Opinion: Current Thoughts on the Open Letter Opposing Zero Embargoes on Publicly Funded US Research

This is how I wish the ACM had responded to the community about the open letter opposing zero embargoes on publicly funded US research.

(Note: This opinion is my own and in no way represents an official statement from ACM.  I speak from my own experience as a volunteer in ACM SIGCHI, the ACM Publications Board, the ACM Future of Computing Academy, the ACM Europe Council.)

ACM leadership apologises to the community for signing the open letter to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (an office of the US Executive Branch headed by a political appointee) without wider consultation from the ACM community. In the future, ACM will avoid signing open letters without consultation with ACM Boards and Councils.  This is especially true when signatures involve coalitions with for-profit publishers.

First and foremost, we would like to emphasise that ACM is very supportive of open access and open science initiatives. As a non-profit organisation and professional society, ACM supports a wide range of open access initiatives and is already preparing for a financially sustainable future where an increasing majority of the ACM Digital Library is available as gold open access.  An especially exciting initiative currently being developed is ACM OPEN, which supports Gold Open access.

The key reason ACM signed this letter is to oppose an Executive Order in the United States which would enforce zero embargo periods for access to publicly funded American research.  This is seriously concerning for two reasons.  Firstly, a zero embargo period would interfere with or make impossible some of ACM’s ongoing open access initiatives and threaten the financial stability of ACM as a non-profit publisher. Secondly, enforcing such an initiative through an Executive Order does not require public discourse and, in this case, has not considered how such an order would affect non-profit publishers or consulted with these stakeholders.

For the ACM community, the scope of this letter is crucially important.  This letter concerns specific implementation details of open access policy for publicly funded US research only. The content of this letter should be considered within this context only, and not interpreted to apply to other contexts or other regions. For example, ACM is working with policy-makers to develop a financially sustainable way to implement Plan S and open access research in Europe.

Considering the context of this letter, we accept that some aspects of this letter are deeply problematic.  Based on feedback from the community, we recognise that many of the statements in this letter go well beyond our specific concern around enforcing zero embargo periods through an Executive Order.  We hope that this statement makes clearer our original intentions when signing this letter, and hope that we can continue to work together with our author community towards a sustainable open access publishing model.

(Note: This opinion is my own and in no way represents an official statement from ACM.  I speak from my own experience as a volunteer in ACM SIGCHI, the ACM Publications Board, the ACM Future of Computing Academy, the ACM Europe Council.)

If you are interested, here is some additional material about this issue.

The Open Letter

ACM’s Official Response

Commentary from Robert Harrington 

Content Light Homepage of the OSTP

 

SIPS@CHI

SIPS-LOGO-Imax-ExperienceThis year the SIPS project will be presenting an Interactivity Exhibit and an alt.chi paper at CHI 2015.  We’re very excited to bring the sphere to new places and share some of our experiences completing evaluations in public spaces.

Deep Cover HCI: A Case for Covert Research in HCI

Julie R. Williamson and Daniel Sundén

The growing popularity of methodologies that turn “to the wild” for real world data creates new ethical issues for the HCI community. For investigations questioning interactions in public or transient spaces, crowd interaction, or natural behaviour, uncontrolled and uninfluenced (by the experimenter) experiences represent the ideal evaluation environment. We argue that covert research can be completed rigorously and ethically to expand our knowledge of ubiquitous technologies.  Our approach, which we call Deep Cover HCI, utilises technology-supported observation in public spaces to stage completely undisturbed experiences for evaluation.  We complete studies without informed consent and without intervention from an experimenter in order to gain new insights into how people use technology in public settings.  We argue there is clear value in this approach, reflect on the ethical issues of such investigations, and describe our ethical guidelines for completing Deep Cover HCI Research.

Multi-Player Gaming on Spherical Displays – Interactivity

Julie R. Williamson, John Williamson, Daniel Sundén, Jay Bradley

Players can crowd around the sphere to play a classic volley game together.

Players can crowd around the sphere to play a classic volley game together.

Spherical displays offer unique affordances for multi-player games and playful interactions in social spaces.  The shape of a spherical display allows users to face each other and maintain eye contact during interaction, creating a different social dynamic than at a flat display.  There is also no intrinsically defined front or centre of the display, offering different views from different viewing angles. This creates shared and private areas of the display given users’ varying perspectives.  Trajectory based games have a dramatically different experience when played on a spherical surface.  Side-scrolling games are also exciting on a spherical surface, becoming “rotating” games where users’ action affect others playing at different points around the screen.  This Interactivity exhibit showcases two multi-player games that specifically exploit the affordances of a spherical display in a social setting.


SICSA Micro Residency for Digital Interactive Art

Preparations are underway to create a digital art installation during a two-day micro residency.

Preparations are underway to create a digital art installation during a two-day micro residency.

We are busy organising SICSA’s first micro-residency, aiming to bring together artists, designers, and computing science researchers to create a piece of digital interactive art over a two day workshop.

The goal of this two-day workshop is to explore ideas and concepts for a public digital art installation, creating and designing with concepts such as playfulness, performative interactions, surveillance, touch, and lighting.

You’re Invited – Pop-up Exhibit

As part of the event, we will deploy our creation in a pop-up exhibition on the University of Glasgow campus.  The deployment will be experimental and created solely during the two day event.   The exhibit will take place in the outdoor area in front of the SAWB building from 4:30 PM on November 7th (building D20, map available at http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_1887_en.pdf)

For more information about the micro residency, please visit: publicinteraction.co.uk/micro-residency/

We're gathering everything from Play-Doh to interactive lights to create something for public spaces.

We’re gathering everything from Play-Doh and paint, to interactive lights and embedded electronics to create an installation for a public space.