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1 October 2010 Changing of the Guard
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In January 2000, Reiner Eschbach, who was the IS&T vice president for publications at the time, invited me to join him for a drink in the bar at Il Fornaio in the Hyatt St. Claire in San Jose, California. I should have known better than to accept his invitation. We were both attending the IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging Symposium, an annual ritual in which I always take great pleasure. Reiner asked me if I would be willing to serve as editor of the Journal of Electronic Imaging. He said “You only have to do it for a few years.” Naturally, I agreed. I started my term in January 2001. Here is it almost 10 years later, and it is time to say goodbye.

Why, you may ask, am I stepping down after exactly 10 years in this position? When I first accepted the editorship, there was an initial term of three years. After that time, the appointment was renewed on an annual basis by both IS&T and SPIE, the two organizations that jointly publish JEI. However, in 2008, the SPIE Board of Directors wisely decided to establish 10-year term limits for all their journal editors, and the IS&T Board concurred. Of course, this was a very good idea. It is always good to bring in someone new with a fresh perspective, heightened energy, and new ideas. It also provided me with a graceful way to step down.

So what happened in the 10 years that I have been editor? At the end of 2010, we will have published 40 issues that comprise more than 800 papers and more than 8,700 pages. If one were to line up the print versions of all these issues on their bookshelf, it would take over 14 inches of horizontal space. Maybe some of you have this nicely organized collection on your bookshelf. More on that later. Unfortunately, my office is too chaotic to allow something like this.

Special sections that highlight important areas of imaging science and technology have always been an important component of what JEI provides. During my term, we published 17 special sections. The first two that appeared during my watch were “Human Vision and Electronic Imaging,” guest edited by Bernice Rogowitz, Thrasyvoulos Pappas, and me; and “Machine Vision for Industrial Inspection,” guest edited by Ken Tobin and John Miller. Of course, I had nothing to do with the commissioning of either of these special sections. That was done by my predecessor Edward Dougherty, long before I started my term as editor. The last special section during this period was “Quality Control by Artificial Vision,” guest edited by Shaun Gleason, Kurt Niel, and Edmund Lam, which appeared in the July-September 2010 issue.

Now about that bookshelf. At the present time, a large majority of our subscribers receive only the online version of JEI, which first became available in 1998. So the number of bookshelves that hold a neatly organized complete set of journal issues is surely declining. In 2005, we began to post articles online for the upcoming issue, one at a time, as soon as they were formatted for publication. In 2007, we began to accept multimedia files as a supplement to the online text of a manuscript. These are all important developments; but I must confess that I still like the print version of the journal too.

What comes next? I am very pleased to announce that Gaurav Sharma of the University of Rochester has agreed to serve as the next editor of the Journal of Electronic Imaging. Gaurav has been an associate editor of JEI since 2003, so he is well acquainted with our journal. He is also well known to the imaging community. He has a number of exciting ideas for the journal, but I will let him tell you about that.

Before I go, I need to do more one thing. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the journals staff at SPIE, especially Karolyn Labes who has been in her role as managing editor throughout my term. Their professionalism made my job much easier than it would otherwise have been. I would also like to thank the members of the editorial board for all the hard work that they have put into the handling of manuscripts for the journal during my term. Finally, I would like to thank both the authors who have chosen JEI as the venue for publishing their work and the readers for their interest in those papers. I look forward to continuing my interaction with the journal as a reader and author.

©(2010) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Jan P. Allebach "Changing of the Guard," Journal of Electronic Imaging 19(4), 040101 (1 October 2010).
Published: 1 October 2010

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