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Welcome to Volume Six of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics ( ToH). It would seem that, over the course of six years, a journal editor would run out of “firsts” to report, but that appears not to be the case. For example, 2011 was the first year that ToH was indexed by Thomson-Reuters. Consequently, 2012 was the first year that ToH had an official Impact Factor, which came in at a healthy 1.49. Thomson-Reuters places ToH in the subject category COMPUTER SCIENCE, CYBERNETICS, where our journal debuted with the fifth highest Impact Factor out of 20 peers. That, however, was not the only first. Also of note, Associate Editor Will Provancher produced the first two “digest” podcasts for ToH. These are 15-minute audio podcasts that summarize each new issue. They can be played from the ToH website or downloaded to a portable device, and they offer a great way of getting an overview of an issue while driving to work or getting some exercise. If, for instance, you don’t have the time right now to read through this entire issue, then perhaps you would enjoy listening to the podcast first.
In addition to those firsts, we published 34 papers in 2012, 20 percent more than in any prior year. Not only were more papers published, but the rate of submissions edged upward as well. In the early part of 2013, that rate has been sustained. This has created a bit of a challenge: the backlog of accepted but not-yet-printed papers has grown. I recognize that this is frustrating for authors who rightfully want to see their work published as expeditiously as possible. As such, we are increasing the page count of ToH by 20 percent yet again. This year we will print approximately twice as many pages as we did in 2009, the first full year of publication. That is a lot of growth which I am quite certain reflects the vigor of haptics as a field. While it can be tough to keep up with, we will continue to take the actions necessary to clear the backlog and publish quickly. Moreover, I would like to remind authors that ToH papers are available in the Computer Society Digital Library (accessible via the journal website) and in Xplore, almost immediately after they are accepted. These papers can be cited by digital object identifier (DOI).
As such, if you are doing work in the field of haptics, I want to encourage you to submit your work to ToH! Our mission encompasses the science, technology and applications of haptics, and we welcome manuscripts in any of those areas. Something that never fails to amaze me is how broad the applications of haptics are. One measure of this is the range of special issues that have been published in just the past two years: Haptics in Medicine and Clinical Skill Acquisition, Consumer Electronics, and Human-Robot Interaction. While we don’t plan to publish any special issues in 2013, we are accepting papers for the Special Issue on Haptics in Rehabilitation and Neural Engineering to be published early in 2014. The submission deadline is April 26. If you are doing research in this important application area, please consider submitting a paper.
Will there be any “firsts” in 2013? There will indeed be at least one: ToH will be replacing its Editor-in-Chief for the first time. It has been a great honor for me to serve in that capacity over the past six years, but it is certainly time to pass the mantle. A search committee has been formed and applications are being accepted until April 1st. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many collegial and hard-working people with whom I’ve shared the ToH mission: authors, reviewers, editors, management committee, and staff.
Finally, as is our custom in the year’s first issue, it is my pleasure to announce the recipients of the Citations for Meritorious Service. The Citations recognize four individuals whose hard work and dedication exemplify the spirit of volunteerism that makes our journal a success. This year’s recipients are Rick Adams for his work as an Associate Editor, and Massimiliano Di Luca, Panadda Marayong, and Kyle Reed for their work as reviewers. Congratulations and thank you!
J. Edward Colgate