With this note, I am taking an opportunity to clarify a few important items of which prospective authors and contributors to the IEEE Transactions on Computers should be aware.
By its own nature and past, TC has a very broad technical coverage; I continue to encourage and seek the submission of manuscripts that cover innovative areas of computer science and engineering. However, over the last few months, I have received a number of manuscripts whose contents are better suited for consideration for possible publication in other IEEE Transactions/Journals. Regretfully, these manuscripts have been declined as mostly "out of scope" because their contributions were deemed to be not related to the publication objectives of TC (as found on the Web site as well as the inside back cover of each issue). While probably technically sound, it was evident that these articles would have had small relevance to the readership of TC as evidenced by either the absence of references to previously published articles in TC (as part of the provided bibliography) and/or the inability to find an Associate Editor on the Board with the expertise to properly direct the review process.
The last months have also seen the continued increase in the number of submissions and an overall decrease in acceptance rate, now below the 25 percent mark. TC has reached a very selective level in publication that has attracted a considerable number of manuscripts. However, on a few occasions, the review process had to be terminated earlier than expected. Manuscripts that have been previously rejected (either by TC or any other publication) should be clearly identified by the authors; while, in most cases, we discourage this practice, if the submitted manuscript has significant differences in technical content (as assessed through supporting documents, inclusive of previous versions of the manuscript), then it may be allowed to proceed with its review. A different scenario is encountered if an invitation for resubmission as new has been extended to a manuscript; in this case, please identify all relevant information so that we can direct this new paper to the appropriate Associate Editor.
TC welcomes papers with innovative contents; so-called "comment papers" that describe significant results that may have not been considered in a manuscript previously published in TC, have an important role in a learned community and therefore they undergo a full review cycle. As part of the review of this type of submission, one of the authors of the original manuscript is likely to be invited as reviewer to evaluate the novelty of the comment. However, submissions based on typos and/or minor misinterpretation of a lexical/grammatical nature are considered "errata" and therefore they will not be considered for publication as a "comment paper."
If you are in doubt about a possible submission of your manuscript to TC, please do not hesitate to contact me in advance to seek advice about its appropriateness for TC as its venue of publication.
Paper review by all constituents (such as authors, experts, and colleagues in industry/academia) is the foundation upon which a highly acclaimed peer-reviewed journal such as TC relies to provide very detailed and comprehensive feedback for the advancement of science and engineering and distribution of high quality articles on a worldwide basis. In this respect, I thank everyone who has submitted recent works for consideration for possible publication in TC. While reviewing for TC remains a voluntary and courteous activity with no resonance on current/future submission(s), it is commonly accepted that this important activity must be orchestrated within a collegial environment. As the number of submitted papers has considerably increased over the last few years and, simultaneously, the review cycle has decreased, there has been considerable pressure on the referees for fast and comprehensive reviews. In this respect, authors of submitted papers are expected to actively participate in this process. While a paper assigned for review may not 100 percent fit the research interests of every reviewer, TC seeks different views on submissions to fully evaluate and assess its impact across traditional technical boundaries.
Moreover, within Manuscript Central, reviewer information (inclusive of rating) is made available to the Associate Editors and I encourage all of the community to participate as I would like to have positive ratings in appreciation of full review participation.
Over the last few months I have received a few inquiries from individuals seeking to propose Special Issues. TC does not publish Special Issues; the yearly plan of IEEE TC, however, includes the publication of only few Special Sections (SSs). A Special Section covers a dedicated topic (within the scope of IEEE TC) and may include at most eight manuscripts. All submissions to an SS must undergo a full review cycle through Manuscript Central and all IEEE Computer Society regulations are applicable. Also note that the call-for-papers must be open and not target prior submissions to professional meetings. A list of approved SSs can be found at the TC Web site.
As they are completing their appointment terms, I would like to thank Drs. A. Schuster and A. Gonzalez for their excellent service to IEEE TC in their role as Associate Editors; their outstanding contributions and dedication will surely be missed by all of us.
With the approval of the IEEE Computer Society, the following members of our community have been appointed as Associate Editors to TC: Drs. R. Marculescu, H. Shen, and S.K. Shukla. As attested to by their biographical notes, you will find these Associate Editors to considerably enrich the Editorial Board to cover many areas of interest to authors and readers alike.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me (preferably via email, firstname.lastname@example.org) if I can be of assistance in any aspect related to IEEE TC.