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Editorial: A New Editor in Chief and the State of the Journal


Pages: pp. 1-2

Time for change…

Alas, my term of office from January 2006 to December 2009 as the Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering has ended. It has been a great honor to serve and I have very much enjoyed it. It provided me with an interesting overview of the field and an opportunity to make contact with the many researchers and practitioners who contribute to TSE. Despite the onerous responsibility—and it is hard work—I shall miss it.

It is my great pleasure to introduce the new Editor in Chief, Professor Bashar Nuseibeh, who takes over from 1 January 2010. Bashar is a professor in computing at the Open University in the United Kingdom and Chief Scientist at Lero—the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre. He is a gifted researcher with an extensive portfolio of major research contributions. Bashar is a very active member of the software engineering community and a loyal supporter of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, having served as an associate editor on the Editorial Board for the last four years. The journal is in excellent hands, and I am delighted that Bashar agreed to undertake this responsibility.

State of the journal

During my term of office, I have endeavored to attract more submissions, to improve the quality of the published papers, to widen their relevance and appeal, and to strengthen the archival nature of the journal. I am pleased to report that the journal is in a very healthy state, and the excellent reputation of TSE has continued to strengthen, in terms of both submissions and citations/impact.

There has been a steady increase in submissions, starting from 302 papers in 2006, 356 in 2007, 412 in 2008, and finally 418 in 2009. This annual increase in submissions reflects an encouraging interest by authors in the selection of TSE as their journal of choice for publication. As a complement to the submissions figures, those for impact and citations reflect the growing reputation of TSE among readers as a good source of relevant results. Thomson reports that citations have risen dramatically from 3,165 in 2005, 3,203 in 2006, and 3,672 in 2007 to the latest figure of 5,449 for 2008. Impact factor is a measure of the frequency with which the “average article” in a journal has been cited in a particular year. The results for TSE impact have similarly risen from 1.967 in 2005, 2.132 in 2006, and 2.105 in 2007 to the latest figure of 3.569 for 2008.

Thanks to the hard work and expertise of our Associate Editors and reviewers, the reviewing process remains efficient yet rigorous. The current acceptance rate for the journal is around 12 percent. The average time from submission to first decision is around three and half months, from submission to final decision is about seven and half months, from acceptance to electronic publication (Rapid Posting) just over a month, and from submission to paper publication is around 14months. For a particular paper, the time from submission to a decision varies because of many factors, including the length of the manuscript, the workload of the editors involved, and the workloads of the various reviewers.

Editorial Board

On behalf of the software engineering community, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of the Associate Editors who served as members of the Board during my term of office. The Editorial Board is the foundation upon which TSE is built. Board membership is both an honor and a duty. Despite many other commitments, these colleagues of international repute voluntarily give of their time and effort, taking responsibility for selecting reviewers, overseeing the reviewing process, and making the final recommendations regarding acceptability. They are instrumental in maintaining the reputation of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering as a first-class journal. I am very grateful for their unstinting support and expert advice; it has been a privilege to work with them.

Like me, a number of Associate Editors reached the end of their terms of office in December 2009: my sincere thanks to Jo Atlee, Shing-Chi Cheung, Rance Cleaveland, Prem Devanbu, Susanna Donatelli, Matt Dwyer, Wolfgang Emmerich, Mark Harman, Audris Mockus, Hausi Muller, Bashar Nuseibeh, Wilhelm Schaefer, Neeraj Suri, Dick Taylor, Sebastian Uchitel, and AlexWolf.

IEEE Publications staff

Finally, my sincere thanks to all of the superb staff and volunteers at the IEEE Computer Society who have supported me over the years. The day-to-day operations of TSE are handled by Debby Mosher at Allen Press and the following dedicated staff at the IEEE Computer Society Publications Office in Los Alamitos, California: Joyce Arnold, Publications Coordinator; Kathy Santa Maria, Senior Production Editor; Hilda Carman, Associate Manager, Peer Review and Periodical Administration; and Alicia Stickley, Senior Manager, Publishing Services.

And finally ...

In 2009, TSE celebrated its 35th anniversary! What of the future? One of the major opportunities in the offing is the prospect of migrating toward digital editions, with mostly online publication. Other challenges and opportunities will undoubtedly present themselves as the world of publications changes. I believe that TSE can look forward to many more successful years under the stewardship of Bashar, and I wish him well.

Jeff Kramer

Outgoing Editor-in-Chief

About the Authors

Bio Graphic
Bashar Nuseibeh received the First Class Honours BSc degree in computer systems engineering from the University of Sussex in 1988, and the MSc and PhD degrees in doftware engineering from Imperial College London in 1989 and 1994 respectively. He is a professor of software engineering and chief scientist at Lero—the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre. He is also a pProfessor of computing at the Open University, United Kingdom, where he served as Director of Research (2002-2008), and he is a visiting professor at Imperial College London and the National Institute of Informatics, Japan. Previously he was a Reader at Imperial College London and head of its Software Engineering Laboratory. His research interests are in software requirements engineering and design, software process modeling and technology, security and privacy, and technology transfer. He has published more than 130 refereed papers and consulted widely with industry, working with organizations such as the UK National Air Traffic Services (NATS), Texas Instruments, Praxis Critical Systems, Philips Research Labs, and NASA. He has been principal or co-investigator on research projects funded by the European Union, the UK Research Councils, and industry - valued at over 20 million Euros. He is Editor Emeritus of the Automated Software Engineering journal, having served as its Editor in Chief between 1995-2008. He was chair of the steering committee of the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) between 2007-2009, and has served as program chair of ASE ’98, RE ’01, and ICSE ’05. He is currently chair of IFIP Working Group 2.9 (Requirements Engineering), and has served as vice-chair and acting chair of IFIP Technical Committee 2 (Software: Theory and Practice). He received a 2002 Philip Leverhulme Prize, an ICSE 2003 Most Influential Paper Award (for a paper published in ICSE 1993), a Senior Research Fellowship from the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering and Leverhulme Trust (2005-2007), and a number of “best paper” awards (including a “best application paper” award from the International Conference on Logic Programming). In 2007, he was elected an Automated Software Engineering Fellow, and in 2009 he received an IFIP Outstanding Service Award. He is a fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), and is a Chartered Engineer in the United Kingdom. He can be contacted at
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