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Editor-in-Chief 2011 End-of-the-Year Report
2011 was another busy year and my fifth year of serving as the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of the IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement (TIM). As in the past year, we focused on improving the technical quality of our published papers through a rigorous and timely review process. I would like to take this opportunity and highlight some of our accomplishments during 2011*.
- We continued our “Best Practice” of identifying and recognizing our best reviewers by sending them individual ”Thank You” letters and certificates of appreciation, and for some a follow-up letter to their supervisors or department chairs.
- Published approximately 4000 pages.
- Continued publication of the annual I2MTC Special Issue in May.
- Continued working diligently on publishing accepted papers within twelve month of initial submission.
- Several I&M Society-sponsored Special Issues were granted and several were published as well.
- Continued rapid-posting of papers. See “Early Access” at (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?punumber=19). Papers appearing in the Early Access list can be properly cited.
- Continued monthly posting of TIM’s review-process and timeliness metrics. See the I&M Society web site (http://www.ieee-ims.org/main/) and on the transactions page click on “Current TIM Metrics”.
- The “upcoming issue table-of-contents” continues to be posted on the Society’s Transactions web page in order to assist authors in better tracking the publication date of their papers.
Review-Process Timeliness Metrics – At the time of writing this message (September 2011) our reviewer-process timeliness metrics for regular papers during the past twelve months are: average days to initial decision, 64; average days to final decision, 111; percentage of submitted papers that are accepted for publication, 41%; percentage of papers with initial decision rendered in 120 days, 95%; percentage of papers with initial decision rendered in 180 days, 99% and percentage of papers with final decision rendered in 180 days, 83%. For a complete list of these metrics and those for Special Issue and Short Papers, please see the I&M Society web site and on the transactions page and click on “Current TIM Metrics”.
Submission-to-Epublications Metric – This is an area that we have made significant improvement. The number of weeks that it took for a paper to be rapid-posted from the date of submission in 2008, 2009 2010 and 2011 (up until September) was 59, 44 and 35 and 22 weeks, respectively.
Impact Factor – The increase in TIM’s Impact Factor in 2009 was followed by another increase in 2010 from 1.025 to 1.098. In 2009 Impact Factor Minus Self-Cites started being calculated and reported. TIM’s corresponding numbers in 2009 and 2010 were 0.766 and 0.895, respectively.
Andy Chi Best Paper Award – Subsequent to updating the Andy Chi’s Best Paper Award selection process, it was awarded in 2011 and will continue to be awarded annually.
Plagiarism, Dual/Multiple Submission, etc. – In 2011 we had several cases that had (potentially) fallen under this category. As a critical element of the submission process, the contact authors are required to certify the following:
“By initialing below, on behalf of all authors, I certify that the manuscript being submitted is based on original materials, and/or one with substantially similar content under my/our authorship, has not been published, or is currently being considered for publication elsewhere, or will not be submitted elsewhere unless this submission is Rejected or has been Withdrawn from consideration, except as described in a cover letter which must be submitted along with the manuscript (see below for Cover Letter submission). IEEE rules governing issues related to plagiarism, dual submission, etc. can be found at HERE. By initialing below, the author(s) also certify having familiarized themselves with these rules. Substantial publications sanctions may be imposed on ALL authors if these rules are violated.”
We have an active Ad-Hoc committee that considers potential violations, and after evaluating the facts of each case, renders a decision and a recommendation of possible sanctions. It is important to note that depending on the degree to which IEEE Rules may be violated, all authors could lose their publishing privileges in all IEEE journals for up to five years.
