Computing Surveys (CSUR)


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Editorial Charter

The primary purpose of the ACM Computing Surveys is to present new specialties and help practitioners and researchers stay abreast of all areas in the rapidly evolving field of computing. Computing Surveys focuses on integrating and adding understanding to the existing literature by publishing surveys and tutorials.

Surveys and Tutorials

Computing Surveys publishes comprehensive, readable tutorials and survey papers that give guided tours through the literature and explain topics to those who seek to learn the basics of areas outside their specialties. These carefully planned and presented introductions are also an excellent way for professionals to develop perspectives on, and identify trends in, complex technologies. Recent issues have covered image understanding, software reusability, and object and relational database topics.

Computing Surveys does not publish "new" research. This is left to the Transactions and other specialized publications of the ACM. Instead, Computing Surveys focuses on surveys and tutorials that integrate the existing literature and put its results in context.

The main difference between a survey and a tutorial is emphasis. A survey article assumes a general knowledge of the area; it emphasizes the classification of the existing literature, developing a perspective on the area, and evaluating trends. A tutorial assumes its audience is inexpert; it emphasizes the basic concepts of the field and provides concrete examples that embody these concepts.

Both surveys and tutorials must develop a framework or overall view of an area that integrates the existing literature. Frequently, such a framework exposes topics that need additional research; a good Computing Surveys article can fill such a void, but that is not its major purpose. Basically, a Computing Surveys article answers the questions, "What is currently known about this area, and what does it mean to researchers and practitioners?" It should supply the basic knowledge to enable new researchers to enter the area, current researchers to continue developments, and practitioners to apply the results.


The Editor-in-Chief welcomes suggestions for topics and questions about contemplated submissions. Potential authors should consult the Author Guidelines.  A number of the ACM Special Interest Groups describe their scope and tutorial needs in Computing Surveys Volume 27, Number 1, pp. 121-137. Authors and readers both are encouraged to peruse the Computing Surveys World Wide Web (WWW) pages ( for related information, including lists of past and future articles and links to published algorithms. These pages also can be reached through the ACM WWW pages at

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