Kate Sellar

Update on Policy Recommendations Regarding Division Recording/Streaming National Meeting Content

Blog Post created by Kate Sellar on Aug 13, 2013


During the summer of 2012, DAC and the Committee on Meetings and Expositions (M&E) drafted  - and voted to approve - several policies guiding the streaming/recording/dissemination of events occurring at ACS national meetings. Prior to asking the Board Committee on Professional and Member Relations (P&MR) to vote on the recommendations (the final step in the process), DAC and M&E distributed the recommendations to the divisions for comment. The divisions responded with enough questions on the policy to persuade DAC and M&E to ask P&MR to delay its vote, which P&MR agreed to.

The purpose of this article is to update the divisions on where things currently stand. DAC and M&E realized the policies regarding the streaming of division sessions from national meetings needed to be augmented. The two committees will be working on that matter in Indianapolis.

The remainder of this article will address questions and comments the two committees received from divisions.


Policies Regarding ACS Presentations on Demand (ACS POD)

First, we would like to review the primary policies regarding ACS Presentations on Demand as many questions/comments from divisions addressed ACS POD rather than the proposed policies on division streaming/recording national meeting content.


ACS POD is a completely voluntary program in terms of divisions - and the presenters - who wish to participate. No one will have his or her presentation recorded and posted online unless he or she provides permission.

Here is the process in brief:  The Society, primarily through the ACS POD Coordinating Editor, Jerry Skotnicki, targets symposia of interest for a particular national meeting.  Next, we share that list of symposia with division program chairs and symposium organizers so that they can (1) give or withhold permission to target the symposia, and (2) provide a supplementary list of symposia for the editor to consider targeting. This provides the Society with a top-down and a bottom-up way to generate lists of symposia from which to pull presentations.

Assuming the division provides permission to target the symposium, the next step is to seek permission from speakers participating in the symposium. The symposium will be included in the package of content recorded and posted after the meeting if a sufficient number of the participating symposium speakers provide permission to have their talks recorded. The term ‘sufficient’ is left deliberately vague, because a number of factors go into the decision to ultimately record/post the content – for example, the percentage of symposium speakers providing permission, the location of the symposium, the day and time of the symposium, and the proximity of other targeted symposia, to name a few. All of these factors have an impact on production costs, which need to be managed.

Update on Status of M&E and DAC Recommendations for Recording/Streaming National Meeting Content

P&MR Votes to Make ACS POD a Member Benefit; Pricing Experiment Ends Effective with Availability of Indianapolis ACS POD in Mid-October

Several division comments addressed revenue sharing on the part of divisions that charge an access fee regarding streamed or recorded content. That issue has now become a moot point. P&MR recently voted to end the ACS POD pricing experiment. Instead, ACS POD content will become a member benefit, meaning, it will be freely available to all members as part of their member dues. This transition from the pricing experiment to ACS POD as a member benefit will become effective with the debut of the ACS Indianapolis POD, which is expected to be posted in mid-October. ACS members will be advised of this change in September and October.

Consequently, there are no ACS POD revenues coming in to the national ACS. That negates the need for a policy governing how the Society shares ACS POD revenue with divisions, and from reciprocity perspective, would argue for the elimination of the revenue sharing from the divisions back to the Society.

Some divisions commented on the recommendation regarding the duration of how long they (the divisions) choose to make available national meeting content they unilaterally record, or take ownership of after the conclusion of the initial 18-month ACS POD posting. Divisions will decide how long to provide access to their recorded content. DAC/M&E recommends that it not exceed 18 months. But it is merely a recommendation from DAC/M&E to the divisions.


Why does DAC recommend 18 months? Primarily because of feedback received during the policy formation process several years ago. Many task force members felt that presenters would not want presentations remaining online in perpetuity. They said that the scientific process is iterative, and, for example, what someone considers good science in 2013 might be revealed as something less a few years later. To help ease the anxiety regarding that prospect, DAC endorsed the recommendation to post presentations for a period of no more than 18 months -- as a general guideline.

On a related note, though not mentioned in any comments received by divisions, DAC and M&E have noted audience members taking photos or capturing video of presentations within national meeting session rooms. The two committees will discuss this matter to determine what, if any, new policies should be created to manage the problem.

For more information, please contact John Katz, DAC Staff Liaison (j_katz@acs.org).