New Report (Updated on Dec. 31, 2009)
PC/TAC Publications Liaison Report
Presented by Ashwani Gupta, University of Maryland, firstname.lastname@example.org
Prepared by I-Shih Chang, The Aerospace Corporation, email@example.com
Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, Jan. 5, 2010
• Additional TC Inputs on Publication-Related Issues
Additional TC Comments and Suggestions in 2009
Additional TC Inputs on Publications - Background (1/3)
• An e-mail was sent to 70 TC Chairs on Dec. 3, 2009.
Dear AIAA TC Chairs:
I am the Publications Liaison for the Technical Activities Committee (TAC). Last January at the AIAA Aerospace
Sciences Meeting I reported the publications-related issues, suggestions, and comments from 53 of the 71
TCs in the TAC.
The report is attached.
This year my goal is to complete the task carried over from last time. Please take a look of the report and
provide me with any updated inputs on publications-related matter. If you do not have any inputs, just reply to
this email with the message that you are satisfied with the AIAA Publications.
I will talk with the Chairs of the 18 TCs who did not respond to my inquiry last year and again this year.
Additional TC Inputs on Publications - Background (2/3)
• Another e-mail was sent to 11 TC Chairs on Dec. 23, 2009.
Dear TC Chairs:
Your TC is one of a few TCs, which has not responded to my email this year and last year.
Please reply to my email and provide me with some inputs for the report to AIAA TAC and
I will be calling and talking with you, if no reply from you by next week.
Additional TC Inputs on Publications - Background (3/3)
• 15 TCs responded with additional short comments in 2009.
• 19 TCs responded with additional detailed comments in 2009.
• 33 TCs had already responded previously in 2008.
• 3 TCs did not reply to the survey in 2008 and again in 2009
after repeated effort to solicit their inputs.
Balloon Systems Michael Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Legal Aspects Aero & Astro Pamela Meredith email@example.com
Plasmadynamics & Lasers Eric Jumper firstname.lastname@example.org
15 TCs gave additional, short, positive comments.
19 TCs gave additional, detailed comments.
1. Air Breathing Propulsion Systems Integ. (ABPSI) TC
2. Aircraft Design (ACD) TC
3. Adaptive Structures (AS) TC
4. Computer-Aided Enterprise Solutions (CAES) TC
5. Energetic Components & Systems (ECS) TC
6. Electric Propulsion (EP) TC (1/2)
6. Electric Propulsion (EP) TC (2/2)
7. General Aviation (GA) TC
8. Info. and Command & Control Systems (IC2) TC
9. Intelligent Systems (IS) TC
10. Missile Systems (MIS) TC
11. Microgravity & Space Processes (MSP) TC
12. Meshing, Visualization & Comput. Env. (MVC) TC
13. Product Support (PS) TC
14. Society & Aerospace Technology (SAT) TC
15. Space Colonization (SC) TC
16. Systems Engineering (SE) TC
17. Space Resources (SRE) TC
18. Structures (STR) TC
19. Survivability (SUR) TC
• There are 70 TCs in TAC in 2009.
Technical Information TC is no longer in the TC list.
• 95.7% (= 67/70) of the TCs in TAC responded in 2008-2009.
• 3 TCs (BA, LAAA, PDL) did not reply to this survey in 2008
and again in 2009 after repeated effort to solicit their inputs.
The goal of 100% TC participation is spoiled by these 3 TCs.
• Most TCs are satisfied with the AIAA publications.
• Hopefully, the Publications Committee will take some actions
to respond to these TC comments and suggestions.
Previous Report (Last Updated on Mar. 3, 2009)
PC/TAC Publications Liaison Report
I-Shih Chang, The Aerospace Corporation, email@example.com
Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, Jan. 8, 2009
• Summary from PC Meeting at 2009 ASM
• TC Inputs on Publications
TCs Comments and Suggestions
Summary from PC Meeting at 2009 ASM
• TAC recommended 2 of the 5 newly-appointed PC members
Prof. Claudio Bruno (Univ of Rome) and Butch Foster (Auburn Univ.)
• Dr. Peretz Friedmann (Univ. of Michigan) is appointed to be in charge of AIAA J.
• Major Projects:
eBooks: 219 titles available for purchase (40 more to be converted)
IAS & ARS archives complete -- first sale went to Texas A&M
• A new AIAA Journal of Systems Engineering is being considered.
TC Inputs on Publications -- Background (1/2)
• An e-mail was sent by Betty Guillie to all TCs on Nov. 19, 2008.
Dear TC Chairs:
The AIAA Publications Committee is in charge of books, journals, standards, and technical
papers archives and will meet at 2009 ASM in Orlando, FL.
I am pretty sure that you and your committee members have encountered some
publications-related issues in the past.
Please e-mail me a one-liner or a paragraph on any publications-related questions,
suggestions, and comments. I will ensure that your message is heard at the AIAA
Publications Committee Meeting.
Thanks a lot. I-Shih
• Only Three TCs responded, and I-Shih Chang was furious!
TC Inputs on Publications -- Background (2/2)
• Two more e-mails were sent to TCs on Dec. 3, 2008 and Jan. 28, 2009
Dear TC Chairs, Vice Chairs, and Publications Subcommittee Chairs:
The AIAA Publications Committee is in charge of books, journals, standards, and
technical papers archives and will meet at 2009 ASM in Orlando, FL.
Although “Publish or Perish” is only true in academia, publication is still one of the
important factors in measuring personal career achievements in industry and government
agencies. As of today, few TCs replied to the previous e-mail on AIAA publications.
As a TC leader, you volunteer to take some responsibility and obligation to make AIAA
the best Institute to serve aerospace technical community. I recognized that responsibility
and obligation when I was the Solid Rockets TC Chair.
