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It is with mixed feelings that I am writing this farewell note to the readership of the IEEE Transactions on Computers (TC). I have been involved with IEEE TC for nearly 15 years (the longest time associated to any institutional activity over my professional life), starting as an Associate Editor, followed twice as an Associate Editor-In-Chief (EIC) and then for the last four years as the EIC. It has been a glorious time and a unique experience that has allowed me to make a contribution to TC as the premier peer reviewed publication of the IEEE Computer Society. And now with grey and fewer hairs, my appointment is set to expire; so, it is time for a new leadership to embrace this journal.
Over these years, I have participated to many innovations that have been introduced as best practices in TC: we have moved to a totally electronic submission/review process in which authors, reviewers, editors and publishers can symbiotically work to improve all performance metrics of the rigorous review process required by TC. For example the average delay from manuscript submission to notification of first decision has dropped from nearly six months (as in the mid 90’s) to 62 days in 2010. Over the same time period, we have experienced a nearly 200 percent increase in submissions,, while retaining a healthy publication queue and a remarkably low acceptance rate (approximately 25 percent). This has been made possible by the dedication of all parties, but certainly by enlarging the pool of reviewers and Associate Editors.
In a sense, TC has outgrown itself: its scope and coverage has extended well beyond the traditional computing arena. Emerging areas across the wide spectrum of computer science and engineering are now well represented by leading experts on the Editorial Board and published issues have had a profound impact on our profession as demonstrated by the steady increase in impact factor. Moreover, the reach of TC has been extended to a global community; it is with no surprise that the last 12 months have seen for the first time in history the number of non-USA contributors to exceed the 50 percent mark. TC has retained its distinction in quality, while encompassing a large research base with highly innovative ideas and sense of direction. The twentieth century (heralded as the digital century) came to an end a decade ago, and the twenty first century has already provided us with grand challenges. TC has undertaken few of them. It is with great pride that every year, by developing a series of special sections, we expand and foster the interests of our readership on new topics, reflecting the on-going quest for technical advances that so strongly permeates our field.
It is with this pioneer and unique spirit that Professor Albert Zomaya has been selected as the next EIC of TC. As a distinguished researcher with a diverse system background, Professor Zomaya is well positioned to further lead the rapid growth of TC in the next few years. He is also the first EIC of TC with a non USA affiliation, a further sign that TC is a truly international publication. I wish him the very best and I trust that all of you who have supported me throughout my tenure as EIC, will continue to be positive contributors to this remarkable publication. It is often said that the future will hold the best times as full of extraordinaire expectations. For TC, all pieces in the mosaic are in place; with an inspired leadership, dedicated staff, and an outstanding Editorial Board, I am confident that such promise will indeed be a reality. Again, thank you for all these wonderful years.