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2015.06.28

Impact Factor of Computer Science Journals 2014

The Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge has published the 2014 Journal Citation Reports. Following similar studies I performed in the past eight years (2007, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14) here is my analysis of the current status and trends for the impact factor of computer science journals.

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2015.02.28

ABS's 2015 Academic Journal Guide

The UK-based Association of Business Schools recently published the 2015 Academic Journal Guide (AJG) as an update to its 2010 version, sparking controversy in its press coverage. Following a study I've been performing on the impact factor of computer science journals for the past eight years based on the yearly Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge updates of its Journal Citation Reports, I decided to look at what has changed in the AJG from 2010 to 2015.

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2014.08.08

Impact Factor of Computer Science Journals 2013

The Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge has published the 2013 Journal Citation Reports. Following similar studies I performed in the past sever years (2007, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13) here is my analysis of the current status and trends for the impact factor of computer science journals.

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2013.07.03

Impact Factor of Computer Science Journals 2012

The Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge has published the 2012 Journal Citation Reports. Following similar studies I performed in the past six years (2007, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12) here is my analysis of the current status and trends for the impact factor of computer science journals.

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2012.12.12

Changes in the Way we View Computing

The Association for Computing Machinery recently released the 2012 version of the ACM Computing Classification System (CCS). This is the work of 120 volunteers and marks significant changes over the previous version, which was released in 1998. To create it the volunteers mined ACM Digital Library search terms and used the services of a specialist company that creates ontologies. To see what has changed in the past 14 years in the way we view computing, I used Wordle to create word clouds from the 1998 and the 2012 versions. Here are the two views of our discipline's Zeitgeist and my take of their differences.

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2012.10.21

Chemical Element Trump Cards

I can still remember the weight of the Lancia Stratos car that featured in the Top Trumps cards were playing as children in the 1970s: 870kg. It was the lightest of all the flashy cars in the set, and therefore a much sought-after card. Other card sets that kept us busy included airplanes, motorcycles, and tanks. Through them we learned tens of useless trivia, but also got a feeling of the compromises inherent in engineering. Wondering whether I could leverage such a game to make it even more educational, I created a set of trump cards containing properties of chemical elements.

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2012.07.03

Impact Factor of Computer Science Journals 2011

The Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge has published the 2011 Journal Citation Reports. Following similar studies I performed in 2007, '08, '09, '10, and '11, here is my analysis of the current status and trends for the impact factor of computer science journals.

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2011.07.31

Impact Factor of Computer Science Journals 2010

The Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge has published the 2010 Journal Citation Reports. Following similar studies I performed in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, here is my analysis of the current status and trends for the impact factor of computer science journals.

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2010.06.19

Impact Factor of Computer Science Journals 2009

The ISI Web of Knowledge recently published the 2009 Journal Citation Reports. Following similar studies I performed in 2007, 2008, and 2009, here is my analysis of the current status and trends for the impact factor in computer science journals.

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2009.06.24

Impact Factor of Computer Science Journals 2008

The ISI Web of Knowledge recently published the 2008 Journal Citation Reports. Following similar studies I performed in 2007 and 2008, here is my analysis of the current status and trends for the impact factor in computer science journals.

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2009.05.27

Revisiting the Antikythera Mechanism Emulator

Over the past few weeks I updated the Antikythera mechanism emulator I built in 2007. I was preparing for an invited talk on the subject, which I'll give at the 2009 USENIX Annual Technical Conference, and for this I wanted to include in the emulator the new findings recently published in Nature.

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2009.03.28

Earth Hour: A Geek's View

What happens to the power grid when millions of people turn of their lights? I had a chance to study this during tonight's Earth Hour: an international event organised by the WWF, which asks households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.

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2009.03.10

YouTube vs. TOSEM

Over the past couple of weeks colleagues and friends I encounter in the hallways or at various meetings have been commenting about a small video I posted on YouTube. This video, titled Information Train, describes a demonstration experiment I performed at an event whose aim was to familiarize children with science. Often this video is the first discussion I've ever had with a colleague regarding my work. This struck me as odd, because I consider other parts of my research a lot more significant that this experiment. However, a look at the number of downloads of an article we recently published in the (highly regarded) ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM) and the views of the YouTube video proved instructive.

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2009.02.18

The Information Train

Experiment overview The Information Train is a scientific experiment that I presented at the Wizards of Science 2009 contest over the past weekend. The entry demonstrates how computers communicate with each other by setting up a network in which a model train transfers a picture's pixels from one computer to the other. You can find a video of the experiment on YouTube, and, if you're interested, you can also download the corresponding software and schematics from this web page.

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2008.09.16

Central Planning Hurts Research

Today I was invited to contribute to the European Commission Information Society's public consultation that will be used to draft (in the Commission's words) a new strategy for ICT research and innovation aiming is to put European ICT industry, especially SMEs, to the fore of the race for global competitiveness. I believe that the Commission's approach towards research planning and funding is fundamentally wrong.

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2008.08.08

Two More Years of Wikipedia Data

Following a study that my colleague Panagiotis Louridas and I published in the August 2008 issue of the Communications of the ACM, Victor Grishchenko gave me a copy of a complete Wikipedia dump covering 2006 and 2007 (enwiki-20080103-pages-meta-history.xml.7z). Over the past four days I reran the study on this new data set.

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2008.07.31

Top Researchers in Computer Science and Informatics

Today the European Research Council announced the 105 recipients of its prestigious advanced research grants in physics and engineering. Eight proposals got selected by the Computer Science and Informatics panel. As I had also applied for an ERC advanced research grant, I followed the results with considerable interest. Given the highly competitive nature of the program and the carefully designed proposal and evaluation procedure, the selected proposals make an interesting reading; the winners are clearly the researchers and projects to watch in the future.