Please e-mail me a few sentences or a paragraph on any publications-related issues,
suggestions, comments, and good/bad experience. If you do not have any thing to say
about AIAA publications, you can just reply to this e-mail with two words “No
Comments.” But please do not discard this e-mail without replying to it.
The inputs from all TCs will be presented to VPs, Deputy VPs, Directors, Editors-in-Chief
at the Technical Activities Committee and Publications Committee meetings in January
2009 and later distributed to all TC Chairs, Vice Chairs, and PS-Chairs. Thanks. I-Shih
• 53 TCs responded, and I-Shih Chang is happy now! 33
18 TCs did not reply. (1/2)
18 TCs did not reply. (2/2)
18 TCs gave succinct, positive comments. (1/2)
18 TCs gave succinct, positive comments. (2/2)
35 TCs provided much appreciated detailed reply. (1/2)
35 TCs provided much appreciated detailed reply. (2/2)
1. Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems (ADS) TC (1/2)
ADS TC Chair, Robert Sinclair, Airborne Sys. N. America, firstname.lastname@example.org
The following are comments from the members regarding AIAA publi cations.
1. Perhaps we should mention the "issue" we had at the last conference with the plagiarized paper, and
suggest that AIAA may want to i mpose an earlier manuscript submission rule for c onferences so that papers
can be reviewed by session chairs at a minimum prior to presentation to reduce the chances of this happening
2. How about AIAA working harder (and faster) to allow the production of paper-copies of conference
proceedings for those who want to p ay extra for them? I understand that this ma y not be economical for
megaconferences that feature hundreds of talks; but I think that it would work for small proceedings such as
those of the ADS. And to repeat my argume nt against those proceedings on CDs: Today in 2008 I still consult
ADS proceedings produced 10, 20 and 30yrs ago. What tells me that those CDs will be readable on those
computers that will be built 20yrs from now? And a suggestion on how to spend ADS TC money: In case AIAA
is still not r eally interested in d oing this, I wouldnÕt mind our T C printing a bunch of pre-ordered ADS
proceedings from 2005 and 2007 and sell them at a (reasonable) loss.
3. What is the current time between manuscript submission and appearance in an AIAA publication? It used to
take a very long time (well over a year). If that is still the case, AIAA should be chall enged to speed that
process up. In parallel with nudging AIAA on our publication issues, our TC leadership should target key papers
from our ADS Conference and urge people to prepare them for publication. In particular, combining papers
might make good journal articles. We ought to look for opportunities to put articles in Aerospace America as
1. Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems (ADS) TC (2/2)
2. Applied Aerodynamics (APA) TC
APA TC Chair, Frank Coton, Univ. of Glasgow, email@example.com
There has been no adverse feedback from the Applied Aero TC on publications issues. We have a connection
with the Journal of Aircraft board and this appears to be functioning well. I am an Associate Editor of the AIAA
Journal and so provide a link to that journal also. We publish out highlights article annually and that is a
valuable activity for the TC.
3. Aerospace Power Systems (APS) TC
APS TC PS-Chair, Theodore Stern, DR Technologies, Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
The APS-TC publications subcommittee mostly focuses on publications by the TC, such as our website and
newsletter, while our conferences subcommittee generally addresses papers for specific conferences.
Nonetheless, here are a few comments from my observations Ğ
AIAAÕselectronic paper submission system is excellent. It really makes the process very convenient for the
authors and the session chairs. On the flip side, IÕve seen better approaches to gathering the presentations for
the conference, e.g. the IEEE PVSC uses a c entralized system at the conference so t hat each paper is
automatically transmitted to the proper room at the proper time. There have been too many AIAA conference
sessions where the session has been interrupted because the power points werenÕtcompatible or couldnÕtbe
located or loaded on time. I think the Õ paper, no podiumÓ ru is important to enforce, but the converse never
made sense to me. If someone wants to s ubmit a paper and it gets through all the gates, I donÕtsee why
presenting it has to be a precondition for inclusion into proceedings.
It is getting harder to find the time, budget and to go through the approval process to get state-of-the-art results
publi shed. This is especially true with the larger corporations who shy away more from potential issues with
ITAR, etc. I donÕknow what AIAA could do about this Ğ perhaps something could be done to clarify the ground
rules or to encourage corporations to invest more discretionary funds in technical publications. Could AIAA
lobby the State Dept and Commerce Dept to provide better clarity on what is and is not acceptable. To
encourage submissions, perhaps authors should get a discount on the conference? Perhaps AIAA should
consider more conferences with restricted attendance (US Citizens only)?
4. Astrodynamics (ASD) TC
ASD TC Chair, James Gearhart, Orbital Sciences Corporation, email@example.com
Regarding the issue of AIAA Publications from the perspective of the Astrodynamics Technical Committee, I
would like to provide the following feedback:
1) The following text was excerpted from our TC Charter: "Assist the Publications Committee of the AIAA in its
efforts to maintain and improve the quality of the AIAA technical publications, by providing counsel to editorial
staffs and reviewing technical papers proposed for publication."
2) Our TC maintains two positions that formally serve as liaisons with the Journal of Guidance, Control, and
Dynamics and the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets. It has always been the policy of the Astrodynamics TC
to communi cate any publications-related issues directly to the respective editors through these journal liaison
members, in a timely fashion as the issues arise.
3) At every Speakers' Breakfast and before every technical paper session held at both the Space Flight
Mechanics Meeting and the Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, the session chairs encourage the authors to
consider submitting their conference papers to the various peer-reviewed journals.
