Peer Review—Magazines


Guest Editor Center

These guidelines apply to all special-issue submissions. Guest editors should not submit their own manuscripts for their special issues. You may contact our Administrator for additional information.

Deadlines for Special Issues
Guest Editor's Introduction
Guidelines for Making Recommendations
Page Limitations & Text Formatting Requirements
Peer Review Policies

Deadlines for Special Issues

It is important to conduct an initial review before assigning reviewers to ensure that the content is of high quality and is appropriate for Micro's readership. We also encourage GEs to try and confirm with specific reviewers ahead of time, so that they know what to expect and agree to the time commitment.

The following schedule indicates the number of months before the ship date (the date the magazine goes to the printer) for each deadline. The ship date for a January-February issue is mid-December; for a March-April issue, mid-February; for a May-June issue, mid-April; and so on.

  • 10 months: If applicable, directly solicit manuscripts from particular qualified persons.
  • 7 months: Authors upload manuscripts to, and review process begins.
  • 5 months: Send revision requests to authors.
  • 4 months: Review revised manuscripts and send your final recommendations to authors.
  • 3 months: Ensure that final articles and guest editor's introduction are sent to the Administrator.

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Guest Editor's Introduction

In your GEI, introduce your theme topic in the context of the computer industry, and discuss recent results, future directions, and important trends and their implications. Most important, motivate the readers to read the articles. Do not simply list each author and article. You might also consider including, in your GEI, a set of project summaries describing important projects not covered in the accepted articles. Please limit the GEI to 1,000 to 1,500 words. Send it, along with your 50-word biography, author photo (TIFF image), full contact information, and signed copyright form, to the Administrator.

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Guidelines for Making Recommendations

The Administrator will tell you how to access the system as guest editor, and you can see all of your theme's submissions and their review status. Manuscript Central will keep track of all the submissions.

If you don't want to consider a submission, you may reject it outright, suggest alternative publications that could be more suitable, or tell the EIC to consider the submission for a nontheme issue. The EIC will inform the author of the final decision.


Please include the manuscript ID in all correspondence.

IEEE Micro will not publish any submission that does not go through the review process via Manuscript Central.

The Review Process

Within a one-week period, the Editor should invite five reviewers using Manuscript Central. We have found that reviewers are less likely to decline if contacted by the Guest Editor directly. Once you assign the reviewers or they agree to review via the URL within the invite letter, Manuscript Central will then send the reviewers the manuscript information. The author can check the status of the review process at any time.

Unless the Guest Editor makes specific arrangements with a reviewer, the deadline to return a completed review is three weeks. If a reviewer requests additional time to complete a review, please record the extension in MC or ask the Administrator to record the extension. Otherwise, MC will send automatic reminders based on the three-week schedule. Reviewers should not worry about or make comments about grammar or spelling.

Note: If the reviewer responds to the invitation to review via email, you must record the reviewer's response of Agreed from the "Invited Response" pull-down menu. Otherwise, the reviewer will not receive the manuscript information allowing him/her access to the manuscript and review form.

The Recommendation Process

The MC will monitor deadlines and notify the Guest Editor when all or enough reviews are received. At that time, the Guest Editor may post a recommendation of accept, reject, major revision, or minor revision, and send the recommendation to the Editor in Chief. The Editor in Chief will make a decision and will notify the author of the decision, blind-copying the Guest Editor.

Remember your total page allocation when you consider which articles you want to accept. Your recommendations to the EIC should fall into these categories:

REC. TO ACCEPT: You DO want to include the manuscript in your special issue, and you feel that the changes the author needs to make (if any) are slight enough that they could be easily addressed in the editing process by our staff editors.

REC. TO REJECT: You DO NOT want to include the manuscript in your special issue.

REC. TO MAKE MINOR REVISIONS: You do want to include the manuscript in your special issue, but you feel that there are relatively minor changes the author needs to make before it is edited. We give the author a few weeks to complete the revisions before he or she resubmits. You will review the resubmitted manuscript and then decide whether to recommend it to the EIC for acceptance.

REC. TO MAKE MAJOR REVISIONS: You might want to include the manuscript in your special issue but the author needs to make significant changes before you can decide. Normally, we give the author a month to complete the revisions. Once the revised version is returned, we send it back to the original reviewers for a second round of reviews.

The EIC makes final decisions

The EIC sends out the decision letters, customizing each one with specific comments you provide. The Administrator works with authors of accepted manuscripts to obtain their publication materials and advises about our staff's editing process. The Managing Editor may then look over manuscripts, making suggestions about length, organization, number and type of illustrations, title length, appropriateness, and fit. 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 Resources page for more information on our editing style).

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Page Limitations & Text Formatting Requirements

Pages in any given issue of Micro are usually at a premium. Therefore, each article should be no longer than 5,000 words, including biographies and references (with each average-size figure as 150 words toward the limit), and (except for surveys) should have no more than 12 references. Authors should also include a 150-word abstract and four or five keywords. Please ask authors to follow these and all other Micro author guidelines (see Author Center), and let them know that their manuscripts will be reviewed.

Please plan to include four to six articles in your special issue. If we can accommodate additional articles, we will have to place them in our queue, along with our nontheme articles. If you see a special need to go beyond these requirements, please send EIC Dave Albonesi a note explaining why. Please don't rely on authors to do all the editing. Often, a guest editor can look at the articles and find portions that can be abbreviated or dropped. Although some authors might not like these restrictions, sometimes it is the only way to streamline an issue and keep it within the page budget. When you submit the article to the editorial staff, please feel free to identify portions that you feel should be revised or removed.


Figures can significantly improve the readability of an article. The best figures tell a story and are self-sufficient enough so that interested readers can understand them without searching the main text of the article for an explanation. The number of figures in an article should be limited to 10, and please remember that each average-size figure counts as 150 words toward the 5,000-word limit. Please discourage authors from including screen shots, because these images usually do not maintain a sharp enough resolution when shrunk to fit in the magazine, and generally do not add that much value to the article. Also, authors of accepted articles wishing to include in Micro a figure or table that was previously published in another work (even if they were the authors of those works) must secure written permission from the publisher of that work.


Feel free to send any suggestions you have regarding the graphics for the cover to the editorial staff. The editorial staff will make the final decision regarding what goes on the cover, but your suggestions are welcome.

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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 Micro's review process is completed, we automatically withdraw 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  Micro submission and a summary of changes identifying the differences between the two.

The GEs and reviewers must check each submitted manuscript to determine whether the article is significantly different enough from the proceeding article to warrant publication in IEEE Micro. New results are not required; however, the submission should contain expansions of key ideas, examples, elaborations, etc.

If you have questions regarding this policy, please contact the Administrator.

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A call for papers is seldom sufficient for putting together a strong special issue. You want to solicit manuscripts from particular qualified persons and send them a letter with deadlines and our author guidelines. If extended manuscripts originate from a conference, inform the program chair. Also, secure commitments from reviewers as soon as you plan the issue. Finally, a professional editorial staff edits all Micro articles for clarity, readability, conformance to IEEE CS style, and accessibility to a broad audience. You can help by educating potential authors that they should avoid sign posting (summaries, overviews, and so on), write in active voice, define all acronyms and terms, and minimize use of notation.

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