Peer Review—Magazines


Manuscript Central: Guest Editor Center

The information contained the Guest Editor Center is meant only for Guest Editors (GEs) of special theme issues for IEEE Internet Computing. These guidelines apply to all special-issue submissions. Contact our Publications Coordinator  or select below for additional information on the following topics.

Create a Call for Papers
Guidelines for Making Decisions
Locate Reviewers
Peer-Review Policies

Schedule of Milestones
Solicit Submissions
Select Papers for Review
Submission Requirements
Work with Authors on Revisions
Write an Introduction (GEI)

Create a Call for Papers

The GE's first job is to prepare a CFP and send it to the Computer Society’s Publications Office 13 months prior to the special issue's publication date (e.g., the CFP for a March/April issue is due in February of the previous year).

The CFP will be published online and in two issues of the magazine. The CFP should start with a broad paragraph about the theme, include a paragraph on the general issues that good submissions should explore, and end with a bulleted list of 5 or 6 potential paper topics. The ideal length is about 200-250 words.

Please note that the CFP alone is unlikely to bring in enough high-quality submissions for the issue. Experience shows that the best way to do justice to the theme topic is for you to contact potential authors directly.

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Solicit submissions

A GE’s most important job is to solicit papers for the issue. On average, the theme section runs 30-35 magazine pages (approximately 20,000 words total). We need enough submissions to ensure that we'll get three or four high-quality papers that make significant contributions to the field and can pass peer review.

GEs need to actively solicit submissions from potential authors in both industry and academia (via phone calls, user groups, email, and so on). Ensuring a sufficient number of high-quality submissions generally requires regular follow-ups to see that authors are making progress, and that they will have articles ready before the submission deadline.

Please direct them to IC's Author Center for all information on submitting.

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Select papers to enter review

Assuming the solicitation process is successful, the number of submissions can prove unwieldy. To ensure that we can find reviewers for all strong candidates, the GE should select the top 8 to 10 papers—those that are most likely to pass peer review and that cover important topic areas.

The GE will write a paragraph for each of the papers that does not go into formal review, to give guidance to the author for improvement (the need for tangible results or an actual implementation, for instance) and to explain the reason for the rejection.

The special issue should include articles that provide balanced coverage of the topic. One of IC's primary missions is to help readers understand controversies surrounding technical ideas. The theme features should thus represent a spectrum of viewpoints on the subject.

Please note the following policies regarding submissions from the GEs to a special issue:

  • A special issue may have at most one paper coauthored by a GE.
  • Papers submitted by GEs will go through the normal review process, with a review editor assigned by the EIC.
  • Marginal papers submitted by guest editors for their issues will not be accepted.

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Locate reviewers for submitted papers

IC is a refereed publication, and all articles must pass peer review prior to acceptance. As someone working in the topic field, you have access to colleagues who can best assess the submitted manuscripts.

We ask that you provide a list of three reviewers for each paper for us to contact. Best results often come when the GE makes initial contact to ensure that people are available. Please note that we'll need the reviewer list within a week of the submission due date.

Reviewers should reflect the international community and be knowledgeable about the article’s subject area. As always, we want to avoid conflicts of interest; for example, reviewers should never be members of the same research group as the author of the article.

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Read reviews and make recommendations for all papers

Once the reviews for the manuscripts are in, the Publications Coordinator will provide you with access to them though the Manuscript Central peer-review system. You should read the referees’ comments and, along with your own reading of the papers, make recommendations to the EIC for which papers you feel should appear in the issue.

All final decisions must be made by the EIC, so please keep your recommendations confidential. Authors will receive final notification directly from the Publications Coordinator.

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Work with authors on revisions per reviews

If the papers recommended for inclusion in the issue require author revisions prior to acceptance, we ask that you write a paragraph or two to guide the authors in addressing the reviewers’ concerns. We also ask that you be available to answer author queries about how best to complete the revisions.

Once the revised manuscripts are received, we will forward them to you for your approval before sending them to the EIC for final acceptance.

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Write an introduction to the theme section

Your final task for the issue will be to write a guest editor's introduction to the theme articles. The GEI should introduce key concepts and terms, enabling readers unfamiliar with the topic to understand the articles.

The GEI should set the scene for the topic by describing the state-of-the-state and state-of-the-art, how the articles define the topic space (including one-paragraph summaries of each) as well as what they don't cover, and ending with a broader look at the road ahead.

