refereed journal with open access?

Dear Lambda Readers,

I'm to write a short paper on my experience in systems programming with Standard ML (should it be interesting for others). To make a difference it would be nice to have a refereed paper and to have it available for free. JFP and Software Practice & Experience retains the copyright. Do you know any other journal that allows free downloading?

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There are two, I think. LMCS is by far the most prestigious, but they won't take a programming experience paper. Two that might are:

The Wikipedia category Category: Open access computer science journals has all three.

Gold and green

Note that there are two kinds of open-access journals: the gold ones, which allow free access to all their published content, and the green ones, which keep their own copies behind a paywall but allow (either openly or tacitly) the authors to post copies to their own websites. This latter practice can be very useful for a paper that has been severely cut and/or boiled down to meet space limits: the original, more discursive version with all the examples or raw data or what not, can be the one posted to your web site.

Aiming low

Of tacitly allowing authors to post preprints: This latter practice can be very useful...

Well, I'd call it just about tolerable. I don't know of a journal in computer science where authors who put up preprints actually get harassed by the publisher, and it is ethically dubious to insist on copyright assignment contracts that cover versions of documents from before the editing process began, ie. ones into which the publisher put in absolutely no work. It might be legally dubious too.

I'm glad to hear it

I was speaking generally.

Pale green has a list of larger publishers, giving their policy on author's hosting copies. Most commercial publishers in computer science are light green, which means they allow authors to host preprints, but not versions that have been edited; they don't list the ACM, but I think this is their policy too. Springer Verlag is the distinguished dark green exception, allowing authors to host the camera-ready version that the journal typeset. I didn't recognise any computer science publishers among the sad, skulking band who don't explicitly permit authors even to host preprints.

They list the ACM

They list the ACM - as "Association for Computing Machinery"

Dark green: IEEE & ACM

OK, thanks for checking. So both the IEEE & ACM allow authors to host final camera-ready copies. I didn't realise that.


Thank you, Charles and John.

CUFP might be applicable too

CUFP might be applicable too (and seems to be growing positively)

Don't forget conferences

Since no one else seems to have said this explicitly, I want to make a statement that is "obvious" to folks who have been through CS grad school but may not be obvious to you:

In computer science, the real prestige publication venues are conferences. For instance, ICFP might be the perfect venue for your work. Then there are workshops, which are a step down in visibility but impose less stringent requirements on papers. The ML Workshop series is a relevant example of that. In general, journal papers are more of a "service to the community" and aren't the main means of disseminating new ideas; they come along afterward and fill in the details. If you just want to write a "short paper," you might actually not be in the market for writing a journal-style paper.

For all of these options, for all practical purposes, you can keep your own personal version of your paper available online for free forever.