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Publications Board FY 2002 Annual Report

Annual Report of the Publications Board

For the Period July 1, 2001– June 30, 2002

Submitted by: Robert Allen, Chair

1. Basic Information

  1. Members of the Board

Robert Allen, 1/1/99 – 12/31/01; elected Chair, November 2001 - June 2004

Richard T. Snodgrass, Chair 4/30/00 – present; member 9/1/99 – 8/31/02

Hal Berghel, 9/1/00 - 8/31/03

Ronald Boisvert, 7/1/97 – 6/30/00; appointed Vice Chair for Electronic Publishing 5/8/00; reappointed for term 7/1/00 – 6/30/03

James Cohoon, 1/1/99 – 12/31/01

Lorrie Cranor, 4/1/97 – 3/31/00; appointed Vice Chair for New Publications 5/8/00;    reappointed for term 4/1/00 – 3/31/03

Wendy Hall, 7/1/99 – 6/30/02

Joe Halpern, 4/1/97 – 3/31/00; reappointed for term 4/1/00 – 3/31/03

Carol Hutchins, 1/1/97 – 6/30/99; reappointed for term 1/1/00 – 12/31/02

Lynellen Perry, 9/1/99 – 8/31/02

Bryan Preas, 9/1/99 – 8/31/02

Stephen Spencer, 01/01/02 - 12/31/04

Michel Beaudouin-Lafon, 01/01/02 - 12/31/04

More information on the members terms can be found here.

B. Standing Committees

The Publications Board itself is handling all the policy and planning issues that used to be delegated to its standing committees, and has further delegated to the staff the monitoring and tracking of business and financial operations. Consequently these Standing Committees (Publications Planning Committee and Publications Business Affairs Committee) are all vacant.  Lorrie Cranor,in her role as Vice-Chair for new publications, has in effect, been responsible for  Publications Planning.

C. Ad hoc Committees

Publications Board Information Director: Ron Boisvert

Activities this year again consisted of : providing advice to staff and volunteers on technical issues related to the Digital Library; helping to maintain the ACM Publications Web Site and the ACM Publications Board web site; providing liaison between volunteer Information Directors and ACM Staff; and informing new Editors-in-Chief and journal Information Directors about their responsibilities with respect to journal web sites.

In addition, the PB Information Director provided valuable input to the Staff regarding evaluation of potential vendors for doing user-interface analysis of the ACM Portal.

2. Editors-In-Chief

An ad hoc search committee is formed when there is an EiC vacancy. In the past year SIGs have been working actively with the Publications Board in forming these committees and conducting the searches, much to the benefit of the ACM Journals involved, in accordance with the appointment policy recently adopted.

The following Editors-in-Chief were appointed this past year:

Wayne Wolf -- TECS , 1/01/02 - 12/31/04

Gary Marchionini -- TOIS ,  5/01/02 - 4/31/05

John Hart -- TOG , appointed 06/02; term 10/01/02 - 9/30/05

Carol Hutchins -- CREV , 02/02 - 12/31/04

The following Editors-in-Chief (and their terms) were reappointed this past year to a second term:

        Mary Jane Irwin -- TODAES , 10/01/01 - 9/30/04

        Larry Peterson -- TOCS , 10/01/01 - 09/30/04

3. Project Summary

A.      Journals Catch-up Project:

1)       Production: The goal of eliminating all production delays  was attained. Within the past year, the turnaround time of a journal issue from supplied manuscripts  to print/online was reduced from 16 weeks to about 10 weeks. For official tracking metrics, the standard has been reduced to 12 weeks from 16 weeks.

2)       Editorial Pipeline: Most of the journals that were severely late due to lack of content have caught up considerably. There are still several "problem" journals that the Publications Board is monitoring closely, but substantial overall progress is being made to reduce, and eventually eliminate, editorial delays.

B.       Metrics:

The Board and the Staff have started developing a set of metrics that will help identify problem areas as well as areas of opportunity. These metrics will be aligned closely with the Rights and Responsibilities document, in order to measure satisfaction levels of the constituents identified. This also includes monitoring and analyzing statistics of usage of the ACM publications electronically. The first step towards  these  metrics has been implemented for the Journals, based on an electronic feedback form that is being sent to all authors and that asks authors to rate their overall experience publishing with ACM. . Similar forms are sent to EICs. Early  returns indicate that the authors are very happy with the ACM journals workflow implemented last year.

The second area of metrics development took place in CACM, where an email survey was sent to a sample of the membership. The survey established a baseline for various reader feedback and comments, and that will be updated and analyzed annually, with each successive email survey.

C.       Manuscript Tracking Project:

A Manuscript Tracking System (ScholarOne) was selected  and negotiations successfully completed. The Journals will be phased into this system over the first half of FY03.

D.       New Journals Development:

The Board, together with staff developed a web page for information on proposing new journals. This puts into place a streamlined proposal evaluation mechanism that allows an idea to go from inception to approval in just a few months. In addition, the Board identified a number of areas in which new journals might be started. Several initiatives are under way for starting new journals.  In total, for FY 02, the Board has reviewed nine possible areas for new journal development, out of which it is expected that between 3 -5 new publications will result. Discussions are also being held with other associations and organizations about co-publishing journals in subject areas where ACM is not currently publishing.

E.       Digital Library/Portal:

The Board continues to monitor the progress of the DL and Portal, and the Board has provided feedback on  issues of pricing, quality control, branding, and new content inclusion.

F.       Copyright:

The Board has essentially completed revising the Copyright Policy  to bring some parts of it up to date, reflecting current concerns.

G.       Publications/SIG Relationship:

The Publications Board continued to work with the SGB to facilitate communications between the two bodies. As an example, SIG input is now requested before the Board decides on starting any new publication. The Board, through the SIG/Pub liaison, now routinely seeks input on all major areas of publication policies and activities.

H.      New Initiatives

1.        The Board has approved in principle a new e-zine on Internet Standards, to be done in conjunction with the Internet Society. Publication is scheduled to begin in January of 2003.

2.        Outlook:  At its November 2001 meeting, Council asked the Publications Board to be "engaged" in the proposed  Outlook  magazine development. The Board has reviewed financial and editorial assumptions, and has given input to the Outlook Committee.

3.        New Publications: The Board is looking very closely at several proposals for new publications, such as journals in Speech and Language Processing; Applied Perception;    Instruction-Level Parallelism; Grand Challenges in Research;  and New Models of Computation.

4.        The Board has been  working with  SIGGRAPH and SIGCHI to create a multimedia/digital video DL archives that would be fully integrated into the current DL.

5.        The Board has instituted a procedure for periodic review of all publications.

6.        CS Pre/e-print Server: The Board has been discussing how to create an ACM preprint collection that could be modeled after or that could incorporate both CoRR and NCSTRL.