Editor in Chief (EIC) Manual of the IEEE Computer Society
Last updated on 12 June 2015
Table of Contents
F.1 EIC Reappointments
F.2 Cosponsored Titles
A.1 General Members of the Editorial Board
A.2 Associate EICs
A.3 Department Editors (Magazines Only)
A.4 Advisory Boards
3. Conference Publications
E.1 Article Preparation
F.1 Article Preparation
F.2 Department Material
EIC Manual of the IEEE Computer Society
The IEEE Computer Society publishes magazines, transactions, ReadyNotes, EssentialSets, more than 300 volumes of proceedings, and several books each year. It also maintains a Digital Library that provides online access to Society magazines and transactions and more than 1,700 selected conference proceedings.
The Computer Society's publications program is supported by sets of volunteers organized as editors in chief (EICs) or operations committee members. Both sets report to an operations committee (one each for transactions, magazines, conference publications and digital library). A Computer Society representative is appointed to the IEEE Press Committee by the VP of Publications. This manual contains the general information that a publications volunteer needs to do his/her job. Ongoing communication among Publications Board volunteers is facilitated through a mailing list and a password-protected website (http://www.computer.org/pubs-board/). Information and links to other resources for publications volunteers appears at www.computer.org/web/volunteers.
Listing the specific, accountable responsibilities of the EIC and the professional staff doesn't fully capture the cooperative relationship that they must develop. For example, although the staff isn't responsible for technical content, the EIC's decisions in that area may well affect the publication's production requirements, advertising potential, and its marketability. Conversely, the EIC isn't responsible for graphic design, but editorial presentation may affect the communication of technical content.
Another key area of shared responsibility is cost control. Staff is responsible for prudent vendor selection, realistic cost projections, and keeping production costs as low as possible, consistent with accepted quality standards. But the best efforts of a staff manager can be undone by an overrun of just a few pages. Hence, the EIC must ensure that guest editors and authors turn in editorial that is within the limits of the amount budgeted.
Similarly, schedule performance is a jointly shared responsibility. Staff can compensate to some extent for late manuscripts, but the production process is largely serial in nature, and late manuscripts generally exact a price in evening and weekend work, last-minute deadline rushes, and consequent loss of quality. Here again, the EIC's role in ensuring that editors and authors meet their deadlines is critical.
In cases of an unresolved dispute with an author, staff editors should consult with their manager and, if necessary, the EIC. Obviously, the EIC and manager should be kept informed if a dispute has occurred or seems imminent. Either an EIC or the manager can bring unresolved questions to the VP of Publications for resolution by the Publications Board. The CS President is the final level of appeal.
The production of a publication is a cooperative venture among several important stakeholders. The EIC, the Director of Products and Services, and the staff managers have the most prominent responsibilities. The VP of Publications, Magazine Operations Committee (MOC) chair, Transactions Operations Committee (TOC) chair, Digital Library Operations Committee (DLOC), and President may also be involved from time to time.
The EIC has primary responsibility for the technical content of a particular publication. This responsibility may be delegated (to a guest editor, for example), but it ultimately resides with the EIC. The Director of Products and Services, whose purview cuts across all CS publications, is primarily responsible for each publication's clarity of syntax and conformance to standards of style and grammar, its graphic design and production, its online presence, staffing, and advertising. The Director of Products and Services usually delegates one or more of these responsibilities to a staff member.
An EIC's most immediate staff support comes from the staff manager assigned to his/her particular publication. Usually, the manager can either provide the help required or arrange for another part of the staff operation to provide it. EICs are also encouraged to seek support from the Director of Products and Services regarding any aspect of their publication's operation.
C.1 Transactions and Magazines
The EIC has a wide range of responsibilities:
- ensuring a flow of important, interesting, and timely material;
- working with the Society staff in developing advanced editorial schedules and providing technical input to publication promotions;
- ensuring that established peer review standards are applied to all technical material considered for publication;
- seeking and appointing qualified editorial board members and area editors (AEs);
- ensuring fair and expeditious treatment of authors, AEs, guest editors, and reviewers;
- enforcing editorial page budgets and managing the EIC budget;
- conducting an ongoing assessment of the goals, quality, and utility of the publication; the corresponding resources and processes in place to achieve those goals and standards; and the performance of editorial board members;
- attending, reporting at, actively participating in, and contributing to MOC and TOC meetings;
- recommending service awards for those who have made important contributions to the publication; and
- representing the publication in both Computer Society and non-Computer Society forums.
Publications Board meetings are held usually a day or two before the Board of Governors' (BoG) annual meeting in June. The locations of these meetings are determined a year in advance by the BoG. Each individual committee will also meet independently one additional time each year.
As part of the annual publication budget approved by the BoG, the EIC's budget covers such expenses as an annual editorial board meeting and EIC travel to the Publications Board meeting; contact the staff member associated with your title for any specific questions about meals during the editorial board meeting and other travel-related costs. The budget covers travel for Computer Society volunteers only; we cannot reimburse volunteers for expenses spent on behalf of family members or friends.
When submitting a travel reimbursement request, please note that IEEE requires all original receipts be submitted to document all reported expenses. IEEE doesn't offer a general per diem for food, for example, so such expenses must be accompanied by a receipt. If a receipt is not available for any reason, please get in touch with the staff member associated with your title; this person can also help guide you through the overall reimbursement process. It is best to submit the travel reimbursement request within 30 days of completion of travel. The travel reimbursement template is available at http://www.computer.org/portal/web/volunteercenter.
Please note that the EIC budget does cover supplies, but not large purchases such as computer equipment. All capital purchase items must be housed within the Society's office. Loans of capital equipment to volunteers or special purchases may be made under exceptional circumstances on the prior approval of the President and the recommendation of the office of the Society fiscally responsible for the function that requires that equipment.
EICs and associate EICs (AEICs) are granted free access to the publication they are handling in the Computer Society Digital Library during their terms of office.
At a minimum, the EIC's employer must provide the time to devote to performing the function of EIC. In addition, it's often possible for the EIC's employer to augment the reimbursed expenses budget by providing for email access, copying and courier facilities, and travel support. EIC candidates are required to supply a letter from their employer indicating the extent of support it can offer its employee should he/she be appointed.
