CG&A Associate Editor Guidelines

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CG&A Associate Editor Guidelines 

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications (CG&A) Associate Editors (AEs) handle the peer review process of regular submissions (whereas guest editors handle special-issue submissions and department editors handle department submissions). AEs interact with the Associate Editor-in-Chief (AEIC) for regular papers, Philip Fu, as well as reviewers. Papers are managed in the submission management system ScholarOne Manuscripts (S1M). 

Please read the IEEE Computer Society’s Editor Guidelines for information on AE responsibilities and workflows. Additionally, please review the following information and tips specific to CG&A.

The main focus of this page is on the timeliness and quality of the recommendation. These are the two most important things in our review process where we can differentiate from other publications and stand out!

Timeliness of the recommendation

CG&A competes with other magazines and journals. One relatively simple way we can further improve our image is by having a fast review process (without sacrificing quality). This means that we–and you as AE–want to strive to always attend to newly assigned manuscripts by quickly assigning reviewers and pushing the reviewers to finish in time. Overall, our review process aims to provide a recommendation within 2 months. Ideally, it is conducted as depicted in the following figure.

CGA review process

Description of the review process and timeline:

  1. New submission assigned to AEIC
    When a new regular paper is uploaded to S1M, the peer review admin ensures that the paper adheres to the submission requirements. If so, it is assigned to the AEIC for regular papers and the clock for review and decision-making starts.
  2. AEIC assigns paper to AE (within 1 week
    The AEIC receives a message that a new paper needs to be assigned to an AE. The AEIC performs some initial quality checks and considers conflict of interest (COI) when selecting AEs. The AEIC strives to assign an AE in one week.
  3. AE contacts and invites reviewers (within 1 week)
    The AE has one week to also check for quality and COI issues and to contact and invite reviewers. If reviewers do not respond within 10 days, S1M will auto-decline them.
  4. Reviewers accept/reject the assignment (within 1 week)
    Reviewers check for COI and quality issues and accept or reject the review assignment. S1M asks for a rejection reason in case of non-acceptance. Reviewers make their decision within 1 week; after 10 days, S1M will un-assign them from the paper. 
  5. Reviewers perform review and return review to AE (within 2 weeks)
    Reviewers are given 2 weeks to do their review. Reviews are expected to be high-quality and informative to help the authors improve their paper in case of revisions. 
  6. AE makes recommendation based on reviews and returns the paper to AEIC (within 1 week)
    The AE should analyze the reviews and consolidate them into a recommendation to the AEIC. 
  7. AEIC makes the final decision and informs authors (within 1 week)

Advice for timeliness challenges:

Challenge Advice to AEs
Finding (enough) reviewers who accept on time and are likely to provide timely review (usually more junior researchers)
  • Start finding reviewers right away. We know we are all busy, but please prioritize this.
  • In addition to the people that you can find in S1M, consider experts from your network and authors of the referenced papers.
  • Invite 8-12 reviewers, especially when you do not know them.
  • Ask the AEIC or editorial board members for names–together we have a huge network.   
Reviewers being late
  • If you invited a reviewer and did not get a response within a week, check that their email address as provided in S1M is correct (you can find their contact info via Google). Sometimes the info in S1M is outdated.
  • If a review is not submitted after 2 weeks, remind the reviewer to submit ASAP.
  • If you already have enough reviews, consider making a recommendation based on the reviews you have. 
  • If you have 2 reviews and you are waiting for the third one, you may want to share this info with the remaining reviewer to motivate them.
  • If you do not get answers for your emails, consider using the phone. Nowadays, phone calls can really make a difference. 

We know that chasing is not a pleasant job. As AE, you should not be obliged to do this for more than 2-4 papers per year. However, punctuality is important for the image of CG&A in the community and also for planning upcoming issues. We count on you, so please be speedy, THANK YOU!

Quality of the recommendation

Examine the manuscript before assigning reviewers. When it is clear to you that the content is either out of scope or below the acceptable quality standard of CG&A, you may recommend an administrative reject without pursuing a full review process. This can be done by changing the required number of reviews to zero and then submitting your recommendation to the AEIC. Please also check that the submission meets CG&A’s submission requirements

Please check potential COIs of a reviewer with the paper author(s) before making an assignment. Read about COIs in the section below. We respect a double-blind reviewing process if so requested by the author(s). However, if the author(s) choose to disclose their identity, that is fine as well.

Do not assign yourself as a reviewer. This is problematic in terms of bias in decision- making (and not allowed by IEEE). If you cannot find qualified reviewers to commit to reviewing the manuscript in a timely fashion, do not hesitate to consult with the AEIC and/or editor-in-chief (EIC).

Strive for at least three reviewers. In exceptional cases (such as when you have asked 10+ other reviewers and they all declined), two reviewers will do, especially if a third review would lengthen the review time considerably. In such a case, please consult with the AEIC and/or EIC.

Carefully examine the returned reviews. When a review is overly short, please rescind. In our research domain, it is customary to get detailed, constructive reviews regardless of the overall recommendation. Read more about appropriate reviews here.

When making a recommendation, be reasonable but critical. We do get enough submissions to fill all our issues. We strive to have high-quality papers that will be cited well. Of course, none of us can predict citation counts, but we are interested in publishing quality papers that fit CG&A’s scope and spectrum of topics.

Conflicts of Interest

AEs are to avoid all COIs so that there is absolutely no question about the impartiality of review. Please read about COIs here.

Because the IEEE definitions leave room for interpretation, CG&A has adopted the following COI rules from the Visualization and Graphics Technical Community (VGTC), which state that COIs include (but are not limited to) situations in which:

  • You are a co-author of the work.
  • You have a strong affiliation with the same institution as one of the authors. This includes your current employment as a professor, adjunct professor, visiting professor, or similar position, in the role of a consulting or advisory arrangement, previous employment with the institution within the last 12 months, being considered for employment at the institution, any role as an officer, governing board membership, or relevant committee, or the current enrollment as a student.
  • You have been directly involved in the work and will be receiving credit in some way. If you’re a member of the author’s thesis committee, and the paper is about his or her thesis work, then you were involved.
  • You suspect that others might see a COI in your involvement. For example, even though Microsoft Research in Seattle and Beijing are in some ways more distant than Berkeley and MIT, there is likely to be a perception that they are “both Microsoft” and folks from one should not review papers from the other.
  • You have collaborated with one of the authors in the past three years. Collaboration is usually defined as having written a paper, book, or grant proposal together, although you should use your judgment.
  • You were the MS/PhD advisor of one of the authors or the MS/PhD advisee of one of the authors. Funding agencies typically consider advisees to represent a lifetime COI.
  • You are related to one of the co-authors. This includes spouse, child, sibling, or parent, as well as any affiliation or relationship of your spouse, of your minor child, of a relative living in your immediate household, or of anyone who is legally your partner that you are aware of.
  • You have another type of relationship, such as close personal friendship, that you think might tend to affect your judgment or be seen as doing so by a reasonable person familiar with the relationship.

Promoting CG&A 

CG&A needs your help to solicit high-quality paper submissions. Please promote CG&A in your network.