Preliminary Assessment. The sponsorship of IEEE has been instrumental in starting up CCC and in developing it into the well-respected conference it currently is. IEEE provided credibility, financial backing, insurance, and a venue for the proceedings. Those came at the cost of financial and administrative overhead and inflexibility, but the balance was positive. However, over the years the costs grew – objectively as well as in the minds of the community. At the same time the benefits became less clear, especially once CCC switched to on-line only proceedings. In fact, the IEEE sponsorship currently seems more like a hindrance than a help in disseminating the results presented at the conference, as it prevents CCC from providing open and free access to the proceedings.
Becoming a joint ACM/IEEE conference would provide some more financial flexibility but substantially increase the administrative overhead. The financial costs would remain of the same order. The open access issue would persist and possibly even become worse as ACM has been more unyielding than IEEE in this respect.
In order to avoid the financial overhead and to provide open and free access to the proceedings, becoming independent currently seems to be the only option. It would require extra effort from the community in order to collect start-up funds and get organized. A critical question is whether we care enough about the above issues and whether there are enough people willing to step forward and help with the transition.
Plan. Hard copies of this document are distributed at the start of CCC 2013. The affiliation with IEEE is on the agenda of the CCC business meeting of June 7, 2013. At the end of the discussion there will be a straw poll in which the attendees can indicate their preference among the three options listed, so as to provide some direction for the steering committee. After incorporating the feedback from the business meeting, and after hearing the outcome of the IEEE TC Board meeting of June 11, 2013, a revised version of this document will be made publicly available on the CCC web site, and announced through the CCC mailing list. Both TCMF and SIGACT will be invited to formulate a response. If need be, there will be more revisions. When the time is ripe, there will be a vote conducted via the CCC mailing list. Ultimately, the CCC steering committee will make a decision, at the latest at the 2014 meeting. Any changes would likely go into effect at the 2015 meeting.