In the May-June issue of the IEEE Power & Energy Magazine, the Leader’s Corner presented my views on IEEE & PES: Poised for Success. I shall not repeat here what was published so recently. I will instead address some issues which are either being the focus of much attention from IEEE presently, or some for which I am involved and that I believe could become more important as time goes by.
Open Access (OA)
Concerning the present focus at IEEE level across all Organizational Units (OU’s, in the IEEE jargon. PES being one them), OA is at the center of lot of discussion, concern, and debates. The principle of OA is that publications are available for free. The authors would pay the publishing bodies (IEEE in our case) a publication fee (or APC, for Article Processing Charge). This fee is required to make the work available to the public and guarantee archives.
OA’s urgency is catching up fast due to an initiative, called Plan-S, which originated in Europe, and may be adopted by other major players worldwide. It states that all research performed with public funding should be published in Gold (or pure) OA. Gold means this OA Journal would not be a mirror from another existing journal. IEEE identifies OA as a major trend in scientific publishing, irrespective of any national or continental initiative. IEEE, publications represent about 40% of its $500 million budget. It is thus a fundamental resource to our society. To get IEEE prepared, the Board of Directors has decided that each IEEE Society and Council will have its own Gold Open Access Journal. PES will thus have its Open Access Journal on Power and Energy.
For PES, there will be new journal, IEEE Open Access Journal on Power & Energy – this name has been approved – which will replace the IEEE Power and Energy Technology Systems Journal (PETS-J). This new journal is expected to be launched in 2020.
The Board of Directors (BoD) of IEEE shares the view that is important to develop and implement mechanisms to improve diversity, inclusion, and professional ethics across all IEEE. If we take women membership alone, which is 13% of total membership, it is obvious that there is room for improvement. The BoD has launched an Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Professional Ethics. I chair its subcommittee on diversity and inclusion. One of its leads is to start by tracking diversity metrics across gender, geographic region, work sector, and YP for all IEEE OU’s. This is already done in many OU’s, but could be shared and lead to ideas to improve diversity and inclusion in IEEE. Diversity is fundamental in order for IEEE to reflect better society as a whole. And thus to turn IEEE more attractive.
Aim at 4 million IEEE members
4 million is the number of different individuals who connect to the IEEE digital library Xplore every year. This represents potential IEEE members globally. Amongst these people, but not only, lie a number of professional or national societies which could also be close to IEEE. IEEE’s scope is wide, and experts from different countries or different fields could join IEEE, either as members or by special agreements. This lead the BoD to think of a 4 million-member challenge. In an interview in The Institute last March, IEEE President José Moura gave his view on this challenge. The issue is sensitive, as membership growth cannot be done without being attentive to present members’ value and needs. But it shows a strategy that could be the right one, as the number of engineers globally is growing.
IEEE and PES are strong and innovative. PES in particular continues its growth in membership, and global presence. There is room for optimism. However, it is fundamental to build a bright future on these assets, and I’m confident that we’ll make it.