Outgoing Editorial - IEEE Xplore

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journal ends this month and it is time for me to say thanks and goodbye. First of ... like to bring your attention to a concerning trend not captured by the above .... past, the usual work-life balance challenges have been further aggravated by my ...



Outgoing Editorial


EAR TCAS-I Readers, My two years’ term as Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of this journal ends this month and it is time for me to say thanks and goodbye. First of all I need to thank you, the readers of TCAS-I. This is your journal and it is my sincere hope that it continues being, now more than ever, your point of reference for research and innovation in circuits and systems. I then want to thank the many volunteers that have put their personal valuable time and scientific expertise to make TCAS-I the successful journal that we read today. These include the very many anonymous reviewers (as of October 2013 we have 9773 registered reviewers in TCAS-I’s web-based paper managing system and the tally is growing daily) and our 40 outstanding Associate Editors. Special thanks go to our Deputy EIC Prof. Shanthi Pavan. He helped me throughout in handling all types of journal-related matters, including some which, frankly, were not so attractive. He also allowed me to take rare and short, but certainly needed, vacations while he was running TCAS-I and insuring continuity of operation during my absence. Very special thanks also go to the Associate Editors Ashkan Ashrafi, Federico Bizzarri, Igor Belykh, Jan Mulder, Jose de la Rosa, Kostas Doris, Srikanth Gondi, and Xinmiao Zhang, who have particularly distinguished themselves for an extraordinary combination of scientific diligence, volume of work, and promptness of response. I also want to thank the CAS Society for their support throughout this term and, in particular, the VP of Publications, Prof. Yong Lian, and the CAS President, Prof. Thanos Stouraitis. I’d also like to thank our Administrative Assistant Anna Laura Simoni and the System Administrator Alberto Grosso for helping me daily with the operations side and Senior Editor Dan Henson and Editorial Assistant Meera Patel for their work at the IEEE Publication Department. Last, but not least, I’d like to thank my two predecessors, Prof. Gianluca Setti and Prof. Wouter Serdijn. They have always been helpful and thoughtful and prompt in answering my questions and doubts, often on the most outlandish hours of their own time-zone. I. BALANCING THE SHEETS While I have received unsolicited firmly positive feedback from many readers and authors on how they feel the journal is evolving, it is meaningful to provide you with a quantitative sense of some of the measurable progress made during this two year term. Looking back, as I wrote in my first editorial on the January 2012 issue, this Editorial Board inherited a very healthy and stable journal from our predecessors, challenging anyone’s ability to make further significant improvements. That said, I am going to provide you with some figures for you to assess progress in your own judgment. First of all, this Editorial Board, compared to prior years, has had a different composition than in the past. While we had some changes in the roster during this term, about 25% of its composition steadily accounted for technical experts from Industry (versus nil to single digits, in a long time and higher than many peer journals). Inevitably, and intentionally, that has introduced Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TCSI.2013.2290815

a different “culture” and a positive cross-pollination that reflects the reality of a rapidly evolving field, like ours, where success and evolution/revolution are fueled by innovation that is not restricted to academic circles. We continued the special sections dedicated to the CICC and ISCAS conferences. We also published the first special interest industrial technology paper in March 2013, titled “Architectures and circuit techniques for multi-purpose digital phase lock loops” by K. Nagaraj et al. of Texas Instruments. A few more papers in this category are being reviewed right now and may be published soon. Overall, regular paper submissions are slightly increasing and are now hovering around about 1000 brand new papers submitted (namely not including revisions of prior manuscripts) each year, evenly originating from North America, Europe, and Asia, with a considerably smaller remaining fraction originating from other regions. Out of that, usually after revision, about 27% have been accepted for publication, slightly down from an acceptance rate of about 32% during the prior 2010–2011 term. As for the other papers, 56% have been rejected, up from 44% during the prior term. While the remaining 17% received a recommendation to be submitted elsewhere (down from 24% during the prior term) either after being reviewed and recommending proper revision, or because the paper’s scope was best suited to another journal. As I stated, you can judge these numbers for yourself. But I’d like to bring your attention to a concerning trend not captured by the above statistics (and for which we are not yet set to do proper data mining). I am referring to a gradual increase in the number of manuscript submissions to TCAS-I for papers that were originally submitted to other journals, with which we have some technical overlap, and rejected. That is appropriate when the reason behind the resubmission is a better scope match with TCAS-I and once all previously raised issues have all been fully disclosed and addressed. In other words, we welcome strongly innovative and original manuscripts that center to our scope and provide appropriate validation of their results. However, while I am unable to properly provide you with exact figures, it is my personal observation that a fraction of our increase in rejected papers (from 44% to 56% rejections) can be explained in part with those “second attempts” that perpetuate outstanding flaws. Simply stated, a paper that does not meet the quality standards of this and other similar journals and that, worse off, carries on unaddressed previous flaws, won’t be published by either one, no matter how many attempts are made. On the other hand, reiterated attempts of passing on issues are a sure way to abuse the reviewers’ patience and leave a lasting impression of the authors. Other important figures that we are particularly proud of include improving the responsiveness to our authors. Our first review is completed in average in 36 days, versus an average of 46 days of prior years, while, after further revision, a final decision is reached within 3 months from first submission, down from about 5 months in prior recent years. And we were able to achieve these improvements well before the end of the first year of this term. On the other hand, we are still handling a sizeable queue of work. So our average time from submission to electronic pre-

