In-cooperation Conference Guidelines

SIGCOMM “in-cooperation” status application memo & guidelines
The SIGCOMM EC, May 2021
This memo is intended to outline the process that event organizers interested in obtaining "in-cooperation" status with SIGCOMM should follow, as well as offer guidelines towards ensuring a successful outcome.
ACM and its SIGs (including SIGCOMM) lend the name of the organization to events that are fully sponsored by other non-profit incorporated organizations. In-cooperation status is available to research-oriented and education-focused events, as both are core components of the SIG’s mission, and extends to events that are either in-person, virtual, or hybrid.
In-cooperation status gives an event access to the SIGCOMM community (SIG members, distribution and social media) as well as to the scientific reputation of SIGCOMM through the SIG’s endorsement by the in-cooperation label. Conversely, it is an opportunity for the SIG to grow its community, increase its diversity, and reach people it may not otherwise be able to reach. This is also a mechanism for the SIG to expand into new research domains broadly related to networks and data communication. 
ACM itself provides guidelines and an online form (the TMRF) to request in-cooperation status. Because the approval of an event as in-cooperation represents an official endorsement by the SIG, we expect both events and their organizers to abide by the SIG’s standards of scientific and educational excellence and its ethics principles. Below we provide a list of requirements that must be met by an event seeking in-cooperation status, followed by a set of guidelines that will increase the chances that the SIGCOMM Executive Committee will approve a request. Note that you may not use the ACM or SIGCOMM names or logos on materials promoting the event (websites, CFPs, etc.) prior to the approval of the proposal and its accompanying TMRF.
Requests for in-cooperation status should include both a TMRF and a proposal that discusses how the conditions listed below will be met.  Requests are approved on a year-by-year basis and must be renewed every year.  Organizers of an event soliciting approval of in-cooperation status for the first time are strongly encouraged to informally contact the SIGCOMM EC prior to submitting their request.
In-cooperation status may be denied for any number of reasons, including date overlap with SIGCOMM-sponsored events, late application for in-cooperation status, our assessment of event quality, and lack of relevance to the SIG's mission. Meeting the requirements identified below as well as following the additional guidelines that are provided can help maximize the odds of approval of a request for in-cooperation status.
Core requirements

  • The event shall not be run by a for-profit organization (exceptions must be authorized by the SIG Governing Board Executive Committee and the SIGCOMM Executive Committee);
  • Registration discount for ACM or SIGCOMM members must be equivalent to the 'member' discount offered, if any;
  • Attendance policies of the meeting (e.g., open, invitation-only, etc.) must be specified.
  • Compliance with all ACM’s and SIG’s ethics and anti-harassment policies must be enforced;
  • A formal request must be made for every instance of a recurring event (i.e., approval for a given event applies only to the single occurrence of the event for which the proposal and its TMRF were submitted);
  • As required by ACM, meeting organizers must provide, within three months of the event, a short report to the SIGCOMM EC summarizing the event. The report should include information on how the event unfolded, including statistics on attendance, submissions and acceptance (when relevant), mentoring activities, a summary of its closing budget, and a brief assessment of the success of the event.

Additional requirements and guidelines

  • The event’s focus and scope should not duplicate those of an existing SIGCOMM event, while dates should be chosen to complement the SIG’s existing portfolio of conferences;
  • Research-oriented events such as conferences and workshops should implement double blind reviewing with explicit guidelines and processes to ensure high-quality reviews;
  • SIGCOMM should be advertised at the event and participants encouraged to join the SIG;
  • Diversity in the organization and program committees should be promoted and implemented. Organizers are expected to be proactive in ensuring diverse and balanced representation from across gender, ethnicity, and geography in those committees. Proposals soliciting in-cooperation status are expected to include a statement on how this will be realized, and preferably provide a full list of organizers.  Note that the list of organizers must be provided before submitting the TMRF;
  • A diversity and inclusiveness program (possibly with the SIG’s help) should be offered, including:
    • Travel grants for junior faculty, students, and under-represented minorities;
    • Mentoring program for students and junior faculty.
  • In the case of research-oriented events such as conferences and workshops, it is expected that the vast majority, e.g., 75% or more, of submitted papers will be free from any association with members of the organizing or program committees;
  • An expectation that the event will experience reasonable growth over the next few years, be it in attendance or submissions.  This reflects the intent that initial approval of in-cooperation status is to acknowledge an active community and help it grow;
  • For research events, an acceptance rate that is reflective of solid quality control through the review process.  There are obviously differences across events, and it may not be feasible for, say, regional events to enforce the same standards as more established international ones, but demonstration that a strong quality control process is in place is essential;
  • Papers should preferably be made available in the ACM digital library, and if possible be “open access" or reasonably accessible (note that the ACM OpenToC service offers a relatively easy option to meet this requirement);
  • Give evidence that the event is “academic” in its objectives, not-for-profit, and not organized for the benefits of an individual or a small group of individuals, or similarly a company or group of companies;
  • Registration fees should be reasonable and mostly aimed at covering costs so as to foster the broadest possible attendance.

Renewals of in-cooperation status follow a mostly similar process that starts with the submission of a request in the form of a proposal followed by a formal TMRF.  The proposal must include the same information as in the original proposal, but also include an assessment of the extent to which the event’s association with SIGCOMM has contributed to its success and growth/health.  The latter includes information such as:

  • Increasing or stable participation in the event by SIGCOMM members and others;
  • Increasing or stable submissions (when applicable) from SIGCOMM members and others;
  • Creation and/or strengthening of a SIGCOMM presence in a specific community or region;
  • For research (as opposed to educational) events, number of past submissions, acceptance ratios, and relevant citation indices.  The latter two are mainly meant as quality metrics with the understanding that different types of events will have different targets.