January-March 2009 (VOL. 6, No. 1) pp. 1-3
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Published by the IEEE Computer Society
Virgil D. Gligor
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One of the important duties of the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE TDSC is to report on the state of these Transactions annually. In this first report, I’d like to address three areas of general interest to our readership: 1) publication outcomes for 2008, 2) plans for 2009-2010, and 3) Editorial Board transitions. I hope this report conveys a positive direction for these Transactions while at the same time suggesting areas where our community of authors, editors, and Transactions staff might focus their attention in the future.
1. Publication Outcomes. During 2008, we witnessed an anticipated leveling off in the number of submissions due to the refined clarity of the Transactions publication scope. In 2008, we received approximately the same number of submissions as in 2007, but we are publishing higher quality papers that better suit the scope of dependable and secure computing. As a result, during 2008 we accepted 16 percent more papers of distinguished quality than in 2007, most of which will be published in upcoming issues. Furthermore, the length of the average paper has increased by about 10 percent versus that of prior years. Our publication queue is currently about 55 papers, all of which have been published online upon acceptance. What can we conclude from these facts?
I believe the anticipated leveling off in submissions is the desired effect of three editorial policies established during the past two years. First, roughly 10 percent of the 2007 submissions have fallen outside the scope of these Transactions, as determined by an editorial policy enacted in December 2007 that refocused our publication scope. Our Editorial Board decided that papers of purely theoretical interest in the area of cryptography without a clear and manifest application to a specific problem of dependability or security would fall out of the purview of these Transactions; similarly, papers addressing generic systems-management problems, as opposed to specific dependability and security challenges, as well those solving device-level, as opposed to system-level, dependability and security concerns, would also be out of our publication’s scope. Submissions in these areas have been redirected to alternate relevant journals.
Second, the Editorial Board has sought to select a substantial fraction of accepted papers from the best works published in relevant IEEE conferences. I believe this decision contributed to an increased quality of submissions, and this is reflected in the increased number of accepted papers during 2008. While a clear correlation between the total number of submissions and published articles during a specific year cannot readily be made to determine a precise acceptance rate (since some of the accepted and published papers resulted from prior-year submissions and selected conference publications), our acceptance rate continues to be around 10-12 percent of all submissions.
Third, an increasing number of other IEEE Transactions (e.g., Computers, Software Engineering, Mobile Computing) and other journals have widened their portfolio of publication topics to include both dependability and security. This provides more publication outlets for potential authors—a very healthy development in our profession. It has also enabled us to better define our own journal’s scope and sharpen our focus on topics of current interest to our readership.
2. Publication Plans. Although we are currently experiencing a publication delay of yet to-be-printed acceptances accumulated during 2008, all these accepted papers have been published online, alleviating some of the concerns regarding the timeliness with which we are able to disseminate important research results. Furthermore, the Publication Board has approved a 24 percent increase in the page budget, from 272 printed pages in 2008 to 336 in 2009. This translates to at least 22 regular papers to be published during 2009, assuming at most 15 printed pages per article. To further reduce processing delays, we have decided to expand the size of the Editorial Board.
3. Editorial Board Transitions. During the past four years, these Transactions benefited from the unmatched expertise, superlative dedication, and careful work of a group of outstanding Associate Editors. The terms of service for the following 15 Associate Editors ended during 2007 and 2008: Professor Jacob Abraham, Dr. Jean Arlat, Professor Elisa Bertino, Professor George Cybenko, Dr. Elmootazbellah Elnozahy, Professor Sy-Yen Kuo, Professor Nancy Leveson, Professor Roy Maxion, Professor Brian Randell, Professor Andre Schiper, Professor Fred Schneider, Professor Bhavani Thuraisingham, Professor Kishor Trivedi, Dr. Michael Waidner, and Dr. Elaine Weyuker. I would like to thank these outstanding individuals for their commitment, hard work, and good judgment, on behalf of these Transactions. I also wish to thank them for having made my job as Editor-in-Chief a lot easier and more pleasant than I imagined when I accepted this position. I will continue to rely on their counsel regarding the submissions they are currently processing, and I’d like to take this opportunity to assure them of our community’s gratitude for their dedicated service.
The Editorial Board of IEEE TDSC is extremely privileged that the following seven individuals have agreed to serve as members of the Board: Professor David Basin (ETH Zurich), Dr. Christian Cachin (IBM Research, Zurich), Dr. Ari Juels (RSA Labs, Boston), Professor Keith Marzullo ( University of California, San Diego), Professor Atul Prakash (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), Professor Dawn Song (University of California, Berkeley), and Professor Vijay Varadharajan (Macquarie University, New South Wales). As one can see from their short biographies included below, they are all outstanding researchers in their respective areas of interest. I am certain that their prominence will help attract future submissions of sustained quality. As this select group of editors focuses mostly on the security area, I will have the privilege of inviting an equal number of editors who will focus on the dependability area to join the Board during the first half of 2009.
Finally, as my own term of service will end on 1 January 2010, the search for a new Editor-in-Chief will commence during 2009. Prospective candidates are asked to provide (as PDF files), a complete curriculum vitae, a brief plan for the publication’s future, and a letter of support from their institution or employer to Ms. Jennifer Carruth of the IEEE Publications Office (jcarruth@computer.org) by 2 March 2009. Information regarding the EIC search can be found on the Computer Society home page at www.computer.org.
Virgil Gligor