Except in the case of some of our cosponsored titles, EICs may serve a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms in a given position. (However, EICs who launch a new periodical may serve one three-year term followed by one two-year term.)
In essence, the EIC appointment is a Presidential appointment. The CS President, with the assistance of the VP of Publications, uses a search committee process to identify and recommend candidates.
The search committee, which is appointed by the VP of Publications, identifies, solicits, evaluates, and recommends EIC candidates. The candidates brought forward by the search committee are reviewed by the Publications Board, but no additional candidates may be added. The President selects from the candidates named by the search committee, and the Board of Governors consents to the appointment.
In making his/her selection, the President is acting in the interests of the Computer Society. The Publications Board and the BoG have oversight responsibility to ensure that the search process is thorough and fair and not subject to undue influence. All groups involved maintain the confidentiality of the process.
F.1 EIC Reappointments
EIC reappointments are handled slightly differently. The process begins when the VP of Publications asks the EIC if he/she is willing to serve a second term. If he/she does not want to seek a second term, the process for selection of a new EIC is followed. Otherwise, an Evaluation Committee is appointed by the VP of Publications to evaluate the EIC's performance and make a recommendation on reappointment.
Since the reappointment evaluation process is an abbreviated version of the full search process, the Evaluation Committee, Publications Board, and President must all agree on the reappointment decision. If this is not the case, a search committee is named by the VP of Publications and charged with recommending additional candidates using the process for seeking a new EIC.
F.2 Cosponsored Titles
For jointly sponsored publications with steering or management committees, the steering or management committee shall appoint the EIC following the search process defined in the MOU for that periodical. The VP for Publications shall recommend Computer Society candidates for the steering or management committee representatives for appointment by the Computer Society President.
EIC appointments for Computing in Science & Engineering (CiSE), IEEE Design & Test of Computers (D&T), IEEE /ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (TCBB), and IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing (TMC) follow a slightly different process that allows for mutual consent of the CS and respective cosponsors of these titles to the appointment.
A.1 General Members of the Editorial Board
EICs use their editorial boards differently. In some cases, general board members work with a guest editor in developing special issues; in others, board members are assigned to specific topic areas and are responsible for ensuring a flow of high-quality submissions in their areas/administering the review process for those submissions. General editorial board members are usually involved in the strategic planning of the publication via the regular annual meetings of the editorial board that the EIC calls. The EIC is responsible for providing to the staff manager an up-to-date list of the complete names, addresses, and phone numbers of all members of the editorial board.
To nominate an editorial board member, an EIC must send an email message to the Publications Board email alias. The body of the message must contain an explanation of why the candidate is being nominated and what areas of expertise he/she will bring to the board. The candidate's short bio, list of 10 relevant publications, and URL to a homepage if available should also be included. The whole purpose of this format is to facilitate rapid approval by the Publications Board without the need to wade through a long vitae or open documents in a variety of formats.
Any member of the Publications Board may raise an objection to or a concern about a nomination, in which case the nomination is held pending discussion at the next Publications Board meeting. If there are no objections within 30 days, the nominee is confirmed (EICs are required to wait for the 30-day period prior to releasing papers to the new editorial board member to avoid unpleasant situations).
Editorial board members serve an initial two-year term, renewable for a second two-year term. It is highly advisable to review the performance of each editorial board member to ensure a reappointment for a second term is desirable and warranted. There's a one-year waiting period before an editorial board member can be reappointed to the board once a full four years has been served.
A.2 Associate EICs
To lighten the administrative load on the EIC, to train a potential backup in case of EIC illness or other emergency, and to develop a pool of potential EIC candidates for future appointments, it's a good idea for each publication to have at least one associate EIC (AEIC).
Some AEICs handle a specific category of responsibilities, such as organizing and scheduling special issues. Others troubleshoot problems, assist with regular columns, recruit reviewers, and handle miscellaneous tasks such as reporting on conferences and expediting the review process for outlier papers. However, it's up to the EIC to identify the specific tasks. An AEIC can be designated to temporarily replace the EIC by a written note to this effect from the EIC to the VP of Publications.
A.3 Department Editors (Magazines Only)
Each publication can have a variety of departments suited to its readership's needs, for example, book and media reviews, opinions, product announcements and reviews, problems/algorithms/puzzles, standards, case studies, industry news, a calendar of events, interviews, or letters to the editor.
Each department requires interaction with the readership, technical committees and other Computer Society programs, other professional societies, and the industrial, government, and academic communities. The need to recruit volunteers who have relevant experience and skill is obvious. The development of a two-year plan for each department should be encouraged as part of an ongoing publication self-assessment. A member of the editorial board may serve in this role.
A.4 Advisory Boards
An EIC may decide that an advisory board would be helpful in guiding the direction of a publication. Advisory board members can play a variety of roles, from helping to select special issue topics to helping advise a newly selected EIC. Advisory boards may also be established for short projects or goals; therefore, advisory boards could serve as a more long-term feature or serve for a short-term purpose, depending on the EIC's need.
When advisory boards are being appointed for short-term purposes, that purpose (project or goal) should be defined before the board is appointed so that the term duration is clear to the volunteer. All advisory boards will automatically expire at the end of the term of the EIC who established the board. The incoming EIC may elect to retain the board, dissolve it, or modify its purpose or composition.
At the EIC's discretion, a chair of the advisory board may be appointed, and that chair's function would be defined by the EIC. In all cases, advisory boards will also follow all IEEE and Computer Society policies, procedures, and bylaws.
Incoming EICs should evaluate the role of established advisory boards and ensure function, goals, and contributions meet the EIC's vision for the periodical. It is to the standing EICs discretion to dissolve advisory boards at any time. While placement in the masthead will be on a space available basis, advisory boards may be listed on the About section of a periodical's web site.
