Reviewer Information for Journals

Reviewer Information

Review Process

IEEE Review Process Statement (Section 8.2.2.A)

The policies contained in this Section 8.2.2.A shall apply to the Editors of all regular technical periodical IEEE publications, except IEEE SPECTRUM and Society newsletters. At no time should a manuscript be accepted or published in an archival journal without prior review of the complete manuscript by two or more independent referees conversant with the pertinent subject area.

IEEE requires that referees treat the contents of papers under review as confidential information not to be disclosed to others before publication. It is expected that no one with access to a paper under review will make any inappropriate use of the special knowledge that access provides. Contents of abstracts submitted to conference program committees should be regarded as confidential as well, and handled in the same manner.

Periodicals which are published in cooperation with non-IEEE organizations must have a review policy that ensures the quality of the papers. The policies of the non-IEEE organizations should be generally consistent with the IEEE requirements contained in this Section 8.2.2.A.

To access Section 8.2.2.A – The Review Process in its entirety, visit the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board Operations Manual (PDF).


New Reviewer Information

Thank you for your interest in becoming a reviewer. All article submissions to the IEEE Computer Society are peer-reviewed, so it is only through the efforts of volunteers like you that we are able to maintain our publications’ quality.

We assign three to seven reviewers per submission according to the publication and/or an article’s topic. If you happen to be one of them, we will send you an email request. You are free to accept or decline any request. Usually, we expect you to finish the review within three weeks.

Please go to our online peer review system, ScholarOne Manuscripts, and check whether you already have an existing account with the IEEE Computer Society (because you have volunteered in some capacity in the past). If you have an account, please check that the information is up to date, especially that we have the correct keywords representing your expertise areas. This is how we match reviewers to submissions. If you do not have an account, please create one. We look forward to having you participate in our peer review process.


The keywords linked to each paper are taken from the ACM taxonomy. (This is an extended version of the ACM Computing Classification System; Copyright ©2003 ACM, used with permission.)  Keywords should closely reflect the topic of the paper and optimally characterize it. They link papers to appropriate reviewers. You should add other keywords if you feel they help to further identify the paper’s topic.
We encourage you to enter a minimum of two keywords that reflect your expertise when updating your user Information in ScholarOne Manuscripts. There is no upper limit.


Conduct of the Referee

To guarantee fairness to the author, the reviewer for a paper submitted to the IEEE Computer Society should abide by a number of guidelines including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Respond within the allotted time.
  • Provide sound, constructive reviews.
  • Assume that papers submitted for publication are not meant to be public.
  • Do not use material from a paper you have refereed.
  • Do not share material from a paper you have refereed with others.
  • Do not distribute copies of a paper you have been asked to referee unless the material is already public.
  • Tell the editor, guest editor, and editor in chief if there are any conflicts of interest involved in refereeing a paper.

Do’s and Don’ts

These are guidelines reviewers should follow.


  • Keep your review objective.
  • Pay attention to organization and technical content by commenting on the technical significance and accuracy of the work.
  • Identify and note the type of manuscript (research, tutorial, survey, or case study).
  • Comment on the appropriateness of methods, analyses, results, and conclusions.
  • Suggest specific improvements; identify specific areas that can be removed.
  • Recognize the word limit and number of references.
  • Reject manuscripts that require extensive revision.
  • Reject manuscripts with trivial or insignificant results and minor contributions to the subject area even if they are well written.


  • Review manuscripts you find personally objectionable.
  • Review manuscripts that are not interesting to you.
  • Correct grammar, spelling, and voice. Accepted articles will be edited.
  • Identify yourself or your own work.
  • Include personal comments and biases about the author and subject matter.
  • Reject manuscripts that require simple reorganization.
  • Reject large papers that try to do too much. Instead, point out which parts are most important and describe how to revise the manuscript to give it focus.


Making Recommendations on Manuscripts

The editor will determine the disposition of the manuscript, based on remarks of the reviewers, and the editor’s own assessment of the manuscript. The editor’s recommendation must be well justified and explained in detail. If the editor’s recommendation conflicts with the reviews, or if the reviews conflict with each other, editors must be careful to explain the basis of their recommendation to help avoid an appeal of their decision. In cases where revisions (major or minor) are requested, these should be clearly indicated and explained in the “Comments to Authors” section of the recommendation form. The editor must then promptly convey this decision to the author. The author may contact the editor if instructions regarding amendments to the manuscript are unclear. All decisions are final.