Reviewers – Reviewers are the cornerstone of timeliness and quality. The most important function of a reviewer is to provide objective, substantial and technically correct and relevant comments in order to help authors improve the overall quality of their papers. We are extremely grateful to all of our reviewers who spent many selfless hours reviewing papers and providing objective comments. You will find the names of those who reviewed papers during 2011 following this message, and to all of them I extend my most sincere expressions of gratitude and appreciation. We will also continue the recognition of our Best Reviewers by sending them individual “Thank You” letters and certificates of appreciation. I would like to repeat a request I have made since 2009: To those of you who receive requests to review papers, I would like to ask the following. When you receive such a request, please quickly decide whether or not you will be able to review the paper in the requested timeframe (usually three weeks). If you accept, please make every effort to finish and upload your review on time. If you are going to be unexpectedly late, please inform the associate editor and Ms. Ingelin or Ms. Wehmeier and request additional time. However, if you decide that you will be unable to review (for any reason) please “decline” immediately (and perhaps hopefully suggest another reviewer). In this case, the associate editor can expeditiously seek another reviewer. The fact of the matter is that a timely decline-to-review is as important as a timely review.” We will continue to proactively monitor reviewer timeliness and update our list of reviewers accordingly (i.e., remove unresponsive reviewers).
Associate Editors – I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of the selfless and professional works of our associate editors in making each issue of TIM possible. Consequently, we decided to formally recognize a number of our associate editors, on an annual basis. Therefore, in 2011 and at the I2MTC awards luncheon, several associate editors were recognized for their outstanding works during the previous year by receiving a nice plaque. In addition, the overlength charges for up to four pages have been waived for papers co-authored by them within two years of this recognition. The recognition of outstanding associate editors is now a regular annual event.
Transactions Five-Year Review – In early 2012 we will have our five-year review of the transactions by the IEEE. In the next few months we will be working on preparing the needed materials for this review.
Final Thoughts & Reflections on the Past Five Years –As in years past, I am extremely grateful to Ms. Cam Ingelin who meticulously and expertly processes papers from the minute they are submitted to the final step of publication. I also like to thank Ms. Wehmeier who has been tirelessly helping everyone who has needed help, and in particular for relieving me of some administrative duties, so that I can spend my time on more broad-reaching issues related to the transactions. I wish to thank the I&M Society AdCom and Dr. S. Mandayam (Publications Vice President) for their continued support of TIM by providing thoughtful suggestions. As in the past year. Ms. Sara Scudder at the IEEE is responsible for receiving our accepted papers from Allentrack and facilitate their eventual publication in TIM. I am grateful to her for being extremely professional, proficient and responsive to our needs.
At the Spring 2011 AdCom meeting, I introduced a motion to establish a five-year term limit for the EIC. There are a number of very capable individuals who should be given the opportunity to take the state of our transactions to the next level. In addition, I nominated Professor Alessandro Ferrero as the next EIC of the transactions starting in 2012, and the AdCom resoundingly approved his appointment. Professor Ferrero has been an associate editor and a prolific author of papers in TIM for many years. He is very familiar and knowledgeable about the various aspects of manuscript submission and review process. He has been my “sounding board” since I started serving as the EIC. He is a fair colleague who has very similar goals and objectives for the transactions that I do. To both of us “Quality” in all aspects of this entire process is of paramount importance. Consequently, since his appointment as the next EIC he has been serving as the Associate EIC, and hence actively performing the duties of EIC including assigning associate editors and rendering final decisions. After five years, I leave this position knowing that we have the best person in charge. Please join me in welcoming professor Ferrero as the new Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement (TIM). I look forward to working with him in 2012 and years beyond.
Finally, I would like to believe that during that past five years we have made some distinct and significant improvements to the overall state the transcations. I am most grateful to all who helped in achieving most of our goals that were set five years ago.
* This message was prepared using some relevant parts of my message from 2010 since many aspects of the message have remained the same.
R. Zoughi (S’85-M’86-SM’93-F’06) received his B.S.E.E, M.S.E.E, and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering (radar remote sensing, radar systems, and microwaves) from the University of Kansas where from 1981 until 1987 he was at the Radar Systems and Remote Sensing Laboratory (RSL). Currently he is the Schlumberger Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T), formerly University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR). Prior to joining Missouri S&T in January 2001 and since 1987 he was with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Colorado State University (CSU), where he was a professor and established the Applied Microwave Nondestructive Testing Laboratory (amntl). Dr. Zoughi held the position of Business Challenge Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 1995 to 1997 while at CSU. He is also a Fellow of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT). He is the recipient of the 2011 IEEE Joseph F. Keithley Award in Instrumentation & Measurement.
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