5. Computer Systems (CPS) TC
CPS TC Chair, Thomas Woodall, Raytheon Space & Airborne Sys., firstname.lastname@example.org
We've been happy with publications. We the Computer Systems TC together with the Software TC published
the COTS guidebook. We have been disappointed in some ways with JACIC, but are satisfied with the current
plans which will make it better and more respected. For example, we like the annual publication of all articles.
6. Digital Avionics (DA) TC
DA TC Chair, John Gonda, The MIRE Corporation, email@example.com
In the future, please do not shotgun these requests out to the TCs which have already responded.
DA TC PS-Chair, Chris Watkins, GE Aviation, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Digital Avionics Technical Committee (DATC) has discussed a possible improvement to the AIAA
publi cations process. We propose a process be setup where we can submit award-winning conference papers
to AIAA journals. We would like to provide papers that win "best of conference" and possible "best of track" for
more widespread publication in the journals. The conference would be a good first round of reviews, even if the
award-winning paper required additional review by the journal editors.
7. Economics (ECO) TC
ECO TC Chair, Dipasis Bhadra, FAA, Dipasis.Bhadra@faa.gov
I commend you for your interests in collecting information about AIAA's publications. I have some limited
exposure to AIAA journals but generally noticed the following:
1. Professional quality of Journals appears to be somewhat uneven. Some journals are at par with what one
would expect in the academic domain but some others may not.
2. Review process of the journals may always be improved. Although I like the web-based review process that
the AIAA launched a couple years ago, it can be further improved. I would also be interested to see that
reviewers pool is expanded. A lot of research that takes place outside the AIAA communit y may be brought in
for the effectiveness of the Journals.
3. Finally, the industry aspects of aviation, in particular economics, finance, and business, are sorely missing in
almost all the Journals. Within AIAA community, we have been working very hard to build these communities,
emphasizing parts of some journals or even launching an industry-focused journals may be worth your while.
Over the years, I have noticed that AIAA journals have published very little in these areas.
Once again, I appreciate your taking time to compile this information. This is certainly a task that will serve the
broader community well.
8. Electric Propulsion (EP) TC
EP TC Chair, Dan Goebel, JPL, email@example.com
I submitted a lot of information that you presented last year. So my first comment is what happened? What
actions have been taken to streamline the reviewing process for the journal editors and associate editors? This
year I w ould like to comment (complain) that a p aper was sent back twice to a student I know because the
editor of the AIAA journal did not like the fonts and layout of the figures. He said that making the author submit
the figures in the final format saved time later. This puts a big job o n the a uthor that may not b e warranted
because the reviewers may recommend that the figures be changed or deleted. Submitted papers should have
figures of sufficient quality to be reviewed, and the editors should try and minimize the workload on the author
as much as is reasonable. Once the paper is reviewed, then the final figures should be required.
9. Fluid Dynamics (FD) TC
FD TC Chair, Peter Hartwich, The Boeing Company, firstname.lastname@example.org
I passed your original e-mail on to my TC membership. I have yet to receive a s ingle answer. This
experience is consistent with similar surveys that I distributed in the past on behalf of the AIAA Publications
Committee. I even brought it up as an agenda item at my last TC plenary session. During this session, the
general feedback was that AIAA's publications are of high quality. I have TC members who are working with
AIAA on a Progress-series book. Our TC has for years a liaison with the Journal of Aircraft. I nominated one
member of our TC for the position of Editor-in-Chief, AIAA Journal. In short, the Fluid Dynamics TC is actively
involved with AIAA publications at several levels. To me, their engagement seems to indicate that they are
taking AIAA' s publications seriously, that they value them, and that they care. If nothing else, they are actively
engaged rather than sitting quietly on the sidelines, and they try to make a difference rather than sending a few
gripes up the chain. In my book, thata's all goodness.
Thanks very much for caring about the quality of AIAA's publications - very much a ppreciatedÉ
10. Guidance, Navigation & Control (GNC) TC (1/2)
GNC TC Chair, Mark Whorton, NASA /MSFC, email@example.com
I agree it is a radical idea and I'm not saying our TC advocates it. I'm just passing along the comment.
However, there has been some discussion amongst our memb ers against this i dea and you can see this
Lael Rudd, Northrop Grumman Corp., firstname.lastname@example.org
A suggestion I would li ke to propose is blind reviews of journal papers, in terms of not having the author's name
appear to the reviewer. This would remove any prejudice one way or the other. I would even propose possibly
going one step further and have the reviewer's names be known to the author. I believe this would force the
reviewer to give an accurate technical assessment, instead of a possibly biased one (due to competitiveness,
personal grudges, etc.), since the reviewer's name would be known. However, I guess it could be argued that
people may be afraid to give critical, detailed, analyses if they know their name will be seen. Also arguments
over technical expertise against the reviewer might also occur, but I think that should be irrelevant as long as
the reviewed points are technically valid, or vice-versa invalidated by the author.
I think though, that the concept of an "old boys" network should be accepted as a potential problem. At the very
least, preventing reviewers from seeing the author's names can help minimize this problem. Having reviewers
be accountable for their comments would also minimize this problem. Both of these actions would lead to
greater technical quality papers, I believe. I could be in the (extremely small) minority here though.
John D. Schierman, Barron Associates, Inc., email@example.com
Lael: I believe you would be very much in the minority on this one. I think having the reviewerÕs ame known
would limit their honesty if they had critical comments. On the other hand, one possible problem with not
knowing the author is that no checks could be made regarding whether the material had been published
previously. I guess you could ha ve those types of checks made by an editor though.
10. Guidance, Navigation & Control (GNC) TC (2/2)
John L. Crassidis, State Univ. of New York at Buffalo, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh I spend A LOT of time checking up on the history of a paper. ItÕsamazing the deceit that goes on. But such
is the life of publish or perishÉ
Nazli Kahveci, email@example.com
I have a c omment about past conferences and events. The AIAA website in its current form provides
information only on the future conferences. The links to the past events simply disappear. Users can access
past conference proceedings and agenda via the "Publications and Papers" link, whereas I believe events
overview, program committee, forums and sponsors could as well be lis ted in an accessible form for future
reference. Most professional organizations indeed keep online records for the links which were used to
advertise past events at the time.
