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Happy New Year! We are very glad that 2004 has been another exciting year for IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems ( TPDS). TPDS has gone through a very successful transition to Manuscript Central. We now handle all of the paper submissions, reviews, and correspondences through the system with greatly improved efficiency. The system allows associate editors and the IEEE Computer Society staff to track the status of each paper and send out timely reminders automatically. It has dramatically improved the review process. As a matter of fact, it has worked so well that now the average time between the paper submission and the first decision made by our associate editors after the reviews are back has been reduced to approximately three months in 2004. This is a significant achievement due to the tremendous efforts of our reviewers, IEEE Computer Society staff, and associate editors. It is indeed a far cry from just a couple of years ago. At that time, we faced a large backlog of papers with a significant delay in our review process. I am really proud of what we have accomplished since then. It adds to my belief that if we all work together, we can accomplish a lot. I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to everyone involved in this process.
We have also reversed the downward trend in the submission of regular manuscripts to TPDS in the last few years and experienced a tremendous turnaround. The number of regular manuscripts submitted to TPDS has jumped almost 45 percent from 2002 to 2003. In 2004, we have seen another significant increase, even though we do not have the final count yet. Amidst all of these increases, we still scheduled one special issue for February 2005. The subject of the special issue is "On-Chip Networks." It will be edited by L.S. Peh and T.M. Pinkston. There will be three special issues in 2006 with deadlines in 2005. Please check their announcements for details. The subjects of these three special issues are: 1) "Algorithm Design and Scheduling Techniques (Realistic Platform Models) for Heterogeneous Clusters," edited by H. Casanova, Y. Robert, and H.J. Siegel, 2) "Localized Communication and Topology Protocols for Ad Hoc Networks," edited by S. Olariu, D. Simplot-Ryl, and I. Stojmenovic, and 3) "High-Performance Computational Biology," edited by N. Amato.
TPDS held its annual editorial board meeting last year, again in conjunction with the International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems (IPDPS), in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Participating associate editors have made many constructive and useful suggestions to improve the quality and the operations of the journal. It also provided a venue for all associate editors to exchange their experiences and ideas on the management of the review process and the handling of paper submissions. The next editorial board meeting will be held at the International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems (IPDPS) in April, 2005, in Denver, Colorado. If you have any suggestions on what the board needs to consider, please forward them to any associate editor or me.
There are five associate editors who have successfully completed their terms since our last announcement. They are Ashwini Nanda (IBM), Esmond Ng (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Richard Schlichting (AT&T Shannon Laboratory), Yuanyuan Yang (SUNY at Stony Brook), and Wei Zhao (Texas A&M). We would like to thank them all very much for the tremendous job they have done for TPDS, as well as the time and effort they contributed to the journal. In the meantime, we would like to extend our welcome to five new associate editors who are just on board. They are David A. Bader (University of New Mexico), Kai Hwang (University of Southern California), Andrea Pietracaprina (University of Padova, Italy), Jang-Ping Sheu (National Central University, Taiwan), and Denis Trystram (ID-IMAG, France).
In this issue, we also list all of the reviewers who have contributed to the review process in 2004. They spent a great deal of time and effort reviewing and selecting the highest quality papers for TPDS. I would like to express my deepest appreciation for their contributions.