There is usually one editorial board meeting each year, often in conjunction with a major conference. This is to both reduce costs and ensure that as many invitees as possible can attend. The general members of the editorial board, the staff manager(s), lead editors, and other parties as appropriate, are invited. (However, it is important to note that all staff travel must first be approved.) The agenda usually consists of reports on submission rates and publication information, evaluation of current and new goals and initiatives, strategic planning, production issues, and so on. The EIC should draft and circulate an agenda before the meeting is held. Minutes should be taken and distributed in a timely manner to all those who attended as well as to those who could not attend. EICs may choose to use some of their budget to help defray the cost of travel for each editorial board member or those facing specific circumstances, such as the cost of international travel. It is very important for each EIC to set up reimbursement guidelines with each editorial board member in advance of the meeting, so there are no unpleasant misunderstandings later; again, it's best to consult the staff member associated with your title as you navigate such situations.
If the editorial board meeting is being held in conjunction with a Computer Society-sponsored conference, it might be possible to arrange for meeting and meal facilities through the existing conference contract. To determine if this is possible, contact the staff associated with your title. If the meeting is not being held in conjunction with a Computer Society event, please note that all meeting arrangements and contracts must be approved before they can be executed. It is highly advisable to plan these meetings with the support of Computer Society staff to avoid problems.
Three times a year, the governing boards of various program areas gather for Administrative Meetings Weeks. These meetings typically begin on a Monday or Tuesday and conclude on a Friday or Saturday with a meeting of the Board of Governors. EICs are strongly encouraged to attend the Publications Board meeting in June; their operations committees will also meet at this time. Both meetings in June are held on the Wednesday of Meetings Week. Annual schedules and meeting locations are located on the Volunteer Center of the CS website (http://www.computer.org/web/volunteers/bog-resources).
Each operations committee will meet one additional time during the year with its own date and location, keeping in mind travel costs and budgets. The plans for such meetings should be reported to the VP of Publications in January of each year. In advance of each operations committee meeting, the EIC should prepare a brief status report for his/her periodical.
Staff and volunteers are eligible for Computer Society awards, ranging from Certificates of Appreciation through Outstanding Contribution and Meritorious Service Awards. A Certificate of Appreciation would be appropriate for an editorial board member who has completed a nominal tour of duty. One who has done especially good work for three or four years or more might deserve a Meritorious Service Award. Outstanding Contribution Awards are given to individuals who achieve a single, major accomplishment—one that stands out from meritorious service over time (although neither award is intended to "outrank" the other). Details on award criteria and procedures for nomination are available at http://computer.org/awards/.
EICs may also choose to select a small gift or token of appreciation for editorial board members if the budget is available. This is often done on an annual basis, toward the end of the year or at the annual editorial board meeting. Some examples include a shirt, a small desk clock, or a pen with the publication name on it. Contact the staff member of your publication if you're unsure about the gift idea or cost.
Computer is the Society's flagship magazine (www.computer.org/computer). In that role, it covers all aspects of computer science, technology, and applications. It aims at a broad audience, whose interests aren't limited to narrow specialties. Articles are usually survey or tutorial in nature and cover the state of the art or important emerging developments. Articles describing original in-depth results appealing only to a very narrow audience are normally not suitable. Each article must have sufficient introductory material to orient the nonspecialist to the topic. A brief literature survey will not satisfy this requirement. The tutorial section must include material describing the principles or techniques of existing approaches and their advantages and disadvantages, as well as a statement of why the subject matter is important to the industry and the profession. Furthermore, each article must contain sufficient information on the practical or potential applications of the material presented. Note the name: Computer, not IEEE Computer.
Computing in Science & Engineering is copublished by the American Institute of Physics and the CS, and it merges content and volunteers from two magazines that each organization had previously produced separately (www.computer.org/cise). The magazine emphasizes significant computational contributions in a variety of fields, ranging from electromagnetics and molecular biology to physics and structural engineering. CiSE's readers are scientists, educators, engineers, researchers, and practitioners involved in computational aspects of varied scientific and engineering disciplines. In addition to full-length articles, the magazine has departments that cover book reviews, emerging products and technologies, and trends in education, visualization, industry, and programming. Note the name: CiSE, not IEEE CiSE.
IEEE Annals of the History of Computing covers the breadth of computer history (www.computer.org/annals). Featuring scholarly articles by leading computer scientists and historians, as well as firsthand accounts by computer pioneers, Annals is the primary publication for recording, analyzing, and debating the history of computing. Annals also serves as a focal point for people interested in uncovering and preserving the records of this exciting field.
IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications bridges the theory and practice of computer graphics (www.computer.org/cga). Aimed at people who work at the leading edge of the field, CG&A offers a unique combination of peer-reviewed feature articles and informal departments that keep pace with current implementations of graphics technology. Its topics cross the graphics spectrum from theory to Practice and from algorithms to application. They may be tutorial or survey in nature, or they may focus on a single key application or development.
IEEE Intelligent Systems serves users, managers, developers, researchers, and purchasers who are interested in intelligent systems and artificial intelligence (www.computer.org/is). The publication emphasizes current practice and experience, together with promising new ideas that are likely to be used in the near future. Sample topic areas for feature articles include knowledge-based systems, intelligent software agents, natural-language processing, technologies for knowledge management, machine learning, data mining, adaptive and intelligent robotics, knowledge-intensive processing on the Web, and social issues relevant to intelligent systems.
IEEE Internet Computing provides a journal-quality evaluation and review of emerging Internet technologies and applications (www.computer.org/internet). The magazine's focus is on engineering and applying the Internet to leverage services from it. IC also features industry and research reports, surveys, and tutorials that cover current Internet technologies and applications, as well as news and trend features that examine their impact on engineering practice and society.
IEEE Micro addresses users and designers of microprocessors and microprocessor systems, including managers, engineers, consultants, educators, and students involved with computers and peripherals, components and subassemblies, communications, instrumentation and control equipment, and guidance systems (www.computer.org/micro). Contributions relate to the design, performance, or application of microprocessors and microcomputers. IEEE Micro also features tutorials, review papers, and discussions. Sample topic areas include architecture, communications, data acquisition, control, hardware and software design/implementation, algorithms (including program listings), digital signal processing, microprocessor support hardware, operating systems, computer-aided design, languages, application software, and development systems.