Chris L. Pettit, U.S. Naval Academy, firstname.lastname@example.org
We all know that publications is a key factor in academia and beyond. In the recent years, increasingly,
numeri cal indices (eg, journal impact factor, h-index, publication half-life) are being used to judge publications.
Whether we like or not, I don't see the trend reversing the near future. In spite of very high-quality nature of the
AIAA publications, they somehow perform poorly in numerical indices [eg, AIAA journal, which is the leading
AIAA publication, has impact factor less than 1 - this is less than J. of Sound & Vib - which I think is not as good
as the AIAA journal]. I somehow feel this issue need to be at least registered by the AIAA Publications
11. Gas Turbine Engine (GTE) TC
GTE TC Chair, Robert J. Bruckner, NASA/GRC, email@example.com
I have no input or issues with AIAA books and journals. However, I feel strongly that the quality of the technical
conference papers could be improved. I believe there is a trade-off between timeliness and rigorously peer-
reviewed conference papers. On the one hand there are conferences such as the ASME-IGTI TurboExpo that
have a very rigorous publication and review process. The papers coming from this conference are o ften of
higher quality than refereed journals, however the research that is presented is at least 18 months old. On the
other hand there are several conferences that only require an extended abstract. In such a setting the onus is
on the author to make his/her best effort to present error-free research, but the understanding is that it is timely
and not meticulously reviewed. I feel that the AIAA conferences, JPC and ASM in particular, are stuck firmly in
the mus hy middle, papers are neither timely nor of high quality. They have long le ad times f or abstracts (8
months for the JPC is unreasonable in the day of internet based conference administration), yet the final paper
is not reviewed and is often of poor quality or not even submitted. I believe it would be in the best interest of
AIAA to moved toward a more timely format in which only an extended abstract is required for the conference
proceeding and a more formal, reviewed paper can be published through the journals.
GTE TC Vice-Chair, Ian Halliwell, Avetec, firstname.lastname@example.org
The only comment I have on AIAA publications is that I think the collection is really impressive. I have a pretty
large set of AIAA Air Breathing Propulsion texts as well as many others from The Education series and
Progress in Astro & Aero. I always look through the list of upcoming publ ications to see what I might next
acquire. There are a few books on my wish list right now! The savings on AIAA publications is something I
always mention when encouraging young folks to become memb ers; they can recoup the whole of their Student
Member fee on one book alone!
12. Materials (MAT) TC
MAT TC Chair, Gregory Odegard, Michigan Technological Univ., email@example.com
The only recent interactions that our TC has had with AIAA Publications is concerning a project that we have in
which our TC memb ers are assembling a book on Aerospace materials, and our annual Materials report in
Aerospace America. As far as I know, we have had no problems with AIAA publications. I have cc'd the chair
of our book subcommittee (Biliyar Bhat) and the chair of our publications subcommittee (Ed Glaessgen). If
they have any specific suggestions regarding AIAA publications, then they will contact you directly.
13. Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) TC
MDO TC PS-Chair, Robert Canfield, Air Force Institute of Tech., firstname.lastname@example.org
My experience with reviewing is that editors rely on automatic e-mail mes sages to solicit reviewers without ever
making personal contact. Then they often expect reviews be accomplished without ever hearing from the
candidate reviewer--the paper shows up on CAS as due/overdue without the reviewer ever responding
positively to the request.
14. Meshing, Visualiz. & Comput. Envir. (MVC) TC (1/2)
MVC TC Vice-Chair, Steve Karman, Univ. of Tenn. at Chattanooga ,email@example.com
I forwarded you request for input to the Meshing, Visualization and Computational Environments committee and
received feedback from two memb ers. Below is the te xt of t heir emails (unedited or filtered). These are their
experiences and opinions, not necessarily mine.
Input from first committee member:
The last 2 experiences I have had with the journals were mixed.
Last year I had an amazingly expeditious review of a manuscript for Journal of A ircraft: 6 weeks from
submission to acceptance (frankly, unheard of!), and 6 months from submission to appearance in print.
This year I submitted a manuscript to JACIC, which was declined by the associate editor as out of scope. I did
not particularly agree with this since I have seen other CFD papers in JACIC, but I did not dispute it.
Nevertheless, the decision was prompt.
I do believe AIAA had made a solid effort to shorten the time to either publi cation or a rejection decision for the
journals. As a contrasting case, an article I published in AIAA Journal in 2005 was under review for over a year
before I finally had reviewer comments back and a decision from the associate editor. Obviously I missed the
telecon, things came up (sick kid to the doctor). Again, I will not be at ASM but should be in San Antonio
(pending abstract acceptance of course).
14. Meshing, Visualiz. & Comput. Envir. (MVC) TC (2/2)
Input from second committee member:
Nobody in industry cares about AIAA publi cations or reads them except small group of i ndustry authors.
Publishing papers often negatively influences your career. AIAA needs to allow technical content to be
uploaded by member authors to a searchable website (like NASA reports) which can be spidered by google.
Google will do the ranking for us. I suggest we dump the peer review process all together. Members should be
able to add their critiques of a certain paper as an attached blog.
In industry AIAA publications are not necessarily a positive for your career, because papers either disclose
technology and/or strategy or disclose that you are not working on what you should be working on.
