Requirements for a Suitable Publisher in 2014

WikiSym + OpenSym would like to provide a full-fledged Open Access option for authors who submit research papers for inclusion in the conference proceedings. After reviewing our situation, we have identified the following requirements:

  1. Reputable publisher (must). Obviously a must.
  2. Established publisher (nice). The more established, the better, as long as the open access option is proper.
  3. Non-profit publisher (nice). Many of the problems in publishing, including overcharging for open access publishing, stems from the for-profit motives the publisher. Thus, we prefer a stable non-profit publisher.
  4. Known in computer science (nice). With a strong background in computer science, we prefer a publisher who has a proper reputation in computer science. This requirement may become less important over time.
  5. Open access option (must). The publisher must allow for a proper open access option. The cheaper the better as long as the publisher is solid and has a long-term perspective.
  6. Reputable license choice (must). The available open access licenses should be widely acknowledged and should include the CC-BY and CC-BY-SA families. A publication permission (no copyright transfer) is also acceptable.
  7. No copyright transfer (nice). For those authors, who reject open access (or can’t pay the fees) the publisher should only request a publication permission rather than require a copyright transfer.
  8. Allows for self-publication (must). With open access being an option, rather than a requirement, it is important that the publisher allows for self-publication (on the conference website and the authors’ own websites).
  9. Reasonable and minimal service choice (nice). The publisher should allow for the submission of whole proceedings only and not require the purchase of additional editorial services (and impose consequent cost).

Requirements 1, 5, 6, and 8 are musts, requirements 2, 3, 4, 7, 9 are desirable but not required.

At present, the ACM Digital Library, our current publisher, does not offer 5 and 6, which are musts. They have made a recent announcement that they will provide these options, but details have not yet been provided.

Feedback is welcome!

13 thoughts on “Requirements for a Suitable Publisher in 2014

  1. I wonder what the WikiSym + OpenSym thinks of the CEUR Workshop Proceedings publication service? I my view it is a reputable and establish publication service (is it at all a “publisher”?), but I imaging others would disagree.

    CEUR is not listed on Danish “authority lists” for publishers. However, in Denmark the “authority” for WikiSym is tied to the conference series itself “International Symposium on Wikis”, i.e., not the publisher.

    One minor issue is “Mirroring of the web site, or parts of it, is prohibited”, but I suppose that individual CC-BY(-SA) proceedings and individual CC-BY(-SA) articles can still be mirrored.

  2. Thanks for this requirements list, Dirk.

    On the ACM open access options: More particularly, currently this is what I read at
    “ACM’s author-pays option consists of the following Article Processing Charge (APC) payment levels, for full articles:

    Journal article
    No ACM member authors: $1,700
    One or more ACM members authors: $1,300

    Proceedings article
    No ACM/SIG member authors: $1,500
    One or more ACM/SIG member authors: $1,100”

    While I’m glad that ACM is adding an open access option, the pricing seems excessive. I’d like to know what their cost structure is, and what it would cost to make the entire ACM Digital Library (including existing publications) open access.

    Some communities (notably high-energy physics) have raised appropriate funding to make the entire publications in the field open access (i.e. with no author fees). Could ACM open access as a society, rather than by author paying? I’d like to see the ACM community take a close look at the costs and benefits of that!

  3. Hi Jodi,

    I’m glad there are numbers out there now from the ACM though I also would have hoped they are lower. Compared with others, these numbers are somewhere in the middle. Elsevier and Springer have quoted me both > EUR 2000, while some tell me Springer also has EUR 800 options (just where?).

    At this year’s WikiSym + OpenSym the main keynoter is Phil Bourne, an editor at PLOS (which is quite expensive open access) so we should ask him about cost structures.


  4. Phil Bourne is great, it’ll be interesting to hear reports about what he says about cost structures. It seems like the main issue these days in open access is not WHETHER but HOW MUCH (and WHO PAYS).

    I do like CEUR the question is where these get indexed. I think that CEUR proceedings aren’t indexed uniformly (I hope I’m wrong; and maybe Google Scholar picks up all of CEUR) but rather that it depends on the conference. If we could get papers indexed by at least DBLP, that would be good. It seems to be possible, based on my experience as author in another conference: they published at CEUR and got indexed by DBLP — I can put you in touch with conference chairs (of Agreement Technologies) for more info if that becomes relevant. To me indexing is important because it helps find things in the larger literature — making the difference between grey literature and formal publishing.

    For Springer, their Author Processing Charges are found at and see also the FAQ at They seem to be drawing expertise from BioMedCentral, and they are promoting discount programs to libraries (e.g. for institution/author payment splits and prepay options. See

    Claypool & Morgan might also be worth approaching; they have a growing reputation in CS though I don’t think they’re doing conference proceedings as of yet.

  5. I have received an email from Manfred Jeusfeld, the man behind He states that is self-publishing site. That – I suppose – is the reason it cannot be listed in Danish authority lists.

    He also pointed to the rules for re-publication/mirroring: The re-published version should be clearly distinguished from the version.

    @Jodi “maybe Google Scholar picks up all of CEUR” I would suppose so.

  6. “Self-publishing” is not what I would call CEUR-WS. As listed in the preconditions for publishing at, peer review with at least one PhD on the editorial board is required.

    Perhaps the Danish authority lists do not like the statement: “We do not evaluate the scientific quality of submitted volumes but expect that this is guaranteed by the editors who submit the proceedings volume.”

    All of this comes from the same “how to submit” page which is worth reading in full.

    Finn, if you’re suggesting publishing in CEUR-WS and republishing elsewhere (to suit the Danish authorities), that seems fine to me.

  7. @Jodi: It is the editor(s) of the proceeding that is/are the publisher(s), not the site, – so it is self-publishing in the sense that the editors are the “self”. would be no problem with the Danish system (as well as the Norwegian, that the Danish system is based on AFAIK). That is because the ranking is tied to the scientific meeting series, – rather than the publisher (as I wrote in the first comment).

    The reason for stressing an ability to republish, is the idea of Open Science: Allowing others to reuse and extend as per e.g. CC-BY(-SA).

  8. May I add to the quality aspect: The publishers of the volumes are the respective editors. They together with their program committee need to guarantee the quality.

    We as do however check the scientific nature of the submission and check that there is indeed a peer review system. We believe that this is appropriate for workshop proceedings.

    Authors typically hold the full copyright to their papers. So, they can re-publish, re-combine etc. as much as they want.

    Sorry for interfering in the discussion.

  9. @Finn: Mirroring of CEUR-WS:org is prohibited but the workshop editors can of course republish their proceedings elsewhere if they acquired suitable rights from the authors. The republication may however not use elements that are characteristig to

    – the logo
    – the ISSN number of
    – the CSS style
    – the label CEUR-WS in the URL of the (online) republication
    – the volume number of the resp. proceedings at

    So, this only serves authenticity and does not prevent republication.

    Cheers: Manfred, founder

  10. Thank you @Manfred.

    I see that CEUR-WS goes well with Open Access and that it is just up to the editor to enforce a republishing option. Iterating: From a Danish (and a Norwegian I suppose) point of view CEUR-WS is a fine choice.

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