IEEE Multimedia serves the community of scientists, engineers, practitioners, and students interested in research, development, and application of novel techniques and systems for capturing, creating, understanding, accessing, delivering, and adapting digital content and information across multiple media types (www.computer.org/multimedia). Brief articles on innovative and informative topics are featured in the magazine's regular columns. Topics of interest include multimedia analysis, indexing, and retrieval; multimedia ontologies and semantics; social media, content tagging, and Web 2.0; multimedia interaction and collaboration; content adaptation and personalization; ubiquitous and mobile media; arts media; augmented reality; multimedia affective computing; multimodal biometrics; and innovative applications in healthcare, assistive technologies, education, publishing, travel, arts, and entertainment and more.
IEEE Pervasive Computing is a quarterly, peer-reviewed magazine that focuses on pervasive (or ubiquitous) computing—environments saturated with computing and communication yet gracefully integrated with human users (www.computer.org/pervasive). Pervasive Computing aims to catalyze progress in this emerging field by bringing together researchers and practitioners from many distinct areas, including hardware, software, sensing/interaction with the physical world, human-computer interfaces, and systems considerations such as scalability, security, and privacy.
IEEE Security & Privacy focuses on stimulating and tracking advances in information assurance and security and presenting these advances in a form that can be useful to a broad cross-section of the professional community, ranging from academic researchers to industry practitioners (www.computer.org/security). S&P provides a unique combination of research articles, case studies, tutorials, and regular departments covering diverse aspects of information assurance such as legal and ethical issues, privacy concerns, tools to help secure information, analysis of vulnerabilities and attacks, trends and new developments, pedagogical and curricular issues in educating the next generation of security professionals, secure operating systems and applications, security issues in wireless networks, design and test strategies for secure and survivable systems, and cryptology.
IEEE Software delivers reliable, useful, leading-edge software development information to keep engineers and managers abreast of rapid technology change (www.computer.org/software). Its mission is to build the community of leading software practitioners. The authority on translating software theory into practice, this magazine positions itself between pure research and pure practice, transferring ideas, methods, and experiences among researchers and engineers. Peer-reviewed articles and columns by seasoned practitioners illuminate all aspects of the industry, including process improvement, project management, development tools, software maintenance, Web applications and opportunities, testing, and usability. Its readers specify, design, document, test, maintain, purchase, engineer, sell, teach, research, and manage the production of software or systems that include software.
IT Professional is a bimonthly publication of the IEEE Computer Society for the developers and managers of enterprise information systems (www.computer.org/itpro). Coverage areas include Web services, Internet security, data management, enterprise architectures and infrastructures, software development, systems integration, emerging technologies, and wireless networks. Note the name: IT Professional, not IEEE IT Professional.
IEEE Transactions on Haptics (ToH) (http://www.computer.org/toh) is a scholarly archival journal that addresses the science, technology and applications associated with information acquisition and object manipulation through touch. Haptic interactions relevant to this journal include all aspects of manual exploration and manipulation of objects by humans, machines and interactions between the two, performed in real, virtual, teleoperated or networked environments. Research areas of relevance to this publication include, but are not limited to, the following topics:
• Human haptic and multi-sensory perception and action, • Aspects of motor control that explicitly pertain to human haptics, • Haptic interactions via passive or active tools and machines, • Devices that sense, enable, or create haptic interactions locally or at a distance • Haptic rendering and its association with graphic and auditory rendering in virtual reality, • Algorithms, controls, and dynamics of haptic devices, users, and interactions between the two, • Human-machine performance and safety with haptic feedback, • Haptics in the context of human-computer interactions, • Systems and networks using haptic devices and interactions, including multi-modal feedback, • Application of the above, for example in areas such as education, rehabilitation, medicine, computer-aided design, skills training, computer games, driver controls, simulation and visualization. For submissions that do not unequivocally fall within one of these topic areas, authors are strongly encouraged to demonstrate the particular relevance of their work to haptics in a cover letter to the Editor-in-Chief and within the body of the paper. Relevance is assessed by the Editors and Reviewers assigned to the paper.
- Parallel and distributed algorithms, focusing on topics such as: models of computation; numerical, combinatorial, and data-intensive parallel algorithms, scalability of algorithms and data structures for parallel and distributed systems, communication and synchronization protocols, network algorithms, scheduling, and load balancing.
- Applications of parallel and distributed computing, including computational and data-enabled science and engineering, big data applications, parallel crowd sourcing, large-scale social network analysis, management of big data, cloud and grid computing, scientific and biomedical applications, mobile computing, and cyber-physical systems.
- Parallel and distributed architectures, including architectures for instruction-level and thread-level parallelism; design, analysis, implementation, fault resilience and performance measurements of multiple-processor systems; multicore processors, heterogeneous computing systems; petascale and exascale systems designs; novel big data architectures; special purpose architectures, including graphics processors, signal processors, network processors, media accelerators, and other special purpose processors and accelerators; impact of technology on architecture; network and interconnect architectures; parallel I/O and storage systems; architecture of the memory hierarchy; power-efficient and green computing architectures; dependable architectures; and performance modeling and evaluation.
- Parallel and distributed software, including parallel and multicore programming languages and compilers, runtime systems, operating systems, Internet computing and web services, resource management including green computing, middleware for grids, clouds, and data centers, libraries, performance modeling and evaluation, parallel programming paradigms, and programming environments and tools.
Conference Publishing Services (CPS; http://computer.org/cs-cps) produces high-quality, peer-reviewed conference publications in a variety of media formats, including print, CD-ROM, USB, and online products. The main goal of CPS is to make the publishing process as effortless as possible for both conference organizers and authors at a reasonable cost. The IEEE Computer Society has been providing conferences and workshops with professional publishing services for over 35 years. During these years, CPS has grown into one of the most highly respected publishers supporting event organizers. CPS is also a leader in implementing innovative publishing technologies, including CPS Online, an IEEE online collaborative publishing environment.
There are several obvious phases to the review process, such as acknowledging receipt of a manuscript, assessing its appropriateness, sending manuscripts to reviewers, following up on the reviewers for timely response, acknowledging the receipt of reviews from reviewers, evaluating the response, and communicating with the author about the outcome of that process. If major changes have been requested of an author, the entire process might have to be repeated.
