The decision of the President is final.
At each stage of the appeal, the relevant ACM representative can at their discretion handle the appeal directly, or delegate this to an ad hoc committee named by the representative. The members of the ad hoc committee should not have any direct connection with either the manuscript under question or the associated publication. The decision by the representative, along with an explanation of the decision process, shall be communicated to the appealer and other involved parties in writing within a reasonable time frame.
Volunteers will be assumed to have acted in an appropriate and professional manner unless and until it is shown through an investigation to be otherwise. ACM representatives will keep involved volunteers appraised of the process, and will always be cognizant that such investigations are difficult for all concerned.
If an author has concerns about how their paper was handled, that author should first bring those concerns to the Associate Editor who handled the processing of the paper. If the concerns are not addressed, the author should bring the concerns to the Editor-in-Chief. If the concerns are still not adequately addressed then the author may appeal to the Chair of the Publications Board, in accordance with ACM policy stated above.