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I am pleased to announce that, upon the recommendation of a search committee, the President of the IEEE Computer Society has appointed Professor Ramin Zabih as the new Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of the IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence ( TPAMI). Dr. Zabih is well known for his research on discrete optimization techniques and their application to computer vision and medical imaging. He brings to TPAMI leadership experience as a program cochair of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition and as a guest editor and then as an associate editor (AE) of TPAMI. Over the years, I have worked closely with Ramin and seen that he has a broad view of the field, that he has very high standards, that he adjudicates matters fairly, and that he puts the needs of the community in the forefront. Taken together, I have very high expectations for the direction and success of TPAMI under his leadership. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Zabih on his appointment. His brief bio appears below.
Dr. Zabih joins TPAMI when it is in good health with 850 submissions in 2007 and 915 projected for 2008. The acceptance rate is about 24 percent. Papers in general are getting through the review process quickly with an average time of three months from submission to first decision and six months to a final decision. This compares favorably with the review cycle for major conferences. However, there is greater variance at a journal since there isn’t a hard deadline and most accepted papers undergo revisions and a second round of review. While metrics defining the importance of an academic journal are contentious, the most widely used one is the impact factor, which is the average number of times papers published in the two previous years are referenced by publications in the given year. Based on the publications tracked by Thomson ISI, TPAMI papers were cited 16,492 times in 2007 and the impact factor in 2007 was 3.579. TPAMI has the second highest impact factor of all IEEE publications; it ranks second in all of electrical engineering, second in artificial intelligence, and seventh in all of computer science.
December 31, 2008 marks the end of my term as the EIC of TPAMI and of nearly 12 years of continuous service on the TPAMI Editorial Board. I’d like to thank my predecessors who helped create an impressive journal that I have had the privilege of cultivating. I was first appointed as a TPAMI AE under Professor Rangachar Kasturi, continued under Professor Kevin Bowyer, and then served as Associate Editor-in-Chief under Professor Rama Chellappa. Under Professor Kasturi, I learned how to fairly and effectively manage the review process of a paper. Under Professor Bowyer, I learned how critical it is to have an effective process and staff. Under Professor Chellappa, I learned to how to scale the whole thing as the number of submissions soared.
There are three people that I have worked most closely with as EIC and who deserve special mention and thanks. First, when I became EIC, I selected David Fleet as the Associate Editor-in-Chief and he has been integral part of TPAMI from making strategic decisions to putting out fires. Seeing both the growth in TPAMI submissions to more than 900 manuscripts and the increasing importance of Machine Learning to TPAMI, I was pleased when Zoubin Gharamani accepted the appointment as a second AEIC. You have both been amazing. The smooth operations and reduction in review time can largely be attributed to Elaine Stephenson. From its first upload to final decision, 30-40 e-mails are sent for every paper. Elaine’s no-nonsense approach and commitment to process have resulted in a reduction of the time of a submission to first decision from seven months in 2003 to three months today. There have been two notable transitions over the past year at the Computer Society: Jennifer Carruth replaced Suzanne Wagner as Peer Review Supervisor and Kathy Santa Maria replaced Julie Hicks as the Senior Production Editor in charge of the title; their titles indicate their important roles to TPAMI and their support, which is gratefully appreciated.
A huge amount of volunteer effort goes into the TPAMI review process and a back of the envelope estimate is that over 34,000 hours (equivalent to 17 person years) are spent each year on the review process (based on three reviews, 8 hours per review, major revisions, 10 hours of Associate Editor effort, etc.). I really appreciate the hard work of the reviewers and the dedication of the Associate Editors who have to make very difficult decisions and work with the authors to improve their papers.
Finally, I’d like to thank my wife Teresa and children Bryce and Dylan for their patience and forbearance which allowed me to focus on TPAMI, often late into the night.
David J. Kriegman