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Policy on TODS Charter


Approved May 23, 2003

The TODS charter as of May 2003 (and for several years prior to that) includes the following paragraph.

TODS welcomes papers on a full range of subjects in the field of database research. They include, but are not limited to, data modeling, database language design, theoretical foundations of database languages, automatic query optimization and processing, access methods for storing and retrieving data, security and authorization, transaction management, concurrency control, backup and recovery, database performance tuning, and so forth.

During April and May 2003 the TODS Editorial Board had a wide-ranging discussion about this paragraph and in general about database research and TODS' place in disseminating that research. This discussion is summarized here.

We quickly agreed that small grammatical changes and some additions to the topics were warranted. At the recommendation of several on the Board, we then took a fresh look at this charter, to cover a broader agenda.

Rick Snodgrass asked Surajit Chaudhuri and David Lomet to craft a draft. In Surajit's words,

> 1. We decided that reference to particular instances of technology, such
> as e-commerce, relational model, web, etc. were not sufficiently general
> purpose and risked being too transient.  So we dropped such references. 
> 2. We looked carefully at the list of topics, and decided that some
> explored things in needless depth and were covered by more generic
> terms, e.g. transaction management includes CC & R, query processing
> includes optimization, security includes authorization.  So we dropped
> the more detailed terms.

> We focused on broadly describing what it is that we understand people in > the database field to actually be working on.

They came up with the following charter, sent to the Board on April 17.

TODS welcomes papers on a full range of subjects in the field of database research and the management of structured and semi-structured data. Such subjects include: data modeling, database languages, database theory, query processing, access methods and indexing, security and privacy, transaction management, fault tolerance, distribution, performance, data storage, data mining, novel and distributed applications exploiting database technology.

Christian Jensen then suggested a few optimizations. Several iterations between Christian Jensen, Surajit Chaudhuri and Dave Lomet resulted in the following draft, sent to the Board on April 21.

TODS welcomes papers on a full range of database research in the management of structured and semi-structured data. Such subjects include: data modeling, database languages, database theory, query processing, access methods and indexing, security and privacy, transaction management, fault tolerance, distribution, performance, data storage, data mining, and novel applications exploiting database technology.

Mike Carey then had a side conversation with Dave Lomet, Rick Snodgrass and Surajit Chaudhuri; they agreed to end the description with "novel applications and infrastructures exploiting database technology".

There was one concern outstanding. Rakesh Agrawal and Mike Carey wanted to include unstructured data, whereas Surajit Chaudhuri thought we should stick with structured and semistructured data.

Rick Snodgrass agreed with Mike Carey that LOBs and buffering techniques and with Rakesh Agrawal that multimedia data are certainly part of TODS' charter. He agreed with Surajit Chaudhuri and Alberto Mendelzon that we want to be careful not to get into TOIS and TOIT's charters.

Mike Franklin suggested broadening the opening sentence to "management of data," which would include structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data. Dave Lomet suggested broadening further to "management of diverse forms of data."

The final charter, sent to the Board on May 16, is the following.

TODS welcomes papers on a full range of database research in the management of diverse forms of data. Such subjects include: data modeling, database languages, database theory, query processing, access methods and indexing, security and privacy, transaction management, fault tolerance, distribution, performance, data storage, data mining, and novel applications and infrastructures exploiting database technology.

For those papers that overlap significantly with other journals, such as ACM Transactions on Information Systems, ACM Transactions on Information and Security, and ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, the Editor-in-Chief, perhaps in consultation with one or more Associate Editors, will make the determination of whether the paper is most appropriate for TODS or for another journal. This determination will consider the following aspects, among others: topic, terminology, methodology, and references to related work.

 
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