Reflecting on the Contribution of T&S Magazine to the IEEE


It's always important to stop, take a breath, and reflect on the activities one is engaged in. Sometimes we do this reflection willingly, and at other times there are formal structures within which we have to work that trigger the requirement periodically. It is always a good sign when a Committee knocks on your door asking for certain bits of data, and you are more than willing to share your learnings, with enthusiasm, and not just for the sake of the least amount of effort required to respond to a standard pro-forma.

This March, the IEEE Periodicals Review and Advisory Committee (PRAC) requested detailed data about the periodicals of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (IEEE-SSIT), providing three months for a written report to be submitted. The PRAC Review happens every five years and is an opportunity for IEEE to consider the contribution and validity of all its periodicals. For the Society in question, it is a chance to receive valuable feedback from experienced colleagues, look for areas to improve, consolidate, or expand, consider what was done well, and brainstorm on the opportunities that lie ahead.

The PRAC report that was submitted to IEEE in Fall 2015 was about 50 pages long. Katina Michael, Terri Bookman, Joe Herkert (by teleconference), Greg Adamson, and Lew and Bobbi Terman met with the PRAC Committee in New Jersey. We managed all the questions put to us by PRAC, and later received written feedback on our report, and responded accordingly to queries and clarifications.

It is now time to look at the next five years of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, but before doing so let us celebrate the milestones we've achieved together, and also spell out what we need to do better to keep growing and developing, as well as some of the measures we've put in place to overcome some significant issues as we've gone through a rapid expansion phase.


Figure 1. Concept map of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine article headings (March 2010–July 2015) generated using Leximancer.

Figure 1. Concept map of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine article headings (March 2010–July 2015) generated using Leximancer.

The first thing we would like to do is thank all the authors who have published their research with us in the last five years. It is such a privilege to work with professionals who sincerely care about how technology is impacting the world around them. We conducted a content analysis of paper titles since 2010 and generated the concept map in Figure 1. It is so encouraging to see diagrammatically that we are fulfilling the mission of our Society, with papers published in humanitarian engineering, engineering education, engineering ethics, sustainability, social implications, the interplay between technology and society, the role of government, and the development of systems to enrich our everyday lives with adequate energy. Privacy, security, and trust are prevalent themes also addressed in the digital data age of the Internet, as is acceptable use and user behavior with respect to smart applications.

Articles and Authors

During the study period, 272 individual articles were published with 452 author instances. Popular entry types included peer-reviewed articles (131), Commentaries (13), Book Reviews (35), Leading Edge columns (14), Opinion pieces (13), Viewpoint columns (5), Editorials (16) and Guest Editorials (6), as well as interviews, fiction, letters to the editor, news, policy and trends, Memoria, and Last Word columns. For a magazine that publishes only four times a year on a limited page budget, most recently of 80 pages per issue, we have really maximized space well. Particularly encouraging is the work toward internationalization that Keith Miller spearheaded and is still going strong. There has been a visible redistribution of author region location as can be seen in the pie chart in Figure 2, although we still require further expansion and outreach activities in Canada and Central/South America.

Figure 2. Authors by region IEEE-TSM 2010-2015.

Figure 2. Authors by region IEEE-TSM 2010-2015.

The caliber of our author affiliations are exceptional. A representative list of affiliations include: Arizona State University, Australian National University, Carnegie Mellon University, Copenhagen Business School, Cornell University, Delft University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, ESADE, ETH Zurich, Harvard University, Imperial College London, Kyoto University, M.I.T. Media Lab, Stanford University, Georgia Institute of Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, Tilburg University, University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, Nanjing University, University of Sydney, University of Tokyo, University of Toronto, Virginia Tech, Zhejiang University.

