Autonomous and Adaptive Systems (TAAS)


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Editorial Charter

1. Scope of the Journal

TAAS is a referred journal aimed at disseminating high quality scientific and technological research results in the area of autonomous adaptive systems, as defined in the aims and scopes section.

2. Types of Articles

TAAS will aim to publish papers that provably advance the state of the art, or that provide new insights and knowledge into specific issues related to autonomous adaptive systems.

Authors submitting papers to this journal should support their arguments via performance evaluations, logical proofs, and statistical data or usability tests - depending on what applies to the specific case. Also, authors are encouraged to demonstrate novelty with respect to the state of the art.

Tutorial and survey papers are welcome, provided that they are of high quality, and which may serve the purpose of informing researchers, professionals, and students about emerging areas within the remit of this journal.

Purely speculative papers, papers that claim research results without supporting them with appropriate validation arguments, or tutorial and survey papers that reduce to a list of known techniques without apparent rationale are not of interest to this journal.

We expect that the first volume (year 1) of the journal can also contain a limited number of general, introductory, "magazine style" papers, devoted to assess the scope of the journal and to encourage a wider readership (including non-experts).

2.1. Originality

Articles submitted to TAAS must be original, and must not have been published (or been/being submitted for evaluation) elsewhere. Extended versions of papers from conference and workshop proceedings may be acceptable, provided that the TAAS version notably extends prior publications with new results and discussion. Authors are required to clearly state where this is the case when they submit their paper to TAAS.

2.2. Style and Length

Articles must be in English. They should have an introductory part that is comprehensible by a non-expert, and should reference up-to-date related literature. TAAS enforces a limit on the length of papers to 10000 words (20 printed pages). Papers exceeding 10000 words will have to either be shortened, or have to move some of the material to an appendix that will only be published online.

2.3. Unethical articles

TAAS reserves the right to impose the revision of, or if necessary to refuse, a paper - despite its scientific and technical quality - whenever its content is explicitly unethical or if it supports racism, sexual or religious discrimination, illegal activities or terrorism; similarly an article may be refused if the editors deem that it might harm the political or religious sensitivity of interested readers in any manner.

3. Editorial Board

3.1. Composition

The editorial board of TAAS is composed of two co-Editors in Chief (EICs) and up to 20 Associated Editors (AEs).

3.2. Duties of the Editorial Board Members

The EICs are in charge of directing the general editorial guidelines of the journal in concert with the publisher and with the AEs. In particular, the EICs are responsible for receiving submissions and of taking final decisions regarding acceptance or rejection of papers.


The AEs collaborate with the EICs to assist him/her in managing the selection of papers for publication, according to the guidelines in the "Reviewing Process" Section, in soliciting submissions from colleagues and in encouraging Special Issues that address emerging themes.

3.3. Selection of the Editorial Board Members

The members of the editorial board are selected from representative researchers in the Complex Autonomous Systems community. They should have a relevant background of research in one or more of the areas covered by TAAS. It is useful, but not necessary, for the EICs to have a relevant background of editorial activity.

The AEs will be selected in a manner that would ensure that the Editorial Board represents all relevant competences and communities in the research areas covered by TAAS. Geographical coverage will also be considered to keep the editorial board balanced.

New members of the AE board can be proposed by existing AEs, the EICs, or by direct application from interested persons should a call for editorial board membership have been issued. A subsequent voting process will eventually decide which candidates are suitable for obtaining membership in the editorial board.

3.4. Duration of the Editorial Board membership

The members of the editorial board commit to serve the journal for a minimum of two years. It is intended that new AEs will be appointed periodically to encourage new input, and address new and emerging themes in the area.

To support proper turnaround of the editorial board the duration is limited. The EICs can serve in that position (after election following nomination by another editorial board member or their application) for an initial period of three years. At the end of their service (or at any other time during their service that they wish to) they should step down and they will not be eligible for reapplying or for been nominated to the same position for the next three years. They will then serve as AEs. They could serve a consecutive three year period, as EIC, only after direct invitation and agreement of the total number of the existing editorial board members. AEs can serve in that position for a maximum of eight years. At the end of their service, they can reapply for their position, and the selection process will be applied as for new AEs.

3.5. Steering Committee

The Steering Committee consists of four AEs members. It assists the EICs team for strategic or management issues related to the journal, and may raise concerns in case it considers that the management of the journal does not follow the initial objectives of this editorial charter. The Steering Committee is subject to change every four years, or to be re-elected.

4. Reviewing Process

4.1. General Structure

Authors should submit their articles via manuscript central.

When a new manuscript is received, the EICs will first examine it for suitability and relevance. A manuscript that is clearly out-of-scope or is not suitable to publication in a scholarly journal will be rejected outright.

Subsequently, the EIC will assign the submitted manuscript to an AE who will manage the review process. The AE will be selected based on her/his competencies related to the content of the manuscript. When a manuscript falls into multiple categories, a suitable AE with competencies relevant to any of the categories may be selected.

AEs are required to declare any conflict of interest concerning the assigned manuscript to the EICs, who may proceed to reallocate it to another suitable AE.

Upon assignment of a manuscript, the AE will recruit appropriate referees, administer the the review process, summarize the reviews received and recommend an action (acceptance, revision or rejection) to the EICs. The EICs are in-charge of the final decision.

In particular, the AE should ensure that each paper gets reviewed by at least 4 independent referees, although in specific cases (e.g., upon receipt of well substantiated reviews that are in agreement with each other) a decision could be based on a fewer number of reviews.

The AE is responsible for encouraging referees to submit their reviews on time for ensuring that a reasonable turnaround time (time from submission to decision) can be achieved and that the reviews are of a high scientific standard, and for providing adequate information to the authors to help them improve and update their submission prior to publication.

4.2. The Role of Reviewers

Reviewers should be independent and should accept to review a paper only in the absence of any conflict of interest. Types of conflict of interests include: belonging to the same institution or research group of the author(s), having collaborated with the authors in the past 3 years, being relatives or personal friends of the author(s), being in a situation in which the reviewer would take some personal or professional advantage in accepting or rejecting the paper, as well as any other situation that would prevent the reviewer to judge the quality of a paper in purely scientific and technological terms.

TAAS does not have a pre-defined review form. Referees will be asked to thoroughly analyze the paper and report on: relevance to the journal, originality, clarity, technical soundness, quality of reported results, appropriateness of references and of related work. In addition, reviewers should provide suggestions about how the author(s) can improve the paper. Eventually, reviewers should suggest to the TAAS editor one of the following actions: reject the paper, accept after a major revision, accept after a minor revision or accept without any changes.

4.3. Duration of the Review Process

TAAS tries to enforce a very quick review process.

The EICs will commit to assign a paper to an AE within two weeks from its reception. The AE must commit to send back his/her report to the EICs within three months from the original reception of the paper. Reviewers must commit to send back reviews to the AE within six weeks.

Although the editorial board cannot prevent unforeseen delays in the above process, papers submitted to TAAS are expected to receive a notice about the outcome of the review process within four months.

4.4. Review Process for Papers with Editorial Board Members as Authors

The AEs can (and are encouraged) to submit articles to TAAS. In this case, the AE selected for managing the paper should not be one of the authors of the article.

The EICs can also submit papers to TAAS, in which case selection of reviewers and the final decisions about it must be delegated to the other EIC.

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