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publication on IEEExplore hasn’t changed much. It has been somewhat steady at about 8 months, with papers being published on the journal’s monthly issues after around one year. Regarding the backlog, I must thank the CAS Society for allowing us to gradually stretch our page budget from 2700 pages/ year very early on during this term, to a budget of about 3400 pages published in 2013. Hopefully the thicker printed issues delivered to your desk are not only providing you with more information, but are facilitating the reduction of the waiting time for newer queued papers. The last figures I would share are the latest bibliometrics associated to TCAS-I. Specifically, the Impact Factor is 2.24, the Eigenfactor is 0.025, while the Article Influence score is 1.074. While these are lagging indicators mostly based on this journal’s performance prior to our term, I am happy to report that they too are all visibly improving and are, by a very large margin, quantitatively much stronger than those of any other journal covering the same or similar technical subject matter. Since I am quoting these metrics, I would like to draw your attention on a recent statement from the IEEE Board of Directors on the appropriate use of bibliometrics [1]. That can be summarized by saying that a) multiple complementary indicators (such as the Eigenfactor and the Article Influence in addition to the Impact Factor) are necessary to gain a fairer and complete picture of a journal’s impact; b) none of these metrics can be used as a proxy for single-article quality, let alone to evaluate individual scientists. On the latter, such metrics are no shortcut for a thorough peer review which will consider the scientific content as the most important aspect, and also the publication expectations in the area, and the size and practice of the research community. Finally, any practice aimed at artificially influencing such indicators is explicitly and firmly condemned by the IEEE. This is an important document, since it underlines how journal metrics contains indeed useful information but attempting at increasing

them should never be the primary goal of any journal editor. The EIC must only devote his/her effort in attracting timely contributions of excellent scientific quality, i.e., those who can make the difference in impacting the scientific community. II. CONCLUDING REMARKS Concluding my last editorial, I would like to welcome the recent nomination from the CAS Society of our former Deputy EIC Prof. Shanthi Pavan to be the Editor-in-Chief for the 2014–2015 term. As I stated many times before, Shanthi’s service to this journal has been truly outstanding. Moreover, he has been working on some ideas that would result in further improvement and value to our readership and that I am eager to see implemented. I wish him and his new Editorial Board the best. I have definitely enjoyed this role of EIC. But while I am very satisfied by what this Editorial Board has achieved and its benefits to our readers, as some of my predecessors voiced in the past, the usual work-life balance challenges have been further aggravated by my commitment to this editorial appointment. So I am very thankful to my wife and kids for their support, understanding and patience. Thanks again to you, readers of TCAS-I. Good-bye and on behalf of the entire Editorial Board, I wish all of you a Happy New Year! GABRIELE MANGANARO, Editor-in-Chief Analog Devices Wilmington, MA 01887-3494 USA REFERENCES [1] [Online]. Available: http://www.ieee.org/publications_standards/publications/pubnews/vol6issue3/vol6_issue3_index.html

Gabriele Manganaro (S’95-M’99-SM’03) holds a Dr.Eng. Degree (1994) and a Ph.D. degree in electronic engineering (1997) from the University of Catania, Italy. He did research work with ST Microelectronics (Catania, Italy) in 1994–1996 and was a researcher/lecturer at Texas A&M University (College Station, USA) in 1996–1997. He was a senior IC designer of data converters at Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX, USA) in 1998–2001 and then Director of Analog Baseband Design at Engim Inc. (Acton, MA, USA) in 2001–04. He worked for National Semiconductor holding various positions in data converter design in Salem (NH, USA) and Munich (Germany), including Design Director for High Speed Data Conversion, in 2004–10. Since 2010 he is Engineering Director for High Speed Data Conversion at Analog Devices (Wilmington, MA, USA). He has been an invited lecturer in Europe and North America and served in technical committees of international conferences including the Data Conversion technical subcommittee of the IEEE Solid-State Circuit Conference (2005–2012). He was both a Guest Editor as well as an Associate Editor for TRANSACTIONS ON CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS—PART II: EXPRESS BRIEFS (2006–2007) and TRANSACTIONS ON CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS—PART I: REGULAR PAPERS (2008–2009) and Deputy Editor in Chief of IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS—PART I: REGULAR PAPERS (2010–2011). He was Editor in Chief for IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS—PART I: REGULAR PAPERS during 2012–2013. He (co-)authored 59 scientific papers, the books Cellular Neural Networks (Springer, 1999) and Advanced Data Converters (Cambridge University Press, 2011), and co-edited the book Advances in Analog and RF IC Design for Wireless Communication Systems (Academic Press, 2013), received 12 U.S. patents, and was (co-) recipient of scientific awards, including the 1995 CEU Award from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (U.K.), the 1999 IEEE Circuits and Systems Outstanding Young Author Award, and the 2007 IEEE European Solid-State Circuits Conference best paper award. Dr. Manganaro is a Senior Member of IEEE, a Fellow of the IET and a Member of Sigma Xi.

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