Department editors (DEs) should balance writing their own pieces and soliciting pieces from outside sources; this balance is ideal so that both the DEs’ own voices and outside voices come through. DEs may also receive unsolicited articles.
Department articles should be well-written in readable English. S&P does not publish pure research papers, and it encourages prose, not math or symbolic notation. Opinion and position pieces are common. Pieces should be of broad consideration of a technical society’s readership and neither be self-promotions nor promotions of others’ particular products. Check with the EIC or AEIC if there is a question.
It is the responsibility of the DEs to ensure quality of manuscripts. The EIC has confidence and trust in all DEs to bring in pieces that are suitable for the magazine. DEs are encouraged to work closely with authors to ensure quality (technical and stylistic) and check with the AEIC or EIC if something questionable or controversial arises to resolve issues. It is always better to work things out in advance or hold something for a future issue, rather than run material that isn’t ready. Despite this, given the nature of the publication, there are layers of review built in, and it is also the responsibility of the AEICs and EIC to provide an additional set of reviews of all manuscripts before they are published to ensure that pieces meet the standards of the magazine.
Department Frequency and Deadlines
The magazine aims to run 3-4 articles per year per department. Generally, the due dates for manuscripts are as follows:
Manuscripts due to DEs: 7 weeks before final due date to IEEE (3.5 months before publication). For example, for the September/October issue, this would be 1 May.
Next, provide feedback to the authors, acquire needed revisions, and gather author bios and headshots.
Manuscript due from DEs to AEIC: No later than 3 weeks before the final due date to IEEE (2.5 months before publication). For example, for the September/October issue, this would be 1 June.
When ready to submit a final version to the AEIC, please have everything ready to go, including magazine sources (not just the PDF), sources for supporting materials, like figures, as well as bios and author contact info.
Manuscript due from AEIC to EIC: No later than 1 week before final due date to IEEE (2 months before publication). For example, for the September/October issue, this is around 15 June.
Final text due from EIC to IEEE: 2 months before issue month. For example, for the September/October issue, this is around 1 July.
To meet these deadlines, work ahead; do not attempt to do real-time publishing. Historically, the most successful departments have had multiple articles from multiple authors in various stages of preparation simultaneously. Having 5-6 going at once, representing perhaps up to two years of content, is not out of line.
Please copy and use this template to capture ideas, track manuscript status, and give AEICs and the EIC an at-a-glance ability to see details of how things are going for your department. AEICs and the EIC are here to help support DEs. Ask us if you have any questions or concerns at all.