Peer Review—Magazines


Manuscript Central: Editor Center

In the Editor Center, you will find detailed information about the guidelines for IEEE Security & Privacy. Please select from the menu below for more information on:

Deadlines for Regular Review
Department Editor Guidelines
Editor Guidelines
Guidelines for Making Decisions
How to Contact Us
How To Instructions
Special-Issue Guidelines
Supplemental Material Guidelines


Submissions to IEEE Security & Privacy must represent original material. We discourage submitting to more than one publication at one time. If we determine that a submission (a) has already appeared in anything more than a conference proceedings, or (b) appears in or will appear in a submission to any other publication before the editorial process at IEEE Security & Privacy is completed, we will reject the submission.

Submissions previously published in conference proceedings, digests, preprints, or records are eligible for consideration provided that the author informs the editorial staff at the time of submission and that the submissions have undergone substantial revision. The question regarding concurrent submission appears on Screen 1 in Manuscript Central.

The guidelines for handling concurrent submissions are as follows:

  1. If the Publications Coordinator is informed of a possible concurrent submission, the Publications Coordinator immediately contacts the Editor handling the submission and the Editor in Chief (EIC).
  2. The Publications Coordinator handles the submission in question and contacts the EIC at the other journal/publication to determine the status and request a copy of that submission.
  3. If the other submission is still undergoing review, both journals "swap" submissions for comparison. The Editors and  EICs of both journals are involved in this process.
  4. Based on the policy mentioned above, if the Editors determine a clear case of concurrent submission, the manuscript is immediately rejected.

Preliminary/Conference Version(s)

If the authors provided a previously published conference submission, the Editor should take the time before assigning reviewers to check the submission to determine whether there has been sufficient new material added to warrant publication in IEEE Security & Privacy . The IEEE guidelines are that the submission should contain at least 30% new material (i.e., material that has not been published elsewhere.) New results are not required, but the submission should contain expansions of key ideas, examples, elaborations, and so forth, of the conference submission. Please keep in mind that this 30% rule applies to all aspects of the review process and must also be applied to all revisions and/or final versions submitted by the authors.

If the submission does not meet this criteria, or if the Editor finds that the manuscript is not suitable for further consideration (poor quality or outside the scope of IEEE Security & Privacy ), then the Editor may choose to administratively reject it, making sure to clearly justify or explain the decision. If the Editor makes a decision on a submission before sending it out to reviewers, the Editor must post the recommendation and fill out the review form in order to provide the authors with the proper reference (in case they decide to revise and resubmit their submission). Please note that the Editors' identities will not be revealed to the authors.

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Deadlines for Regular Review

For editors of special issues (Guest Editors), the deadlines differ dramatically. Please contact the Publications Coordinator for specific deadlines. For regular submissions,

  • Editors have 2 weeks to submit a list of confirmed reviewers to the Publications Coordinator.
  • Reviewers are given  3weeks to review the submission.
  • Editors are given  1week to submit a recommendation to the Publications Coordinator once all or enough of the reviews have come in.
  • Authors have a maximum of  1 monthto submit their major revisions. The Publications Coordinator begins sending reminders after the due date has passed.
  • Authors have a maximum of  1month to submit their minor revisions. The Publications Coordinator begins sending reminders on the first week pending.
  • Editors are given  1week to review a minor revision and give the Publications Coordinator a final decision.
  • Authors are given a total of 1 week to submit their publication materials upon acceptance.

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Editor Guidelines

The Editor in Chief (EIC) will assign an Editor to the manuscript based on a submission's subject area. For each submission that the EIC assigns, the Publications Coordinator will send the Editor a letter requesting that the Publications Coordinator handle the submission's review process. Please be advised that we will give the Editor's identify once reviewers are assigned. Should the Editor decide not to assign reviewers but instead administratively reject the submission, he or she will be required to fill out a review form as an anonymous reviewer.

