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From IEEE Communications Magazine May 2018

ComSoc's Publications Activities

Khaled B. Letaief
Khaled B. Letaief
Xuemin (Sherman) Shen
Xuemin (Sherman) Shen

This month, I am pleased to introduce Xuemin (Sherman) Shen, Vice-President for Publications, who will share with us his vision for enhancing ComSoc’s leading role in communications and networking through promoting and further enhancing ComSoc’s high quality in journals, magazines, and online content.

Xuemin (Sherman) Shen received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering in 1990 from Rutgers University, USA. Currently, he is a University Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada. He has made significant research contributions in resource management for interconnected wireless/ wired networks, wireless network security, social networks, vehicular ad hoc and sensor networks, and smart grid. Professor Shen is the recipient of 2015 Joseph LoCicero Award and 2017 Education Award from the IEEE Communications Society. He served as the Technical Program Committee Chair/Co-Chair for IEEE Globecom’16, IEEE Infocom’14, IEEE VTC’10 Fall, IEEE Globecom’07, the Symposia Chair for IEEE ICC’10, the Tutorial Chair for IEEE VTC’11 Spring, the Chair for the IEEE Communications Society Technical Committee on Wireless Communications, and a Member-at-Large on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Communications Society (2014- 2016). He is a Fellow of prestigious institutes, including the IEEE, Engineering Institute of Canada, Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society of Canada. He is a registered Professional Engineer of Ontario, Canada, and a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society and Communications Society.

It is my great honor to have the opportunity to serve as the VP–Publications for ComSoc. First, I would like to introduce the leadership team: Robert Schober as Director Journals, Michael Fang as Director Magazines, and Zhisheng Niu as Director of On-Line Content. ComSoc publications have the highest reputations and impact in the technical community and are a key pillar to serve our members. With the rapidly changing technical fields and the global community, it is important to undertake challenges to meet the diversified needs and to provide the most benefits to our members. In this column, we would like to share our vision to further enhance ComSoc’s leading role in the communications and networking community via its journals, magazines, and online content.

Scientific publications are the lifeblood of any IEEE Society as they provide a forum for presenting the latest research results and emerging new technologies. ComSoc currently has 13 journals and is a co-sponsor of another 11 journals. The ComSoc journals span a wide range of topics and formats. They include well-established journals such as IEEE Transactions on Communications, which was established in 1953, to new journals such as IEEE Transactions on Green Communications, for which the first issue appeared in 2017. Furthermore, our journals cover well-established research areas such as wireless communications (e.g. IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications) and newly emerging areas such as biological and molecular communications (e.g., IEEE Transactions on Molecular, Biological and Multi-Scale Communication). The diverse paper categories range from the traditional full length transactions papers (e.g., IEEE/KICS Journal of Communications and Networks), to short manuscripts with rapid dissemination (e.g. IEEE Communication Letters and IEEE Wireless Communication Letters), to papers targeting a certain focus area (IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications), to survey and tutorial type papers (e.g., IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials). Moreover, our journals cover all the layers in the network protocol stack, with a focus from the physical layer to the transport layer (e.g., IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking), and all communication media including wired, wireless, and optical (e.g., IEEE/OSA Journal of Optical Communications and Networking). To further extend our portfolio, we will introduce in 2018 a new journal, IEEE Networking Letters, which will be the “higher layer counterpart” of the well-established IEEE Communication Letters and IEEE Wireless Communication Letters. ComSoc is currently investigating the possibility of launching an open access all-electronic technical journal with a rigorous and extremely rapid onestage peer-review process for publication of high-impact results in the general area of communications. The scope includes articles reporting novel fundamental theoretical contributions, experimental and measurement results, and new applications of communication systems and networks. This journal would complement our existing journals and may attract more students and non-ComSoc members to technical content in communication and networking due to its open access nature.

Our existing ComSoc journals are characterized by their high quality and excellent reputation. This is evident from their high impact factors as published by the Web of Science. For example, IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials currently has an impact factor of 17, which is the highest value among all journals published in telecommunications; IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications has an impact factor of 8, and all of our established transactions journals have impact factors above 4. These impact factors have significantly increased and in some cases more than doubled over the past five years. This significant improvement is a direct result of the tireless and dedicated work of the Editors-in-Chief, Editors, and Reviewers of our journals. Moreover, due to a variety of measures such as stricter review deadlines and all-online processing of accepted papers, the average submission-to-publication times across all journals have significantly decreased over the past few years and are well below 35 weeks for most Transactions journals and below five weeks for the Letters journals. In order to further improve these metrics and our service to the authors and readers across all journals, we are in the process of developing a set of guidelines and best practices for newly appointed Editors-in-Chief of ComSoc journals. Furthermore, we will develop a set of guidelines for the Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), which form the basis for the operation of journals that are co-sponsored with other IEEE societies.

ComSoc magazines include IEEE Communications Magazine, IEEE Wireless Communications, and IEEE Network. They have outstanding performance in terms of their impact factor, ranking 2nd, 3rd and 6th, respectively, in telecommunications (top three among magazines in this category) in the latest release of Journal Citation Reports according to the Web of Sciences. In the next two years, our team on magazines will work together to not only retain their strong positions, but also improve on other metrics such as the eigen-factor score and article influence score by proactively soliciting high-quality papers from leading researchers and practitioners on recent R&D advances. We will develop the best practices for each magazine in terms of paper reviews, editorial decisions and final publications, improve the quality of papers, and provide timely and high quality products to our members. ComSoc welcomes two newly approved magazines to better serve our members: IEEE Communications Standards Magazine, a quarterly magazine that was launched in the first quarter of 2017, and IEEE Internet of Things Magazine, which will be launched in the third quarter of 2018. Since ComSoc is also a co-sponsor of China Communications, we will work as a partner, sharing our best practices with the editorial team of this magazine and help improve its quality.

ComSoc also provides various unique formats of online content to our members, including (but not limited to) Webinars, Tutorials, Best Readings (BR), and ComSoc Technology News (CTN). Since its initiation in 2002, this new online platform has been recognized as an alternative but sometimes more effective way to promptly catch up with new technology trends. We achieve the recognition via 1) creative and comprehensive presentation of technical materials from leading experts in the fields and 2) prompt online posting of such presentations. Our online content is not simply a supplement to the print publications, but serves as a portal or starting point for our members to jump into a new field or draw an overall picture of a specific technology.

In particular, Best Readings (http://www.comsoc.org/ bestreadings) is a collection of articles, books, and papers focused on a featured topic. It aims to provide our members with a friendly starting point to a new technical topic. For example, if you want to learn about eHealth, go to Best Readings, where experts have compiled a complete introduction to the field. On the other hand, we have CTN (http://www. comsoc.org/ctn), which presents a set of recent articles. It focuses on the highlights of ongoing research activities that may impact tomorrow’s telecommunications products, and should be of interest to our industry members. Our team has been working diligently to keep the content fresh and comprehensive. To further enhance our online content, we are in the process of forming a dedicated editorial team to work closely with the ComSoc technical committees and the emerging technologies sub-committees.

Finally, we look forward to working with all of you and promoting the excellence of our community.