How is TSE doing? I am happy to report that the journal continues to maintain its excellent reputation as a well-cited archival journal. The recent figures for journal impact from Thomson indicate that TSE has continued its steady improvement moving from 1.503 in 2004 to 1.967 in 2005 and 2.132 in 2006, making it the most highly rated journal in software engineering. The impact factor is a measure of the frequency with which the "average article" in a journal has been cited in a particular year. It is calculated by dividing the number of current citations to articles published in the two previous years by the total number of articles published in those years.
I believe that this rise can be attributed to our steady improvement in the relevance and quality of the papers that are submitted and finally accepted for publication. This means that we have to be extremely selective about the papers that we accept for publication. The acceptance rate for 2007 was around 10 percent.This is the first bimonthly issue of TSE. As mentioned in my editorial in October, we have decided to change from 12?monthly to 6 bimonthly issues per year. The intention, however, is not to reduce the content. We aim to publish issues that are healthier with more papers per issue, and that are easier and less costly to produce. Bimonthly issues will not penalize authors or readers. We already have electronic publication (Rapid Posting) on acceptance, the maximum increase in paper publication delay will be a month, and all subscriptions include both online access and printed copies of the journal.
Paper Submission and Reviewing
TSE continues to receive a healthy selection of papers covering a wide variety of topics relevant to software engineering. Submissions are up, with more than 350 papers submitted during the calendar year 2007 compared with 302 in 2006. Even with this impressive number of submissions, the journal has additional publication capacity. I encourage all authors in the software engineering field to submit their best work to TSE. Furthermore, please note that, although there is a recommended maximum length for regular papers submitted to TSE, there is no length limit.
The current reviewing process is rigorous and efficient. Despite receiving around one paper submission every day, we have managed to keep our average times from submission to first decision for 2007 to 3 months, to final decision to 6?months, and to publication to 13 months.
Board members are responsible for selecting reviewers, overseeing the reviewing process, and making the final recommendations regarding acceptability. The Board is the foundation upon which TSE is built and it is essential that we have the right composition of software engineering experts as members.
I would like welcome those editors who joined the editorial board last year: Antonia Bertolino, Ross Jeffery, Patrick McDaniel (see October issue), and Leon J. Osterweil, (see below for his brief biography). My sincere thanks to those editors who retired from the board last year: Annie Anton, Tom Ball, Marsha Chechik, Bill Frakes, Dan Hoffman, Pankaj Jalote, Robyn Lutz, Dieter Rombach, and Avi Rubin. These colleagues have voluntarily given their time and effort to the task of paper management and peer review, helping to maintain the reputation of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering as a first-class journal. I am very grateful for their support.
Finally, I am pleased to have this opportunity to thank all of the superb staff and volunteers at the IEEE who have helped me during the past year. The day-to-day operations of TSE are handled by the following dedicated staff at the IEEE Computer Society Publications Office in Los Alamitos, California: Mari Padilla, Transactions Assistant; Kathy Santa Maria, Production Editor; Suzanne Wagner, Peer Review Manager; and Alicia Stickley, Publications Production Manager.