Equally impressive are entries that have been affiliated with a variety of stakeholders, not just academia. These included for example:

  1. Applied industry submissions by employees of large technology corporations such as, Google, Accenture, Siemens Corporate Technology, Toshiba Research, Tata Consultancy, InfoSys Technologies, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Telecom ParisTech, Acconite Solutions, Vodafone, and IBM.
  2. Applied government and defence submissions by employees of various international ministries and commissions both in defence and non-defence institutions such as the Defence Science and Technology Corporation (DSTO), European Commission, Virginia Military Institute, West Point Military Academy, Ontario Privacy Commissioners Office, and Greek Ministry of Economy and Finance.
  3. Small-to-medium company submissions such as BRP Renaud & Partner, KVC Consultancy, Illuminating Concepts, Xylem Technologies, Modern Combatives, StartPage, Oxford Systematics, Xamax Consultancy, Trans Technology Group, Salinger Privacy, Lockstep Consulting, Iran Nanotechnology Business Network, Orica Mining Chemicals, and Socca INC.
  4. Non-government organizational submissions such as from the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Australian Privacy Foundation.


IEEE-SSIT's Technology and Society Magazine is the only periodical that specializes in the social implications of technology – and on the interplay of technology and societal implications – from the perspective of a technical engineering society.

In the international publishing arena Technology and Society Magazine is considered as follows:

  1. an engineering periodical with a focus on societal implications of technology (privacy, security, affective, addictive, predictive, anticipatory, pervasive, invasive, ubiquitous, access, universal obligation, equity, borders, convenience, openness, value proposition, control, care, prosthetic, robotic, adaptive, surveillance, enforcement, employment, consumerism, innovation, human rights, gender, sustainability, and freedom and choice)
  2. a multidisciplinary periodical that includes perspectives from a variety of disciplines (legal, regulatory, philosophical, ethical, theological, cultural, anthropological, sociological, new media, economic, environmental, technological, scientific, health, medical, and policing)
  3. a diverse stakeholder reaching periodical that is relevant to entities along an upstream and downstream supply/value chain (business, raw material producers, designers, makers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, content providers, handset/wearable providers, operators and service providers, industry bodies, standards-setting organizations, non-government organizations, advocates, and users).

Table 1. Thematic “Technology” snapshot by volume and issue

Table 2. Thematic “Society” snapshot by volume and issue.


Breadth of Topic Coverage

The content we have received for publication is mostly two-pronged. On the one hand are the organizational and/or societal issues raised by each paper, and on the other hand is the technology that overcomes those stated problems. In addition, from the interplay of technology and society come positive and negative socio-economic impacts, social implications, and technical shortcomings that are important to discuss.

Special Sections and Special Issues

We have continued to host an annual special issue on select papers emanating from SSIT's International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS). In 2015 we also published a special issue on Norbert Wiener. Special section themes have also served as the basis for dialogue around emerging technologies. Some of these have included: the “Social Impacts of National Security Technologies” (vol. 31, no. 1), “Privacy in the Information Age” (vol. 31, no. 4), “Smart Grids and Social Networks” (vol. 33, no. 1), “Technology for Collective Action” (vol. 33, no. 3), “Social and Economic Sustainability” (vol. 34, no. 1). Co-locating like themed material has provided a richness for enjoying a single issue as a whole unit of evidence to ponder. At times articles submitted for review may “jump the queue” if they are immediately relevant to a socio-technical matter being addressed in that given issue, or in the media more broadly.

Online Social Media

As well as the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine there are several other ways to publish content relevant to the SSIT. These include the IEEE SSIT E-Newsletter (email, and several social media portals listed here:

  1. IEEESSIT Facebook (4991 members) that can be found here:
  2. IEEE-SSIT LinkedIN (3610 members)
  3. IEEESSIT Twitter (515 followers)

What's New??

Two major changes recently have been made to IEEE T&S Magazine: the way the Magazine looks in terms of creative design; and how articles are submitted to the editor for review. A lot of effort was expended by the Publications Committee around these two items, and when prospective funding became available, we responded accordingly.

New Format Creative Design

The Magazine has a new look and feel – everything from presentation, to the way that content is laid out, to the spacing and accompanying images. We have defined “new entry” types and enhanced existing ones. A stronger emphasis on varying stylistic contributions has been adopted to ensure a mixture of peer review and non-peer review perspectives—from Opinion, to Leading Edge technology insights, to Interviews, Commentaries and Last Word columns.