Industrial work should NOT be peer reviewed. Either the published material does not meet academic
standards of reproducibility (on purpose) or academic reviewers are not qualified to peer-review. Therefore
most industrial work is only disclosed during conference meetings. (If at all). A lot of industrial work is now
disclosed in non-AIAA conferences such as NAFEMS or company specific meetings. AIAA is becoming less
and less of an outlet for industrial work.
What I propose as a fist step is that all industrial papers that are presented in AIAA conferences are uploaded
to the AIAA website and distributed for free. The papers should be searchable by Google. Individual members
should be able to comment on the papers as they see fit.
15. Space Architecture (SA) TC
SA TC Vice-Chair, Theodore W. Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org
We have an AIAA book in the works: "Out of This World: The New Field of Space Architecture." This has been
a long time in coming -- it was originally conceived as proceedings for a symposium we organized in 2002. (We
were a subcommittee of Design Engineering at the time.) It has been re-conceived and re-edited over the
years -- chapters have been added and deleted. I have not been directly involved in the editing and can't say
why it has taken six years. Suffice to say there have been delays with authors and editors (who can work on it
only during nights and weekends), and also with the publisher. It's my understanding that AIAA has been slow
to act at times. The editors are A. Scott Howe and Brent Sherwood. Scott is also the SATC Chair. I don't know
whether Scott has had a chance to reply to you. I'm including him on Cc.
Speaking for myself, in regard to meeting paper publication: I wish that all AIAA meeting papers were fully peer
reviewed -- not just the extended abstract, but the full final manuscript. The SATC meets annually at t he
International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES), which is cosponsored by SAE, AIAA, AIChE,
ASME, and the ICES International Committee. (We've been meeting there since 1999 when we were merely a
"working group.") SAE h andles the paper review and publication. Short abstracts are due in November,
reviewed for relevance, and assigned to sessions or rejected. Full papers are due in March and are reviewed
by three peers assigned by the session organize r. The reviewers may accept, accept with modifications, or
reject. Authors have a few weeks to make necessary modifications. Modified papers are reviewed again for
final acceptance or rejection. Camera-ready manuscripts are due in May.
I like the SAE/ICES review model. What I don't like is that they require authors to sign away all of their
copyrights (what AIAA calls "Option A.") It seems that AIAA meetings make accept/reject decisions earlier in
the process, based on extended abstracts and incomplete papers. I don't like that. On the other hand, I do
prefer AIAA's approach to copyright assignment. 57
16. Space Automation and Robotics (SAR) TC (1/2)
SAR TC Chair, Glen Henshaw, U.S. Naval Research Lab, email@example.com
Well, now that you mention it... I personally have been having an AIAA journal publication-related issue. I will
try not to sound petty about this issue, though it has been quite frustrating.
- multidisciplinary papers have a difficult time getting a fair review from AIAA journals, especially if the author's
reviewer suggestions are ignored
- AIAA editors are not responsive to author questions regarding such papers
Background: Last year I submitted a paper for consideration to AIAA JGCD. The paper was cross-disciplinary,
in that the topic was on trajectory planning for spacecraft docking maneuvers; but it incorporated elements of
spacecraft trajectory planning related to "classic" orbital dynamics (finding minimum delta-V maneuvers) but
also incorporated elements of robotic trajectory planning from the artificial intelligence community (finding paths
that do not collide with obstacles). These two communities make different assumptions about the problem and
therefore derive different algorithms that have different characteristics. They also each tend to ignore problems
that the other community finds important. AI researchers typically ignore delta-V requirements and second-
order perturbation effects. Orbital mechanics researchers typically ignore collision hazards and attitude
constraints. In m y paper I at tempted to define and then solve an intermediate problem that incorporated
elements of each of these fields in order to develop an algorithm that could plan trajectories for spacecraft
which are operating in the near vicinity of collision hazards.
Unfortunately, the associate editor appears to have recruited reviewers who were only familiar with the orbital
mechanics side of the field, even though I recommended reviewers from both sides. The reviewers were not
favorable to the mixed set of assumptions I made, preferring to see a more classical orbital mechanics paper.
16. Space Automation and Robotics (SAR) TC (2/2)
The reviewers also had valid critiques of the literature review and of the set of example problems I solved in the
paper. Two of the three reviewers recommended that the paper be rejected for publication. This, by itself, would
be fine; I am perfectly fine with accepting a negative outcome from a fair review process.
However, two of the three reviewers based their evaluations on assumptions that were clearly in error. I noted
this and the fact that the other major critiques of the paper - the literature review and the example problem set -
could be rectified, and asked the associate editor whether I had the option of rewriting the paper, attaching a
cover letter detailing the mistakes made by the reviewers, and resubmitting it. I never received a reply. I rewrote
the paper anyway and submitted it to AIAA JSR, thinking that the multidisciplinary nature of that journal would
suit the paper better. However, the editor of JSR rejected the paper without reviewing it on the grounds that it
had already been rejected by an AIAA journal. I pointed out that the paper had been significantly rewritten and
asked the JSR e ditor the same questions I had asked of the JGCD editor. Again I received no reply. I was
therefore forced to submit the paper to an inferior non-AIAA journal.
I have noted that a significant number of other spacecraft trajectory planning papers that make similar sets of
assumptions have also been published in non-AIAA journals, including some from otherwise well regarded
authors. Of course I do not know the details of these papers' reviews and publication, but given that JGCD is
normally considered to be the leading journal in the field and that the author of a spacecraft trajectory planning
paper would normally consider JGCD first for publication, I find it strange that these papers did not find a home
17. Sensor Systems (SEN) TC
SEN TC Chair, Tim Howard, The Boeing Co., firstname.lastname@example.org
I forwarded your original request to my TC memb ers and didnÕtget any suggestions or requests back from
anyone. My own experience with AIAA pubs has been generally positive. My own area (sensors) is probably
better covered in terms of publications by traditional publishing firms and other professional organizations (such
as SPIE and IEEE). I think that is a side effect of the traditional technology base for sensor engineers; however,
as you are probably aware, the use of advanced sensors, computing, and intelligent systems/subsystems in
growing in t he aerospace community (witness the journal JACIC, and the growth of the Infotech conference).
