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After more than 2 years of transitioning, our new periodical, the “Journal of Software: Evolution and Process” is born. The journal continues and enriches the tradition of the “Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution: Research and Practice” and “Software Process: Improvement and Practice” that have successfully served their respective communities for many years. We will work to ensure that all the positive aspects of the parent journals remain in place, and to make changes that we believe will help the new journal to gain and sustain a leadership position.

Nowadays, the way in which software systems are conceived, built, and managed is changing profoundly; open-source and commercial-off-the-shelf products, service-oriented architectures and cloud computing, mobile and pervasive applications, agile methods and lean organizations, DevOps, outsourcing and global development, software as service, value-based software engineering, benefit-driven development and usability engineering, and user enhanceable systems are a few examples of areas that have had an impact on software development, management, and evolution methods and processes.

In this rapidly evolving scenario, we have the ambition to offer a new peer-reviewed archival journal that addresses the issues of software conception, development, management, evolution and improvement with a multidisciplinary view that encompasses technologies, processes, services, people, and organizations. The success of this enterprise depends primarily on the quality of papers we will attract: we welcome high-quality papers reporting theoretical findings, empirical investigations, practice reports and state-of-the-art reviews on all aspects of planning, designing, building and evolving large, complex software systems and improving the processes, capabilities and practices required to develop, manage and govern such systems. We also continue to welcome papers from SMEs about the implications of operating and competing in modern contexts and environments and about the adaptations that need to be made to standards and approach to continue to deliver value and improve performance in increasingly demanding environments.

We are indebted to members of the outstanding international Advisory Editorial Board for their support and commitment. With this issue, it is our great pleasure to introduce two new members of the Board: Elisabetta Di Nitto, from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and Patricia Lago, of VU University, Amsterdam. The new appointments mean that our Board now consists of 54 international scholars from 16 countries. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the anonymous external reviewers who, together with the members of the Advisory Editorial Board, have reviewed the 129 manuscripts the journal received in 2011: the reputation of a journal greatly depends on the quality and rigor of its reviewing process, and we are grateful to our reviewers for continuing to provide high quality, constructive, and developmental review reports.

We are confident that the “Journal of Software: Evolution and Process” will be able to continue the parent journals' long tradition of publishing high-quality and influential papers on theory and practice of continuous product, process, and service conception, development, management, evolution and improvement, while opening the door to new perspectives and insights.