EICs are directed to Sections 2.4 and 8.2 of the IEEE Publications Services and Products Board (PSPB) Operations Manual (http://www.ieee.org/documents/opsmanual.pdf). These sections describe the general guidelines for peer review, notably including a minimum of two reviewers for each paper, a maximum of 90 days from receipt of manuscript to a decision, and the organization hierarchy through which authors can appeal editorial decisions, starting from the EIC and extending through the organization unit—the CS in this case—and ultimately to the IEEE VP of PSPB.
In an effort to ensure that no conflicts of interest, or any perception of conflicts of interest, arise during the publication process, EICs are strongly advised to refrain from submitting articles to their own periodicals while serving as EICs. IEEE policy regarding submissions by EICs to their own publication is found in Sections 8.2.1.D.8 and 8.2.2.A.2 in the IEEE PSPB.
Papers are submitted via ScholarOne Manuscripts. The peer review administrator helps steer the paper through peer review. Submissions are forwarded to the EIC for initial review and area editor (AE) assignment. AEs are given two weeks to a month to review the submission and either assign reviewers or administratively reject the paper. If the decision by the AE is to administratively reject a submission, the AE must anonymously complete a recommendation form and provide the author concrete feedback as to why the paper will not undergo review.
All papers must adhere to a publication's page or word length and formatting guidelines, or they may be withdrawn from consideration. Authors are responsible for understanding and adhering to these guidelines throughout the duration of their paper's peer review process.
Reviewers are typically given four to six weeks to complete and submit their reviews. To better ensure the quality and consistency of the recommendations made, the CS strongly advocates that three reviews are obtained for every paper. AEs are given two weeks to analyze the reviewer's comments and make a recommendation. The EIC reviews and renders the final decisions. All stages of the review process are coordinated with the peer review administrator and relevant reminders and correspondence are sent through ScholarOne Manuscripts.
To protect reviewer confidentiality and prevent bias or abuse, reviews from one review process cannot be re-used or reviewed in, or otherwise applied to, a separate publication review or other process. Reviewer names, reviews, and confidential discussions may not be disclosed to any external entity. This prohibition applies to all peer-reviewed content published by the Computer Society.
It's recommended that AEs initially contact 6 or 7 potential reviewers to eliminate long delays in responses before sending the manuscript out to at least two people for official review. AEs should also assess all reviews carefully and determine if follow-up is needed with the initial group of reviewers or if additional reviewers need to be assigned.
EICs should not return reviews with little technical substance to the author. They should also examine the individual reviews for errors or other issues the supervising AE may have missed, such as identifying the wrong publication in the review.
The timeliness of the review process is mainly dependent on the timeliness of processing reviewer assignments and decisions by AEs and EICs. If an AE does not respond by the third reminder, the EIC is asked to intervene and contact the AE directly. The EIC may choose to establish a new deadline, reassign the paper to another AE, ask an AEIC to shepherd the paper's review process, or choose not to take specific action until a later date.
Good reviewers must be continually identified and nurtured. It is recommended that AEs send an assignment to a reviewer no more than once every three or four months in order to receive timely and quality reviews. Establishing ways to retain quality reviewers is encouraged.
The key tasks that an EIC must address when commissioning a special issue are to seek out and review special issue proposals, solicit guest editor candidates, appoint the guest editor(s), issue a call for papers and, upon completion, thank the guest editor(s).
It is strongly recommended that the EIC appoint a board member as a co-guest editor to ensure all special issue submissions are processed within the same peer review policies as regular submissions. This includes the number of reviewers assigned to a paper and the level of communication and feedback an author should receive about a submission.
A critical step in the appointment process is to arrive at an explicit agreement with the guest editor regarding his or her obligations. This is best accomplished through guest editor guidelines. The guest editor appointment letter and guidelines treat such issues as the following: publication timetable; issue content; page count restrictions; submitting; reviewing, and processing manuscripts; reviewing of manuscripts; processing of manuscripts; author and reviewer address information; and electronic transmission of materials.
Special issue guest editors are prohibited from submitting papers to their own special issues as this may be perceived as a conflict of interest.
Guest editors must coordinate the review process of all papers with the peer review administrator, and the publication schedule must be coordinated with the production editor. The EIC or the guest editor must forward a copy of the proposed CFP to staff so that the timetable can be reviewed and approved. Staff must have the opportunity to give feedback on any proposed special issues with regards to production schedules and timelines. To avoid overscheduling special issues and creating a long publication queue, EICs must consult with CS staff before approving any special issue proposal. CS staff will carefully review the title's editorial calendar and current backlog with the EIC. EICs must take care not to schedule too many special issues in a given year. Too many special issues back up the regular paper queue and could delay submission-to-publication times of these papers. Suggested guidelines for the maximum number of special issues to schedule in a year are as follows:
- Monthly publications: 4
- Bimonthly publications: 2
- Quarterly publications: 1
Exceptions can be made, but should be done in direct consultation with staff and taking into account submission rates and the publication queue.
The EIC and the CS staff schedule the publication date of the special issue. All special issue materials must be received no later than 12-16 weeks before the scheduled publication date (depending on the frequency of the publication). It is imperative that guest editors cooperate fully with staff to ensure that all deadlines are met. Failure to communicate with staff in a timely manner or to meet significant deadlines can result in a special issue being rescheduled for a later issue.
As with transactions, the EIC is ultimately responsible for the technical content of the publication and decides which articles will appear in print. EICs, along with their AEICs, may determine which articles to publish or delegate this task to a guest editor. The peer review for the special issue is managed by the guest editor(s) in coordination with staff.
All special issue materials must be received no later than 8 weeks (for bimonthlies) or 12 weeks (for quarterlies) before the scheduled publication date. It is imperative that guest editors cooperate fully with staff to ensure that all deadlines are met. Failure to communicate with staff in a timely manner or to meet significant deadlines can result in significant delays with publication.
The term "peer review" as applied to conference publications means prospective papers for a conference publication are reviewed by an assortment of review teams and/or groups as selected by the conference organizers. The reviewers can be as varied as the subject matter of the conference, but all have the single purpose of sifting through the manuscripts submitted via the conference's CFP, with the best of these as selected by the reviewers being published in the proceedings.
