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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.
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.