Publication Initiatives by IEEE Signal Processing Society

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10 years of news and resources for members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society

Publication Initiatives by IEEE Signal Processing Society

0909portrait_sayedby Ali H. Sayed, SPS Vice President-Publications

Dear Members of the Signal Processing Community:

I welcome you to this re-designed issue of the Society’s e-Newsletter. We hope you enjoy the enhanced features, the improved functionality, and the better feel and look of the newsletter. This step is part of our ongoing effort to elevate the quality of communication with our members by utilizing the convenience of the electronic medium.

Electronic Communications

Online interfaces and email communications are not only changing the ways we access information, but they are also changing the manner by which we learn about new results and latest theories. It is only natural that the IEEE Signal Processing Society becomes an active player in advancing and promoting online publishing initiatives and electronic outreach to its members. More convenient and faster access to information can only strengthen the dissemination of signal processing techniques and results. It was in this spirit that the IEEE Signal Processing Society decided to provide all of its journal publications for free to our members in electronic format starting January 2010.

Digital Editions

The re-designed newsletter comes at the same time that we are providing our readers with a new digital edition of the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine. Moving forward, members will be able to download digital copies of the magazine and browse through its content electronically, in addition to receiving the regular hard copy. Electronic delivery of the magazine will help reduce the delay in mailing out hard copies to the corners of our planet.  We are also working on adding a new feature to the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine in an effort to help increase the visibility of the signal processing field. We are adding a new column that focuses on technology and applications and is meant to appeal to the general public.  I would like to thank Li Deng, Editor-in-Chief of our Magazine, and Min Wu, Area Editor for the e-Newsletter, for their help in turning the vision into reality.

Standing of our Journals

There are several other initiatives that we are pursuing to enhance the standing of our journal publications and the selectivity of our published material.  Our journals are among the most selective in their fields. Their reputations are a reflection of the caliber and dedication of our staff and volunteers: authors, reviewers, associate editors, and editors-in-chief. They are all working tirelessly to improve the time-to-publication statistics, the impact factor of our journals, and the editorial review process. During ICASSP 2009 in Taipei, we held our first Annual Associate Editor (AE) Orientation event with the participation of over 50 AEs. The event was a success and touched on various topics related to how AEs can maximize their effectiveness and efficiency and how we can make the publishing experience more rewarding to our authors (authors have rights too and not only responsibilities). We are in the process of generating guidelines on effective reviewer management and effective author and decision management for our editorial board members. I would like to thank Sheila Hemami, Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, for organizing and leading the orientation event.

Rapid Publishing Policy

It is a reflection of the nature of our discipline that impact factors tend to be lower than in other disciplines such as the medical sciences and the physical and biological sciences. Nevertheless, we owe it to our authors that their articles should be published without unnecessary delays. For this purpose, it is now an approved policy of our Society that all our publications should maintain zero queues; what this means is that accepted manuscripts will move directly to publication and will not be sitting in waiting queues anymore. The Society will provide the page budget support that is needed to enforce this policy. Our editorial board members are also doing their best to keep the review cycle under check. At the same time, we are switching towards requiring authors to submit their final files in electronic format away from the old-fashioned requirement of mailing in hard-copies of papers and figures via regular mail. Additionally, we are also pre-posting accepted articles on IEEE Xplore before the final copy is available in print; readers can start referring to these posted articles.  Still, there is more that we need to do beyond these steps. We have started some new initiatives to broaden the scope of our journal activities beyond their traditional domains. Two such initiatives are the publication of overview articles and the introduction of thematic meetings in signal processing.

Overview Articles

We recently approved the publication of overview articles in four of our Transactions (Signal Processing, Image Processing, Information Forensics and Security, and Audio, Speech, and Language Processing). Overview articles are planned to be articles of solid technical depth and lasting value and are expected to provide advanced readers with thorough overviews of various fields. Overview articles are technically more thorough than tutorials, which are intended for readers with little background in a given field and are published in the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine. Overview articles can be viewed as similar in depth to articles published in the Proceedings of IEEE. Authors interested in submitting overview articles are required to consult first with the Editor-in-Chief of their Transactions of choice before submitting a white paper proposal. The evaluation of Overview Article white papers is handled by a board of eminent signal processing experts. All overview articles are subjected to the same rigorous review process as all other regular submissions.

Thematic Meetings

We also recently approved the initiation of thematic meetings in signal processing. For the first time in the history of our Society, the Publication and Conference Boards have joined efforts in pushing forward a new concept called THEMES (Thematic Meetings on Signal Processing). Each year, the IEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Signal Processing will open up a competition for interesting themes involving the application of signal processing concepts in areas of broad interest, such as smart grids, social networks, adaptive networks, complex systems, biological systems, etc. The selected theme will be planned as a special issue of the journal and the accepted journal articles, after a rigorous review process of full-fledged manuscripts, will be presented by their senior authors at the one-day THEMES meeting. THEMES is intended to develop into a high-impact selective conference series in signal processing that is well tied to one of our journal publications. The first THEMES meeting will be held on March 15, 2010 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas, during ICASSP 2010. The theme for this first meeting is Signal and Information Processing for Social Networking. More information about the meeting can be found on the meeting website (www.ieee-themes.org). I would like to thank my colleagues V. John Mathews, THEMES co-Chair, and K. J. Ray Liu, THEMES Technical Program Chair, for their assistance in organizing the first THEMES meeting.

Concluding

As my colleague José M. F. Moura, President of the Society, likes to state, Signal Processing is the stealth technology that underlies many technologies and applications but is invisible to the public at large. Through our publication and outreach efforts, we are working to connect with our readers and to bring them the latest developments in theory and applications faster and in more convenient ways.  Stay tuned for further developments and become active in helping us push our publications to new levels. Become a volunteer reviewer or associate editor and consider submitting your best signal processing results to our journals.

Ali H. Sayed
IEEE Signal Processing Society
Vice-President, Publications

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