All paper submissions must contain original material. A submission should be withdrawn immediately if it is discovered that any portion of a submission (a) has already appeared in anything more than a conference proceedings or Letters, or (b) appears in or will appear in any other journal. If any portion of a submission has appeared or will appear in a conference, the author must notify the EIC and peer review administrator of this and make sure that the submission references the conference publication and outlines the degree of overlap. A copy of the previous version of the paper must also be submitted along with the new submission. The EIC will compare the two works to ensure a substantial amount of the submitted article has been changed from the previously published piece. (The general guideline is that at least one-third of the paper must vary from the published manuscript.) This so-called "30% rule" is not a rule at all but a guideline and recommended practice endorsed by the Publications Board; it is not IEEE policy and will not be found in any IEEE handbook. EICs are allowed to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, but in general the "30% rule" stands.
For transactions, correspondence items may be accepted that comment on previously published manuscripts. Correspondence items must also go through the review process but will usually be published more quickly than a regular submission.
See PSPB section 8.2.4.F at http://www.ieee.org/documents/opsmanual.pdf for full information regarding the reuse of previously published material.
The IEEE Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB) Operations Manual Section 8.2.1.A states that authorship credit should be based on a substantial intellectual contribution to the theoretical or prototype development, system or experimental design, and/or the interpretation of the data associated with the work contained in the manuscript. In addition, credit is reserved for those who have contributed to the article drafting process or the review and/or revision of the intellectual content, and approved the final version of the manuscript.
All coauthors on a submission must (a) have made significant technical contribution to the work, (b) be aware that they are listed as coauthors, and (c) have had an opportunity to see the manuscript before submission. If this is not the case, the paper should be withdrawn. The list of authors and order in which authors are listed may not be changed without the written permission of every author, even to save space. Each author can name only a single organization for their affiliation, the one at which the bulk of the work was done. University affiliations are to the institution, not to the department. Secondary authors will not be published in the article's byline, but in its acknowledgments section.
The IEEE PSPB passed the following addition to the policy section entitled "Allegations of Misconduct":
This change is intended to help editors and conference organizers maintain the credibility of our transactions, journals, and conference proceedings. IEEE policy has always promoted originality in submitted and published manuscripts, and has allowed that work presented first at conferences be later submitted to transactions. However, now that everything is in a searchable electronic collection, it's become apparent that a few authors have chosen to circulate their previously published work to conferences and journals with only minimal and purely cosmetic changes, and, moreover, do not reference these previous articles. This results in an accumulation of duplicate material that reflects poorly on IEEE and our authors. It can also damage the value of our packaged subscription products since some customers have already started to ask why should they "pay twice" for essentially the same article. We believe that IEEE authors want to associate themselves with a body of work that's known for quality, originality, and intellectual rigor.
According to current practice, authors reporting new work claim all ideas, methods, concepts, principles, etc., that are not obvious from prior work and not of well-known origin, unless they specifically give credit to another source or reference. Authors should be honest, truthful, and fair in presenting information and should not accept credit for work not theirs. Authors deserve credit for the part that does not duplicate or overlap prior work. For crediting informal ideas and help, authors may use either the acknowledgments section or a reference to a private communication within the text. In papers with multiple authors, the acknowledgments section may delineate the individual contributions of the authors.
Prior work relative to newer work must have been reported or documented earlier than the newer work. Work performed within a short period of time of another's work, and with no relevant communication between the authors, is assumed to be independent. Work already completed (for example, accepted for publication) takes precedence over work in progress.
The publication process does not investigate claims of independent discovery. New authors are assumed to know accessible prior work. Treatment of new work is as if it had been made with full knowledge of prior work. Often the new author may be unaware of some overlapping prior work at the time the new work was performed. Such prior work must be cited once it becomes known. If the prior work is not accessible (not in a scholarly journal in libraries or not in a widely known conference), the new author should reference and briefly describe the older work in some form.
Advances and new contributions over prior work should reference the initial research and give accurate credit to the researchers and their claims. Individual items, concepts, or principles of prior work do not belong to the new work. Once relationships are understood, important prior work must be cited in the proper context relative to its overlap with the new work. Nothing implied by subsequent work should deprive an earlier work of its contribution.
Reviewers often judge obviousness as it relates to their own prior work. In evaluating differences between an old and a new contribution, what is obvious to some may not be to others. Sometimes authors do not insult the reader by mentioning trivial or obvious extensions or variations. On the other hand, reviewers or authors may claim that an extension of their prior result is insignificant because it is "obvious." This is a subjective judgment, and comments to the author through the review process should be guided by what most knowledgeable readers would think. If the reviewers, AE, or EIC judge the contribution to be publishable, then the prior work in question should be characterized accurately and in proper context. Readers deserve more than a casual reference whenever disagreements exist.
In cases of alleged misconduct, the EIC may be asked to assist by appointing an investigation committee. During the investigation, the committee would follow the regulations from Section 8.2.4 with the assistance of staff.
IEEE has established firm requirements with respect to the copyright ownership of material published in its journals. The policies are explained in Section 8.1.4 of the PSPB Operations Manual (http://www.ieee.org/documents/opsmanual.pdf).
Authors submitting work to the Computer Society for publication must transfer copyright to IEEE, unless all contributing authors work for a U.S. government agency. Rare exceptions must be approved by the IEEE Intellectual Property Rights office. Copyright forms for peer reviewed articles are completed upon initial submission through ScholarOne Manuscripts. Otherwise, copies of the form can be found at http://www.ieee.org/publications_standards/publications/rights/copyrightmain.html.
IEEE has permissive policies that allow authors to post their work on personal and employer websites and educators to use the work in a classroom. The policies governing electronic dissemination of IEEE copyrighted material are found in Sections 8.1.4 and 8.1.9 of the PSPB Operations Manual.
Transactions, as archival records, do not require a great degree of editing. In most cases, they're edited only for spelling, grammatical errors, and for conformity to Computer Society style and formatting. However, they still require close cooperation between the EIC, the author, and CS staff.
E.1 Article Preparation
EICs (or guest editors) approve articles for publication. Regular papers are published on a "first in, first out" basis. However, the EIC may choose to prioritize the publication of regular papers based on what is in the queue. If an EIC chooses this option, it is the EIC's responsibility to notify staff the order in which he/she wants papers published.
