IEEE Security & Privacy Editor Roles

Department Editors

Please see the Author Information page for department article author instructions.

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.

Associate Editors

Associate editors (AEs) are responsible for the quality, consistency, and impact of the magazine. This is achieved by selecting qualified, independent, and experienced reviewers to review the submitted manuscripts, and by efficiently managing the peer-review process. Reviewing for this magazine is different from reviewing for a conference or journal. Notably, articles should be of interest to and accessible by the broad spectrum of S&P readers.

The EIC will ask you for an independent assessment of suitability for the magazine prior to review. If you believe it may be suitable, then you select at least three qualified reviewers. (Sometimes in a narrow field it is difficult to secure three reviewers; in this case, it is permissible to have two reviewers, plus a review of your own.) Otherwise, you report to the EIC the opinion that the paper should not be reviewed. Please respond to the EIC’s request within two weeks.

Please see the Computer Society’s Editor Information page for an overview of the peer-review process and for instructions on using the ScholarOne system and making editorial decisions.

Reject or Request Major Revisions?

With a less-than-stellar set of reviews, you are faced with the decision of rejecting outright or asking for major revisions:

  • Could the revision turn this paper into a first-ranked manuscript (not just a manuscript with major problems fixed)? We encourage you to give guidance on what is expected in the revision, selecting from the various recommendations made by reviewers.
  • Is the contribution suitable enough to warrant publication in S&P?
  • Is the impact of the paper going to be significant enough to warrant publication in S&P?

If you can answer “yes” to all these questions, give the authors a chance to revise and resubmit:

  • You have the discretion to send significantly modified papers back for review, to the same reviewers or including new ones, or to make the final recommendation based on your own careful reading.
  • A paper can receive only one “major revision required” assessment. If the resubmitted manuscript does not rise to “accept” or “request minor revisions,” you should reject it.

Guest Editors

Please see the Computer Society’s Guest Editor Information page for an overview of the guest editor (GE) role. Please also read the S&P Special Issue Proposal Guidelines.

S&P pushes special issues (SIs) through an accelerated timeline, aiming for a particular publication date (generally, it takes 9-12 months to produce an SI). It is important to understand ahead of time what the timeline is and to make preparations to meet the deadline. It is the responsibility of the GEs to solicit articles, ensure that articles are peer reviewed, and ensure that the SI is delivered according to the agreed upon timeline.

Authors submit through the ScholarOne system. During the submission process, they’ll have to choose between regular submission and SI submission, indicating the SI of their choice. Only manuscripts get submitted though the ScholarOne system; abstracts (if required) are sent directly to the GEs via email. GEs will get access to ScholarOne through a shared account to assign and review submitted manuscripts. Only the submitted manuscripts for the SI will appear in the account.

Each submission needs 3 reviewers to agree, plus 3 submitted reviews in a short time period. To speed up this process, it helps A LOT to line up reviewers beforehand. GEs could contact the pool of reviewers in the field to let them know they will be asked to review articles in the particular date range. This can be done at any point between CFP distribution and the article submission deadline.

ScholarOne automatically assigns timelines to the individual steps of the review process, based on the process of regular submissions. As SIs usually follow a tighter schedule from submission to publication, these timelines do not always match the actual schedule of the SI. If an article is past due at any step, all subsequent automated email deadlines will be incorrect. To keep deadlines on track, you will need to manually change due dates on your emails. There are two steps:

  • In your reviewer list, use the Grant an Extension link to change the due date. This DOES NOT have to be an extension—you can use it to make the due date earlier.
  • To the right of that, use the Edit Reminders tab to change the dates that the reminders should be sent.

An SI can have from 3 to 7 papers, depending on the quality and timeliness of submissions. The total number of papers should be coordinated with staff and the EIC in terms of total page count for the issue.

When a submission is accepted, the editorial staff takes over final copyedit and works directly with the authors.

The final step for the GEs is to write a GE Introduction (GEI) article, introducing the SI and providing an overview of the content. A GEI will usually be in the range of about 1,000-2,500 words (up to 3,000 words for a particularly complex issue
that requires significant background explanation). GEIs should include brief and enticing summaries of the issue’s articles along with a brief introduction and a brief forward-looking conclusion.