Journal Information
ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS)

Call For Papers
The ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS) publishes original archival papers in the area of databases and closely related disciplines. The majority of the papers that have appeared in TODS address the logical and technical foundation of data management.

The international Editorial Board is composed of recognized experts in the various subareas of this field, all with a commitment to maintain TODS as the premier publication in this active field. Papers can be submitted directly to any of the editors. The Editorial Board maintains contact with ACM's Special Interest Group on Management and Organization of Data (SIGMOD), as well as with other societies, to encourage submittal of advanced and original papers. When appropriate, concise results may be submitted as technical notes; technical comments on earlier publications are welcome as well.

TODS was founded by David K. Hsiao, with the first issue appearing in March, 1975; Robert W. Taylor took over the editorship five years later and Gio Wiederhold five years after that, successively raising the prestige and visibility of this journal. Won Kim served from 1992 for nine years, maintaining the excellence of the journal while increasing coverage of systems-related issues and decreasing the time to publication. Under the stewardship of Richard T. Snodgrass, who took over in 2001, TODS improved its service to readers and authors by shortening the turnaround time on all papers to a guaranteed maximum of five months, adopting double-blind reviewing, working with conferences to secure the best papers, and becoming the first publication to implement all of the ACM Rights and Responsibilities. The current Editor-in-Chief, Z. Meral Özsoyoğlu, took over in 2007.

TODS has evolved to become the premier database journal. Summarizing a citation analysis of database literature, considering over 100,000 citations, the web page lists the top-cited papers and books. Thirty TODS papers appear on this list; 31 papers were from all other journals combined. TODS also dominated all conferences. The top-cited database paper of all time, Peter P.-S. Chen's "The Entity-Relationship Model," appeared in the inaugural issue of TODS.

TODS fares similarly well in a summary of estimated impact from the Research Index database (, which ranked journals according to their average citation rate. TODS was judged the database journal with the most impact, appearing in the top four percent of the 800-odd journals and conferences analyzed.

These measures of impact correlate with journal accessibility (the causality probably goes both ways). Of course, the journal (including all past issues) appears in the ACM Digital Library and is thus available to the many individual and institutional DL subscribers. TODS is also included in the SIGMOD Anthology and SIGMOD Digital Symposium Collection CDROM publications. 5000 copies of the Anthology and DiSC have been sent all over the world. These disparate media (print, web, CDROM, DVDROM), widely distributed, ensure that TODS articles are easily available to database researchers.

The existence of TODS has helped to define the field of database research. It encompasses the development, formalization, and validation of abstractions and models to describe database applications and the design and implementation methods for organizing and processing data on computer hardware.

TODS welcomes papers on a full range of database research in the management of diverse forms of data. Such subjects include: data modeling, database languages, database theory, query processing, access methods and indexing, security and privacy, transaction management, fault tolerance, distribution, performance, data storage, data mining, and novel applications and infrastructures exploiting database technology.

TODS encourages papers that explore the above subjects in the context of large distributed networks of computers, parallel or multiprocessing computers, or new data devices (including data storage devices, data capture devices, and data presentation devices). TODS also encourages papers that describe emerging data-intensive applications that cannot be satisfied by the current database technology.

TODS welcomes papers that both lay theoretical foundations for database management and those that provide new insights into the design and implementation of large-scale database management systems, database application development tools, database access interface tools, and database connectivity tools for heterogeneous database systems. TODS also accepts papers that describe user and database administration experiences and issues in large-scale real-world database installations. The emphasis on integration of theory and practice is an attempt to encourage authors of theory papers to consider applicability and/or implementability of the theoretical results, while encouraging authors of systems papers to reflect on the theoretical results that may have been used in building the systems and/or to offer suggestions on issues that may require theoretical treatment.

TODS also solicits focused surveys on topics relevant to TODS. These should be deep and will sometimes be quite narrow, but should make a contribution to our understanding of an important area or subarea of databases. More general surveys that are intended for a broad-based Computer Science audience or surveys that may influence other areas of computing research should continue to go to ACM Computing Surveys. Brief surveys on recent developments in database research are more appropriate for ACM SIGMOD Record. TODS surveys should be educational to the database audience by presenting a relatively well-established body of database research.

For additional information on the types of papers TODS will accept, see Editorial Guidelines.

In terms of the ACM Computing Reviews (1998) classification, the primary area of TODS is all of area H (Information Systems), with a strong focus on subarea H2 (Database Management). Articles in subarea H4 (Information Systems Applications) would be appropriate only if there were a strong scientific basis in database technology.

Database systems may employ Specialized Languages (D.3.2) and unique Datatypes and Structures (D.3.3). Effective information retrieval and management require inferential power, and important advances are being made in this area. Topics Deduction and Theorem Proving (I.2.3), Knowledge Representation Formalisms and Methods (I.2.4), Learning (I.2.6), and Problem Solving, Control Methods, and Search (I.2.8) are all relevant when they are applied to large collections of data.

Since files provide a foundation for databases, the topic of Files (E.5) is covered as well, and many papers expand on operating system concerns, Storage Management (D.4.3), Reliability (D.4.5), Security and Protection (D.4.6), Organization and Design (D.4.7), and Performance (D.4.8). TODS publishes papers dealing with hardware systems for databases, but avoids those about specific devices, so that the topic Storage Hardware (B.3.2) is covered only in part. 
Last updated by Dou Sun in 2013-10-03
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