INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics Editor’s Statement

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1287/inte.2018.0980

As I complete my second year as Editor-in-Chief (EiC) of Interfaces, I am thankful for my editorial board and the excellent staff at INFORMS. I continue to feel honored to be in this position.

This has been an exciting two years.

In my first EiC statement, I suggested that I wanted to continue to build connectivity to the analytics movement, our analytics section, and the Innovative Applications in Analytics Award (IAAA) (Gorman 2017). We have done that with the planned special issue in 2019 based on five finalists in IAAA.

In my second EiC statement, I made the case for changing the name of Interfaces to the INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics (IJAA) (Gorman 2018). A healthy debate followed, both in online forums and in person, with my editorial board, the INFORMS board, and the general INFORMS membership. I appreciate the passion and interest in Interfaces and its important role in our community.

In this, my third EiC statement, I am pleased to announce that, after an extensive survey of the INFORMS membership, the INFORMS board approved the name change. Welcome to the INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics!

This decision was not taken lightly, and all voices were heard. There were two primary objections to the IJAA.

  1. Interfaces as a brand with a history of nearly 50 years is well known, liked, and respected. I agree that this is true for those who know Interfaces. For those who do not, the name has no meaning, and the journal’s contents are at best a mystery. Many in industry are not even aware that it is an academic journal. My true confession: when I submitted my first manuscript to Interfaces, I did not know the name’s significance. The name Interfaces has hampered the journal’s ability to achieve its outreach objective.

  2. The proposed name—INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics—does not include operations research or management science (OR/MS) in its name. My thoughts are two. First, by including INFORMS as the first word of the title, the OR/MS in IJAA is readily apparent to anyone who knows our organization. Second, frankly, neither did Interfaces!

However, those objections were significantly outweighed by the many rationales in favor of the change.

  1. Outreach.Interfaces is an outreach journal—outreach to educators, students, and practitioners who are and who are not INFORMS members. Many of those possible downloaders, subscribers, or INFORMS members think Interfaces is about coaxial cables and USB ports. The journal is less able to achieve this important component of its mission with such an indistinct name.

  2. Branding. The name change is consistent with INFORMS strategy. The list of analytics-related successes is long and includes the Analytics Society, the Analytics Conference, and the Certified Analytics Professional Examination. Recently, the Edelman Award has adopted a new name along these lines as well: the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research, and Management Science.

  3. Growth. With the more precise name, INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics, the content published within the journal’s pages is more likely to reach students, instructors, practitioners, and researchers in related disciplines and introduce them to the benefits of OR/MS and analytics in practice. This outreach role is critical to Interfaces’ value proposition. I anticipate a growth in the rate of search hits, downloads, subscriptions, and paper submissions as a result of reaching a wider audience.

As I argued last year, the INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics makes sense for Interfaces. Think about how the name communicates its mission.

  • INFORMS. This brands our organization. When a professional googles “analytics,” INFORMS shows up as part of the search hits. As with so many of the broader INFORMS initiatives, this helps place OR/MS in the center of analytics.

  • Journal. This conveys academic rigor. The IJAA is not a magazine or a glamor, fluff, or marketing publication. We will continue to maintain an academically rigorous review process. Our editorial mission will not change.

  • Applied. This word is meant to communicate to academics that this is not a theoretical journal. We want to let potential authors know that their work must be applied. Impact is measured in dollars, lives, or quality more than in citations. Further, it communicates to practitioners that the content of the journal is practical, useful, and applicable, not theoretical.

  • Analytics. The word analytics here is both obvious and a primary driver of our name change. We want to reach a wider audience, particularly the professionals who identify with, are enthusiastic about, and will turn to a journal whose title includes such a word.

Finally, this naming format mirrors other INFORMS journals (Computing, Transactions on Education, and Optimization); therefore, it is consistent with INFORMS naming conventions.

It is my belief that the name the IJAA will increase the ability of the journal to meet both of its objectives of rigorous academic research and outreach for our discipline.

Other News

I am pleased to announce, coincident with the new IJAA name, that our special issue for 2019 will include five finalist papers from the 2018 Innovative Applications in Analytics Award competition. Thank you to Juan Jamarillo and Erick Wikum, the coeditors of this special issue.

Board Changes

The IJAA is constantly evolving its board. We are looking for applications-savvy reviewers and associate editors in methodological areas, such as artificial intelligence and metaheuristics, and domains, such as sports analytics.

The IJAA is committed to keeping our editorial board rejuvenated. To that end, Uday Rao (University of Cincinnati) will step down as Practice Summaries Editor, and Charles Sox (University of Cincinnati) has agreed to step into that role. The transition occurred in the second half of 2018 and will be official in 2019.

Also stepping down from the board:

  • Grace Lin

  • Pooja Dewan

Thanks to Uday, Grace, and Pooja for their service!

I am happy to announce three other new appointments as of the start of 2019:

  • Michael Hewitt (Loyola of Chicago)

  • Nik Freeman (University of Alabama)

  • Aly Megahead (IBM)

I welcome them to the board.

Closing Remarks

I appreciate the high level of interest and passion that surrounds the IJAA. Thank you all for your support.

References

  • Gorman MF (2017) Interfaces editor’s statement. Interfaces 47(1):1–2.LinkGoogle Scholar
  • Gorman MF (2018) Interfaces editor’s statement. Interfaces 48(1):1–2.LinkGoogle Scholar
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