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Communications of the ACM

Publisher's corner

50 Years Young

More than any other sentiment expressed in those messages is the sense of excitement that Communications has taken a positive step forward and at the same time has returned to its roots. As Publisher, I am both gratified and conflicted by this feedback. In many ways, Communications is an icon for the computing community, with a long-standing tradition of quality that has stood the test of time. Changing an icon is not an easy thing to do and is not without significant risks, especially when the icon is also the flagship publication for the community's leading Association and as such the primary vehicle for communicating what is happening across the computing field. Nevertheless, this change was necessary because both the community and field have been evolving and growing so rapidly in recent years that a new and more comprehensive global voice needed to be created simply to keep pace.

This Communications is more than a revamped version of a 50-year-old publication, it is a completely new magazine with an entirely new voice. With a new look and feel, a new editorial board, a new editorial scope, and a more global vision, Communications is attempting to appeal to a broader cross section of the computing field and become even more relevant for those across the entire discipline, as well as those entering the field and those working on its fringes. An example of this is the decision to expand the News section and hire professional journalists to cover a wider range of timely and important topics. In each issue, you can expect to find three in-depth news articles, one written from a technology perspective, one from a science perspective, and one from a societal perspective. The depth of these articles is greater than can be found in less specialized publications, in keeping with Communications' emphasis on technical sophistication and rigor.

Throughout the magazine, you will find other examples of ways Communications is reaching out to a broader community. These include the creation of the Practice section, aimed primarily at those working in industry but appealing to all Communications readers. Another is the introduction of Technical Perspectives that accompany full-length research papers and intended to make pure computer science research more accessible and contextually relevant to the practitioner and educator.

"At the end of the day this is a magazine by and for the computing community, and like any other community initiative is almost entirely dependent upon the participation of its members".

While the verdict is far from in, I am pleased to say that I received a number of letters from loyal readers who informed me the July issue was one of the first they've read cover to cover in a number of years, but at the same time they were skeptical that it would be possible to keep the magazine as relevant on a consistent basis. My response to this is simple. The magazine has a new editorial board second to none, an incredible publishing staff committed to making Communications better with every issue, and an organization behind it that supports all of this effort. But at the end of the day this is a magazine by and for the computing community, and like any other community initiative is almost entirely dependent upon the participation of its members. What you get out of this magazine is what you as a community put into it. So please get involved, submit your best articles, and do not hesitate to contact us with your suggestions.

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©2008 ACM  0001-0782/08/0900  $5.00

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The Digital Library is published by the Association for Computing Machinery. Copyright © 2008 ACM, Inc.


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