I'm a sophomore undergraduate studying CS and I look forward to getting into research in future. Is there any advantage of being a student member of societies like ACM, IEEE, etc? I think it might help me expose myself more in the area of Computer Science and research in general but I'm still not sure. I realised that I already have access to digital library through my uni. How can I maximise the benefits I derive from my membership if I choose to become one?

For example, the yearly student membership cost of ACM where I study (India) is ~$25. It says:

  • Access to the full ACM Digital Library
  • Access to online courses, ebooks and training videos,
  • Electronic subscription to Communications of the ACM magazine
  • Access to ACM's highly targeted Career and Job Center -Subscription to XRDS, ACM's all new student magazine
  • Electronic subscription to ACM CareerNews (twice monthly)
  • ACM e-news digest TechNews (tri-weekly)
  • ACM's monthly online newsletter MemberNet
  • Free "acm.org" email forwarding address plus filtering

I don't know how much these subscriptions really benefit me.

  • 3
    I know I'll get access to digital library and timely newsletters along with it as well. You presumably have such access already via your university.
    – user2768
    Oct 27, 2020 at 10:23
  • 3
    I don't know how much these subscriptions really benefit me. Some of those benefits will already be available via subscriptions your university already has. Take a look at what's already available to you and consider what a subscript adds.
    – user2768
    Oct 27, 2020 at 10:25
  • 2
    Strongly related How useful are professional society memberships?
    – Nobody
    Oct 27, 2020 at 10:28
  • @user2768 I wasn't aware, I looked and found that we do have access to the digital library. Is there anything else that I can expect to already have?
    – Iceberry
    Oct 27, 2020 at 10:30
  • 1
    @Iceberry Is there anything else that I can expect to already have? Look and discover.
    – user2768
    Oct 27, 2020 at 10:32

3 Answers 3


It depends on your local access. It sounds from comments like your library gives you access to the Digital Library, in which case that is not an additional benefit.

However, the "online courses, ebooks, and training videos" includes access to O'Reilly's learning platform. There is a wealth of useful books and materials in there, including most (if not all) O'Reilly books, as well as many from Manning and other publishers. That alone may make it worth the fee (and I am increasingly adopting books available on this platform as the textbooks for my courses, so students can access them for the flat fee of an ACM student membership). You should check if you can get a membership without the DL - US students can, and the digital library is the only difference (non-DL memberships still include the O'Reilly platform, for instance). In my opinion, O'Reilly alone makes it worth the fee.

As you progress in your research, the discount for conference attendance also becomes useful. Many ACM-sponsored conferences require students to be ACM members in order to get the student discount (in part because asking the ACM "is this person a student member?" is a lot easier than verifying individual proofs of student status).


I can only address ACM. I would think that for an undergraduate, the benefits are small, though the fees are also very small. However, if you don't otherwise have access to the ACM digital library, a membership can come with a subscription (costs a bit more, though).

The digital library has just about everything published by ACM and its special interest groups, so is pretty valuable for research and some kinds of learning.

However, it is also likely that you university library can give you access for free, though it will be a bit less convenient as you have to go through a librarian.

There might be additional advantages if your university has a local student chapter depending on how active it is.

You can read more: https://www.acm.org/membership/membership-benefits

  • My university does have an ACM chapter but I'm not a part of it. Is gaining access to the library beneficial for someone at my stage? Can I extract something out of it?
    – Iceberry
    Oct 27, 2020 at 10:20
  • 1
    That depends on how much and how widely you want to read. It is more valuable for someone who wants eventually to get into research.
    – Buffy
    Oct 27, 2020 at 10:29

It helps me with conference registration. For my accepted research papers, conferences do care if you have a membership or not. I publish several research papers every year so this kind of membership saves some of my chair money. For example:

Registration Categories:

IEEE Member including (IEEE Student Member) GBP 250

Non-IEEE Member GBP 300

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