Publishing in SIGDOC Proceedings

Link to the ACM Digital Library

Authors with proposals accepted for presentation at the annual conference are given the opportunity to submit their work for publication in the SIGDOC Proceedings. SIGDOC offers four different types of submissions for the conference proceedings:

  1. Research Papers, 7-10 pgs.;
  2. Experience Reports, 4-6 pgs.;
  3. Industry Insights, 2-3 pgs.; and
  4. Extended Abstracts (includes poster, panel, and workshop submissions), 1-2 pgs.

Full descriptions of each type are available on the yearly conference website.

Page Contents

Why Publish with SIGDOC?

Authors are encouraged but not required to submit their conference presentation for publication in the double-blind peer-reviewed SIGDOC Proceedings. Published within the expansive and highly-accessed ACM Digital Library (ACM currently has over 100,000 registered members), SIGDOC proceedings papers gain high visibility, allowing opportunities for interdisciplinary readership that traditional publication avenues in our fields not indexed in larger libraries and databases might not provide. For context, here are some bibliometrics as tracked by ACM in their Digital Library for SIGDOC Proceedings alone (as of April 2022):

  • Publication years: 1982 to present
  • Total publications: 1,689
  • Average citation per article: 4
  • Downloads (cumulative): 578,562
  • Downloads (last 12 months): 34,900
  • Average downloads per article: 375

The Workflow

If you submit your draft for review in the proceedings, please follow the workflow below. Microsoft Word is required for the publication process. SIGDOC does not accept LaTeX submissions.

Step 1: Prepare your draft for review

  1. Download the latest Microsoft Word Submission Template for ACM Papers and carefully read instructions for styling your paper in the template. You’ll need to adhere to these styling guidelines when submitting your draft for review.
  2. Compose your paper in the text editor of your choice. If you’re composing in Microsoft Word, we recommend you compose in the template.
  3. View the ACM Submission Template in Word’s Draft view and be sure styles are visible in the left margin. Instructions for setting up Draft view correctly are available in section 1 of the template.
  4. If you composed in an editor besides Microsoft Word, copy and paste your paper into the template. Consider using Word’s Paste Special… function to paste unformatted text to be sure that styles aren’t inherited from another text editor.
  5. Apply styles to every component of your paper. Every component in the paper should have an appropriate ACM style applied. A table of available ACM styles is available in section 2.1 of the template.
  6. If you have questions as you prepare your paper in the template, reach out to the Technical Editor by email:

Step 2: Submit your manuscript for review using your author role in EasyChair

  1. The Program Committee will confirm receipt and send the manuscript for review.
  2. If accepted, you’ll receive an email confirming your acceptance and asking you to submit a revised manuscript following reviewer recommendations.

Step 3: Submit your finalized manuscript using your author role in EasyChair

  1. The program committee will confirm receipt and send the manuscript to the Technical Editor.
  2. The Technical Editor will apply the ACM Master Article Template to validate and prepare the manuscript for submission to The ACM Publishing System (TAPS). You will not need to be involved in this process.
  3. If the Technical Editor has questions about the manuscript, they will reach out directly to authors for clarification.

Step 4: Set author rights

  1. The Technical Editor will notify you when you’re ready to complete the ACM Author Rights Management process.
  2. You’ll receive an email prompting you to complete the rights management process. Failure to complete this process by the deadline will result in your manuscript not being published.

Step 5: Review and approve manuscript proofs

  1. The Technical Editor will notify you when you can view your PDF, eReader, and HTML proofs in TAPS.
  2. Corrections should be made using the Word document downloaded from TAPS, not your locally stored file.
  3. Corrections can be submitted to the Technical Editor for uploading into TAPS, and the process above will be repeated.

Step 6: View paper in the ACM Digital Library

  1. Shortly before or during the SIGDOC conference, the Program Committee will announce the release of the conference proceedings in the Design of Communication (DOC) section of the ACM Digital Library. You’ll receive a link to view the complete proceedings.
  2. Share your paper with colleagues and friends from the ACM Digital Library.

Why use the ACM Submission Template?