So I would hope that we can expect to see more technical books for example, as well as a growth in papers in
this area in the coming years. For the AIAA such publications would, I expect, be mission- or payload-oriented
because the fundamental technology is well covered elsewhere.
I have no requests, complaints, or suggestions. However, I should note that, when I first joined the Sensor
Systems TC a few years ago we had some discussion on aiming towards an eventual sensors-related
publi cation, perhaps as a new section in the AIAA Design Guide for some future release of that publi cation.
Perhaps that would be worth considering for a future edition of the guide.
Our TC is also meeting at Orlando, on Monday 1/5 from 7-10 pm. If you or a delegate can attend, IÕ be happy
to put you on the agenda to brief our TC on AIAA pubs, Or if not IÕll be h
appy to read or circulate any news
youÕ want to share with us.
18. Space Logistics (SL) TC
SL TC Chair, Olivier De Weck, MIT, email@example.com
I agree with you, publ ications are critical. We are working on two things in the Space Logistics TC:
1. AIAA Progress Series Book: "Space Logistics: Enabling New Frontiers" (project approved and underway,
about 50% comple te)
2. New AIAA Standards for space logistics
I can provide more detail if desired.
19. Software Systems (SOF) TC (1/2)
SOF TC Chair, Lyle Long, Pennsylvania State Univ., firstname.lastname@example.org
You need a new Editor-in-Chief for the JACIC journal, someone who is more accessible and more pro-active.
SOF TC Member, Ronald Kohl, R. J. Kohl & Association, email@example.com
I happen to be the E ditor in C hief of a Soft ware Systems TC Guidebook, Õ Managing the Use of COTS in
Mission Critical SystemsÓ One of the problems that I, and the working group that helped our TC produce this
GB, has had is that when I want to gain information about this GB (e.g. how many copies have been sold or
downloaded? What are the trends of such purchases/dlÕs over time? What are the demographics of the
purchasers? Can we have access to the recipients of our GB in order to solicit their reactions to our GB?), I
always have to make a special request to some AIAA staffer. While the AIAA staff has been helpful and usually
responsive, it seems that as the Publication Ôo ner/managerÕ,our TC should have some of the kind of info at
our fingertips. It would be much more useful to me, as the GB Ôo nerÕ,if I c ould have easier and/or direct
access to such info in order to be able to answer these kind of questions without having to engage AIAA staff.
This could help our TC to better make decisions about when to update our GB, what changes to make to our
GB in future updates, etc.
19. Software Systems (SOF) TC (2/2)
A second question I have is Ô What is the Pubs committee doing to determine the need for and a marketplace for
future AIAA Pubs?Õ While our TC has conceived of this COTS GB pretty much on our own, based on a lot of
TC interactions. But the re may be s ome burning need by the AIAA member ship (or even larger technical
community) on some aspect of software intensive systems that our Software Systems TC could consider taking
on, either by ourselves or in collaboration with other TCs ( or even other outside orgs?). While our TC
recognizes that we can propose ideas for new Pubs (as we did f or our COTS GB) and as a part of that effort
we did our best to determine communit y interest, we a re just a small part of the AIAA. If t here was
Ômarketplace analysisÕ service that the AIAA Pubs committee could provide to us TCs, in order to make sure
that our TC Pub is, in fact, something of greater interest to a larger community.
These are some thoughts IÕv had, based on my own experiences in leading our TCs efforts (in collaboration
with the Computer Systems TC) on our COTS GB. If your Pubs Comm is meeting at ASM, I mite be able to
attend, in case any of the above would be worth further discussions.
20. Space Operations and Support (SOS) TC
SOS TC PS-Chair, J. Paul Douglas, firstname.lastname@example.org
I share the sentiment voiced by the Life Sciences and Systems TC: it is unfortunate that the YIR reflects only
2/3 of the year. Though I can readily relate to the editorial staff's need to adhere to a schedule, having been in
the position myself at times to cut certain material for the sake of maintaining the Communicator's production
schedule, I believe that it is nonetheless counterproductive to place the deadline for the YIR manuscript
submission in September. Much can transpire in t he final 3 months of a year, which is not captured in this
article. The net result is that we, the TCs in parti cular and AIAA in general, can be left appearing uninformed.
May I suggest moving the YIR to January or, as was suggested by LSSTC, re-title to "Fiscal." My preference is
for the former, but if the latter was adopted, it would at least leave open the possibility for every significant event
in a given year and field to be captured.
21. Space Tethers (STE) TC
STE TC Vice-Chair, Enrico Lorenzini, email@example.com
On the positive side
1) the quality of the AIAA peer-reviewed publications is high;
2) the web-based publication retrieval system works well;
3) the write-track reviewing system is has reduced (see later) the time from submission to publication.
On the negative side
1) the time to publication is still far too long: six months at minimum and more typically quite longer
There are no equivalents of "rapid communications" or "letters" in the AIAA f amily of journals. Engineering notes are part
of the solution but they are too few and still take several months to publish.
Consider starting a journal dedicated to rapid communications in the aerospace field. Make every effort to
speed up the publication time of full-length papers in the AIAA journals: aim for a maximum time of six months
to publication. Overall AIAA is doing a great job at promoting aerospace engineering, fostering technical
advances and disseminating the results.
