Beginning of last year (2021) I was invited to join the organizational committee of the Hybrid Systems Computation and Controll (HSCC) conference for the next instance in 2022. I had never done this before, so the learning curve was quite steep, also considering that information on what the tasks are and how to communicate with people were often hidden. To ease the process for future generations of publication chairs, I wanted to communicate some information and provide hints on what to do when. Note that this information might be specific for HSCC, but I assume it can at least be generalized to other conferences which publish via ACM.


The general tasks of a publication chair are, as the name suggests mostly related to organizing the publication, i.e., managing the process and ensuring that all information is available in time. This incorporates:

In the following I will shed a bit more light on these tasks.

The publisher

ACM provides a general guide on how the publication process works. Nonetheless, questions might arise and it makes sense to establish contact as early as possible since it usually takes a while to find the right person to adress for questions.

The staff at ACM was very helpful and patient in answering all my questions I had during the process. Note that you are probably not the only one with questions and they probably have other stuff to do, so consider that it might take a couple of days to get an answer sometimes.

Central questions

Some publication-related questions that are worthy considering in an early stage

  • What kind of publication is aimed for? Online-only or also printed versions?
  • If you go for printed, how many copies are needed?
  • What are the costs and is there a budget? HSCC was fully sponsored by SIGBED, so for an online-publication there were no additional costs.
  • When is the conference?
  • Discuss the CFP - once it is fixed, you have to stick with it. This also means communicating page limits, deadlines, templates and details such as usable LaTeX-packages.


Deadlines are coordinated with the whole PC, it makes sense to maintain some flexibility here since things go wrong when time is tight.

ACM communicates some deadlines within their guide, I added about a month, just to be sure.

How to get sources to the publisher

ACM advises using TAPS (see here for another guide/experience report on TAPS). The system is a more recent development but worth it. The tasks in the end boil down to

  • adding the meta-data to the system via an XML-file. A very important note here: if you make mistakes in the XML-file or want to add things, only upload new data.
  • periodically checking if people have uploaded their sources, maybe communicating errors to the TAPS-development team.

Apart from that the system handles the communication and interaction with the authors. Since the system is relatively new, not all LaTeX-packages are supported, ACM maintains a list of packages that are usable - these should be communicated in the CFP. Keep in mind, that the system does not validate page limits.

How to add badges

Badges can be added after all paper-sources have been collected. I recommend finding the person responsible for this a bit earlier, they can provide instructions on how the process works. Essentially, metadata from papers that are eligible for a badge need to be communicated along with the decision on what kind of badge should be added (ACM provides some already, see here). This can be helpful to communicate with the awards-committee.

Titlepage and preface

I was a bit surprised, but the titlepage should be designed by the publication chair, there is no template from ACM. Luckily I found the old template for HSCC (link will follow, if I find it again), which I adjusted to the current instance. The titlepage and preface are send as a pdf to the publisher.

The preface is probably written by the general chairs, you should remind them to do this. Also, make sure the sponsors are correct.