Once a paper is accepted, it is the author's responsibility to provide all publication materials to the peer review administrator (including artwork, author photos if required, biographies, and copyright release form). All special issue materials must be received no later than 12 weeks before the scheduled publication date. Any paper that does not comply with our page limitation and formatting guidelines will be sent back for revisions.
In its mission to maintain a consistent and high-quality publication process, the IEEE Computer Society follows a strict policy on the lengths of both submitted manuscripts and final papers. Submission length restrictions not only encourage authors to submit concise papers that readers will appreciate, but they help to keep the review process timely. Length limits on final papers help maintain uniform editorial standards and consistency with for timely paper production.
So that manuscripts meet submission requirements, supporting but nonessential information should be submitted as supplemental material, which can include additional supporting figures, algorithms, appendices, or multimedia such as short video or audio files. However, there may occasionally be an accepted (final) paper for which an EIC determines that an exception to the standard limit is appropriate and that from one to four additional pages are needed. The IEEE Computer Society allows for this possibility within its policy on mandatory overlength page charges.
EICs are responsible for helping to make sure a queue of accepted articles is available for editing. The size of this queue will vary with the publication, but it should contain at minimum a sufficient amount of material to comprise one issue of normal length. It is imperative that the EIC work closely with staff and the editorial board to ensure papers are moving through the review process. Not only does this collaboration ensure strong submission to publication times, but it also keeps enough papers in the queue.
Authors must supply missing materials before editing can commence. Any paper that does not comply with submission guidelines will be returned for reformatting. Peer review administrators review packages for completeness, request authors to supply missing essentials, and place articles in art conversion. Papers are then processed and posted online to the IEEE's Digital Library. They are next placed in queue for editing by a production editor.
Should the final article exceed our maximum allowed page length, authors can designate supportive material such as appendices as supplemental material in an effort to reduce its length. If an appendix makes a manuscript go over the page limit, the author will be asked to designate the appendix as supplemental material. In other words, if the paper is accepted for publication, the appendix will be published at the abstract level of our Digital Library. Publishing the appendix at the abstract level allows readers to view it without an electronic subscription. A pointer to its URL will be included in the hardcopy print. If the paper's appendix is not designated as supplemental material, the author must reduce the paper in order to fit the strict page limit. If portions supplemental files contain material that is the legal property of another party, authors must retain pre-authorized written permission for reuse. Without proper clearance, files will not be reviewed or published.
The production editor will also coordinate with the corresponding author if there are any problems with art files or to address copyright concerns in images provided. The production editor interacts with the corresponding author during the editing process if there is information missing. When the article has been completely processed, the final page layout is sent to the author for proofing. Revisions to the original submitted manuscript are not accepted at this stage. This proofing stage is intended for reviewing typesetting only. Corrections, if any, are then incorporated and the article is output for shipment to the printer.
Normally, corresponding authors will receive communication from staff production editors via email regarding the layout and proofing of their article. Authors are also provided with information regarding reprints and copyright policy concerning electronic dissemination of articles published by the IEEE.
Article production is handled by the production editor. Articles are edited for grammar, style, and punctuation. See the CS Style guide at http://computer.org/style. Production editors in charge of a journal must also meet page budgets, initiate the print order, proof, correct, assemble, and release the issue for printing and mailing, and archive the issue. They also generate XML for every article, which gets posted online. Laser proofs of all issues must be submitted for review and approval by the production manager or assigned editor. The publications coordinators maintain a complimentary editorial mailing list, ensuring that complimentary copies are mailed according to that list. They are responsible for seeing that their list is up to date and accurate.
Papers are published online within one week of acceptance. This publication process is called "preprints," and it not only allows papers to be published faster, it also shortens submission to publication times. The date the paper is posted online is tracked and that date is included in the printed version, along with other significant dates for that paper. All papers are assigned unique identifiers, called DOIs, so that they may be searched or referenced no matter their location.
Not all titles will publish in print after 2011. For those titles that publish first online, we will continue to publish content in volume/issue format with pagination. This OnlinePlus model gives journals the flexibility to publish issues without constraint of the cost of printing and distribution.
This section describes the partnership process required to produce a magazine issue. Rather than dictating a set of rules, it identifies accountability and suggests guidelines focusing on the interfaces among volunteers, authors, and staff.
F.1 Article Preparation
EICs are responsible for maintaining a queue of accepted feature articles, ready for editing. The size of this queue will vary with the publication, but it should contain enough material to comprise one issue of normal length.
Authors must supply missing materials before editing can commence. Peer review administrators will review submissions for completeness and request missing materials from authors. Staff editors will assign articles for editing and initiate line-art and graphic-art production. The staff editor communicates with the contact author to clearly explain the editing and production timeline.
Copy editing in the context of the magazine usually includes some level of "developmental editing." Feature articles run from three to nine magazine pages, depending on title. Each magazine has different specifications related to words per page, abstract length, artwork styles, and so on.
These specifications are available at each publication's homepage. Developmental editing seeks to illuminate the author's main contribution, relate it to the editorial vision of the magazine, place the article in context with other work, and illustrate it with just the right number and type of technical illustrations. Developmental editing is an integral part of the editorial mission of the CS magazine operation, because all CS magazines are intended to "bridge the gap" between research and practice and appeal to a broad readership. Authors provide the technical content for Computer Society publications and, together with reviewers, bear the major responsibility for ensuring technical accuracy. The editor's job is to present the material in the most effective manner possible, consistent with established CS publishing practices. Occasional author-editor disagreements can be expected, and compromises are often necessary. In cases of major disagreement, the EIC might need to intervene.
Each party should recognize that the other has a stake in the outcome: the author's name appears on the article for all the world (and numerous colleagues) to see, and the editor must follow accepted CS editing practices.
F.2 Department Material
Department material includes all editorial pages other than those devoted to feature articles. Department deadlines vary from publication to publication, but department editors are responsible for submitting their material.