A sidebar of resources for the topic—a commentary about the most important sources of information (URLs, papers, articles, books, newsgroups, conferences, and organizations)—is a nice additional element as well.

The editorial board has admonished us to avoid being too biased toward the theme topics, so the GEI is a good place to point out some of the challenges and pitfalls as well to maintain balance. Ideal length is about 1500 words.

The following GEIs from past issues are good examples of what we're looking for:

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Guidelines for Making Recommendations

The Publications Coordinator will explain to each GE how to access the Manuscript Central system and see the theme's submissions and their review status (except, of course, their own submissions).

Please include papers' identification numbers in the subject line for all correspondence with the Publications Coordinator. The Publications Coordinator will create a spreadsheet for the issue listing all submissions and other pertinent information. This sheet is updated regularly and sent to the GEs and EIC.

If GEs don't want to consider a submission, they may reject it outright, suggest alternative publications that could be more suitable, or tell the Publications Coordinator to refer the manuscript to the EIC for "nontheme" consideration. The Publications Coordinator will inform the author once the GEs send in their specific comments to include in the letter.

The Publications Coordinator sends the other submissions to 2 (confirmed) reviewers and monitors deadlines. When each manuscript finishes the review process, the GE will be informed. The lead editor might also review manuscripts, making suggestions about length, organization, number and type of illustrations, title length, appropriateness, and fit.

Reviewers should not worry about or make comments about grammar or spelling. Staff editors will collaborate fully with the authors on magazine style and content (to make sure the manuscript flows, is direct, and organized; see our Author Center for more information on our editing style). GEs should be sure to tell all authors that their work will be edited according to these guidelines.

The Recommendation Process

Before making recommendations to the EIC, the GE must have at least two reviews. Recommendations to the EIC should fall into the following categories:


An "accept" decision means that an Editor is accepting the submission as is and with no further changes. The submission will not be seen again by the Editor or by the reviewers. The EIC 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.

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 GE rejects the manuscript without assigning it to reviewers due to significant deficiencies or failure to follow IC's submission guidelines.

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.


The EIC makes all final decisions; either the EIC or the Publications Coordinator will inform the GEs of these decisions. The Publications Coordinator sends out the decision letters, customizing each with specific comments. The Publications Coordinator advises authors of accepted submissions about our staff editing process, which collaboratively transforms manuscripts into our magazine style.

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Peer-Review Policies

Concurrent Submission: We do NOT allow submission to more than one publication at one time. If we determine that a manuscript has been submitted to another publication before IEEE Internet Computing's review process is completed, we will automatically reject that manuscript.

Duplicate Submissions: We do NOT accept duplicate submissions of manuscripts. Authors should not try to enter or upload a modified version of manuscripts that are already in the system as a new submission. Identical submissions will be immediately rejected.

Preliminary/Conference Version(s): If any portion of a submission has appeared or will appear in a conference proceedings, the author must include a copy of the previously published manuscript along with the IEEE Internet Computing submission and a summary of changes identifying the differences between the two.

The GEs and reviewers must check each submitted manuscript to determine whether a sufficient amount of new material has been added to warrant publication in IC. New results are not required, but the submission should contain expansions of key ideas, examples, elaborations, and so on.

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Submission Requirements

We accept plain text, Word, LaTex, Postscript, and PDF files. Any file an author uploads to Manuscript Central will be converted to a PDF. Files cannot exceed 20 Mbytes.

Articles must be 5,000 words or less, including all main body, abstract, keyword, bibliography, biography, and table text. Each figure is counted as 250 words. Any article exceeding this word count may be rejected automatically, without going through the review process. Authors must supply an abstract and at least two keywords when uploading their manuscripts. Each submission should have a title page containing the submission's title and the names, affiliations, and contact information for all coauthors.

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Schedule of Milestones

Please keep the following schedule in mind in all GE activities:

  • CFP posted with Computer Society Pubs Office: -13 mos.
  • Papers due in Pubs Office: -7 mos.
  • All reviews due back: -5 mos.
  • Preliminary decisions made; authors given technical and editorial reviews, and asked to revise: -4.75 mos.
  • All revisions due back: -3.75 mos.
  • GE recommendations to EIC: -2.5 mos.
  • EIC letters to authors: -2.25 mos.
  • Final versions to Pubs Office for editing: -2 mos.
  • Guest Editor's Intro to Pubs Office for editing: -1.5 mos.
  • Shipping deadline = -.25 mos. before first month in cover date (e.g., Jan/Feb ships 22 Dec)

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