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Journal special issue

MIRrors:  the past of Music Information Research reflects on its future - Special call for articles for the Journal of Intelligent Information Systems

MIRrors was conceived as a special session of the Conference of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR) 2012 and as a complementary journal special issue, supported by the MIReS European Project. The aim of both the session and this call is transforming into knowledge  and insights on promising future research some of those scattered data, algorithms, ideas and findings generated during the evolution of the Music Information Retrieval field (especially since the year 2000). We encourage authors to dig into our past to uncover hidden gems of knowledge that remained unnoticed or that deserve a new look. Selected articles will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Intelligent Information Systems published by Springer (2011 impact factor 0.618).

This call is targeting both extended versions of papers presented at the MIRrors ISMIR 2012 special session, and original manuscripts.

We are looking for original, challenging or thought-provoking papers that are able to connect the past with the present and the future of the discipline. Of exceptional value will be those papers capable of combining quantitative methodologies to assess or support abstract or conceptual ideas. Articles should be organized to foster debate, discussion and self-criticism about MIR topics, methods and achievements. MIRrors articles should present a personal view, backed up with data, and taking into account the state-of-the-art for the selected topic. Typical state-of-the-art reviews, tutorials or white/position papers do not fit this call, as they tend to focus either only on the past or only on the future of a particular topic. We are looking for papers articulating promising novel ideas upon a systematic and exhaustive revision of the existing MIR legacy.

Potential approaches (but not exhausting the options) for a MIRrors
paper could be:

  • Reflecting on why a particular topic has failed, why it is systematically not improving, and/or why it may be doomed to continue this way
  • Reflecting on negative results that have, or have not, had the proper impact on MIR research
  • Proposing replication studies, in particular those showing discrepancies between commonly accepted ideas in the MIR community and reality
  • Retrieving/revisiting some overlooked or scarcely cited papers or promising idea(s) which potential has not been fully exploited
  • Tracing and explaining the evolution of a given idea through different editions of ISMIR, using quantitative methodologies for knowledge mapping and for tracing its evolution
  • Providing a review of the impact of a particular idea on the music or multimedia information retrieval community
  • Providing a review of the impact of a particular MIR idea/topic on other conferences or neighboring fields of science (e.g. including technical reviews in terms of h-index or other quantitative measures)
  • Revealing hidden assumptions in the research constructs, patterns or methodologies that could be hindering some progress in the discipline.

Prospective authors should visit for information on paper submission formal issues. Manuscripts should be submitted using the JIIS editorial management system Please select the “MIRrors” option when the article type is requested.


  • Manuscript submission due: November 11, 2012
  • Review completed: January 10, 2012
  • Revised manuscript due: March 10, 2012
  • Expected publication: August 2013

Guest editors:

  • Perfecto Herrera-Boyer, Music Technology Group, Universitat Pompeu Fabra & Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya, Barcelona
  • Fabien Gouyon, Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering of Porto, Portugal

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