The European Association for Theoretical Computer Science has around 1000 members, including many European TCS researchers and everybody who attended conferences like ICALP and ESA in a particular year. Traditionally, EATCS has had a close relationship to scientific publisher Springer, who publishes the proceedings of EATCS’s “flagship conference” ICALP.
A recurring theme at the EATCS general assembly meetings for the past many years has been the publication model for ICALP. Should “we” continue with Springer, or move to an open-access publisher like LIPIcs? After considerable deliberation, a ballot among EATCS members was held in late 2011.
For more background:
- EATCS general assembly at ICALP 2010 on my blog.
- EATCS general assembly at ICALP 2011 on my blog.
- EATCS ballot on Luca Aceto’s blog.
I have been absolutely thrilled that the EATCS council decided to send this question to its members. Well done. I want to see more of this.
Unfortunately, the outcome is not what I would have hoped. The EATCS council required a quorum of 25% of EATCS members for the ballot to be valid. I think this is a reasonable requirement – the ICALP publishing model is an important decision that should be safely moored.
Alas, the quorum was not reached. On 9 November 2011, EATCS president Burkhard Monien informed the EATCS that out of the 1094 members, only 260 had voted. And that’s just slightly less than 1 out of 4. It’s 23.8%.
I am, of course, somewhat miffed that 834 EATCS members don’t seem to think that the way their research is published is sufficiently important to execute three or four mouse clicks to make their voice heard one way or the other. After all, it’s only about publication counts, accessibility, dissemination, ethics, prestige, jobs, cvs, and most everything else by which we are evaluated.
However, I also want to let you know that the majority of the 260 votes were in favor of LIPIcs. EATCS will observe the further development carefully.
So at least we know the opinion of those EATCS member who care. Next time we just need to remember to inform intelligent adults of the importance to actually vote.
EATCS could have been at least 1 vote closer to a quorum. I tried to vote, but could not because renewal of memberships was closed… Did anyone else encounter this problem?
>>Στις 12/10/2011 12:22 μμ, ο/η Rasmus Pagh έγραψε:
>>I recently got an e-mail that my EATCS membership expired. I have been a member for many years,
>>and would like to extend it. According to http://www.eatcs.org/index.php/how-to-join EATCS does not
>>accept new members because of the ballots. I find it strange if I am not able to extend my membership
>>and vote. Is this really the case?
> Dear Rasmus Pagh,
> Indeed, the President of EATCS asked to froze the list of members for four weeks.
> You will be able to renew your membership on November 4th.
> We would really like your comprehension for this issue.
> With best regards,
> The Secretary Office of EATCS
> Efi Chita
As an e-voting researcher who is also a member of EATCS, I was surprised at the opaqueness and outcome of this vote. In fact, were this a regional or national referendum in a country with a sketchy history in elections, I would be highly suspect at the outcome.
One would think that professional societies like EATCS, the ACM, and the IEEE would be the first international organizations interested in voter verifiable election schemes, but so far my recommendations to some of these organizations have fallen on deaf ears.
E.g., while the IEEE approach us about potentially using our systems for membership elections, they instead initially chose to use a closed source, third party commercial voting system. Now I understand that they have developed their own primitive closed source voting system called vTools.Voting (http://wiki.vtools.ieee.org/bin/view/Voting/WebHome). Disappointing.