The Journal of Field Robotics seeks to promote scholarly publications dealing with the fundamentals of robotics in unstructured and dynamic environments. Articles describing robotics research with applications to the environment, construction, forestry, agriculture, mining, subsea, intelligent highways, search and rescue, military, and space (orbital and planetary) are encouraged. Papers in sensing, sensors, mechanical design, computing architectures, communication, planning, learning, and control, applied to field applications are encouraged.
The Journal focuses on experimental robotics and encourages publication of work that has both theoretical and practical significance. Authors will be encouraged to implement their work and demonstrate its utility on significant problems with emphasis on the underlying principles. That is, the Journal will encourage reporting on what was learned in doing the work, rather than merely on what was done. Also encouraged are comparative or meta-studies and verification of previously published results as well as reports of extended field experiments that seek to validate autonomous systems in representative environments. Systems papers will be welcome but they must include analysis and insight into why approaches work and the challenges still to be addressed. Studies of systems that have been fielded over extended durations are encouraged. The journal will publish only articles of high quality rather than achieving a particular number of papers or a ratio of accepted papers to those submitted.
The Journal will push the frontiers of electronic publishing in the following ways:
1. Exploitation of the medium via multimedia that accompanies articles . JFR will publish code, models, data, and animations (either synthetic or actual video demonstrations) as appendices to articles. Such appendices will not be a requirement for publication but will be encouraged.
2. Low-cost access to articles and appendices . JFR will be deliberately structured so as to reduce the costs of publication. Fast and easy access to the journal will accelerate the pace at which new results can be absorbed by other researchers. It will also allow access to new results by a large population across the globe currently not privileged to the infrastructure required to support robotics research and, in some cases, who do not have easy access to archival quality printed journals.
3. Reduced time to publication . JFR will organize the reviewing and publication process in such a way that a short turnaround time is possible. Reviews will be led by members of the Editorial Board and by notable researchers. Papers and reviews will be managed via a Web interface and a paid managing editor will be in charge of ensuring the process of submission and resubmission runs smoothly. Before being asked to review a paper, reviewers will be asked whether they have the time to review the paper, and if they do not, they will not be sent the paper.