Ballot questions for the IACR demo election

February 2010

Election Fingerprint: z1oRqXUyfvmsMH5s5VEd0gaa/wiwX5GG3t+RhzkfwGc

As part of the debate about changing the IACR election system to electronic voting, we established a demo election for the entire IACR membership, using the Helios e-voting system . The goal of this demo election is to solicit more feedback from the IACR membership about the move to electronic elections, and also to help us in evaluating the suitability of Helios for the purpose of future IACR elections.

In addition to this goal, we would like to take this opportunity to conduct a straw poll about several issues currently under discussion by the board. Below is some explanation about the ballot questions. We stress that this is only a straw poll and the results of this vote will NOT be interpreted as formal approval or rejection by the IACR membership.

If you are an IACR member for 2010, you should have received an email with a user-ID and a password that would let you participate in these demo elections. You can experiment with the demo voting booth even without a user-ID or a password, off of this link . (The user-ID and password are only needed in order to actually cast your vote.) Below is the list of ballot questions in these demo elections.

1-2. Electronic voting

The first question asks whether or not the IACR should "in principle" change its election system and move to electronic voting. The second question asks whether or not Helios in particular is an appropriate system for future IACR elections. See this page for more information.
  1. Should the IACR keep its current voting system, based on double envelopes sent via postal mail, or switch to electronic voting over the Internet? (Yes/No)
  2. Is the Helios voting system, used for these demo elections, appropriate for the purpose of holding future IACR elections? (Yes/No)

3. The Journal of Cryptology

The Journal of Cryptology is currently distributed by postal mail to IACR members, and is also available online via the IACR Reading Room at Springer. Distribution of a journal on paper is rather costly, so the next ballot question asks whether you think we should do away with it.
  1. How do you prefer to access the Journal of Cryptology? (choose one)
    1. Both hard copy and web access, as is done today
    2. Electronic form only

4. Conference proceedings

The proceedings of the IACR conferences and workshops are currently made available to attendees in a book distributed at the event, and also online via the IACR Reading Room at Springer (and via the IACR archive two years after the event). Some proceedings are also distributed on USB sticks at the event. Distribution on USB sticks only is cheaper than printed books (but obviously distributing both books and USB sticks is more expensive). This ballot questions is intended to gauge the preferences of our members as to the format that we should use for that purpose.
  1. In what format would you like to obtain your copy of the proceedings when you attend an IACR conference or workshop? (choose one)
    1. A printed book, as done today
    2. Only on a USB stick (cheaper than a book)
    3. Both a printed book and a USB stick (more expensive than just a book)
    4. I don't need a copy at the conference. Web access to the proceedings is sufficient

5. Open-access publications

Some scientific organizations are moving toward open access publications, in which scientific articles are freely available on the web. The cost of the publication is typically paid for by the authors, or by the scientific organization through membership fees.

One concern with moving toward this model is that it may hurt the impact-factor ranking of our publications, as tracked by various bodies. This, in turn, could have an effect on the academic career of the our members, since hiring and tenor decisions in many universities are influenced by this impact-factor ranking.

  1. Do you think that IACR should move in the direction of open-access publications, where all our publications are freely available on the web? (choose one)
    1. No, the current publication structure of the IACR is fine
    2. Yes, the IACR should move in the direction of open-access publications
    3. Yes, move toward open-access publications, but only if the move does not endanger the impact-factor ranking of our publications

6. Access to IACR publications

The last ballot question is intended to gauge how useful our members find the different distribution channels for our publications.
  1. How do you typically access IACR publications? (mark all that apply)
    1. Read them in hard copy from the proceedings or the printed journal
    2. Via the IACR reading room at Springer
    3. Via the IACR archive
    4. Via other means (CDs, USB sticks, etc.)
    5. I rarely read IACR publications