Peer Review—Magazines

Editor Center

In the Editor Center, you will find detailed information about handling comments on submissions, guidelines for handling preliminary/conference versions, and important deadlines. Please select from the menu below for more information on:

How to Use Manuscript Central
Deadlines for Regular Review
Editor Guidelines for Regular Submissions
Guidelines for Making Recommendations
Supplemental Material Guidelines
Department Editor Guidelines
How to Contact Us
Frequently Asked Questions

How to Use Manuscript Central

If you need your user ID and/or password, or have any problems using Manuscript Central, please contact the Publications Coordinator .

Access a Manuscript

•  Go to the Editor Center located in Manuscript Central.

•  Select the New Manuscripts: Manage Reviewers and Make Recommendations view.

•  Select View Details .

•  Select the manuscript title to view the PDF of the submission

Put into Review

•  Scroll down and select Assign or Remove Reviewer

•  Use the Reviewer Search located on the right side of your screen

•  Use the BEGINS WITH search and enter Reviewers' last name

•  Click on the reviewer's name and then click on the Assign Reviewer button

•  Once the manuscript form is populated with the names, close out of the form; the names will be saved.

•  Notify the Publications Coordinator that the reviewers have been selected.

The Publications Coordinator will then format and send request letters to the reviewers you selected. If you have already confirmed the reviewers you selected, please let the Publications Coordinator know so he can alter the letter accordingly.

Post a Recommendation

•  To access the manuscripts, go to the Editor Center located in Manuscript Central

•  Select the New Manuscripts: Manage Reviewers and Make Recommendations view.

•  Select View Details .

•  Scroll down and select Make Recommendation , then click Post Recommendation .

•  You can select from Accept, Minor Revision, Major Revision or Reject.

•  Please carefully read the instructions before filling out the form. When you have finished filling out the form, select Send to Editor-in-Chief .

Please note that this action is not reversible. Notification of your recommendation will be sent directly to the  Publications Coordinator for processing.

As an editor, you are responsible for understanding and helping us implement our peer-review policies and procedures. To access this information, please see the Instructions and Forms page. Select the Internet button to access the Editor Center.

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Submissions to IEEE Software must represent original material. We discourage submitting to more than one publication at one time. If it is determined 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 Software is completed, we will reject the submission.

Submissions are accepted for review with the understanding that the same work has been neither submitted to, nor published in, another journal. Concurrent submission to other publications and this magazine is viewed as a serious breach of ethics and, if detected, will result in immediate rejection of 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:

•  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).

•  The Editor handling the submission in question and Editor-in-Chief at the other journal/publication are contacted to determine the status of the submission submitted to them. We also request a copy of that submission.

•  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.

•  If the other submission is still undergoing review, both journals "swap" submissions for comparison. The Editors and Editors-in-Chief of both journals are involved in this process.

•  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, please 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 Software . The IEEE guidelines are that the submission should contain a significant amount of new material (i.e., material that has not been published elsewhere). New results are not required, however, the submission should contain expansions of key ideas, examples, elaborations, etc., 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 you find that the manuscript is not suitable for further consideration (poor quality or outside the scope of IEEE Software ), then you may choose to administratively reject it, making sure to clearly justify or explain your decision. If you make a decision on a submission before sending it out to referees, you must post your recommendation and fill out the review form in order to provide the authors with guidance, in case they decide to revise and resubmit their submission. Please note that your identity will not be revealed to the authors.

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Deadlines for Regular Review

•  Editors have 2 weeks to submit a list of reviewers to the Publications Coordinator .

•  Reviewers are given  3 weeks to review the submission.

•  Editors are given 2 weeks to submit a recommendation to the Publications Coordinator once all or enough of the reviews have come in.

•  Authors have a maximum of 6 months* to submit their major revisions. The Publications Coordinator begins sending reminders after three months.
Authors have a maximum of 3 months to submit their minor revisions. The Publications Coordinator begins sending reminders after the first month.

•  Editors are given 2 weeks to review a minor revision and give the Publications Coordinator a final decision.

*At six months, the coordinator will contact the Editor with a copy to the Editor-in-Chief, requesting permission to close the submission's file. If you approve, the coordinator will notify the author that we are closing their file, but that they can resubmit. Although the resubmitted submission will be given a new log number and a new set of dates the author will be told that if they include their previous log number with the resubmission, we will carry over its peer review history and essentially pick up where we left off.

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Editor Guidelines for Regular Submissions

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 he/she handle the review process of the submission. Should the Editor decide to not assign reviewers but instead administratively reject the submission, he/she will be required to provide comments that will be returned to the author. The Editor's identity will remain anonymous unless he/she requests to be identified.

Please note, if the author sends a submission directly to the Editor, they should be instructed to submit their submission 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 it also ensures 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 Software submission and hence may not be published by IEEE Software .

As soon as possible, but definitely within a two-week period, the Editor should send the Publications Coordinator a set of reviewer names (either three confirmed, or five unconfirmed) by email. The names should be accompanied by full names, affiliations, and email addresses. If possible, please 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 post a recommendation: "accept", "reject", "major revision", for re-review, or "minor revision". 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 post their recommendation and send it to the Editor in Chief. The Editor in Chief will make a decision and the Publications Coordinator will notify the author of the decision, blind-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 discretion of the Editor.

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 notify the Editor to re-review and make a final recommendation.

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Guidelines for Making Recommendations

Note: All recommendations entered into the system are final and irreversible.


An accept decision means that an Editor is accepting the submission "as is" with no further changes required by the reviewers. 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 has 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 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 .


This may be an alternative decision to asking for a second major revision.


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 scope of the journal. We ask that you please 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 Software 's Publications Coordinator .

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Department Editor Guidelines

Department editors are responsible for soliciting or writing an article for each issue of the magazine (1,600 to 3,000 words plus figures, which count as 200 words each). You might therefore want to have a coeditor to help manage the load. Software readers are primarily working engineers in industry, and secondarily, academics teaching and doing research. Department features are meant to provide practical information on protocols, technologies, and methods and how to apply them to development projects.

When soliciting material, ask any prospective authors to 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; we discourage the use of references but may allow up to 10 archival references.

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How to Contact Us

IEEE Software Publications Coordinator
IEEE Computer Society
10662 Los Vaqueros Circle
Los Alamitos, CA 90720 USA
+1 714 821 8380

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I check the status of the papers that I am handling without going to the assistant?

You have access to the status of your assigned papers at any time. First, determine whether the manuscript is a new submission or a revision. Once you have selected the link to the appropriate category, you will find the status of each paper in the third column, second row for each record.

Accessing the Web on my laptop while I am on travel is not convenient. Can I gain access to my assigned papers through some other method?

The Publications Coordinator can e-mail copies of papers to you if you have problems accessing them through Manuscript Central. However, please be aware that all decisions and actions must be made through the system.

How many reviews should be submitted before I can make a decision?

Our policy requires a paper to have at least three submitted reviews before the editor makes a decision.

What do I do if I have a conflict of interest related to the author of a paper that has been assigned to me?

Please contact the Publications Coordinator via e-mail to request that the paper be reassigned to another editor. Indicate that it is due to a conflict of interest.

An author of a paper I handled has decided to appeal my decision. What do I do?

Please contact the Publications Coordinator via e-mail. If possible, please forward a copy of the author's e-mail appealing the decision. The assistant will then contact the editor in chief, who will review the appeal and then provide instructions on how she would like to proceed.

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