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Review Form


Approved October 18, 2001

For the last several years, TODS issues have come out late, sometimes very late. For example, just a few weeks ago the March 2001 issue was published. This is simply unacceptable. our goal is to ensure that printed copies of an issue are available on the first day of the cover month.

There are several complex and interacting reasons for this delay, which will take some time to untangle. One critical component is the backlog. (The backlog is the set of accepted papers to appear.) Simply put, the papers to appear in an issue need to be determined four months before the issue's cover date. As an example, the papers for the March, 2002 issue are due November 1, 2001. At this point (October 2001), there is not a single paper accepted for that issue (though at least one is close).

This inadequate backlog has existed for several years, but was masked by problems on the production side.

The one positive side effect of an inadequate backlog is that each paper when it is accepted goes directly into the very next issue. The paper mentioned above that is close will certainly go into the March issue. For this reason, the concept of "fast-track publication" of selected papers is a practical irrelevance. Put another way, we now, and have for many years, treated every accepted paper as a fast-track publication.

Even if in the future we increase submissions and acceptances, this general strategy of treating every paper as expeditiously as possible is still appropriate.

Thus the attached portions of the review form should be eliminated. The "Originality" question is already covered by the "Significance of Contribution," the "opens up a new area" question is not an appropriate criterion (though if a paper does open up a new area, its contribution would probably be very high) and the "particularly timely subject" question also doesn't seem to be a useful question for a reviewer to consider.

From the review form:

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Merits Fast-Track Publication (no or yes):

1. Originality? high_____ medium _____ low _____ none _____

2. Does the paper open up a new and relevant area of research and development?

yes _____ no _____ --------------------------------------------------------------------------

From the proposed survey form:

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Merits Fast-Track Publication (no or yes):

1. Does the paper survey a particularly timely subject?

yes _____ no _____

2. Can the paper potentially foster new original research on its subject?

yes _____ no _____

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