  • Accept: An accept decision means that an editor is accepting the paper “as is” and with no further changes whatsoever. The paper will not be seen again by the editor or by the reviewers.
  • Major Revision: A major revision means that the paper should go back to the original reviewers for a second round of reviews. We strongly discourage editors from making a decision based on their own review of the manuscript if a major revision had been previously required. This may cause problems in the future if reviewers were to see a published paper that they did not have a chance to re-review.
  • Minor Revision: The minor version may not go back to the reviewers, if the editor feels the revisions are sufficient / appropriate. Any revision in length by more than 10% should be a “Major Revision”.
  • Reject: The manuscript is not suitable for publication.
  • Resubmit as “New”: This may be an alternative decision to asking for a second major revision.
  • Administrative Reject: The editor rejects the manuscript without assigning it to reviewers due to significant deficiencies.
  • Out of Scope: The manuscript does not fall within the scope of the journal. We ask that you please suggest a more suitable journal for submission.

Second Major Revision

If a paper has already gone through two rounds of reviews, the option of a second major revision is not available.

There is no rule against a second major revision as such; however, we strongly advise against it since the authors were already given specific instructions in the past and did not fulfill the requirements. If a major overhaul is required to the current version of the paper before it can be considered for the journal, we suggest closing the current file and recommending rejection. This will give the authors an unlimited amount of time to thoroughly revise their paper and resubmit it as new.

A recommendation of “Resubmit as New” is available. Editors may recommend that the author resubmit the paper as new as an alternative to asking for a second major revision. If you wish, we can instruct the authors to request the same editor be assigned to their new paper, increasing the chances of an expedited review. Overall, this procedure will help avoid damaging the journal’s submission to publication time, which is one of the foundations of its highly regarded reputation.

How to Contact Us

IEEE Computer Society
10662 Los Vaqueros Circle
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
+1 714 821 8380


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change my recommendation after I submit my review?

We would prefer that reviewers proof their review before submitting in order to avoid this problem.  However, please contact the associate editor immediately if you submit a recommendation in error.  They may be able to rescind your review for revision, as long as it does not impede the review process in any way.

How will I be informed of the decision on a paper that I have reviewed?

The system sends out a letter after a decision on a paper has been made. The letter is sent out to all participating reviewers and contains the decision and copies of the anonymous reviews.

How to I get a different type of file to review? I have problems reading a PDF file.

Please contact the journal coordinator to obtain a different file type for review.

What if I must have either a student or a colleague complete the review on my behalf?

Email the associate editor of this change so that the paper’s record may be added to the reviewer list. Please provide the full name and the email address of the person who will perform the review on your behalf.

How do I obtain official documentation of my contribution as a reviewer? (i.e. for a year-end review, a degree, etc.)

Please contact the journal coordinator in order to obtain the proper documentation. Be sure to indicate the reason for the request and if necessary, the deadline you must submit the document.

Can I have my name revealed to the author(s) of a paper I review so that they can contact me if they need clarification?

It is imperative that reviewers do NOT voluntarily, or otherwise, reveal their identities to the author of a paper they are reviewing. Reviewers are responsible for removing all identifiers from supporting materials that they submit as part of their review. To preserve the integrity of the review process, the journal coordinator can communicate any necessary information anonymously to the author on behalf of the reviewer.

My area of expertise will soon change and I can no longer serve as a reviewer for a particular publication. How do I communicate this?

Please log on to your user account in ScholarOne Manuscripts by updating the Specialty/Area of Expertise, Keywords, and Unavailable Dates and E-Mail Exemptions sections of your account.

How long will a review I submitted remain in the reviewer center?

The system retains all submitted reviews in the reviewer center. You have access to all the reviews you submitted for any publication you are associated with at any time.  If you review for multiple publications, keep in mind that you must be logged on to that publication’s ScholarOne Manuscripts site in order to view your submitted reviews.