Monday, April 03, 2023

TheoretiCS: Status update

Thomas Schwentick, Meena Mahajan and Pascal Weil (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of the TheoretiCS Foundation, respectively) sent me the following information on TheoretiCS, which I am happy to share with our community with their permission. I encourage everyone to support the journal by submitting their best work to it!

TheoretiCS was officially launched in December 2021 and we wish to present you with the current status of the project. You can find more precise information on the journal's site, theoretics-journal.org.

The first papers were submitted right away in December 2021, and some were published in 2022: Volume 1 (2022) has two papers. Volume 2 (2023) already has five published papers, more are very near acceptance and there is a healthy list of papers under review, with more papers submitted every month.

Our intention was to have a journal that covers the whole of Theoretical Computer Science, and this is reflected in the list of published papers. We also wanted to have an open-access journal (it operates under the so-called diamond open access paradigm, which means that no charges are levied to read it, nor to publish in it), and one that involves the theoretical computer science community as much as possible. This was done by first establishing an Advisory Board, where the majority of the members are representatives of many of the most prominent conferences of the domain. The Advisory Board selected a pair of remarkable Editors-in-Chief (Javier Esparza, TU M√ľnchen, and Uri Zwick, Tel-Aviv University) and then worked with the EiCs to assemble a prestigious Editorial Board. The Advisory Board continues to meet regularly, with the EiCs, to help steer the journal.

We also wanted to innovate in the reviewing process, streamlining it without compromising in any way the quality of the papers — as we are aiming to become one of the very top journals in the field. The Editorial Board has a so-called Phase 1 process which typically lasts between 2 and 3 months, which determines whether the paper is of the caliber expected for the journal (quality of the results and quality of the exposition, relatively wide interest), under the assumption that the proofs are correct. When this Phase 1 concludes positively, Phase 2 starts, with the objective of verifying the proofs and, possibly, making constructive suggestions to the authors as to how to better present their results. The result, we hope, is a higher quality for the papers published, and also a shorter response time for most of the papers which will end up being rejected. As of early 2023, on average, a decision for Phase 1 was reached 64 days after submission, within the three-month commitment the Editorial Board made. 85% of the papers got a Phase 1 decision within 94 days.

TheoretiCS remains a work in progress, though we now have something to show for our efforts. The long-term success of the journal will however continue to depend on the support of the scientific community it wants to serve. Your support is precious in this context, and we hope you will spread the word and encourage people around you to submit their best papers to TheoretiCS.

With best regards,

Thomas Schwentick, Meena Mahajan and Pascal Weil,
respectively Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of the TheoretiCS Foundation