22. Structures (STR) TC
STR TC Chair, Mike Hyer, Virginia Tech, firstname.lastname@example.org
About a year ago a member of the Structures TC took the initiative to begin an electronic newsletter for the
Committee. The idea was to solicit articles, stories, research findings, etc. from the TC members, assemble
them in a newsletter format, and circulate the newsletter to the members of t he TC, and put them on the TC
web page. The first three newsletters were a huge success. For the fourth newsletter there was some difficulty
in getting articles from the members. By the fifth newsletters there were minimal s ubmissions of articles and we
are now in the process of determining what to do next. The newsletter editor suggested a blog. I am not sure
this is such a g ood idea. Most engineers do not hang out on blogs on a r egular basis, at least technically
oriented blogs. You mentioned that only in academia is publi sh or perish a motto. Many aircraft industries do
not want to necessarily publish findings that have business implic ations, so many of the non-academics do not
publi sh. We are not sure if this is the problem.
23. Survivability (SUR) TC
SUR TC Chair, Steve Whitehouse, Applied Research Associates, Inc., email@example.com
My only comment would be that I have enjoyed being a reviewer for the Journal of Aircraft. The computer-
based system works well, and is a convenient way to get copies of papers for review, and to submit review
comments. The editors of the journal are also very good about asking for help well before the deadline for the
review. Finally, it is very satisfying to know that your personal expertise is being used to maintain the quality of
an AIAA publication.
24. Thermophysics (TP) TC (1/2)
TP TC Chair, Egidio Marotta, Texas A&M Univ., firstname.lastname@example.org
This might be an issue you can discuss with your subcommittee and come up with a set of recommendations
for the full committee to discuss in Orlando. Also, it seems that a good portion of the submitted articles is from
foreign authors; does this affect the perception of the quality of the AIAA journals? Moreover, I was under the
perception that our Thermophysics Journal was well respected? Is this not the case?
TP TC PS-Chair, Eswar Josyula, Air Force Research Lab, Eswar.Josyula@wpafb.af.mil
I work in a Govt. Lab and I interact with academia in my research. With most of the academic Professors I work
with, I find there is a reluctance to publish in the AIAA series of Journals because their impact factors are lower
than the high standard these academics have set for themselves. My recommen dations are as follows:
1. Find out the reasons why AIAA set of Journals have relatively low impact factors and attempt to improve on
2. If Editors-in-Chiefs of the AIAA set of Journals have good reasons *not* to i mprove the impact factors,
document the reasons and disseminate them to TC Chairs, Vice Chairs, and Publication Subcommittee Chairs.
3. Find an alternate measure of merit in which AIAA set of Journals are, in fact, better than similar ones and
disseminate this information.
In the end, we want the best researchers out there (Academia, Industry, and Govt.) to feel satisfied, excited and
a healthy challenge with their publishing experience in AIAA.
24. Thermophysics (TP) TC (2/2)
TP TC Member, Michael J. Wright, NASA Ames Research Center, email@example.com
I will say that I find the quality of the AIAA journals to be quite good overall, and I have been a contributor,
reviewer, and guest AE for several of them. I believe that the primary reason why the impact factors of the
journals are low is that they are engineering journals, and as such publish a large number of papers of a more
applied nature. These may not be heavily referenced in the more academic journals, but since AIAA is first and
foremost an engineering professional society, I believe that they are adequately serving their community by
publi shing journals of an engineering nature. In my job at NASA I donÕ even bother checking the TOCÕ of the
ÕacademicÓjournals, but I always look over my Õ threeÓ-- JTHT, AIAAJ and JSR -- when they arrive.
I will also say that the review process is broken. A consequence of the online review system is t hat reviews
tend to be more cursory. There is a n expectation that a paper that appears in a pe er reviewed journal is of
archival quality and free of at least obvious errors. Based on my experience as an au thor and AE, this is not
always the case. I try to write detailed reviews when I am assigned a manuscript, but as an AE I frequently find
myself in the situation of asking for three reviews and after 3 months and several prompts getting one back with
a one paragraph writeup to the effect of Õ is goodÓor Õ isnÕ good.ÓI honestly have no idea how to fix the
this this t
problem, but it is worth noting. Perhaps it is worth periodically reminding authors that it is their duty to review 2-
3 papers per paper they publish to ensure that the system works, and to remember their frustration at receiving
late or cursory reviews when they are conducting reviews of other manuscripts.
25. Hybrid Rockets (HR) TC
HR TC Vice-Chair, Arif Karabeyoglu, Space Propulsion Group, Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
This may not be the official position of our TC, but, as a person who occasionally publishes in the AIAA
journals, I have a few comments:
1) I bel ieve that the most important issue that AIAA Journals face is the rather low values their IMPACT
FACTORs despite their relative importance and the high quality of the material in these journals. AIAA must
absolutely address this to keep the quality at the highest level.
2) The publications delays are still a little bit of an issue, less so though.
26. Atmospheric and Space Environments (ASE) TC
ASE TC Chair, Dale C. Ferguson, NASA/MSFC, Dale.C.Fergusonemail@example.com
Our primary issue is that in 2008, the AIAA published three books with subject matter directly related to the
work of the ASETC, without using any members of the ASETC as reviewers or resources. Not having any input
into these publications, we could not ensure that they were accurate, complete, or represented the AIAA
properly. This situation should be remedied. Whenever AIAA is considering publi shing a book on TC-related
subject matter, the TC in question should at least have the chance to review the book, so that the expertise of
the AIAA is brought to bear to help make the book worthy of AIAA publication. Hopefully, you will consider this
request in the spirit in which it is given. Publications will be better if the TCs are used as a valuable resource.
27. Communications System (CMS) TC
CMS TC PS-Chair, Chris Hoeber, Space Systems Loral, firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to say that I strongly endorse what you say on page 37 - that it is very bad that the YIR only covers the
first 2/3 of the year. As the author of the Communi cations entry the last several years, I have brought this up
more than once, and it felt like fighting City Hall.
