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Editor’s Note


Pages: pp. 1-1

It is a pleasure to write this Editor’s Note at the beginning of the seventh year of the publication of the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. Last year saw the publication of 69 articles in 720 pages, which represents an increase of 9.5 percent over the year of 2008. The number of submissions grew to 241, representing an increase of 6.2 percent over 2008, but our time to first decision actually declined slightly, to 74 days, although, as the journal continues to grow, the average time from submission to publication remains high (average 10 months). This growth, and our ability to handle it, is the result of tremendous cooperation and hard work on the part of authors, reviewers, associate editors, and staff. I thank every one of you for making that possible.

In addition to our regular papers, in 2009, we published two special sections containing expanded journal versions of the best papers from, respectively, three workshops that formed part of the Phylogenetics Program at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge, United Kingdom, from September to December 2007, and the Fourth International Symposium on Bioinformatics Research and Application (ISBRA 2008). I want to thank guest editors Daniel Huson, Vincent Moulton and Mike Steel for their hard work in making the Phylogenetics special section so successful, and likewise Ion Mandoiu, Yi Pan, Raj Sunderraman, and Alexander Zelikovsky for their hard work in so nicely putting together the ISBRA 2008 special section.

As has occurred in each of the last three years, we expect that our seventh year will see an increase in the number of papers submitted and published. Given this and the relatively long acceptance-to-publication time, plus the cost of publishing in print, one major question that we need to address in 2009 is whether TCBB should push for a different publication model, for instance online-mostly, but still requiring a journal subscription. Any comments and reactions on this are welcome and may help guide us to a decision.

As the journal evolves, new members have been added to the editorial board during 2009. Two were already welcomed in previous editorials. In this one, I wish to warmly welcome the latest addition to the editorial board, Professor Ralf Zimmer, from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany. I very much look forward to working with him alongside the remaining Associate Editors in the coming years. Some more additions to the editorial board will be made in 2010, driven by the need to minimize the burden put on volunteers who serve generously on IEEE journals, particularly in areas witnessing an often important increase in their number of submissions and where we therefore need to strengthen expertise.

Again, I want to thank all of the authors, reviewers, associate editors, guest editors, and staff who have worked so hard to keep TCBB as a venue for the highest quality research in a broad range of topics in computational biology and bioinformatics, and I look forward to the continued growth and success of TCBB in our seventh year of publication.

Marie-France Sagot


About the Authors

Bio Graphic
Ralf M. Zimmer received his master’s degree in computer science in 1986 from the University of Bonn and the PhD degree in computer science and applied mathematics from Kiel University. He was a member of the research staff and project leader in the Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing at the German National Research Center for Information Technology in Sankt Augustin (now part of the Fraunhofer Society). He headed the research group on Algorithmic Structural Genomics, which performs scientific research on protein sequence analysis, structure prediction, alignments and phylogenies, expression data analysis, and metabolic and regulatory networks. Dr. Zimmer was a visiting scientist at the National Cancer Institute (NCI/NIH) in Washington, DC (1995), and at Stanford University (1997, 2005/06) for research sabbaticals. In September 2001, he became a full professor of practical informatics and bioinformatics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich, Germany. He is responsible for the joint bioinformatics programs of the Technical University (TUM) and the LMU München. From 2001-2009, he was director of the steering committee of the Bioinformatics Center Munich. Since 2009, he has been a spokesperson for an international research training group of the TUM, LMU, and Moscow State University.
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