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New EIC Editorial

Beng Chin

Pages: pp. 4-5

The IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering ( TKDE) has been the leading journal in the database, data mining, and knowledge engineering communities, with its broad coverage of topics making it unique among other journals. My goal is to maintain the broad coverage of TKDE while, at the same time, making it an even more attractive journal compared to others having a narrower focus. The outgoing editor-in-chief and the past editors-in-chief have contributed much to TKDE, and I thank them for providing me with a firm foundation to build on. Moving forward, there are remaining challenges, and here I outline some plans that I hope to put in place to address those challenges during my term as the journal’s editor-in-chief.

The quality of a journal depends on the quality of papers it publishes, which, in turns, depends on the quality of the submissions it receives. It also depends on the editorial board of the journal, which I will discuss in some detail in the next section. It is important for TKDE to attract papers from top senior researchers. Their presence, as either editors or authors, will give TKDE the visibility it deserves.

2. Diversity and Strengths of Editorial Board

The quality of a journal also depends on its editorial board. Not only should the editors be respectable, they must also be committed and dedicated, and they must take pride in their duties and contributions to the community. I will engage the editorial board and seek their views on issues related to the journal, and I will work with the editorial board as a team to put TKDE firmly in the position of a premium journal. My intent is to encourage all on the board to feel and have a greater sense of ownership of the journal.

I would like to have greater diversity in my team of editors, especially in terms of coverage of areas. Ideally, we should have editorial members who can handle a wide variety of submissions. I would also like a better balance between academicians and industry researchers, as well as between senior and junior researchers. For the latter, the goal is to inject new blood, for, as we all know, young, energetic, and promising researchers can bring in new perspectives and ideas.

3. Turnaround/Submission-to-Publication Time

IEEETKDE has Manuscript Central, an excellent electronic system for managing and tracking papers. Reminders to reviewers are also automatically generated. While this has kept the turnaround and submission-to-publication time acceptable, I believe it can be further reduced. This requires editors to be responsible and responsive, and to appreciate the review load of reviewers, and for the reviewers to be on time.

4. Diversity of Areas

Besides traditional research papers, I would like to see more system papers. I would also like to attract more submissions of experimental and survey articles.

4.1 Experimental Papers

The VLDB 2008 Conference has introduced a new track for experiments and analyses papers to facilitate in-depth studies, which are analytical or empirical in nature, and comparisons of existing techniques. In the past, such papers were likely to be rejected for the lack of novel contributions. I believe it is healthy and necessary for our community to consolidate a mature/maturing research area, and papers that systematically evaluate techniques that shed further insights on their effectiveness are important. I would like to see TKDE providing an avenue for such papers. I will have a discussion with the editorial board to identify the criteria for evaluating such papers.

4.2 Survey Articles

Many survey articles are well read and cited. TKDE accepts survey articles and TKDE will actively continue to solicit high quality surveys.

5. Making Codes and Data Sets Available: A Step toward Experimental Repeatability

The SIGMOD 2008 Conference introduced the experimental repeatability requirement (when IP is not an issue) to ensure that results presented in the submissions are indeed repeatable. This implicitly indicates that the algorithms have been correctly implemented. VLDB 2008’s Experiments and Analyses Papers track, on the other hand, aims at comprehensive comparisons of existing techniques. I would propose that both code and data sets, whenever possible, should be made publicly available. They can either be submitted as supplemental data to TKDE or be made available on authors’ web sites. This arrangement has a number of advantages: 1) It allows experimental studies to be conducted in a more serious manner, with a comparison being made against what has been previously reported using the original code and same data sets. 2) It is also a step toward realizing experimental repeatability since authors can verify and report where experimental results are indeed repeatable.

6. Page Limit

TKDE currently has a page limit of 14 (double column) printed pages, which is sufficient for a paper to be self-contained. Authors will be encouraged to provide additional appendices online on TKDE’s web site, with appropriate references listed in the papers.

Beng Chin Ooi


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