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One of the key roles of the the IACR is the review and dissemination of scientific publications. In the past three years, there has been an intensive discussion of publication options, in which several alternatives have been reviewed thoroughly.
At the end of 2012, the IACR has signed a new publication contract with Springer for a 4-year period (2013-2017); IACR continues to publish the proceedings of our flagship conferences and workshops in Springer's Lecture Notes in Computer Science series. This new contract makes substantial progress towards broader access to our publications and reduces the cost of publications. However, the IACR Board believes that the area of scientific publications will undergo further changes in the next years, in particular towards open access. In addition, the expansion of our field (more than 1200 submissions and more than 250 publications per year) has resulted in a steadily increasing reviewing load. Some other scientific communities have updated their publication models with a shift towards journal publications.
The IACR Board understands that any change to our publication model has major implications on our members and on the cryptographic community at large. We also have learned that changing this model would be complex and time consuming: in order to be ready for a new publication model in 2018, a new strategy would need to be in place by mid 2015.
In view of this, the IACR Board has decided to start an open discussion on the future of IACR publications. In order to focus this discussion, Nigel Smart has drafted a radical proposal, that would involve moving towards a journal publication model. This proposal has been outlined at the rump session of Eurocrypt'13 and has been further refined based on comments received. The reason for working with a detailed document is that this seems the best way to make sure that all issues are identified and detailed solutions are proposed and compared.
It should be fully understood that this document is a strawman proposal: it does not reflect the view of the IACR Board; the document has also not been discussed with the steering committees of the workshops. Its only intention is to start an open discussion. In particular, the Board welcomes detailed comments and alternative proposals for the future of IACR publications.
We are looking forward to hearing from the community.
IACR-International Association for Cryptologic Research