Acquiring and Implementing a New Workflow in Scholarone's Manuscript Central

We have acquired the IEEE standard for submission of Magazine/Journal manuscripts. This meant that an online workflow had to be defined for T&S Magazine that would align with ScholarOne. By year-end we will have reduced our accepted article backlog to include only outstanding Book Reviews. Beginning in 2016, our review time will decrease substantially, as will time until the final result for accept, major revision, minor revision, or reject status. We are confident with this measure, given the streamlining we have implemented. It is important to underscore however, that our goals do also hinge on the availability of reviewers and their timely feedback.


As T&S Magazine continues to grow, there are any number of opportunities we could investigate as future options. So far we are doing a solid job with our online downloads for articles published with 48 K papers being downloaded in 2014, placing us at about a 150/338 rank for IEEE publications.

Our impact factor is at the highest it has been over the last five years, at 0.56 which is so very encouraging. Although we are not solely about impact factor, we are widely considered the number 1 publication outlet for the specific overlap of technology and society. When we consider that IEEE Spectrum's impact factor is 0.22, Emerald Insight's IT & People is 0.530, Elsevier's Technology in Society is 0.271, John Hopkins University's Technology and Culture is 0.321, and Ethics and Information Technology is 0.520, it is exceptional that with merely 24–28 peer reviewed papers per year we are increasing our citations, and more. We are also not heavy on self-citations in our Magazine of our own contributors, but I would encourage more of us to cite IEEE Technology and Society Magazine articles in other outlets.

We would like to spread the word about the recent excellent results and development of IEEE T&S Magazine. We would like to do this by creating a new and enhanced user-friendly T&S Magazine front end website portal that may drive more traffic to paid elements of the Magazine, but also to contributors and reviewers, with additional multimedia content. We expect this new site will help drive increased membership in our Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) and T&S subscriptions. The new portal also will allow more interactive feedback from readers. A reminder also, that T&S Magazine is still available in print medium.

As the reputation of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine grows, we will need to recruit more reviewers, invite key contributions from major stakeholders, and enlist more full-time and associate members from regions like South America and Africa as well as key representatives from government, all while assuring gender balance.


Katina Michael would like to thank Terri Bookman, Managing Editor, and Joe Herkert, Publications Chair, for their edits and additions to this editorial and their support throughout her editorship. She would also like to acknowledge the work of Keith Miller when he was editor for his foresight and vision.

Citations: Katina Michael, "Reflecting on the Contribution of T&S Magazine to the IEEE", IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, Volume: 34, Issue: 4, Dec. 2015, pp. 9 - 14, DOI: 10.1109/MTS.2015.2494238

After 5 Years



After Five Years Increasingly journals are using a variety of measures to benchmark the quality of their publications. Upon reflection one can source numerous statistics from reliable sources to find key indicators that showcase both the breadth and depth of relevance of a journal within a global academic and industry community of practice. We thought it especially important to present some key indicators in this editorial, which will illustrate both the impact the journal has had over the last five years, and the positive course it is on in the next five years. These figures are a celebration not only for the editorial board and review board but for the many individual researchers who have painstakingly undertaken their research and sought to publish in the journal, despite its relative infancy. May these indicators continue to attract more international contributors as we seek to build on the robust foundations laid in the first five years. In the next five years, we will focus on maintaining the academic rigor displayed to date, while making it even easier for authors to submit their manuscripts and track their papers through the review process online. Since its inception, the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research (JTAER) has had a citation count that is comparable to the first four years reflected by other electronic commerce (EC) centric journals in the Scopus data base. To this end JTAER can claim that it is on a similar trajectory to the other electronic commerce journals that preceded it. JTAER was included in the Scopus data base in 2008.