Please note, if the author sends a submission directly to the Editor, the author should be instructed to submit the manuscript to Manuscript Central. The Publications Coordinator will then send the manuscript to the EIC to be assigned to an Editor. It may or may not be the Editor who originally received the submission. This not only ensures that our submissions are tracked properly, but also that each submission receives a fair and unbiased review. Any submission that does not go through the review process via Manuscript Central and the Publications Coordinator will not be recognized as a IEEE Security & Privacy submission and hence may not be published by IEEE Security & Privacy .

As soon as possible, but definitely within a two-week period, the Editor should send the Publications Coordinator a set of confirmed reviewer names by email. The names should be accompanied by full names, affiliations, and email addresses. The Editor should contact the reviewers in advance and ask them to agree to do the review. (We have found that reviewers are less likely to decline if contacted by the Editor directly.) The Publications Coordinator will then send the reviewer a "review request" letter. In addition, the author is notified that the manuscript has been sent out for review and is given the name of the assigned Editor. We normally set a three-week deadline for reviews, unless the Editor makes specific arrangements with a reviewer to review more or less quickly.

The Publications Coordinator will forward the reviews to the Editor as they are received. Ideally an Editor should have three reviews before making a recommendation on a submission. At that time, the Editor may recommend an "accept" or a "reject" for the submission or request a "major revision" for re-review. Sometimes Editors will also request a "minor revision." In that case, the Editor should personally re-review the submission before giving it a final acceptance.

The Editor is to notify the Publications Coordinator of the recommendation; the Publications Coordinator will notify the author of the decision, copying the Editor.

If a major revision is recommended, the revision will again be assigned to the same Editor and sent out for a second round of reviews. Usually the same reviewers are used for the revised manuscript, but that is at the Editor's discretion.

If a submission is accepted, the authors are given a publication checklist and are asked to prepare their final manuscript. If a minor revision is asked for, after receiving a copy of the final manuscript, the Publications Coordinator will send a copy of the submission to the Editor for a final decision.

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Department Editor Guidelines

Department editors are responsible for soliciting or writing an article for each issue of the magazine (2,500 to 3,000 words plus figures, which count as 250 words each). You might therefore want to have a coeditor to help manage the load. S&P readers are primarily working engineers in industry, and secondarily, academics teaching and doing research. Department features are meant to provide practical examinations of protocols, technologies, and methods and how to apply them to security-based development.

When soliciting material, have any prospective authors read (or reread) our complete author and editorial guidelines for more information about submission, style, and acceptable formats.  The articles should be technical—we don't want marketing hype or white papers—but the tone is less formal than a typical research article. Authors should be sure to explain key concepts, including components, existing and emerging standards, technical challenges, and interesting implementations. We encourage authors to include URLs for relevant resources and up to 10 archival references.

Guidelines for Making Decisions

Note: All decisions are final and irreversible.


An "accept" decision means that an Editor is accepting the submission as is, with no further changes whatsoever. The submission will not be seen again by the Editor or by the reviewers. The Editor in Chief makes the final decision.

Major Revision

A "major" revision means that the submission should go back to the original reviewers for a second round of reviews. We strongly discourage Editors from making a decision based on their own review of the manuscript if a major revision had been previously required. This may cause problems in the future if reviewers were to see a published submission that they did not have a chance to re-review.

Note: If a submission has already gone through two rounds of reviews, the option of a second major revision is not available. 

Minor Revision

The "minor" revision version may not go back to the reviewers, if the Editor feels the revisions are sufficient/appropriate. Any revision in length by more than 10% should be a major revision.


A "reject" decision means the manuscript is not suitable for publication.

Administrative Reject

The Editor rejects the manuscript without assigning it to reviewers due to significant deficiencies.

Out of Scope

The manuscript does not fall within the magazine's scope. We ask that the Editor suggest a more suitable journal for submission.

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Supplemental Material Guidelines

Supplemental material includes Web-only addenda and extra images in addition to the authors' completed manuscript. We prefer that authors submit this type of material after discussion with IEEE Security & Privacy 's  Publications Coordinator.

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How to Contact Us

Publications Coordinator

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