Staff editors are accountable for publication production; meeting page and cost budgets, with EICs providing consultation as required; initiating and approving page layout; line-art preparation; page imposition; initiating the print order and coordinating all IEEE services with the publications coordinator (such as mailing labels); and assembling, proofing, correcting, and releasing final material for printing and mailing. The publications coordinator maintains a complimentary editorial mailing list. Complimentary copies are mailed to contributing authors and magazine volunteers.
The Computer Society website (http://computer.org) includes information about CS products, services, and opportunities. On publication pages, this can mean providing access to archived and current issues, free content from the publication, community resources, and supplemental materials that extend beyond print.
Coordinating with the EICs and editorial boards regarding topics, priorities, and message, staff maintain webpages for each publication, as well as the Computing Now portal site (http://computingnow.computer.org), which is designed to promote all of the publications.
The most successful pages are those with fresh, frequently updated information. On several publications, EICs and their editorial boards have chosen to build richer websites for their publications. EICs may initiate discussions with the staff to develop such efforts, as time and resources allow.
In these cases, the publication's editorial staff oversees the project from the publications office, maintaining content and interacting with volunteers, answering any queries and addressing problems the volunteers may encounter. EICs can also collaborate with staff to choose material for the Computer Society's homepage.
The EIC of a publication may cooperate with the EICs of other magazines and transactions in two major ways: (1) by forwarding submitted papers and other material (not rejects) to another publication when the submission is more appropriate for the other publication, and (2) by fostering interaction among both transactions and magazines through a variety of complementary and coordinated activities. In addition, publications may seek or welcome support from other IEEE societies and external professional associations, through cosponsorship and copublishing agreements.
A complementary issue is an issue of a publication in which the editorial content is linked with the editorial content of one or more other periodicals (either transactions or magazines). Typically, this takes the form of special issues in each of the participating publications, but it isn't limited to special issues. For example, a survey or tutorial article might appear in Computer in the same month of publication of a collection of special-interest articles on the same topic in one or more of the other periodicals.
Periodicals are encouraged to coordinate activities and information in a manner that enhances their value to members. For example, one publication might publish a call for papers of one or more sister publications, particularly when the topic is of special relevance. Or one publication might adjust its scope and content relative to another, to avoid overloading the membership in a certain topic area. At a minimum, EICs should make it a point to circulate their editorial calendars among other EICs, to minimize duplication and to strengthen the Society's overall coverage of the computer field.
Technical cosponsorships can make a Computer Society publication stronger financially, structurally, and editorially. In signing such agreements with other IEEE societies or with technical or national societies outside IEEE, we seek to enhance the publication's reputation and raise its visibility, strengthen and diversify its editorial board, augment its editorial coverage, build ties to other interdisciplinary communities, and, at the very least, add subscription and possibly advertising income.
Such an arrangement should increase the value of belonging to the cosponsoring Society, which then should translate into more members for that organization—that's the draw for the potential cosponsor. To attract its members, the cosponsorship offers them a much reduced subscription price, encourages them to participate as authors and editors, and exposes them to a new source of interdisciplinary editorial coverage. The organization typically receives one or more designated seats on the publication's editorial board to represent its interests, is listed as a cosponsor on the publication's masthead, and typically can market its products and services on the publication's pages and website.
Technical cosponsorships can be formed at a publication's launch or afterwards. During a launch, the publication's volunteer and staff organizers might want to bring another Society onboard to reach a wider audience. In other cases, other IEEE societies might ask to come aboard, perhaps in return for support during the IEEE approval process for the proposed publication. For established publications, the typical scenario has involved a well-connected EIC or editorial board member working with a staff manager to approach the volunteer's colleagues in the target Society, with the staff manager doing the legwork to write the proposal and secure approval within the Computer Society and IEEE.
The CS participates in several copublishing agreements, which involve joint ownership of a publication with other IEEE societies or with societies outside the IEEE.
The charter governing such an arrangement establishes each Society's level of financial participation, which Society will act as the administrative partner, how the partnership will be organized, and how partners can terminate their involvement, among other considerations.
Most such copublishing ventures have been formed as part of a product's launch. The Societies typically band together to develop a more viable interdisciplinary publication, create added value for their existing members and attract new members, provide volunteer opportunities for their members, and share in eventual profits.
Each year, EICs for technical journals are invited to an IEEE Panel of Technical Editors, where the Periodicals Committee of the IEEE Technical Activities Board assesses journal performance en masse for timeliness and quality. In addition, every five years, EICs for all IEEE periodicals are asked to participate in individual reviews of their publications.
These reviews include reports on schedule and financial performance and on citations in the ISI Journal Citation Reports. EICs should be familiar with how their periodical ranks among other periodicals.
JCR is a multidisciplinary database used by librarians, publishers, and authors to identify journals relevant to their work. It is available in two editions: the Science Edition covers about 5,000 leading international science journals from the ISI database; and the Social Sciences Edition covers about 1,600 social sciences journals. JCR is intended to provide a systematic, objective way to determine the relative importance of journals within their subject categories.
For more information on ISI products and JCR, visit thomsonreuters.com.
Page budgets are determined using several factors: current number of papers in the queue, number of themed or special issues planned for the year, and submission rate. Page budgets are typically proposed in May. It is important to consult with Publications Office staff to understand the page budgets needs of your title and ensure that the budget is set appropriately for the next year.
Advertising sales are projected in terms of annual pages sold. Even classified advertising, where each ad is a small fraction of a page, is reported in terms of total pages for the year. The budgeted figures are set based on both sales history and plans for the coming year.
- Do: Use ScholarOne Manuscripts for all communication regarding submissions in order to maintain accurate records in the audit trail.
- Do: Contact Hilda Carman (firstname.lastname@example.org) for any peer-review related concerns or issues.
- Do: Contact your peer review administrator if you suspect multiple submission. After confirming multiple submission, copy Jennifer Carruth (email@example.com) on the reject letter so that she can add the name to the warning list and make sure this is a first warning
- Do: Contact Jennifer if you have any compliance questions or concerns before making a decision
- Don't: Approve or schedule special issues without first contacting your peer review administrator and/or CS staff.
- Don't: Make a decision in ScholarOne manuscripts when you find a possible plagiarism case. Send information to Jennifer Carruth, and she will open an investigation. The investigation must be completed before a decision can be made.