Either solution: moving it to January or covering the fiscal Year October-September, would work.
28. Adaptive Structures (AS) TC
29. Flight Testing (FT) TC
FT TC PS-Chair, Terry Weber, Boeing, email@example.com
The (email) title made it look like an offer from AIAA rather than a request to the TC's. May I suggest a subject
line such as, "TC Input on AIAA Publications Requested" in the future. I get a lot of mail and sometimes skip
I did look over your charts though. The suggestion of peer reviews for conference papers is absurd. With the
hoops that most industry and DoD folks have to jump through just to release a paper, to add a peer review
would make it impossible to get papers. The idea of using the Wikipedia model for constant, online peer review
has merit. Wikipedia is one of the most ruthlessly peer reviewed sources of information that exists.
30. Nuclear & Future Flight Propulsion (NFP) TC
NFP TC Vice-Chair, Bryan Palaszewski, NASA GRC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Our TC has published one book recently on Breakthrough Propulsion Physics (Millis et al.).
Another book we are planning, related to advanced propulsion concepts, has been stalled on our end as the
AIAA has requested more detailed additions (problem sets, etc.). This seems to be a frustration on my part.
We are trying to disseminate technical data, and as the AIAA is a volunteer organization, we are usually buried
in our normal work, and may not have the time to develop the added materials for a textbook. Perhaps we can
loosen the requirements to make our books in the form of textbooks!
31. Aircraft Operations (ACO) TC
ACO TC Chair, Parimal Kopardekar, NASA ARC, email@example.com
I think we need a journal that is focused on Air Traffic Management. We have a number of conferences but no
journal where we publish peer-reviewed papers focused on ATM.
Systems Engineering Journal sounds good too.
32. History (HIS) TC
HIS TC Chair, Scott Eberhardt, Boeing, firstname.lastname@example.org
The on-line availability of technical papers is a real bonus. I stopped getting hard copies of the technical
journals when I realized I seldom had time to look at an issue before the next issue arrived. It is easier for me
to research a topic by an on-line search. However, the one loss is that I don't get to skim papers that are
tangent to my interests. I now rely on Aerospace America for an overview of other topics.
The text book series is excellent. I am happy to see the series continually expand.
As History TC chair, I really enjoy the books related to history and case-studies. I hope those titles continue to
expand. I am hopeful that opportunities will expand for engineer/historians to publish in this venue where
engineers can contribute their knowledge of the past. I also enjoyed the republication of Lillienthal's and
On the downside, the review process is a challenge, particularly in industry. Not only must we go through all
the hoops within the company, but we must endure the lengthy peer review process. It is always refreshing to
get a long, detailed review, even when it isn't as favorable as one would like. But, too often, due to busy
schedules, a review is at best cursory. It's hard to blame the reviewer when frequently the paper comes out of
the blue and time hasn't been set aside for it.
Within the company, there are internal reviews that can be almost comical. Too many non-technical reviews
are required for ITAR, EAR, IP, Copyright and branding issues. It's almost enough to lead one to just skip
contributing a paper.
33. Management (MGT) TC
MGT TC Vice-Chair, David Elrod, Aerospace Testing Alliance, email@example.com
As a representative of the Management TC, I wanted to respond to your request for info on AIAA publications.
For context purposes, the Mgt TC is not a heavy user of or contributor to AIAA publications overall. We do
submit an article annually to Aerospace America and several of our members receive AIAA's Daily Launch
email news bulletin. From a technical role, I have also used AIAA's technical publications and proceedings a
fair amount over the years. I have been more than satisfied with each of these publications.
34. Design Engineering (DE) TC
DE TC PS-Chair, E. Russ Althof, Raytheon Missile Systems, firstname.lastname@example.org
Our TC prepares the AIAA Aerospace Design Engineers Guide, one of AIAA's top selling books. At least over
the past 12-15 years, we have always received extremely effective support and cooperation from AIAA
Publications in the preparation of a number of new editions of the Guide for publication. Without that help, we
would be much less willing and able to contribute that considerable amount of work.
35. Systems Engineering (SE) TC
SE TC PS-Chair, John Hsu, Boeing, email@example.com
The Systems Engineering TC urgently requests to publish a new AIAA Journal of Systems Engineering based
on the following reasons:
1. AIAA lacks a journal dedicated to the advancement of systems engineering supporting the
aerospace and aviation applications.
2. The systems engineering papers presented in the AIAA conferences have no "home" journal to
archive the quality papers. There are many papers remain unpublished.
3. Systems Engineering is very broad encompassing more than 40 subjects.
4. The systems engineering applications supporting all the technical areas covered by the existing
AIAA journals. Therefore, a single Journal of Systems Engineering is needed.
5. The existing outside AIAA journals, such as, INCOSE and IEEE, are not able to handle the
overwhelming number of qualified systems engineering papers especially applicable to aerospace and aviation
The details can be referred to the attached proposal (presented in PC meeting at 2008 ASM).
• 74.6% (= 53/71) of the TCs in TAC responded.
• One TC chair (DATC) was annoyed by receiving emails twice.
• Most TCs are satisfied with the AIAA publications.
• Average time from paper submission to publications is still too long.
• Paper review process can be improved.
• IEEE PVSC paper submission system seems worth a look.
• Things go smoothly, if TCs have liaisons with journal editors.
• TCs can be used a valuable resource by the journal and book editors.
• 3 TCs (CPS, MVC, SOF) are not satisfied with JACIC.
• AIAA journals seem not having high impact factors in academia.
• Hopefully, the Pub. Committee will take some actions to respond to
these TC comments and suggestions.