David Basin received the PhD degree from Cornell University and the Habilitation from the University of Saarbrücken. He is a professor in the Department of Computer Science, at ETH Zurich, where he holds the chair for Information Security. He is also the director of the ZISC, the Zurich Information Security Center. His appointments include research positions at the University of Edinburgh and the Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik. He was also on the faculty of the University of Freiburg in Germany, where he held the chair for Software Engineering. His research focuses on information security, in particular methods and tools for modeling, building, and validating secure and reliable systems.

Christian Cachin received the PhD degree in computer science from ETH Zurich in 1997. From 1997 to 1998 he was postdoctoral researcher at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, the birthplace of RSA and a hot-spot of modern cryptography. He has been a Research Staff Member at the IBM Zurich Research Lab since 1998, where he was involved in many projects on security and distributed systems. He has authored numerous publications in the areas of cryptology and distributed systems, holds several patents on secure protocols, and has been a frequent member of program committees of technical conferences. He is a Director of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR). His current research interests include the security of storage systems, secure protocols for distributed systems, cryptography, and information hiding.

Ari Juels received the PhD degree from University of California, Berkeley in 1996. He is Chief Scientist of RSA Laboratories.

Keith Marzullo received his PhD degree from Stanford University in 1984. He is a professor and the chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. His research interests are in fault-tolerant distributed computing and in computer forensics. He has worked at Xerox Palo Alto and on the faculty at Cornell University and the University of Tromso (Norway).

Atul Prakash is a professor in the Department of EECS at the University of Michigan. His research interests include security, computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), distributed systems, and software engineering. He has participated as co-PI in several large-scale research projects, including two NSF-funded multi-institution collaboratories, the five year Upper Atmospheric Research Collaboratory Project and the currently ongoing three year KDI-supported SPARC collaboratory project and he is the PI on a multi-faculty grant in the area of security, funded by DARPA. He is currently serving as the director of the Industrial Partnership program of the Computer Science and Engineering Division at the University of Michigan. The Antigone project, under his leadership, is exploring mechanisms for specifying and enforcing security policies in group communication systems. It has been used to support secure video multicasts of an Internet2 workshop to the participants. He has been supported by funding from the IBM Watson Research Center, Microsoft, Intel, NSF, NASA, National Security Agency, and Hitachi Software, among others. Professor Prakash has served on several program committees, including several ACM CSCW Conferences, IEEE ICDCS conference, and the IEEE Distributed Systems conference, organized and cochaired a successful workshop on CSCW systems, and served as associate program chair of several conferences.

Dawn Song received the PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley (2002). She is an assistant professor at University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining University of California, Berkeley, she was an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University from 2002 to 2007. Her research interest lies in security and privacy issues in computer systems and networks. She is the author of more than 70 research papers in areas ranging from software security, networking security, database security, distributed systems security, to applied cryptography. She is the recipient of various awards, including the NSF CAREER Award, the IBM Faculty Award, the George Tallman Ladd Research Award, the Sloan Award, the Okawa Foundation Research Grant Award, and Best Paper Awards in top security conferences.

Vijay Varadharajan received the PhD degree in computer and communication security in the UK in 1984, which was sponsored by British Telecom Research Labs. He received the electronic engineering hons degree from Sussex University, UK (1978-1981). He has been a professor of computing and Microsoft Chair at Macquarie University since 2001. He is also the director of Information and Networked System Security Research. Prior to this, he was the Foundation Chair and Head of School of Computing and IT at the University of West Sydney, Australia (1995-2000). Prior to this, he was head of Security Research at Hewlett-Packard Labs UK (1988-1995). Before this, he was research manager at British Telecom Research Labs. UK (1986-1988). Previous to this he held academic appointments in the UK (lecturer at Reading University, research fellow at Plymouth University). Professor Varadharajan has been working in the area of security for more than 20 years in various aspects, including network security, operating system security, distributed system security, application security, mobile computing security, security models and architectures, security policies, formal specification, and cryptography. He has published more than 250 papers in international journals and conferences and has coauthored and edited eight books on security, networks and distributed systems. His research work over the years has contributed to the development of several secure commercial systems. He is on Editorial Board of several journals, including the International Journal of Information Security, and ACM Transactions on Information Systems Security. He has been a member of the Board of Advisors of the Trusted Computing Platform Association (TCPA) and is on the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Academic Advisory Board (TCAAB). He has held several invited visiting professorships including the INRIA Research Labs (France), British Telecom Labs (UK), The Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (NUS, Singapore), the Indian Institute of Sciences as well as visiting scientist at Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK. He is a fellow of computing and engineering professional institutions IEE, BCS, ACS, IMA and IEAust.

For information on obtaining reprints of this article, please send e-mail to: tdsc@computer.org.