Surfing on the Waves of Publication!

In [1], Meyer (2013) criticizes the current scientific publication methods. He believes that with the technological evolution it is possible to transform the articles in dynamic documents that can evolve over the time. In other words, the publishing process should also evolve. For this reason, the author presents the waves of publication.

As stated by Meyer, “The very notion of publication has changed. The process part is gone; only the result remains, and that result can be an evolving product, not a frozen artifact.”

Moreover, the author suggests to start with a blog post, then register the work first version as a technical report (usually not considered prior publication), then submit it to a workshop, then to a conference, and finally, a version of record in a journal (extended version of a conference paper including at least 30% of new material). The Figure below summarize the publication evolution process (waves of publication).


In blog posts, the writer audience work as “reviewers” through comments. They contributes with different perspectives and point of viewers. The drawback is the feedback low reliability. On the other hand, in technical reports,  the researcher advisor (or responsible) reviews the work. Generally, there are institutions/organizations involved in the process.

In Workshops, (at least 2 or 3) reviewers will evaluate the paper. We can consider as the “first” external evaluation. Although conferences and journals are harder to publish, the reviewers contribution are important to evolve the work. Furthermore, there is a chief editor to coordinate the revision.

According to Meyer, “there is a whole gradation of prestige, well known to researchers in every particular field: conferences are better than workshops, some journals are as good as conferences or higher, some conferences are far more prestigious than others, and so on” [1].

We support the idea that publication should evolve along with the research and the journal should combine different kind of studies to allow a broader view of the work. Hence, we suggest the combination of the waves of publication with Mafra et al. methodology [2] as an iterative and incremental publication process (see the Figure below).


According to Kitchenham (2007), “A systematic literature review (SLR) is a means of identifying, evaluating and interpreting all available research relevant to a particular topic area” [3]. SLR will serve as basis for defining the state of the art. The focus is Evidence-Based Software Engineering conferences.

Since the workshop is the first contact of the work with the research community, the initial ideal  can be submitted to a Software Engineering workshop. Once the idea is establish, the work is prepared to conference evaluation. The Technology Development includes the development of: tools, processes, frameworks, models, guidelines, approaches, and so on.

Moreover, the researcher should execute the Empirical Evaluation of the Technology. It includes controlled experiments, case studies, qualitative research, interviews, etc. Finally, the different papers should be combined in a journal paper by adding more 30% of new information.


[1] B. Meyer: Communications of the ACM Blog: The Waves of Publication, January 2013, available in:  ACM Blog.

[2] S. Mafra, R. Barcelos, G. Travassos, Aplicando uma Metodologia Baseada em Evidência na Definição de Novas Tecnologias de Software (Portuguese), in: XX Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering (SBES), 2006.

[3] B. Kitchenham, S. Charters, Guidelines for performing Systematic Literature Reviews in Software Engineering, in: Keele University and Durham University Joint Report, 2007


About crescenciolima
Crescencio has graduated in Computer Science in Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia (2000-2005) and has a master degree in Computer Science from Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (2009-2011). Currently he is a Computer Science Ph.D. student in Universidade Federal da Bahia (2014) and professor in Instituto Federal da Bahia, Brazil (2012).

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