IEEE Software Theme Issue Proposal Template

Looking to propose a special issue? Use this template.
Share this on:

IEEE Software Theme Issue Proposal Template

To submit a theme issue proposal, please provide the following information, structured as detailed below. (The text in light blue explains what each section should contain. Remove it once you’re done)


Submission date: Date


  1. Proposed Title

The title should be clear, crisp, and meaningful. Try to make it no more than five words.


  1. Proposers

Provide the names, affiliations, and contact information (postal address, email address, telephone number, and fax number). We expect at least one guest editor from industry and one from academia. When submitting your proposal, please explicitly mention one corresponding guest editor (GE). The GE team must be four members or less, must maximize geographic diversity, and must strike a balance between research and industry. In addition, GE team members must be experts in the proposed theme.


First editor




Second editor




Third editor





  1. Introduction and Relevance

Explain the theme and how it fits in the larger context of software engineering. Describe the theme’s relevance to IEEE Software readers: importance, timeliness, target audience, and so on. Examine recent publications, including other themes published in IEEE Software, to convince the evaluators that the theme complements other work or fills a gap. Clarify how your theme differs from previous ones. For previous themes featured in IEEE Software, see the collection of IEEE Software magazine covers at


  1. Focus

Detail the particular questions that will be addressed or perspectives that will be described. If other publications have addressed similar themes, how will this theme issue differ? Describe what readers will learn and whether this information is available elsewhere.

Theme issues are a natural way to attract focused tutorial and survey articles. This can increase IEEE Software’s relevance to practitioners. We expect you to solicit such articles from your network and colleagues and to work with authors to get the articles fit for IEEE Software. Identify in the proposal the titles and potential authors of specific survey or tutorial articles you aim to publish and the level of the potential authors’ commitment. You might also want to include an explicit note in your call for proposals indicating that you seek such articles.


We’ll invite papers covering any aspect of <fill in the information> including, but not limited to,


  • topic
  • topic
  • topic


  1. Organization

This text should describe what the theme issue will include. It must include the following:

  • Each theme issue features a GE’s introduction. Explain how you plan to organize your introduction to the theme issue. This introduction typically serves to introduce concepts and terminology, enabling readers unfamiliar with the topic to understand the articles. A GE’s introduction is not simply a summary of included articles.  The goal is to explain how the theme issue concepts relate to the topic and to each other. Your introduction can also contain a sidebar on related references.
  • A balanced selection of refereed articles. One example way to provide this balance is by using a Point–Counterpoint article that highlights conflicting views related to the theme. (For example, see the March/April 2000 issue.) Alternatively, the theme section might comprise articles suggesting significantly different viewpoints on a subject. (For example, see the July 1991 issue.) Roundtable discussions representing the views of several experts are also popular.
  • Carefully report and justify the number of expected submissions and how many papers you expect to accept.
  • Clarify whether you expect to include other material, such as audio interviews with experts.

 The proposal can include details regarding the process for presenting selected papers from the theme issue to a specific conference under the “journal first, conference second” (J1C2) model.

  1. List of Potential Reviewers and Authors

Balance academics with industrial and governmental contributors. State preliminary contacts that you’ve made. However, remember that IEEE Software is a refereed publication; all invited manuscripts (except for a Point–Counterpoint article) must be refereed and aren’t guaranteed acceptance. Most manuscripts that appear in the issue will likely be the result of your solicitation. Please include a credible plan for ensuring enough high-quality submissions.


Potential authors and reviewers

  • name, surname, affiliation
  • name, surname, affiliation
  • name, surname, affiliation


  1. Promotion Plan

It’s the GEs’ responsibility to actively solicit submissions and ensure that we receive a significant number of high-quality submissions. Therefore, please include a credible and detailed promotion plan. Thoroughly discuss which promotion lists, promotion groups, and events (for example, workshops, research projects, industrial or academic collaborations, and networks of excellence) you’ll be using and targeting to reach the most appropriate authors for your theme issue. Invite reviewers, colleagues, and board members to help promote your theme issue.

IEEE Software assists promotion by publishing the call timely on its website and communicating it throughout its social media channels as well.


  1. Call for Papers

Include the call for papers (CFP) based on your theme in your proposal. A good call is specific and clear. Include:

  • the theme issue title,
  • the possible topics included in the theme issue,
  • the guest editors’ affiliation(s) and contact information, and
  • the text below (through “To submit an article”):


For general author guidelines:
For submission details:

To submit an article:


For more information about the focus, contact the guest editors:

  • name, surname, email
  • name, surname, email
  • name, surname, email

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts must not exceed 4,200 words, including figures and tables, which count for 250 words each. Submissions in excess of these limits may be rejected without refereeing. The articles we deem within the theme and scope will be peer reviewed and are subject to editing for magazine style, clarity, organization, and space. Be sure to include the name of the theme you’re submitting for.

Articles should have a practical orientation and be written in a style accessible to practitioners. Overly complex, purely research-oriented or theoretical treatments aren’t appropriate. Articles should be novel. IEEE Software doesn’t republish material published previously in other venues, including other periodicals and formal conference or workshop proceedings, whether previous publication was in print or electronic form.

  1. Guest Editor (GE) Qualifications

Besides technical qualifications, highlight your experience as editors in IEEE Software and other publications. Attach a biography of up to one page for each GE, including a list of the five most relevant publications. When submitting your proposal, please explicitly mention one corresponding GE. The GE team must be four members or less, must maximize geographic diversity, and must strike a balance between research and industry. At least one GE must reflect an industrial and practical viewpoint.


Guest editor 1

Guest editor 2

Guest editor 3