The program and executive committees are aware that the ACM submission template can be challenging to use. There are two reasons we require you to use the submission template for draft submission and review.

Using the template ensures accessible cross-platform versions of your paper are produced for the ACM Digital Library from the same source file. Here’s how a recent email message from the director and board chair of the ACM Digital Library explained the value of providing full content in multiple accessible platforms:

Full Text Content is now a part of our Journal Production process and results in integrated HTML versions of full text. These new responsive, accessible, and interactive versions will become our standard practice moving forward. This version allows for article navigation, reusable formulas, interactions with tables and many other features including future growth by leveraging the underlying XML.

You can view an example of the way accessible versions are generated in the ACM Digital Library by looking at the Best Paper award winner for 2021, Henry Covey’s “Disaster Documentation Revisited: The Evolving Damage Assessments of Emergency Management in Oregon.” Select the “View all Formats” button to view the PDF, eReader, and full-text HTML versions. We hope you see that the work of integrating your paper into the ACM submission template is worth the effort it requires.

The technical editor will take care of preparing and validating papers submitted using the ACM submission template for input into The ACM Publishing System (TAPS). After submitting your draft for blind peer review, receiving feedback from reviewers, and submitting a revised draft, you will not need to validate your paper for TAPS ingestion. This is a significant change from previous years. While you may engage in back-and-forth conversations with the technical editor to address questions or issues, you won’t be involved in the process of negotiating with the Word macros or submission system. Once the technical editor ingests your paper into TAPS, you’ll be able to review and approve your draft for publication. Revisions can be made through the technical editor.

How to Use the ACM Submission Template

A video tutorial about how to use ACM’s Microsoft Word template for the SIGDOC proceedings. Closed captions are available upon playing the video. You can also download the video transcript.

Citations and References

SIGDOC adheres to ACM’s order of citation ACM reference style. This means that in-text citations should be numbered sequentially in square brackets, and the list of references should be numbered and placed in order of citation. A number of examples are included in section 4 of the template.

Double Check Citations and References

To avoid confusing yourself (and us), please be sure that every citation and reference is correctly entered, ordered, and numbered before applying styles. Pay careful attention to instructions on the web link above and in the template. When in doubt about a reference format, use your best judgment to follow patterns from the sample references provided.

Composing Tools

We believe the easiest way to apply styles is to compose your document in your text editor of choice, then copy and paste content into the ACM Submission Template while viewing the template in Word’s Draft mode. Draft mode makes it easy to see how to apply ACM styles. If you’ve not used Word’s Draft mode before, instructions for setting up your document to show styles are available in section 1 of the template.

Anonymize Initial Draft for Review

When submitting your manuscript draft for initial review, don’t include your name, institution affiliation, or email address. Instead, include placeholders for those items to ensure your paper is anonymous. Since your name will be unassociated with the paper, you can cite yourself by name if it’s not obvious that you’re citing yourself.

Add Author Information on Final Manuscript

Don’t forget to replace placeholders with author name, institution, and email address when submitting the revised manuscript for publishing.

Add CCS Concepts and Keywords

Include CCS concepts and author-supplied keywords in your draft for review. Doing so helps the technical editor see any issues that are emerging as authors are composing texts for final submission. Instructions for identifying and inserting CCS concepts are included in section 1.3 of the template and summarized here:

  1. Use the indexing support tool to identify concepts. Adding 2-3 concepts is customary.
    1. Be sure to fully classify (include as many concepts as are applicable) before generating code.
    2. When selecting a CCS concept, you’ll be asked to determine the concept’s relevance (high, medium, or low).
  2. Use the < > Generate Code button to create the two text blocks you’ll need to insert
  3. With the CCS TeX Codes showing, select the “Show the XML only” option to copy the XML and insert as directed into your document’s properties.
  4. With the View CSS Display text showing, copy the text and insert as directed into the body of your document.

