I am honored to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing (TDSC) and grateful to Professor Ravi Iyer for his vision, initiative, and successful efforts in bringing TDSC to the level of prominence it currently enjoys within the dependability and security communities.
The IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing has a unique role among the premier publications in computer science and engineering. As initially conceived by Professor Iyer, it attempts to bridge the technical interests of two mature research disciplines for the benefit of both. Most of us who believe that both communities need a joint publication have been encouraged by the success of TDSC to date. At long last, we have a first-rate publication that exposes the advances in dependability to the security community and viceversa. In fact, I believe TDSC has accomplished more that this necessary step: It has inspired joint work across the two disciplines, as witnessed by several articles published to date. My belief is it will continue to serve these two domains and retain its position as one of the prominent publications in computer science and engineering in the future. To help assure this, several initiatives, mentioned below, were agreed to at the last meeting of the Editorial Board.
A key factor for any research publication is the strength, prestige, and diversity of the technical interests of its Editorial Board members. A strong Editorial Board is very likely to attract high-quality submissions as most potential authors would want prominent members of their community to shepherd their work toward timely, high-quality publications. To date, TDSC has benefited from the work of such a board. To ensure continuity and enhance diversity of technical interests, we need to continue to attract Editorial Board members from all over the world. To this end, we will encourage editorial work by a growing pool of young researchers in various research laboratories and universities from the US, Europe, and Asia. In particular, for the past four years, we received a large number of submissions from Asia, which is a strong indicator of the rapid technical growth of our fields in that region. Better Editorial Board representation from that region will be beneficial to TDSC.
An important goal of TDSC has been the bridging of technical interests of the dependability and security disciplines. This requires periodic assessment of the TDSC scope, namely, the expansion of some technical areas and the refinement of others. One of the current initiatives toward this goal has been to publish extended versions of the best papers of the two key technical conferences in these two areas: the Dependable Systems and Networks conference and the Security and Privacy symposium. This initiative will be extended to encompass publications from new areas that truly reflect joint concerns of dependability and security. For example, such cross-cutting and largely unexplored problems can be found in the areas of survivable systems and networks and human-computer interaction. At the same time, we will refine the scope of TDSC in other areas, such as cryptography and systems management. Although cryptography comprises an important set of tools for both dependability and security, research in the theory aspects of cryptography have traditionally benefited from publication in other well-established journals. In cryptography, TDSC would best serve its readership and potential authors if the scope of publication is restricted to techniques that are manifestly used to solve a specific problem of a dependability or security application. This redefinition in scope will also benefit potential authors of articles in cryptography as they will receive more timely feedback on their work from the Editorial Boards and reviewers of journals specializing in cryptography. Similarly, the Editorial Board has agreed to refine the scope of publication in the systems and network management areas to only include publication of articles reflecting specific dependability and security problems as opposed to more general concerns that are better addressed by publication in journals that specialize in that area.
The success of TDSC, as that of any journal, is based on the quality of the papers it publishes. In large measure, publication quality depends on the insightful suggestions and constructive criticism offered by reviewers to prospective authors. Unlike conferences, where the review process is, by necessity, limited, journal submissions undergo a rigorous evaluation by reviewers who volunteer their time and exercise their technical skills for the advancement of our profession. Yet, there are few tangible, direct rewards for reviewing journal submissions despite the criticality of the review process in all publication decisions. I believe that it is time to recognize reviewers for the quality of their work, professionalism, and dedication. To this end, I will ask the Editorial Board and the IEEE Publications Office to nominate the distinguished reviewers (e.g., most thorough, constructive, timely reviews) of the year and ensure that the institutions which employ them become aware of their substantial service to the profession.
Finally, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Catherine Meadows of the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., and of Professor Neeraj Suri of the Technical University, Darmstadt, as the Associate Editors-in-Chiefs of IEEE TDSC. Their brief biographies appear below. While Dr. Meadows and Professor Suri are well-known researchers in formal methods and dependable embedded systems, respectively, they bring a wealth of experience in systems design and evaluation in both government and corporate worlds. Above all, they will continue to bring sound judgment to the Editorial Board and help resolve situations where I may have a conflict of interest.
Virgil D. Gligor