JETS FAQ

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The following FAQ attempts to address some questions about this move from EVT/WOTE to JETS in specific, and conference/journal hybrids, in general, and how this may impact you.

Q: What is JETS?

A: USENIX JETS brings journal-style reviewing to conference-style papers and seeks to combine the benefits of fast conference turnaround with consistent journal reviewing.

Q: What is USENIX?

A: The USENIX Association began in 1975 as a UNIX users' group. This evolved into a non-profit association managing a variety of top-tier academic computer science conferences, including OSDI and NSDI (Operating/Network Systems Design and Implementation), FAST (File and Storage Technologies), and the USENIX Security Symposium, as well as acting as in-cooperation sponsors for conferences such as SOSP (Symposium on Operating Systems Principles) and EuroSys. USENIX also serves as a professional society for systems administrators, with its popular LISA (Large Installation Systems Administration) conference. All publications from USENIX events are open access, distributed free of charge on the USENIX Web site.

Q: Is JETS a journal, then?

A: JETS is a fully refereed journal, with its own ISSN. You may include JETS publications in the "journal publications" section of your CV, if you split out your journal and conference publications. Note that JETS is published only in electronic form.

Unlike in some journals, the size of the papers is limited, so typically long proofs, detailed system descriptions, or pages of raw data are not included. We intend to preserve—or even increase—the prestige you get when you publish in, or review for, other major conferences and workshops in the elections space. The difference is that it will be done through a fully refereed journal dedicated—as in other sciences—to shorter publications.

Q: Does JETS have an ISSN?

A: Yes, the Library of Congress has issued JETS ISSN 2328-2797. Each issue of JETS will have its own ISBN, printed in the copyright block. We currently expect to produce two issues of JETS every year.

Q: Is JETS indexed or ranked in any way?

A: The organizations that produce journal impact rankings can take several years to add any given journal to their rankings, and we will endeavor to include JETS in these rankings. Furthermore, JETS builds on the scholarly tradition of EVT/WOTE, which was first held in 2006. Of course, major search engines like Google Scholar will pick up our publications immediately, and our open-access policies make it easier for others to read and cite your work. You may also refer to the composition of the editorial board. We intend JETS to be the premiere venue for scholarship in this area. The rankings and impact factors will be high.

Q: What is JETS copyright policy?

A: JETS follows the USENIX Association's copyright policy. You may wish to read an example copyright form. In a nutshell, you, the author, retain your copyright. All you do is grant USENIX the right to disseminate your paper and you vouch that it's your own work. You also grant USENIX the exclusive right to be first publisher of the work before publishing the same material elsewhere.

Q: What happened to the EVT/WOTE workshop?

A: The workshop formerly known at EVT/WOTE is now (starting in August 2015) the JETS Workshop. Papers accepted for JETS will be invited for presentation at the next JETS workshop. Beginning in 2013, we replaced the traditional program committee with a journal-style reviewing process. Papers accepted to the journal are also invited to the JETS Workshop for a presentation slot. Over time, the structure of JETS journal/conference hybrid may change, but no such changes are being contemplated as yet.

Q: What is the benefit of the two deadlines per year that JETS provides, compared to having a traditional annual conference deadline?

A: From an author's viewpoint, you can submit to the next regular deadline, whenever your results are ready. If you miss the March deadline, closest to the summer JETS Workshop, you can still submit at the next deadline in September, well before the next year's deadline. Newly accepted papers will appear online at regular intervals each year. Regardless of when your paper appears, you will be invited to present your results at the subsequent JETS Workshop. From a reviewer's viewpoint, the reviewing load is spread across the year, smoothing some of the burstiness associated with a traditional annual conference. The regular deadlines keep things moving faster than the slow pace of many traditional journals.

Q: What will be the turnaround time for JETS?

A: JETS is structured with two submission deadlines, six months apart. After each deadline, there will be time for two rounds of journal-style review. If your paper is "accepted with minor revisions," then we expect you will have enough time to make the required changes before the second round of review. If the editors believe your paper requires more significant work, it will be rejected, and can be resubmitted for the next deadline, allowing for a longer multi-round process, comparable to that associated with traditional journals. The editors will endeavor to assign the same reviewers to subsequent editions of a given manuscript, allowing for editorial continuity.

Q: What is the cutoff date for making next year's JETS Workshop?

A: There will be two deadlines each year for JETS. The March deadline is the latest that will allow for a paper to appear at the same year's Workshop. Submissions for later deadlines will appear at the following year's workshop. Of course, accepted papers will still appear online as soon as the regular journal publication occurs.

Q: We would like to submit a paper based on something previously published elsewhere (e.g., in a computer science workshop). Is that OK?