Table 1 shows the number of JTAER citations significantly rising particularly after the journal’s inclusion in the Scopus data base. On average the journal publishes about 22 papers per annum. The partial count from the 2011 Scopus data base indicated in July that 32 citations had already been recorded for JTAER. Please note that the SNIP and SJR for 2010 were last updated in September 2010. In the Scopus data base JTAER’s h-index is 8. This is one of several indicators that will continue to strengthen over the short-term. While the h-index is not often favorable to newly established journals, in this instance 8 is a good starting point from which to work on [1].

Authors per Country

The global appeal of JTAER is demonstrated by the breadth of the authors’ affiliations and countries. There have been two-hundred and fifty authors from thirty-two countries who have had their work published in JTAER, indicating that the journal has reached a global audience, and its relevance is sustained despite national administrative boundaries. The number of authors from each country can be found in Figure 1.

Journal’s Website Statistics

JTAER’s website has a new section labeled Statistics, where you will be able to find the following report options: • Downloads per year • Ranking of Articles by Downloads • Search per Author/Article • Scopus Citations • Google Scholar Citations

The Downloads per year option provides statistics about the number of downloads from JTAER’s website in a calendar year. Clicking on a particular year, allows one to obtain the number of downloads for each month of that selected year. The Ranking of Articles by Downloads option shows the published article ranked by the total number of downloads. Those articles with the greater number of downloads will be listed first. There is also the additional option of specifying a particular date period to obtain a ranking. The Search per Author/Article option helps you to initiate a search for a published article title or an author surname. In both cases, this option will show the number of downloads, the Scopus citations and the Google scholar citations. The Scopus citations option shows a ranking of published articles based on the Scopus citations, indicating the citations per article. The Google scholar citations option shows a ranking of published articles based on the Google scholar citations, indicating the citations per article. All of these features should enable authors, researchers, and practitioners to gain access to valuable statistics for a variety of purposes, including career development evidence, reviews of literature, and impact analysis by paper. As we continue to attract funding for our innovative online journal portal, even more features will be added. Please write to the Editor in Chief with suggestions you might have to build further feature-rich tools on the JTAER web site.

Best Reviewer of the Year 2010 Award

We are pleased to announce that the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research’s Best Reviewers for the year 2010 are:

• Dr. Antonio Ruiz-Martinez of the Department of Information and Communications Engineering, Faculty of Computer Sciences, University of Murcia, Spain.

• Dr. Carlos Orús of the Department of Marketing Management and Market Research, Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, University of Zaragoza, Spain.

• Dr. Karin Axelsson of the Department of Management and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Linköping University, Sweden.

• Dr. Ygal Bendavid of the School of Management, Department of Management & Technology, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada.

These four researchers have frequently served the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research in a reviewing capacity, and the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Editors have regarded their review reports as outstanding. The criteria used to select the best reviewers of year 2010 were: the presentation and clarity; relevance; accuracy; appropriateness; consistency and contribution of the feedback provided to authors.

On behalf of the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, we would like to extend to Antonio, Carlos, Karin, and Ygal our congratulations on their achievement and our thanks for the contributions they have made to reviewing in our journal. We would like to give an extra special congratulation to Karin, Antonio and Carlos, who have obtained the best reviewer award for the second time.

Coming Special Issue

We have currently one special issue planned for 2012. The August issue will be dedicated to Qualitative Approaches to eMarketing and Online Consumer Behaviour and will be guest edited by Inma Rodríguez-Ardura (University of Oxford), Gerard Ryan (Universitat Rovira i Virgili), and Ulrike Gretzel (University of Wollongong). Full manuscript submissions will be accepted until the 30th of November 2011 and the deadline for final acceptance notification is the 15th of April 2012. Please see the Call for Paper for more information.

Narciso Cerpa Editor-in-Chief

Katina Michael Technical Editor Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research August 2011


[1] J. E. Hirsch, An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output, PNAS, vol. 102, no. 46, pp. 16569– 16572, 2005.


Citation: Narciso Cerpa Torres and Katina Michael, 2011, "After Five Years", Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, Vol. 6, No. 2,, ISSN 0718–1876 Electronic Version, AUGUST 2011 / I-IV, © 2011 Universidad de Talca - Chile.