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Guidelines for Opinion Commentaries

Ubiquity Magazine's former BLOG@UBIQUITY has been renamed "Opinion Commentaries." This is where our editors and industry experts post their reflections and reactions to the computing world that is emerging all around us. All Ubiquity content is open access publications, available to any and all visitors.


Opinon contributors should explore the new spaces of possibilities emerging around us and speculate about how those spaces might be influenced by computing technology and policies and practices. The audience includes members of ACM and the public who want orientation and interpretation of computing technology trends, a pretty diverse audience who are not necessarily computing professionals.

What We Look For

Ubiquity opinon pieces should satisfy these goals:

  • Orientation toward the future of computing
  • Speculations about what might happen under the influence of computing technology
  • Creative speculations – new ideas and interpretations
  • One (bold) main claim – stated in the title
  • Grounding – supporting reasons and evidence – for the main claim
  • Images and links to interesting supporting materials
  • Exciting and believable
  • Beginning of a conversation – an invitation for more

We recommend that contributions be about two pages when printed, or about 700 words. Speak in active voice and do not be afraid of first person sentences where needed. Give proper attribution to your sources, such as quotes, documents, videos, or speeches.

Every opinon piece is an experiment to see what reactions, including none, it provokes in your readers. Opinions that do not gather interest will receive no comments or negative comments. The editors watch what readers like and we read their comments, looking for topics and ideas that provoke interest. Opinon pieces that provoke no interest quickly fade into obscurity. Opinon pieces that provoke interest become starting points for interviews, longer commentaries, and occasionally symposia.

Avoid Self Promotion

We welcome discussion of your own experience and work when it supports your main claim. We ask however that you avoid coming across as excessively promoting yourself, colleagues, students, or organizations. Disclose connections that might affect reader interpretations such as you are a member of the board of directors of an organization you are discussing.

Editorial Oversight

Opinon pieces are reviewed by the editors before publication.

Being an Opinion Contributor

If you would like to submit an opinon piece for Ubiquity, please make a pitch.

2018 Symposia

Ubiquity symposium is an organized debate around a proposition or point of view. It is a means to explore a complex issue from multiple perspectives. An early example of a symposium on teaching computer science appeared in Communications of the ACM (December 1989).

To organize a symposium, please read our guidelines.


Ubiquity Symposium: Big Data

Table of Contents

  1. Big Data, Digitization, and Social Change (Opening Statement) by Jeffrey Johnson, Peter Denning, David Sousa-Rodrigues, Kemal A. Delic
  2. Big Data and the Attention Economy by Bernardo A. Huberman
  3. Big Data for Social Science Research by Mark Birkin
  4. Technology and Business Challenges of Big Data in the Digital Economy by Dave Penkler
  5. High Performance Synthetic Information Environments: An integrating architecture in the age of pervasive data and computing By Christopher L. Barrett, Jeffery Johnson, and Madhav Marathe
  6. Developing an Open Source "Big Data" Cognitive Computing Platform by Michael Kowolenko and Mladen Vouk
  7. When Good Machine Learning Leads to Bad Cyber Security by Tegjyot Singh Sethi and Mehmed Kantardzic
  8. Corporate Security is a Big Data Problem by Louisa Saunier and Kemal Delic
  9. Big Data: Business, technology, education, and science by Jeffrey Johnson, Luca Tesei, Marco Piangerelli, Emanuela Merelli, Riccardo Paci, Nenad Stojanovic, Paulo Leitão, José Barbosa, and Marco Amador
  10. Big Data or Big Brother? That is the question now (Closing Statement) by Jeffrey Johnson, Peter Denning, David Sousa-Rodrigues, Kemal A. Delic