A: JETS is a multidisciplinary journal, and academics coming to JETS have different expectations for how journals might proceed in these circumstances. JETS has adopted the following standard: any paper submitted to JETS must include new work, suitable for publication on its own merits, which has not appeared previously in any refereed publication venue. This includes workshop and conference papers with formal proceedings, as well as newspaper and magazine articles, but excludes university technical reports and lecture notes, online preprint servers, or personal blogs. If portions of a JETS submission have appeared elsewhere, that does not disqualify the submission. Instead, the authors should create an appendix to their submission detailing the nature of the previous publication and the novelties in the JETS submission. Doing this in the context of the JETS double-blind submission policy requires a certain amount of care, but shouldn't be impractical. This appendix shall not count against the JETS page limit, and will not appear in the final JETS publication. The authors should also separately email the JETS editors-in-chief with a copy of the full prior submission or suitable instructions for how to get it. The JETS editors-in-chief reserve the right to reject the JETS submission without review, or to pass it on to the standard review process.

Q: We would like to submit preliminary work to JETS, much like other computer science workshops, preserving our ability to submit a full paper later to another computer science conference or journal. How can we do this?

A: We encourage you to contact the JETS editors-in-chief, who may be willing to schedule you for an invited talk at the JETS Workshop. Our policy is that the published record for JETS papers represents refereed archival work. This would preclude its publication, without substantial improvements or changes, in most other refereed conferences or conferences.

Q: If JETS is a journal, can I still publish extended versions of JETS papers in traditional journals?

A: Yes! Most journals accept value-added extensions of previously published conference papers. What matters to them is the style and length of the earlier publication and the nature of the additions, not the kind of review that the earlier submission had. In these regards, JETS is more like a computer science conference, even though the papers undergo a more careful, journal-style review process.

Q: What is the benefit of the journal-style reviewing of JETS, compared to traditional computer science conference reviewing?

A: Many good papers have some technical shortcomings that prevent them from being accepted for conferences when submitted the first time. Some computer science conferences offer an author-reply phase during which can authors can clarify misunderstandings, but it is limited regarding both the length and detail of the reply and the time for addressing reviewers' concerns. When a workshop like JETS only happens once a year, it seems a shame to potentially have authors wait an entire year to get another shot at publication. The regular deadlines for JETS help bring these papers into publication faster.

Furthermore, when resubmitting an improved paper to a new conference, you are usually faced with a new set of reviewers who may raise different concerns. In contrast, JETS' journal-style reviewing allows for revision of your work within a reasonable timeframe and the opportunity for a consistent technical dialog between the author and reviewers across multiple manuscript revisions.

Q: Who will review my paper?

A: Generally speaking, every paper will be subject to double-blind review by three or more members of the JETS editorial board. We may also seek external reviewers from time to time, but our intent is that editorial board members will do the bulk of the reviewing themselves. In this respect, JETS acts more like a computer science conference and less like a journal. It also helps us keep the process running on schedule.

Q: Does JETS provide editorial or other production support for authors?

A: JETS ultimately expects its authors to submit camera-ready manuscripts. Authors who need professional copy-editing or other production services should seek outside assistance prior to submitting to JETS.

Q: How does the editorial board of JETS evolve over time?

A: We expect editorial board members will serve for several years, eventually stepping down to make room for others. Membership on the editorial board will be determined by the editors-in-chief.

Q: How does governance for JETS function?

A: JETS is part of the USENIX Association and, as such, is the responsibility of the USENIX Board of Directors, who are themselves elected by the USENIX membership. Every USENIX conference, workshop, or journal has a Board Liaison to ensure the Board is actively involved. An informal steering committee helped manage the transition from EVT/WOTE to JETS, but the day-to-day management of JETS will be the responsibility of the editors-in-chief. Succession of the editors-in-chief will be the responsibility of the USENIX Board of Directors.

Q: How does JETS compare to other hybrid journal/conferences like VLDB (Very Large Databases)?

A: This FAQ was borrowed and modified from the VLDB FAQ and the structure of JETS borrows liberally from VLDB. The main difference is that VLDB accepts submissions year-round while JETS has its regular-interval submission structure.

Q: Are JETS journal authors required to appear at the JETS Workshop?

A: Yes! One of the conditions of JETS accepting your paper is that you must send an author to the subsequent workshop to present your work. If you fail to send a speaker, we reserve the right to remove your publication from the journal.

Q: Why the draconian policy?

A: JETS is an open-access journal. Your publications will be free for the world to read, and you will retain your copyright. That's great, but that also means that USENIX has no ongoing revenue stream via the monetization of your work. Instead, by appearing at the JETS Workshop, you encourage others to appear as well -- to see your timely and exciting presentation -- which in turn entices more people to travel to the workshop. Running workshops like this is how USENIX and other scholarly organizations across computer science cover their ongoing expenses. The travel, hotel, and registration costs you face with JETS are comparable to what you might pay in an up-front publication fee for a variety of other "open" journal publications. Here, at least, you also participate in and help grow your community.
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