Task of the Referee
Kevin Bowyer, emeritus Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, recommends that all reviewers read the paper titled Task of the Referee (PDF), about reviewing archival manuscripts.
"This paper by Alan Jay Smith discusses the desired form and content of a reviewer's evaluation of a paper. Regardless of how much experience one has in reviewing papers, it is probably worth (re)reading this paper. I once had an IEEE Fellow return a review of a paper that consisted of just one sentence, recommending that the paper be accepted after the addition of one reference—to a book written by the reviewer!"
–Kevin Bowyer, Emeritus EIC, TPAMI, 19 June 2000
"... preventing consideration of a paper by taking a long time to review it is unethical."
"Keep in mind that if you expect to have your own papers published, you have a responsibility to referee a reasonable number of papers. ... Editors can choose not to handle papers by authors who don't fulfill their reviewing responsibilities."
–Quote from page 6
As a reviewer, you play an essential role in the peer review process. Our endeavors to administer a fair and timely review process for all of our manuscripts and to publish only papers of the highest quality is largely dependent upon the efforts of reviewers like you. Your help with meeting these important objectives is greatly appreciated.
Conduct of the Reviewer
To guarantee fairness to the author, the reviewer of a manuscript should abide by a number of guidelines, including, but not limited to:
- Respond within the allotted time
- Provide sound, constructive reviews
- Assume that manuscripts submitted for publication are not meant to be public
- Do not use material from a manuscript you have reviewed
- Do not share material from a manuscript you have reviewed with others
- Do not distribute copies of a manuscript you have been asked to review unless the material is already public
- Tell the editor, guest editor, and editor in chief if there are any conflicts of interest involved in reviewing a manuscript
The IEEE details guidelines regarding reviewers in the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board Operations Manual (PDF).
IEEE Review Process Statement (8.2.2.A The Review Process)
The policies contained in this Section 8.2.2.A shall apply to the Editors of all regular technical periodical IEEE publications, except IEEE SPECTRUM and Society newsletters. At no time should a manuscript be accepted or published in an archival journal without prior review of the complete manuscript by two or more independent referees conversant with the pertinent subject area.
IEEE requires that referees treat the contents of papers under review as confidential information not to be disclosed to others before publication. It is expected that no one with access to a paper under review will make any inappropriate use of the special knowledge that access provides. Contents of abstracts submitted to conference program committees should be regarded as confidential as well, and handled in the same manner.
Periodicals which are published in cooperation with non-IEEE organizations must have a review policy that ensures the quality of the papers. The policies of the non-IEEE organizations should be generally consistent with the IEEE requirements contained in this Section 8.2.2.A.
To access Section 8.2.2.A – The Review Process in its entirety, visit the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board Oprations Manual.
Length of Review Process
The length of the review process varies between papers, and many factors affect the time it takes to review a paper. The time it takes for an associate editor to be assigned, and for qualified referees to be located who are available to handle the review of a paper, depends on the complexity and the type of material submitted for review. We make a concerted effort to keep the review time to a minimum that is consistent with keeping each IEEE Computer Society's journals reputation for quality and integrity. Each submission placed into review is sent to at least three reviewers, making one submission correspond to roughly three review requests. The review process may take approximately six months to be completed.
If the authors submit a previously published conference paper, please check the manuscript to determine whether a sufficient amount of new material has been added to warrant publication. Section 8.2.1.B.9 of the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board Operations (PSPB) Manual specifies that authors should only submit original work that has neither appeared elsewhere for publication, nor which is under review for another refereed publication. If an author used their own previously published material as a basis for a new submission, then they are required to cite the previous work(s) and clearly indicate how the new submission offers substantively novel or different contributions beyond those of the previously published work(s).
Also included should be a brief description of the differences between the papers. You may use the public comments section of the review form to include your thoughts, if any, regarding the differences between the two papers.
Comments Paper/Correspondence Item
A comments paper is a paper commenting on an error one has found in, or a disagreement one has with, a previously published paper.
When submitting a comments paper, the author must include the title and/or log number of the previously published manuscript. The journal coordinator will retrieve as much information as possible about the paper being commented on and will forward the materials to the Editor-in-Chief (EIC). If the editor who was assigned to the previously published paper is no longer available, the EIC will assign the comments paper to another editor whose expertise areas closely match that paper's topic.
IEEE Computer Society journals accept supplemental materials for review with regular paper submissions. Types of supplemental material can include: proofs, code, experimental data, short movies, appendices, animations and audio files. These materials may be published on our digital library with the electronic version of the paper, where they can be accessed for free. A pointer to the supplemental material will be included in the printed version.
All materials must follow US copyright guidelines and may not include material previously copyrighted by another author, organization or company. Please see our guidelines below for file specifications and information. Any submitted materials that do not follow these specifications will not be accepted.
Supplemental material must also undergo peer review, so questions pertaining to supplemental material (if applicable) are included in the review form.