Status of the journal

Published in volume 21, issue 2, June 2011

This issue has three papers that introduce creative solutions to hard testing problems. The first, On the use of a similarity function for test case selection in the context of model-based testing, by Cartaxo, Machado, and Neto, uses a similarity function to reduce model-based tests that are redundant in terms of their coverage. The second, Fault-driven stress testing of distributed real-time software based on UML models, by Garousi, presents a new way to apply stress testing to evaluate real-time constraints in distributed software. The third, On the selection of software defect estimation techniques, by Cangussu, Haider, Cooper, and Baron, introduces a new methodology to analyze techniques for estimating defects in software.

I would like to use this editorial to give a brief status report of the journal, starting with a major announcement. Effective immediately, Rob Hierons of Brunel University will join me as a second Editor-in-Chief. Rob has helped run STVR for years and his willingness to take on additional responsibilities is crucial to our continuing success. I have struggled to keep up with the growth of the journal and Editor-in-Chief is now a two person job.

The STVR editorial board met in March at the International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation. The journal is doing very well. The ISI impact factor for 2009 was 1.6, making STVR one of the highest rated journals in software engineering. Our first-submission response time is now down to around 4 and a half months, which is good, although not quite at our goal of 3 months.

We have identified four ways to increase our responsiveness even further:

  1. The EiC occasionally has not been responsive enough. Bringing Rob onboard is a major part of the solution, allowing the load to be shared. I am also changing some of my commitments to free more time for the journal.
  2. We are setting up several new email notices that will come automatically from ManuscriptCentral (MC). These will help the editorial board avoid, identify, and rectify delays sooner. Reviewing editors will get copies of review invitation reminder emails and late review reminders. Review editors will also get "give up" messages when MC stops sending invitation reminders to reviewers, which will be signals to invite another reviewer. Reviewing editors will also get a message when reviews are two weeks overdue. Finally, reviewers will get "friendly reminder" emails one week before their reviews are due.
  3. We also plan to rotate some new scientists onto the editorial board, replacing some who will be rotating off. Announcements will appear here in future issues.
  4. Finally, STVR has a growing backlog of accepted papers. While this is symptomatic of our success, it is also a problem for authors waiting for papers to appear in print. The Early View system gives us something to reference, but it is not as good as a paper appearing in print. We hope the publisher will soon increase our yearly page budget, which is, of course, partly an economic decision.

I want to thank all members of the editorial board and our reviewers for their hard volunteer work. And of course, thanks to the many authors who continue to submit great papers to STVR.

Jeff Offutt
9 April 2011