Submitting a Paper to TSE

To submit your paper, please use ScholarOne Manuscripts.

Detailed information on submitting your paper to TSE can be found on the “Author Information” tab of the Journal Peer Review page.

Manuscript Types Accepted by TSE

TSE accepts papers that report on substantial novel findings in the field of software engineering. It also welcomes papers that comment on previously published papers as well as surveys of the software engineering literature. While there is no submission limit on regular, comments, or survey papers, it is expected that the contents of the manuscript justifies its length. In particular, the editorial board may recommend that fewer pages be allocated to a paper that appears to be unnecessarily long. Please note that regular papers longer than 12 double column pages after final layout of the accepted manuscript is complete are subject to Mandatory Overlength Page Charges (MOPC). Note: All supplemental material must be submitted as separate files and must not be included within the same PDF file as the main paper submission. There is no page limit on supplemental files. 

A double column page is defined as a 7.875″ x 10.75″ page with 9.5-point type and 11.5-point vertical spacing. These length limits are taking into account reasonably-sized figures and references.

Author Templates

Templates are provided above to assist you with formatting your manuscript. Full specifications on the IEEE Computer Society style can be found in our Style Guide.

Open Access

This publication is a hybrid journal, allowing either traditional manuscript submission or author-paid Open Access (OA) manuscript submission.

The OA option, if selected, enables unrestricted public access to the article via IEEE Xplore and the Computer Society Digital Library with payment of the current Article Processing Charge (APC). The OA option will be offered to the author at the time the manuscript is submitted and the APC must be paid before the article is published in the journal. Please visit the IEEE Open Access FAQ for further details. Authors seeking an APC waiver should submit substantiated evidence and documentation to Corresponding authors from low-income countries are eligible for waived or reduced open access APCs.

The traditional option, if selected, enables access to all qualified subscribers and purchasers via IEEE Xplore and the Computer Society Digital Library. No OA payment is required.

Irrespective of any OA charges, please note that papers which exceed the publication’s stated page limit after acceptance and final layout will be subject to Mandatory Overlength Page Charges.

The articles in this journal are peer reviewed in accordance with the requirements set forth in the IEEE PSPB Operations Manual (Sections 8.2.1.C & 8.2.2.A). Each published article was reviewed by a minimum of two independent reviewers using a single-blind peer review process, where the identities of the reviewers are not known to the authors, but the reviewers know the identities of the authors. Articles will be screened for plagiarism before acceptance.

Journal First Publication

Authors of papers that report completely new research results or that present novel contributions that significantly extend and were not previously reported in prior work may submit papers using the “Journal First” manuscript type.

These papers undergo the same review process as regular papers, but they may qualify for presentation at a conference if they are accepted.

TSE has an agreement in place with the ICSE conference to present journal-first papers that are accepted by TSE. ICSE organizers contact TSE to request journal-first papers for presentation by the December preceding the conference. All journal-first papers that have been accepted by TSE and were not originally submitted 18 months prior to that request qualify and will be invited by ICSE for presentation. Authors are under no obligation to accept the invitation.

Authors should note that papers that extend prior work solely with additional proofs or algorithms or other such details presented for completeness, or additional empirical results, or minor enhancements or variants of the results presented in the prior work should be submitted as “regular” manuscripts to TSE. Authors of “Journal First” manuscripts will be required to submit a 200-word statement that attests to the novelty of their work relative to these criteria.

Manuscript Review Process

Manuscripts submitted to TSE undergo a multi-phase review process.

In making decisions about manuscripts, the editorial board and reviewer community use the following criteria when considering manuscripts for publication. Papers accepted for publication in TSE must:

  1. present a substantial novel contribution to the theory or practice of software engineering;
  2. provide convincing evidence to support their claims (evidence may come in a variety of forms; e.g., analytical, empirical, or experiential); and
  3. clearly and accurately present their findings.

Upon receipt of a manuscript, members of the editorial board assess whether the manuscript should undergo a full review process. They may consult with experts in the field in making this decision. Papers that have a significant weakness with respect to any of the three criteria listed above will be rejected at this point and a justification for this decision will be provided along with an administrative rejection notice.

In a full review process, a member of the editorial board will commission multiple experts in the field to write reviews of the manuscript. It is common practice at TSE to use three expert reviews, but in some cases, more or fewer reviews may be used to provide sufficient information for the editors to make a decision about a manuscript. When a sufficient set of reviews is obtained, an editorial decision is made to accept the paper for publication, request revision of the manuscript, or reject the manuscript as unsuitable for publication in TSE.

Revisions may be minor, in which case the editor will determine whether the required changes have been made by the authors, or major, in which case the manuscript will be sent back to the expert reviewers to conduct a followup review.

Manuscripts that are found to be unsuitable for publication in TSE may be rejected outright or they may receive a recommendation to revise and resubmit as new. The latter is an indication that substantial additional work is required to address weaknesses identified during review, but that the editorial board and the reviewers found value in the research and wish to encourage that followup work. Authors who resubmit a paper should understand that the paper will be treated as a new submission. They may, however, request reviewer continuity which allows the editorial board to use some of the reviewers of the previous submission to expedite the review process.


ORCID Required: All IEEE journals require an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) for all authors. ORCID is a persistent unique identifier for researchers and functions similarly to an article’s Digital Object Identifier (DOI). ORCIDs enable accurate attribution and improved discoverability of an author’s published work. The author will need a registered ORCID in order to submit a manuscript or review a proof in this journal.