Pages: pp. 145-146
Readers, Writers, Reviewers, and Editors. Four important constituencies that make the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering ( TSE) tick. My first two months as TSE Editor-in-Chief have been a rewarding learning experience, and I have had many interesting conversations with authors, reviewers, and associate editors. But alas, nobody has written to me identifying themselves as readers! I realize that many authors, referees, and editors do also read TSE, but are there no readers other than those?
Dave Parnas, TSE’s Emeritus Associate Editor, often reminds me that TSE should serve its readers above all others. I agree with him, although I also realize of course that it is authors and reviewers who keep the TSE ecosystem running. However, even as authors, reviewers, and editors complain that bibliometrics dominate our research assessments, very few of us also complain that our readers are not assessing what we write. Why is this so?
If you are a reader, are you satisfied with what you are getting in each issue of TSE? Are you reading at least some of the papers? If so, what papers in 2009 did you like most and why? If we are to reduce our reliance on citation numbers and impact factors, perhaps we should look for other forms of assessing significance and influence? What better than getting the qualitative feedback from readers—researchers and practitioners—who have benefitted from reading papers published in TSE?
The above are not rhetorical questions. As I mentioned in my editorial to the previous issue, I would like to understand the incentives of readers, writers, reviewers, and editors, and reward each accordingly, to recognize excellence and improve performance. Please do write to me to tell me what you like and dislike about TSE and its published papers. You can email me of course (email@example.com), but why not try posting a comment on to the TSE Forum (http://www.computer.org/portal/web/tse/forum)?
Special Section on Exception Handling
This issue contains a special section on exception handling, 11 years after TSE first published a special issue on this topic. Exceptions are often the cause of serious failures in software systems, and software engineering research has delivered many innovations that help deal with exceptions. I’d like to thank guest editors Alessandro Garcia, Alexander Romanovsky, and Valérie Issarny for putting together this section of four fine papers, which they introduce in their own guest editorial that follows.
Last but not least, I would like to welcome Professor Bev Littlewood to the TSE Editorial Board. Bev has a distinguished research record in software engineering, and has also served TSE with distinction as a TSE Associate Editor in the past. I am delighted that despite being “semi-retired” (his words, not mine), he continues to offer his professional services so generously to the community.