Apply Styles Correctly

Standard paragraph text that follows a heading (Head1, Head2, etc.) should apply the PostHeadPara style. Otherwise, standard paragraph text should apply the Para style. A full list of styles is available in section 2.1 in the submission template. One way to check that your paper is correctly styled is to be sure that the Normal style is not applied to any element in your paper. If an element has the Normal style applied, it should be tagged with the appropriate ACM style.

Converting Word Count to Page Count

The single-column Word template make it difficult to determine a correspondence between “word count” and the “page count” of the final PDF document in the proceedings. The following table illustrates — in general terms — a correspondence between word count and final PDF page count. These estimations do not include figures, tables, or other elements typically found in an article, and this was exclusive of references or appendices.

Word Count Page Count (approximate)
1,300 words 2 pages of formatted, two-column output.
2,000 words 3 pages of formatted, two-column output.
3,100 words 4 pages of formatted, two-column output.
4,000 words 5 pages of formatted, two-column output.
7,000 words 8 pages of formatted, two-column output.
8,000 words 9 pages of formatted, two-column output.
10,000 words 11 pages of formatted, two-column output.

Digital Accessibility

The SIGDOC Program Committee asks all authors to work on improving the accessibility of their submissions. For more information, please consider using SIGCHI’s Guide to an Accessible Submission.

How to Write Alt Text and Why

ACM is committed to publishing in an accessible format (see ACM’s statement on accessibility) that permits all its readers to have the content presented to them in a thorough and useful way. To carry out this mandate, ACM needs the assistance of its authors to help achieve this goal. Authors are required to provide “alt text” (alternate text) for floats (images) in their content so that those with disabilities can be given descriptive information for these figures that are important to the work. This benefits the author as well as it broadens the reader base for the author’s work. The descriptive text will be displayed in place of an image if an image cannot be loaded, and the alt text provides in-depth float descriptions to search engine crawlers, which helps to properly index the images.

To provide access to floats, the author must create the alt text for these elements in their document. Every float should have alt text provided unless it is solely decorative (decorative images still require alt text but authors can use null alt text (“”) or the check the decorative box).

How to Write Alt Text

(Adopted from article on

  1. Do not duplicate float caption text as it detracts from the normal flow of your article and can, potentially, confuse the reader.
  2. Describe the float as specifically as possible without going over 125 characters. Note: Focus on context and purpose. You can’t describe everything so let the context and function of the image guide your description. Alt text is, first and foremost, designed to provide text explanations of float images for users who are unable to see them.
  3. Keep it (relatively) short. The most popular screen readers pause alt text at around 125 characters, so it’s advisable to keep it to that character count or less (source:
  4. Use your keywords. Alt text provides you another opportunity to include your target keyword on a page, and thus another opportunity to signal to search engines that your page is highly relevant to a particular search query. While your first priority should be describing and providing context to the image, if it makes sense to do so, include your keywords in the alt text of at least one float on the page.
  5. Avoid keyword stuffing. Focus on writing descriptive alt text that provides context to the float and if possible, includes your target keyword, and leave it at that.
  6. Don’t include “image of,” “picture of,” etc. in your alt text. It’s already assumed your alt text is referring to a float, so there’s no need to specify it.

Additional Resources

Resources for how authors should describe their image to create the “alt text” for their float elements:

  • Image Description Guidelines
  • MathML Cloud is an open source tool that creates math content that is accessible to all readers. MathML makes mathematical equations accessible to everyone by eliminating the ambiguity of a verbal description of a picture.

Insert Alt Text in Microsoft Word

(Adopted from The University of Minnesota’s Accessible U):

In Microsoft Word: Add your image to the Microsoft Word document. Now, choose Format > Picture from the dropdown menu (or right click on the image and select “Format picture” from the menu). Click “Alt text”, one of the options on the side bar. You will want to add the full alt text in the Description field and a shorter title in the Title field. The title can help the reader decide whether or not they want to read the full description.

Technical Support

SIGDOC is happy to provide authors with technical help. Please direct your technical query to the Technical Editor at If ACM technical support is required, it will be coordinated with the Technical Editor.

Citation Style and Reference Formats

Please refer the following formatting guidance provided by ACM, when preparing your proceedings manuscript.