Peer Review—Magazines

Pervasive Computing Guest Editor Center

These guidelines apply to all special-issue submissions. You may contact our Publications Coordinator ( for additional information. Although summaries are given below, please visit the links below for complete information about IEEE Pervasive Computing:

Guest Editor Team
Lead Guest Editor
Content & Style
Length & Submission
Peer Review
Guidelines for Making Decisions
Peer Review Policies
Guest Editors' Introduction
Manuscript Central FAQ

Once committed to a special issue, we ask that each guest editor (GE) supply the following information to Lead Editor Kathy Clark Fisher: affiliation, postal address, phone number, and email address. All members of the GE team are responsible for the publication’s success and should do their best to meet the publication milestones.

GE Team

Members of the GE team must

  1. Review the issue schedule and confirm their availability.
  2. Create a call for papers (using a template we provide) and solicit early to obtain a sufficient number of high-quality articles. The CFP should not only include a list of topics but also explain the style/type of article desired.
  3. Create a CFP distribution list – potential authors, appropriate lists, etc.
  4. If possible, recruit an author who can write a related survey/tutorial article.
  5. Help staff identify interviewees related to the theme.
  6. Recruit 3 referees per article (ideally one from the editorial board and two outside) and verify their interest and availability.
  7. Review articles and make recommendations using Manuscript Central, our online submission center.
  8. When accepting articles, give some thought to the titles. If a slight change might generate more hits for the online version, suggest this in your comments to the author (which the staff editor will also see). Generally, we prefer short, simple titles (no more than 10 words). For example, “An Introduction to RFID” has been a top download. 
  9. Guide authors through the review and revision process.
  10. Write a guest editor’s introduction.

Lead Guest Editor

Each GE team should select a Lead Guest Editor. This person is the main contact for the IEEE Pervasive Computing staff and is responsible for coordinating communication with the other GEs. This person should

  • Work with Lead Editor Kathy Clark Fisher to manage issue deadlines (for the CFP, peer review process, and guest editors’ introduction).
  • Determine who will draft the CFP, distribute it to the various authors/lists, and follow-up as the submission date approaches (this will help ensure you receive a decent amount of submissions for your issue). You can assign these tasks during an initial conference call or over email.
  • Determine who will write the first draft of the introduction.
  • Ensure you have an adequate number of reviewers and coordinate reviewer assignments: for a large number of submissions you may want to divide the papers between the GE team to make the task manageable.
  • Explain to reviewers the style of reviews you expect. Let them know the style/type of article the CFP requested.
  • Schedule a conference call to discuss recommendations.
  • Send an email to the EIC summarizing your recommendations shortly after entering them into Manuscript Central (list the accept/minor revision papers slotted for the issue; major revision papers that you think, with the required revisions, could appear in a future issue; rejected papers).

Content & Style

Submissions should be original work that has not been published elsewhere. Articles that have appeared in a conference proceedings may be submitted, but a significant portion of their content must be new and of merit and must undergo detailed technical reviews. Refer authors to the online guidelines  for style and editing questions. Because IEEE Pervasive Computing is a magazine, not a journal, we encourage active articles, accessible to a wide range of readers.

Length & Submission

You can accept approximately 30,000 words, roughly 35 magazine pages, for your theme issue. Featured articles run from 7 to 8 magazine pages—roughly 5,000 to 6,000 words (figures and tables count as 250 words each). Submissions should generally not exceed this length. References should be limited to 15 citations (unless the submission is a survey or tutorial).

Peer Review

A staff publications coordinator ( runs our in-house peer review process. She will contact you with more detailed information about the review process. You’ll work with her to keep the issue on schedule. This can be a lengthy process, so set aside an appropriate amount of time.

Referees and GEs shouldn’t focus on an author’s basic grammar, spelling, or command of English (unless it’s unintelligible). The magazine assistant can supply you with reviewer guidelines or you can view them online. The IEEE Pervasive Computing staff editors will work with authors to edit the articles according to our guidelines (see Editing Philosophy). You’ll make decision recommendations for each manuscript, with the final decision made by IEEE Pervasive Computing’s Editor in Chief.

Guidelines for Making Decisions

The MA will tell you how to access the system as guest editor and see all of your theme's submissions and their review status (except, of course, your own submissions).

If you email the MA about a particular submission, please include its identification number in the subject line. The MA will create a spreadsheet for the issue listing all submissions and other pertinent information. She updates it regularly and sends you and the EIC a copy.

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 MA to refer them to the EIC for nonfocus consideration. The MA will inform the author once you send her your specific comments to include in the letter.

The MA sends the other submissions to 3 (if confirmed) or 7 (if not confirmed) reviewers each and monitors deadlines. When each manuscript finishes the review process, you will be informed. The senior editor may 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 Pervasive Computing's author center for more information on our editing style).

The Recommendation Process

Before making recommendations to the EIC, you must have at least three reviews, including at least one from a software practitioner. Remember your total page allocation when you consider what you want to include. Your recommendations to the EIC should fall into these categories:

green means go REC. TO ACCEPT: you DO want to include the manuscript in your focus section 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.

red means whoa REC. TO REJECT: you DO NOT want to include the manuscript in your focus section.

yellow means slow 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 fix the changes on his/her own before they resubmit. You will review the resubmitted manuscript and then decide whether to recommend it to the EIC for acceptance.

yellow means slow 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 fix the changes on his/her own. Once the submission returns with revisions, we send it back to the original reviewers for a second round of reviews.

The EIC makes final decisions; either he or the MA will inform you. The MA sends out the decision letters, customizing each one with specific comments you provide. She advises authors of accepted submissions about our staff editing process, which collaboratively transforms manuscripts into our magazine style.

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 Pervasive Computing'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 Pervasive 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 IEEE Pervasive Computing. 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 magazine assistant.

Guest Editor’s Introduction

Your GE introduction orients the readers to the theme. It should present recent results, future directions, and important trends and their implications, and stress why this topic is important and timely. Its purpose is to introduce the articles, not summarize, and to spark the reader’s interest. Ask your staff contact for recent examples. We also tie departments and features to the theme when possible. (Your staff contact will provide you with a deadline).


Your staff contact will provide you with a detailed timeline at the start of the process. The following provides a rough outline:

  • Post a call for papers (ask staff to post on the IEEE Pervasive Computing and Computer Society Web sites) and solicit articles for at least one month.
  • Allow at least three months (ideally five) for the review process.
  • Revised, approved, and ready-to-edit articles are due at least two months prior to the publication date.

Total time = approximately seven months

If you have any questions at any time about the schedule or the magazine in general, please contact Thank you for your time and contribution to IEEE Pervasive Computing.


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