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SIGCHI Data Collection, Access, and Use Policy

The SIGCHI Data Collection, Access, and Use Policy governs the process of data collection and access in support of the activities of the SIGCHI Executive Committee (EC), and/or SIGCHI sponsored conferences’ steering committees, and/or the individual instances of SIGCHI sponsored conferences. It details how volunteers are to collect data, who can access data, how data is archived, and how data retention may be executed.

Policies by which this policy abides:

This policy applies to all SIGCHI volunteers including those serving in roles in:

  • SIGCHI EC and its committees
  • SIGCHI sponsored conference steering committees
  • SIGCHI sponsored conference organizing committees

Examples of types of data:

  • Membership data
  • Conference registration data
  • Submission and reviewing data
  • Survey data


  • Respect people’s privacy, safety, and agency.
  • Data should be collected in service of ACM SIGCHI and not purely personal benefit, including for personal research or monetary gain.
  • The purpose underlying the collection and accessing of data must be for an explicit purpose in support of SIGCHI. 
  • Data should either be available to everyone (e.g., collected and released under an open license – see Data Ownership and Licensing subsection below) or only be accessible to SIGCHI volunteers with a need to know (i.e. access to data is necessary to undertake their SIGCHI volunteer duties).

Data Collection

  • Data collection should occur with approval of a member of the SIGCHI EC, a conference’s Steering Committee, or a conference’s General Chair(s).
  • Data collection must be transparent to all in terms of purpose, access, and use.
  • For surveys, respondents must be informed beforehand of the intent to release the data under an open license as described under the subsection “Data Ownership and Licensing”. There must be a clear explanation of what data will be shared, and how that data will be shared. Respondents must then be asked for explicit acknowledgement via a checkbox, with a mechanism to opt out of having their data included in an open dataset.

Data Ownership and Licensing

  • Data is by default owned by ACM. 
  • SIGCHI EC will serve as the organization that holds archived data for the ACM. See Guidelines on Running a Survey.
  • In order for data to be released publicly, it must be under an open license such as Creative Commons (e.g., CC-BY-NC).
  • Data that is to be released under an open license must be cleaned/sanitized before release. Data cleaning must include (a) removal of any personally identifiable information (e.g., email addresses); and (b) removal of data based on opt outs.


  • If compute/analysis on native data collection system is not possible, raw data can be downloaded to a volunteer’s personal computer and retained there during active data analysis.
  • Raw data should not be stored on a volunteer’s personal computing device or personal cloud storage for more than 30 days except during active data analysis.
  • If data is needed by a volunteer for a longer period than 30 days but the data is not being actively analyzed, it should be removed promptly after 30 days, and re-downloaded later when needed.
  • Data containing email addresses should not be stored locally.
  • When a volunteer’s role is over, they should retain no copy or record of the data.

Accessing Data

  • There must be a clearly defined SIGCHI need to know and use for the information that is to be accessed – i.e. access to data is necessary to undertake their SIGCHI volunteer duties. These decisions should not be made in isolation, but should include consultation with a member of the SIGCHI EC, a conference’s Steering Committee, or a conference’s General Chair(s). 
  • If accessing data, the volunteer understands that the data is only to be used for the specified purpose. This means it should not be shared with others who do not have the same need to know and should not be used for purposes that are not in line with that predetermined use.

Reporting Data

  • Reports based on collected data can be created and published on the web in locations such as SIGCHI blogs, the SIGCHI website, conference websites/blogs, or Interactions magazine. Reports in these venues are not considered peer-reviewed research, and may include information about data that was not released publicly, as part of sharing back to the SIGCHI community. All planned reports should be discussed with a member of the SIGCHI EC, a conference’s Steering Committee, or a conference’s General Chair(s) prior to writing and submission. 
  • Any report must be published by the authors with ACM as their primary affiliation (host institution can be in the author note). 
  • Regardless of who initially collected the data, there are no prohibitions on publishing peer reviewed research based on data that was released under an open license before any analysis and manuscript writing commences. 
  • If reports on collected data are to be published in any ACM publication, including ACM Sponsored or co-Sponsored Conferences, International Conference Proceedings Series (ICPS) proceedings, journals, magazines, books, and newsletters, researchers must conform to the ACM Publications Policy in data collection and all aspects of the research process.
  • When a volunteer’s role is over, the volunteer can not report on any data that they collected or accessed in the past, though they can be part of a report with another volunteer with access to that data.