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2008.07.30

Wikipedia Faces no Limits to Grow

Although there have been many studies on Wikipedia, little attention has been given to the limits to its growth. As Wikipedia is expanding, it is possible that new concepts are added without having corresponding articles, or that the number of new concepts grows slower than the number of articles. In the first case, Wikipedia's coverage will deteriorate as it will contain articles drowned in an increasing number of undefined concepts. In the second case, Wikipedia's growth may stall. A new study, which my colleague Panagiotis Louridas and I published in the August 2008 issue of the Association for Computing Machinery flagship magazine Communications of the ACM, shows that Wikipedia sits comfortably between the two extremes.

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2008.06.27

Impact Factor of Computer Science Journals 2007

The ISI Web of Knowledge recently published the 2007 Journal Citation Reports. Following a similar study I performed last year, here is my analysis of the current status and trends for the impact factor in computer science journals.

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2007.07.10

Impact Factor of Computer Science Journals 2006

The ISI Web of Knowledge recently published the 2006 Journal Citation Reports. Here is my analysis of the current status and trends for the impact factor in computer science journals.

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2007.05.23

Decyphering Modern Texts

One would think that the decyphering of old writings would be the domain of archeologists poring over ancient palimpsests. It turns out that, thanks to modern technology, the quality of documents written only a decade ago can decay to the point of requiring decypherment. And don't get me started on the problems of digital preservation and the decay of URLs.

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2007.01.12

The Perils of Naive Sorting

I wanted to compare the aggregate cited half-life of works in different scientific disciplines. This figure tracks the median age of the articles cited during the last year. The ISI Web of Knowledge offers such a tool, and allows sorting by the a field's half life. I found the first three entries in the list, mineralogy (10), orthopedics (9.7), and agriculture (9.5), slightly odd.

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2006.11.08

Converting RIS to BibTeX

Digital libraries increasingly provide an option to export bibliographic data. Unfortunately, many, like IEEE Xplore, SpringerLink, and Scopus don't support the BibTeX format I use for storing my bibliographies. (To its credit the ACM Portal offers a BibTeX export option. On the other hand, Elsevier's ScienceDirect and JSTOR don't offer any export facility.)

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2006.10.24

A Solution for Web Citations

In 2003 I published a study providing evidence that the half life of a web citation was four years. WebCite offers a neat solution to this problem.

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2006.10.13

Research in Domain Specific Languages

My research colleague Vassilis Karakoidas is working on better programming support for domain specific languages (DSLs). Today he claimed that DSLs were hyped during 1998-2002, and now interest has waned.

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2006.03.16

Active Voice v Passive Voice

The most common change copy-editors perform on my prose is the conversion of passive voice constructs into active voice. By now I've become accustomed to it, and I now try to use active voice whenever possible. It turns out that the proverbial coin has in this case two faces.

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2006.02.07

How Not to Cook an Egg With Your Cell Phone

A story currently doing the rounds by email provides detailed instructions for cooking an egg by placing it between two cell phones. Here is my attempt to check its validity.

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2005.12.19

Who Will Edit the Editors?

I am often asked to review papers that are written in a language only superficially resembling English. In a few cases the writing is so confused that I return the manuscript, asking for it to be edited by a native speaker of English. I realize that writing proper English is an additional hurdle for, possibly brilliant, scientists who are not native speakers of English, and I often wondered how authors could address this problem. Apparently, there are companies that will edit scientific papers for a modest fee.

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2005.10.28

Human Thought and the Design of Computers

Peter J. Denning wrote an excellent article titled "The Locality Principle" in the July 2005 issue of the Communications of the ACM. The article explained the story behind the locality of reference, a fundamental principle of computing with many applications. In a comment that appeared in the October issue of the same magazine I commented:

Peter J. Denning's "The Profession of IT" column ("The Locality Principle," July 2005) invoked an anthropomorphic explanation for the prevalence of the locality principle in computational systems, observing that humans gather the most useful objects close around them to minimize the time and work required for their use, and that we've transferred these behaviors into the computational systems we design.

A more intellectually satisfying explanation might be that we are dealing with two parallel and independent evolutionary design paths. Trading some expensive high-quality space (fast memory) in order to gain time performance is a sound engineering decision. It is therefore likely that evolution first adapted the human brain by endowing it with limited but versatile short-term memory and large long-term memory structure that exhibits behavior similar to caching.

Millennia later, we make similar design decisions when building computing systems.

The comment triggered an email exchange with Phillip G. Armour. It was one of the most intellectually satisfying email exchanges I've ever had, and I am reproducing it here, with his kind permission.

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2004.10.27

Accuracy and Precision in Scientific Publications

The interesting article by Paper, Rodger and Simon, Voice Says it All in the Navy, (Communications of the ACM 47(8):97-101, August 2004), is tarred by an unfortunate and, sadly, increasingly common error. In the article's tables and explanatory text the authors report their results with an unwarranted precision of three significant digits: 71.4, 42.9, 57.1, and so on.

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2004.01.21

How Not to Conduct a Poll

Recently the ACM Council asked members to provide feedback on the issue of expanding legal protections for collections of data by means of an on-line poll. Opening the policy feedback decision-making process to the ACM membership promotes member participation and transparency. However, I have two serious reservations regarding the way the member feedback was requested.

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Unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material on this page created by Diomidis Spinellis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Greece License.