During iAGT, Vince Conitzer announced a new ACM journal titled “Transactions on Economics and Computation” which he is co-editing-in-chief (or is that co-editor-in-chiefing?) with Preston McAfee. The topics selected are quite similar to those of EC starting including Algorithmic Game Theory, Mechanism Design, Recommendation/Reputation systems, electronic commerce, computational social choice, and such (see first frame in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnDVx6il8fg ). This is the first journal aimed squarely at AGT and the border between computation and economics, and may be considered as a sign that our field has reached scientific adulthood.
Readers of this blog may recall that I am not a great fan of the current scientific journal system. I prefer the CS conference-based one, and would like to see a future more flexible system evolve where dissemination is solved by arXiv-like web repositories and selection handled by a flexible and non-exclusive system that ranges from the informal recommendations of readers or bloggers to various more formal overlapping workshops, conferences, and “virtual journal” committees.
In the past decade there have been several discussions about whether to start an AGT/comp-and-econ journal and my personal opinion was always against it. I felt that it was beneficial for an AGT/E paper that appeared in a CS conference to also reach other audiences that use journals such as Game theorists (e.g. GEB), Economists (e.g. Econometrica), or Operation researchers (e.g. MOR). Additionally, I felt that the field was too young and lacked sufficient standards for ensuring high quality, so some “adult supervision” from a more established area (whether a GT/econ-leaning one or CS-leaning one) was beneficial.
Now, however, I think that the time has come for our own journal. While many AGT/comp-econ papers should still aim to reach a more diverse audience and attempt publication in other forums, at this point we have enough papers that follow a clearly AGT-agenda and so can justifiably go to this journal. Of the maybe 200 AGT/comp-econ papers per year (that appear in EC, SAGT, WINE, associated workshops, as well as in TCS forums ike STOC/FOCS/SODA and AI forums like AAAI/AAMAS/IJCAI) many would find a proper resting home in this new journal. I certainly sometimes question the value of submitting a final version of a conference paper to any journal, but at this point this is how academic promotion still works, and this cannot be ignored given the large number of young scientists in our field.
So, congratulations are in order.
PS. At the same time, GEB is devoting a special issue, edited by Jason Hartline, to papers that appeared in current FOCS/STOC/SODA.